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MRS. STERLING. Irish, Air or Planxty (whole time). E Dorian (O'Sullivan): D Dorian (Mulholland). Standard tuning (fiddle). AB (Mulholland): AA'BB (O'Sullivan). Composed by blind Irish harper Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738). O'Sullivan (1958) suggests the tune was composed for Elizabeth, daughter of Colonel John Sterling of Killikeen, County Cavcan (who became the wife of Rev. Edward Sterling of Garryowen). An early printing of the tune appears in John Mulholland's Ancient Irish Airs, vol. 2 , printed in Belfast in 1810, although O'Sullivan is of the opinion it is an "inferior version".
Source for notated version: the Bunting manuscripts, noted from the playing of harper Charles Byrne [O'Sullivan].
Printed sources: Complete Collection of Carolan's Irish Tunes, 1984; No. 162, p. 110. Mulholland (Ancient Irish Airs), vol. 2, 1810; No. 65. O'Sullivan (Carolan: The Life, Times and Music of an Irish Harper), 1958; No. 162, p. 188.