O'Carolan, Turlough - Blind Mary - Tab

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Frank Nordberg

O'Carolan, Turlough - Blind Mary - Tab

Post by Frank Nordberg » Thu Feb 14, 2013 11:11 pm

Somebody asked for a guitar arrangement of "Blind Mary".

Here it is:
If you don't want the tablature, you can find it without at:

Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738) was a blind Irish harper and singer, and is considered by many as the Irish national composer. He wrote songs and instrumental solo pieces for the harp inspired both by the old Gaelic harp tradition and by the popular European music of his day. Around 300 compositions by him are known but since very little of his music was published during his own life, it’s likely even more works have been lost forever.

“Blind Mary” may originally have been a song but today it is known as an instrumental. This version of the tune that this arrangement is based on, was collected by Francis O’Neill who published it in his 1903 collection “Music Of Ireland”. O’Neill only published the tune itself, I have added harmonies and bass notes. I have omitted the bows from O’Neill’s edition since they seem to be romantic style violin bowing marks rather than legato bows and don’t seem to be neither very authentic to Carolan’s style or suitable for the guitar. I decided to take a modern folk music approach when arranging the tune, without too much concern about authenticity. Even so, it is quite conceivable that a lutenist back in Carolan’s time could have played it very similar to this.

Technically the arrangement is fairly straight forward. Play it as slow as you dare, play the grace notes on the beat and hold them as long as possible and feel free to play the chords arepggio whenever you feel it’s a good idea. There are no repet signs in O’Neill’s edition but it seems that most performers choose to repeat part A and perhaps part B as well.
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Re: O'Carolan, Turlough - Blind Mary - Tab

Post by fort » Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:17 pm

Thanks Frank for posting this, I've been trying to find Blind Mary in tab for ages, I only just discovered Turlough O'Carolan and I know this will help me learn it
Thanks and kind regards

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Re: O'Carolan, Turlough - Blind Mary - Tab

Post by jbguitar » Sun Jun 01, 2014 9:47 pm

Very nice arrangement, I look forward to playing it. Thank you for your work.

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Re: O'Carolan, Turlough - Blind Mary - Tab

Post by Langvarig » Tue Nov 18, 2014 11:35 am

Thank You for sharing - it's a very nice arrangement.


Re: O'Carolan, Turlough - Blind Mary - Tab

Post by makyton » Sat Feb 07, 2015 2:00 pm

Hi, thanks for the tabs! Do you have any other pieces by O'Carolan in standard tuning? I have found many transcriptions for guitar, but I am tired of retuning my guitar for every 1 minute piece :)


Re: O'Carolan, Turlough - Blind Mary - Tab

Post by fuyioioih » Sat May 30, 2015 11:01 am

Thanks for this. Looks like fun. I'll give it a try.


Re: O'Carolan, Turlough - Blind Mary - Tab

Post by Superdave » Wed Mar 22, 2017 11:27 pm

What do I have to do to view these PDF files ?

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George Crocket
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Re: O'Carolan, Turlough - Blind Mary - Tab

Post by George Crocket » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:55 am

It should be clear now, Dave. Welcome to the forum.
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