Martha's Harbour

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"Martha's Harbour"
Single by All About Eve
from the album All About Eve
Released 1988
Recorded 1987
Genre Acoustic, folk rock
Length 3:08
Label Mercury
Writer(s) Tim Bricheno
Andy Cousin
Julianne Regan
Producer(s) Paul Samwell-Smith

"Martha's Harbour" is a song by the English rock band All About Eve. It became known as the group's signature song, reaching #10 in the UK Singles Chart and helping the group's self-titled debut album reach #7 in the UK albums chart. The song was highly unusual for a 1980s pop hit, featuring only Julianne Regan's voice, acoustic guitars played by Tim Bricheno and background sound effects of the sea.

The song is also well known for an incident on the popular BBC UK music show Top of the Pops, when the group, ready to do a mimed (as was BBC policy at the time) performance of their hit, were not played the backing track through their monitors, and so sat motionless while the television and studio audience could hear the song.[1] Due to this error on the part of the BBC, the band were invited back the following week and insisted on playing the song live.

On its creation, Julianne Regan has said, in an interview on BBC radio, "This song happened by accident when we were recording the first album. It was one of those things when we had the day off and we were sat in this very idyllic setting beneath a willow tree besides a stream by this beautiful residential recording studio and it just came out so naturally. It was a miracle of a little song and it's very dear to us because of that, because it was very pure, a really happy accident. Everybody went to the pub and we put it down and by the time they got back Martha's Harbour was committed to tape. Martha's Harbour is a fictitious backdrop for this happening."[2]

The song has also been covered other by artists including Victoria Newton, Méav Ní Mhaolchatha, and Celtic Spirit.



  1. ^ Paphides, Peter (4 February 2014). "Six of the most memorable moments in miming". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 May 2017. 
  2. ^ BBC Sold on Song Top 100 - Martha's Harbour