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Danny Pearl’s Favorite (A)

Danny Pearl

Danny Pearl

This tune is “The Red Haired Boy,” a translation of the Irish title “Giolla Rua” – which is Anglicize as “Gilderoy” – and is said to refer to King James V.  It is called “An Maidrin Ruadh” (The Little Red Fox) in Bunting’s A Collection of the Ancient Music of Ireland (1840). There is also an old song, “The Little Beggarman,” that uses this melody.  The melody is one of the few common throughout Scotland and Ireland, and was transferred nearly intact to the American fiddle tradition (both North and South) where it has remained a favorite in old-time and bluegrass sessions. In the U.S. it is sometimes called “Gilderoy,” or “Injun Ate a Woodchuck” in the Alleghenies. About ten years ago the tune also acquired a new title because, as Zina Lee explains,

Journalist Daniel Pearl (1963-2002) was savagely killed by terrorists who had taken him hostage in Pakistan, the papers and other news organizations discovered that Danny Pearl was also a fiddler, bluegrass and old-time mainly, but he loved playing all kinds of music. His favourite tune was said to have been “The Red-Haired Boy.” Quite a few players got the idea all at the same time . . . the new tune name to honour Danny Pearl is “Danny Pearl’s Favorite.”

For the ABC click Danny Pearl’s Favorite

Danny Pearl’s Favorite, slow tempo (Dave Agee, Fiddle)

Danny Pearl’s Favorite, the dots

Danny Pearl's Favorite

Danny Pearl’s Favorite

 

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