The Days Of Pearly Spencer

by Mandy Bingham

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On 6th October 2017, exactly 50 years to the day since this classic song was first broadcast, Belfast singer-songwriter Mandy Bingham will pay tribute to her late father David McWilliams by releasing a single of her version of her father’s most famous song ‘The Days of Pearly Spencer’.

Thought to be written about a homeless person from Ballymena, ‘The Days of Pearly Spencer’, became David McWilliams’ best-known song, topping the charts in many European countries and ultimately selling over a million copies worldwide. The song has been covered in every language and genre you can think of and reached number four in the UK charts when Marc Almond released his cover version in 1992, 25 years after the original release.

In 2012, the song was voted by the public as one of the top 10 songs of all time from Northern Ireland and it featured as part of a special BBC Radio Ulster concert with the Ulster Orchestra, to mark the 150th anniversary of the Ulster Hall.

Mandy enlisted the inimitable Michael Mormecha of Millbank Studios, Lisburn to produce this poignant tribute to her late father. Also featured are the amazing Arco String Quartet, Graham Bingham on lap steel guitar, Edelle McMahon on electric guitar, and Mormecha himself on drums.

Mandy and Graham’s daughter Lola adds a striking contribution to the backing vocals, making this new version a unique three-generational offering.

A moving and beautifully produced video, by the talented Colm Laverty, documents the coming together of this heartfelt and fitting tribute.


A tenement a dirty street
Walked and worn by shoeless feet
In silence long and so complete
Watched by shivering sun

Old eyes in a small child's face
Watching as the shadows race
Through walls and cracks that leave no trace
And daylights brightness shuns

The days of Pearly Spencer
The race is almost run

Nose pressed hard on frosted glass
Gazing at the swollen mass
On concrete fields where grows no grass
Stumbles blindly on

Iron trees smother the air
But withering they stand and stare
Through eyes that neither know nor care
Where the grass has gone

The days of Pearly Spencer
The race is almost run

Pearly where's your milk white skin
What's that stubble on your chin
It's buried in the rot gut gin
You played and lost not won

You played the house that can't be beat
Now look your heads bowed in defeat
You walked too far along the street
Where only rats can run

The days of Pearly Spencer
The race is almost run

The days of Pearly Spencer
The race is almost run


released September 24, 2017
Recorded and produced by Michael Mormecha at Ballylesson, Ballymena and Millbank Studio, Lisburn.
Mandy Bingham - Vocals
Graham Bingham - Lap Steel Guitar
Edelle McMahon - Electric Guitar
Michael Mormecha - Drums and Bass Guitar
Lola Bingham - Additional Vocals
Laura McFadden - String Arrangements
Arco String Quartet - Strings


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Mandy Bingham Belfast, UK

Hailing from the North Coast of Ireland, Mandy is the eldest daughter of singer songwriter David McWilliams (Day’s of Pearly Spencer). This cultural and family heritage is inherent in her songwriting.

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