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Charlie Zahm "The Minstrel Boy"

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Uploaded on Nov 5, 2006

Celtic singer Charlie Zahm performs a set of Americana music at the Gloucester County Public Library in Mullica Hill, NJ on November 4, 2006.

Charlie is playing the Irish drum, or The bodhrán (pronounced /ˈbɔrɑːn/[1] or /ˈbaʊrɑːn/; plural bodhráns or bodhráin) is an Irish frame drum ranging from 25 to 65 cm (10" to 26") in diameter, with most drums measuring 35 to 45 cm (14" to 18"). The sides of the drum are 9 to 20 cm (3½" to 8") deep. A goatskin head is tacked to one side (synthetic heads, or other animal skins are sometimes used). The other side is open ended for one hand to be placed against the inside of the drum head to control the pitch and timbre. One or two crossbars, sometimes removable, may be inside the frame, but this is increasingly rare on modern instruments. Some professional modern bodhráns integrate mechanical tuning systems similar to those used on drums found in drum kits. It is usually with an allen wrench that the bodhrán skins are tightened or loosened depending on the atmospheric conditions.

He finally recorded this song for his 2009 album By Request!!! http://www.charliezahm.com/sounds/22-...


Folksinger Charlie Zahm is based in Pennsylvania and may be reached at http://www.charliezham.com for more information.

Charlie plays the Irish drum on this one!

THE MINSTREL BOY by Thomas Moore

The Minstrel Boy to the war is gone
In the ranks of death you will find him;
His father's sword he hath girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him;"
Land of Song!" said the warrior bard,
"Tho' all the world betrays thee,
One sword, at least, thy rights shall guard,
One faithful harp shall praise thee!"

The Minstrel fell! But the foeman's chain
Could not bring that proud soul under;
The harp he lov'd ne'er spoke again,
For he tore its chords asunder;
And said "No chains shall sully thee,
Thou soul of love and brav'ry!
Thy songs were made for the pure and free,
They shall never sound in slavery!"

An emotionally stirring and inspirational song, The Minstrel Boy was written by Thomas Moore (1779-1852) who set it to the melody of The Moreen, and old Irish aire. It is believed by many that Moore composed the song as a memorial to several of his friends he had met while a student at Trinity College and who had participated in the 1798 rebellion of the United Irishmen. One died in prison, another was wounded, and a third captured and hung. The song originally consisted of two verses. Due to its popularity, the song was a favorite of the many Irishmen who fought during the U.S. Civil War, primarily on the Union side. It was at this time that a third verse was added by unknown authors:

The Minstrel Boy will return we pray
When we hear the news we all will cheer it,
The minstrel boy will return one day,
Torn perhaps in body, not in spirit.
Then may he play on his harp in peace,
In a world such as Heaven intended,
For all the bitterness of man must cease,
And ev'ry battle must be ended.

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