> Martin Carthy > Songs > Mrs Bermingham / No 178 / Blind Mary

Mrs Bermingham / No 178 / Blind Mary

[Turlough O’Carolan arr. Martin Carthy]

Dave Swarbrick and Martin Carthy played the three tunes Mrs Bermingham, No 178, and Blind Mary in 1992 on their album Skin and Bone and on the video 100 Not Out. A 1992 live recording from the Cropredy Festival was included in the Dave Swarbrick anthology Swarb!. Dave Swarbrick previously recorded Mrs Bermingham with Whippersnapper in 1985 for their album Promises.

Martin Carthy wrote in the Skin and Bone sleeve notes:

Dave has always had an eye and ear for the more unusual tune, and in the works of the blind Irish harper Turlough O’Carolan are to be found quite a few. Mrs Bermingham is one of several pieces which he dedicated to her and it hides all sorts of little melodic and harmonic surprises about its person. The more you look the more you find. No. 178 is one of the pieces which he never bothered to name, and Blind Mary was named for a fellow harpist and soul mate of that name, a wonderfully simple and expressive piece.