Willie and the Lambeg Drum by oulgundog

Currently unavailable for purchase

Available to buy on…

Willie and the Lambeg Drum by 

Willie Drennan beating in the New Year at the world famous St Georges Market, Belfast. Willie’s chosen instrument here is the ‘Lambeg’ drum. An enormous drum, beaten with curved malacca canes. A descendant of ancient wardrums and said to have been introduced into Ulster by Scots and English settlers and men of the William of Orange armys in the Williamite wars. It has a long association with Ulster Scots (Scotch Irish) traditions in the North of Ireland. Willie Drennan is a traditional musician, storyteller, poet and writer, who draws much of his material from the Ulster Scots cultural traditions of his native County Antrim.
The Lambeg drum’s shell is generally made of oak. Lambeg drum heads are goat skins, and are different from other large drums in the quality of their tone. The thin heads are pulled tighter and tighter until the tone is bright and hard. There are no mechanical screws on the drums. The heads are held on with a wooden rim and, traditionally, linen ropes.
The name comes from the village of Lambeg, County Antrim, which is situated ten miles southwest of Belfast and two miles from Lisburn. Tradition has it, that it was in the Lambeg area that the instrument was first played with canes. My own grandfather was a Lambeg drummer in the 1920’s and ’30’s.The drum is sometimes also called “tibbies”, “slashers”, or “killymans”. This one Willie is playing was made by Loudens of Ballymoney… i’ts a louden alright!

Nikon d300


  • Margaret  Hyde
    Margaret Hydeabout 2 years ago

    Very interesting information about the drum. By the stance of the drummer I imagine it is also very heavy.

  • Nice to hear from you Margaret..a happy New Year to you. Aye they are heavy about forty to fifty pound weight but it’s the size and bulk…Willie ‘isne’ so very big but he can handle it well. did you click on his name to see the utube vid of him dancing around with it back in the summer! Take care!

    – oulgundog

  • WildBillPho
    WildBillPhoabout 2 years ago

    Great catch and the video rocks! I never heard one of these before. I was expecting low bass!

  • Lol Aye Willie’s great craic (fun) these drums are only equal to bagpipes as the loudest acoustic instruments in the world! Indeed it’s strange to hear it doing a Orleans jazz rythem accompanied by trombones and sax when its normal playing mate is a fife! But then it is Northern Ireland! Cheers Bill!

    – oulgundog

  • Margaret  Hyde
    Margaret Hydeabout 2 years ago

    Just checked out the video which I enjoyed. All I can say is he’s fit and must have neck muscles like an ox.
    Happy new year to you too.

  • You should see his finale…two penny whistles up his nose LOL!

    – oulgundog

  • Margaret  Hyde
    Margaret Hydeabout 2 years ago

    Not something you’d do with a head cold! Unfortunately we don’t see many of these “characters” these days – especially in Australia.

  • Coincidently I have a head cold at the moment and in my imagination I have just clogged up two penny whistles and imbedded both of them in innocent onlookers heads after sneezing quite violently!lol I’m sure down under has it’s fair share of characters…after all you are descendants and realatives of us!

    – oulgundog

  • Margaret  Hyde
    Margaret Hydeabout 2 years ago

    You are incorrigible!!!!!

  • Margaret  Hyde
    Margaret Hydeabout 2 years ago

    BTW my paternal grandparents came from Carmarthen Wales, and my maternal greatgrandparents were Scots.

  • Ah you see ..your a Celt! lol

    – oulgundog

  • artwhiz47
    artwhiz47about 2 years ago

    Being a person who is mesmerized by rhythms of all sorts, I am now in a hypnotic trance. Grand shot of Willie, his drum, & his expression. A look at the video is a must, in my opinion, & it led me, of course, to several others that YouTube has on offer. Yoiks. I submit!!

  • Yep Willie is an expert on rythms . Utube has that thing of making you skip on to other videos and before you know your viewing something far removed from the subject of the origional… if you get my drift! lol Thanks Sheila.. Happy New Year by the way!

    – oulgundog

  • Guendalyn
    Guendalynalmost 2 years ago


  • George Coombs
    George Coombsalmost 2 years ago

    a great capture, excellent work

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

10%off for joining

the Redbubble mailing list

Receive exclusive deals and awesome artist news and content right to your inbox. Free for your convenience.