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It's brock music as Willie Drennan sings praises of the noble badger

By Linda Stewart

Published 07/10/2015

Willie Drennan
Willie Drennan

He's Northern Ireland's answer to Brian May - at least when it comes to championing badgers.

Willie Drennan's folk music may be a world away from the rock stylings of the Queen guitarist but they share the same concerns for the striped mammal.

And yesterday the star of the BBC's A Dander With Drennan marked National Badger Day by releasing a new track - The Boul Brocks O'Brocklamont - paying tribute to the badgers that live in his Co Antrim townland.

The idea cropped up in a Twitter exchange between Willie and Peter Clarke of the Northern Ireland Badger Group. Willie teamed up with fellow folk musician Davy Angus to celebrate one of our best-loved native mammals.

Peter Clarke said: "Willie has a great enthusiasm for wildlife. We were delighted when he offered to help in this way. Badgers are an important but vulnerable part of our natural heritage and this is a positive way to celebrate them."

Brock, spelt broc in Irish, is an old word for badger used throughout these islands. The word brock can be found in many place and family names.

Willie says he knows badgers can catch TB but he doesn't think culling them will halt the spread of bovine TB.

"I don't think there's enough scientific evidence to prove that they are much responsible for the spread of TB in cattle," he said.

He added: "I've become very interested in them. I used to go and watch them coming out of their setts in the evenings.

"I was walking home one night, walking down a long lane, and I met a badger in the lane and it came towards me.

"People used to say 'game as a badger'.

"He made a beeline for me across the lane, stopped a few feet away for about 30 seconds, then sauntered off again.

"Where I live, on the other side of Ballymena, the townland is called Brocklamont and brock is an old word for badger.

"There have been badgers there for hundreds of years.

"There's a reasonable chance that it's called after the fact.

"That's what the song is about - the idea is that they have been there since ancient times and are determined to stay."

The track and video are released on the Badger Group website at www.badgersni.org.uk and @badgersni.

Factfile

The song's lyrics:

We're the Boul Brocks o' Brocklamont

They say this is our destiny

The noble clan o' Brocklamont

For ever and a day.

We're the Boul Brocks o' Brocklamont

It's in the lore from days of yore

And we'll be here in Brocklamont

For evermore.

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