A Lambeg drum is a large Irish drum, beaten with curved Malacca canes. It’s used mainly in Northern Ireland by the Orange Order, traditionally in street parades held in the summer, particularly on the contentious 12 July and during ‘the marching season’. To Nationalists, the Lambeg was a detested symbol of oppression and intimidation.
What a pleasure if was to see a team of Lambeg drummers taking part in my local St. Patrick’s Day parade the other day - a sign of just how dramatically things have changed in the last few years. They got a rousing reception. Anyone who knows anything about Irish history will understand the significance of a Lambeg drummer from the North taking part in a parade like this in the South.
The Lambeg drum, together with the bagpipe, is said to be one of the loudest acoustic instruments in the world, often reaching over 120 db. It measures approximately three feet and one quarter inch (0.9 m) in diameter and two feet (0.65 m) deep, and weighs 35-40 lbs.