Bodhrán Jokes: Special Hidden Joke for text-only browsers!!  Q: For a
bodhrán player, what's the difference between a jig and a reel?  
A: Jigs are louder.

Something there is about a bodhrán that prompts an irresistable urge to humor. All musicians tell jokes about each other, but bodhrán jokes are different:

When someone tells a guitarist joke, people laugh.
When someone tells a bodhránist joke, people nod in solemn agreement.


We couldn't start off any better than Wrap it Up, by Four Men and A Dog, a good candidate for official song of the bodhrán.

Howard Joseph has pointed us to an excerpt from The Bodhrán Song, a silly little traditional song sung by a goat who wants to become a bodhran when he dies. If anyone can provide the lyrics to this piece, please let us know.


New Funnies

Fellow walks into a pub in Belfast with a plastic bag under his arms.
The bartender asks "What's that?"
"Six pounds of semtex", he answers.
"Thanks be to Jaysus; I thought it was a bodhrán!"

Then there was the bodhran player who remembered that he had left his bodhrán in his unlocked car. Rushing back, he opened his car door to find two more bodhráns in the back seat.

A bodhran player was sick of the band abusing him, and decided to start his own. He walked into a music shop, planning to buy the first instruments he saw.
"Give me the red saxophone and that accordion!", he said.
The assistant said, "You play the bodhran, don't you?"
"That's right. Why?"
"Well, the fire exinguisher I can sell you - but the radiator stays.


What's the only proper way to play a bodhrán?

With an open penknife.

(This, the primordial bodhrán joke, is the responsibility of Seamus Ennis)

What do you call a groupie who hangs around annoying session musicians?

A bodhrán player.

What is the difference between a bodhrán player and a terrorist?

Terrorists have sympathisers.

What do bodhrán players use for birth control?

Their personalities.

How do you know when there is a bodhrán player at your front door ?

The knocking gets faster and faster and faster...

Why do bodhrán players find it difficult to enter a room ?

They never know when to come in.

What's the difference between a bodhrán and a trampoline?

You take off your shoes when you jump on a trampoline.

Bodhrán care is simple... Rub gently with lighter fluid and ignite.

(provided by Ed Dale; attributed to Seán O'Riada)

Then of course there was the fiddle player who, while visiting the local pub, was asked for a dollar to help pay for the funeral of a local bodhrán player.

"Here's two dollars;" he says "bury another."

(courtesy [if that's the right word] of Ed Dale)

What is the difference between a dead bodhran player lying in the road and and a dead rabbit lying in the road?

The rabbit might have been on it's way to a gig.
There are skid marks in front of the rabbit.

Is a bodhrán-player a musician?

Is a barnacle a ship?

(courtesy of Paul Nicolaides)

Why is a bodhran player like a foot massage?

A foot massage bucks up the feet, whereas...

(courtesy of Bernard Argent, on IRTRAD-L)

What do you call a bodhrán player with a broken wrist?

A huge improvement.

(courtesy of John Birtwistle, on IRTRAD-L, attributed to the Chippenham session)

What have a bodhrán player and a sperm got in common?

One chance in a million of ever becoming a human being!

(courtesy of Beverley Whelan, on IRTRAD-L, attributed to the Inverkeilor session)

How can you tell the stage is level at an Irish Music Festival?

The bodhran player is drooling from both sides of his mouth.

(from Russ Godfrey of Mandolirium and the Walter Bodega Band)

What do you call 50 bodhrans in a land fill?

A good start.

(from Russ Godfrey of Mandolirium and the Walter Bodega Band)

What's the difference between an accordian and a bodhran?

The accordian is harder to light, but it gives off more heat.

(from Russ Godfrey of Mandolirium and the Walter Bodega Band)

What do you call a bodhran player without a girlfriend?


(from Russ Godfrey of Mandolirium and the Walter Bodega Band)

Collective noun: A skinful of bodhráns.

(reported on by Marcus Turner)

Best things to do with a bodhrán:
(from, 7/95)

Define an optimist.

A bodhrán player with a beeper.

(courtesy of Jim McGill; but Ken Larson says I just thought I'd mention that I got two bodhrán gigs last week through my pager... So there, Nyagh!!!)

How is pre-mature ejaculation like a bodhrán solo?

You know perfectly well what's about to happen, but you can't do a thing about it.

(courtesy of Tommy Hayes)

What do you get when you murder a bodhránist with his own beater?

Tipper Gore.

(Submitted anonymously, no doubt to avoid reprisals)

What's the difference between a bodhran player and a drum machine?

You only have to punch the rhythm into the drum machine once.

(donated by Chris Pitts)

Why do men make better bodhran players than women?

Because they have already mastered the wrist movement.

(posted on by Tracy Reith)

What's the difference between a bodhran and an onion?

Most people cry when they cut up an onion.

Customer: I'd like to buy a guitar, please.
Shop Assistant: You're a bodhran player, aren't you?
Customer: How did you know that?
Shop Assistant: This is a fish and chip shop.


Other Stuff

Take a look at Robin Wade's cartoon Learning to Play the Bodhrán.

You might be amused by Conrad Bladey's recipe for Bodhrán Cheese Cake. Or you might enjoy Coleen O'Hanley's actual bodhrán cake!


Blame where blame is due: I stole some of these jokes from Pat Murphy; he says of his list "Someone on the net gave me this :-)". I heard others at sessions, and I made up a few myself. I've left out several jokes that were simply lawyer jokes plus word-substitution.

More general percussionist humor can be found on the Drums and Percussion Page list of drummer jokes, or the Lark in the Morning Percussive Humor page. For the true aficionado (from Late Latin aficionadus "person with more time than common sense"), Jeff Bigler offers a comprehensive list of jokes for all instruments; he even includes a short list of bodhrán jokes. And Wendy Morrisson has put together a list of jokes about traditional music.

And how could I omit 10 Disgusting Things Irish Traditional Flute Players Do?!

If you know any other bodhrán jokes, or anything else that ought to appear on this page, let me know.


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Bodhrán home page.

Part of the Ceolas
celtic music archive

Josh Mittleman

Last updated Aug 3, 2001