The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #2549   Message #10484
Posted By: Laoise, Belfast
15-Aug-97 - 05:39 AM
Thread Name: Article on the dangers of sessions
Subject: Article on the dangers of sessions
I thought some of you would find this article of interest. I think it came from the Irish Times or the Irish News.

Session Maladies. Medical Casebook
Dr Liam Farrell

'Music is in our blood, so they say, but so is cholesterol, and years of clandestine observation has led me to the regrettable conclusion that there are many hidden dangers involved, and perhaps music sessions should carry a health warning.

To render the problem even more complicated, every instrument has its own unique hazards.

The Corner Inn in Rostrevor has provided me with the following fascinating clinical material and rather than publish it in the Lancet or the British Medical Journal, I think it is imperative that the Irish public be made aware, as a matter of urgency, of the perils that lurk behind this apparently harmless activity.

Guitar: a gentleman has been defined as someone who doesn't play his guitar at a session. It is a most perilous diversion; if you play it badly all the other musicians will hate you, if you play it well, all the other guitarists (who make up 90% of the other musicians) will hate you. So you stand every chance of being beaten up on the way home. Bring bandages and antiseptic, and take out life insurance.

Uileann pipes: for some bizarre, unfathomable reason, beautiful, exotic foreign women find grotesquely sweaty hairy ruddy-featured men maniacally pumping their right elbow irresistibly attractive.

Fiddle: the virtuosos of any session, believing that all others are only there to give them backing, they tend to develop paranoid delusions of supremacy and may rush out at any moment to put on make-up or receive an imaginary award. May need sedation. Their "flying right elbow" can cause eye, skull and dental injuries to unlucky neighbours.

Bodhran: the instrument of last resort, for those who can play nothing else except the tambourine and are barely able to walk and talk at the same time. These unfortunate individuals are prone to depression because everyone else, even the guitarists, at worst despises, and at best, feels pity toward them. Body armour is advisable.

Accordion: the musical equivalent of an infectious, purulent skin rash, which is a bizarre coincidence as they sweat profusely with the effort to carry the damn thing and therefore are prone to develop infectious, purulent skin rashes in the more moist parts of their body. No cure is possible.

Banjo: tend to suffer from a chronic inferiority complex, but as they constantly reassure themselves, at least they ain't guitarists. Hate mandolin players for associated reasons. Are shy with girls and drink far too much, so not an advisable instrument for single men with addictive personalities. The banjo player usually has a domineering mother, and drink makes them pathetic and offensively melancholic.

Tin whistle: prone to falling forward and consequently liable to teeth and palate injury, as the whistle is usually still in position when the fall occurs. Gumshields are therefore advised and, uniquely, may actually improve their appearance.

Flute: tend to slobber a lot, and it is important for other musicians to sit some distance away, lest body fluids are inadvertently exchanged. Unsafe to kiss.

I would be very interested to hear from other researchers who have similar concerns about these risky activities. It's a funny old world where you need a license to own a dog, but anyone can play a bodhran.'

The Uilleann Pipes paragraph is, I think especially close to the truth.