The Dirty Bastard’s Daughter
This quirky and amazingly infectious tune comes from my friend Mick Cavanaugh, a great whistle, banjo, and mandolin player and singer from Walkerville, Montana. The story behind it is as good as the tune itself. Mick is good friends with Ken Willson and Kim McKee (Kim won both first and second place at last year’s Milwaukee Irish Festival for "best original songs in the Irish tradition"). So Kim, Ken, and Mick call each other—a lot. And they have a custom, when any one of them sees the other’s name on caller i.d., to answer the call with the immediate term of endearment, "Ya Durty Bahstard" in as thick a brogue as they can muster.
So one day Mick is driving down the highway and his cell phone rings. He sees Ken’s name on the caller i.d., hits the talk button and gives the customary salute. There is just the slightest pause on the other end, and then a sweet, angelic voice chirps, "Ah, this would be the durty bahstard’s daughter." Ken and Kim’s young adult daughter Darci had called, and realizing what had happened, Ken and Kim were laughing their heads off in the background, and Mick had to pull off the road to wipe the tears out of his eyes. But he had enough of his wits about him to recognize a stellar tune name if ever there was one. With the aka title for polite company of "Darci on the Cell Phone."
So a year later (just this spring), Mick was tinkering around on mandolin and this jig popped out. Instantly he knew the name for it.
The A part sounds deceptively myxolidian and twisted, until you get it under your fingers. The hardest part for most people is jumping back to the c sharp to start bar 5. The B part is much more straightforward, ending with a downhill scale run, the same as in Joe Burke’s Jig. On mandolin or banjo, Mick likes to add a triplet in that run: |fed cB/B/A|GFE D2….|
Hope you enjoy this one—let me know if you pick it up and it catches on at your local session.
Good tune Will!
Nice tune. Sounds abit like banish misfortune.
“The Dirty Bastard’s Daughter”
I really like this tune and love the story behind it. I use the songs on this site frequently in my lesson plans to teach my students about folk music; the tunes, the histroy and stories behind the tunes….too bad I can’t tell this story!