Margaret Barry Biography (Wikipedia)
Margaret Barry (1917–1989) was an Irish Traveller, traditional singer and banjo player. She became a well-known name on the London folk scene in the 1950s, with her distinctive singing style and idiosyncratic banjo accompaniment. Born Margaret Cleary in Cork into a family of Travellers and street singers, she taught herself how to play the zither banjo and the fiddle at a young age. At the age of sixteen, after a family disagreement, Margaret left home and started performing as a street musician.
In the early 1950s she moved to London. With her flamboyant delivery and idiosyncratic banjo-playing, Barry became well known in the pubs and clubs of Irish London, where she was frequently accompanied by the fiddler Michael Gorman. Barry's singing and banjo playing became a major influence on the younger generation of ballad singers in Ireland and the UK, including Luke Kelly.
One song for which Barry is particularly noted is "She Moved Through the Fair". Asked by an interviewer, Karl Dallas, whether she had learned it from her family or from other Travellers, she replied cheerfully, "Oh, no. I got it off a gramophone record by Count John McCormack".
Margaret Barry Tracks