FTX-070 - THE BLARNEY STONE
MARGARET BARRY (with tenor banjo)
A legendary folk figure (1917-1989) renowned for her singing with her banjo
at fairs & football matches on both sides of the Irish border. Recorded
1952 at Dundalk, Co. Louth by Peter Kennedy, Margaret later "teamed up" with
Sligo fiddler, Michael Gorman. Of tinker parents, born in Cork City, her father
and uncle were well-known banjo-players and her mother a harpist. On this tape
she plays her mother's step-dance tune, The Break-down Hornpipe
1. THE BLARNEY STONE - 2'39"
2, THE FACTORY GIRL (with talk and tune before) - 4'40"
3. MOSES RI-TOORAL-I-AY - 2'42"
4. KATHLEEN (or THE HILLS OF DONEGAL) - 4'06"
5. WHERE LAGAN STREAMS (or MY LAGAN LOVE) - 4'31"
6. GRADH-MO-CHROIDHE - 4'11"
7. Instrumental: BANJO BREAKDOWN - 1'46"
8. THE GALWAY SHAWL - 3'48"
9. LET MISTER MAGUIRE SIT DOWN - 1'47"
10. THE MANTLE SO GREEN - 4'03"
11. THE TURFMAN FROM ARDEE - 3'03"
12. THE BARD OF ARMAGH - 3'58"
13. EDDIE RICHARDSON (The Cycling Champion of Ulster) - 2'35"
14. MARTHA, THE FLOWER OF SWEET STRABANE (unacc) - 2'33"
15. THE WILD COLONIAL BOY - 3'17"
16. SHE MOVES THRO' THE FAIR (or OUR WEDDING DAY) - 5'10"
Recorded & edited by Peter Kennedy and first published on Folktrax
NOTE: The copyright of Margaret's arrangements of the above songs were assigned
to FOLKTRAX on 16th August 1968, together with THE COTTAGE WITH THE HORSESHOE
O'ER THE DOOR/ THE BOLD FENIAN MEN/ THE BOSTON BURGLAR/ EILEEN MACMAHON/ OUR
SHIP IS READY/ STILL I LOVE HIM and TWO HUNDRED YEARS A-BREWING (or THE GUINESS
Margaret BARRY (1917-1989), also known as "The Bard" or "The
Queen of the Irish Tinkers", was born in Peter Street, Cork, on New Year's Day,
1917, into a family of itinerant musicians. Her father and her uncle played
banjo, her mother the harp, and other uncles fiddles and the Uillean bagpipes.
Her mother died when she was 12 and Margaret left school at 14 and went on the
road. "I thought this life was all right - I went from place to place and
got a lot of money - and everybody seemed to be very happy when I was singing".
In 1957 she was invited to London by Alan Lomax to take part in David Attenborough's TV "Balladhunter" series, and it was then that she met Michael Gorman, the Sligo fiddler (also recorded by Peter Kennedy on FT-077 & FT-174) and joined up with him, to become the first Irish "folk road-show", touring Britain, Ireland and America. In fact, she remained with Michael until his death in 1969. She herself passed away 10th December 1989 and was buried at St Colman's Laurencetown, Co Down on Dec 12th.
"My grandmother came from Barcelona in Spain. She was very dark, an excellent lace-maker and she used to wear a little lace on the top of her head. She was a singer and played the guitar, a most remarkable one, with a separate shaft with strings on it, like a harp. She could speak Gaelic as well as Spanish and Italian, as her ancestors came from there"- (from a FOLKTRAX recording of Margaret talking about her life)