DARCY FARROW

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs
  • DARCY FARROW
    The heart-tugging saga of Darcy Farrow has inspired some creative legends about its
    beginnings. The most common is that songwriters Steve Gillette and Tom Campbell
    wrote the song for a class while students at UCLA, attempting to mimic an old Celtic folk
    song. Some folklorists have called it a 19th-century “gold-rush era” song. The real roots
    of the tune, however, are even better than the myths.
    “The song is based on something that happened to my little sister, whose name is Darcy,”
    says Gillette. “At 12 years old she was running behind her horse, chasing it into the
    corral, when she was kicked. She broke her cheekbone but had no other lasting effects;
    there was a three-day period where she was in the hospital, and we were all concerned
    she might have a concussion.
    “During that time,” Gillette continues, “my friend, Tom Campbell, my co-writer on the
    song, took a melody I had written and came up with a story about the two young lovers
    and the tragic fall. I was a little horrified about the idea since it was so dark and involved
    my sister’s name, but as we worked with it and took it in the direction of the old cowboy
    songs; I was much more comfortable with it. Many of the old cowboy songs take their
    melodies from Scottish-Irish musical traditions.”
    Where the walker runs down to the Carson Valley Plain
    There lived a maiden, Darcy Farrow was her name
    The daughter of old Dundee and a fair one was she
    The sweetest flower that bloomed oer the range
    Her voice was as sweet as the sugar candy
    Her touch was as soft as a bed of goose down
    Her eyes shone bright like the pretty lights
    That shone in the night out of Yerrington town
    She was courted by Young Vandamere
    A fine lad was he as I am to hear
    He gave her silver rings and lacy things
    And she promised to wed before the snows came that year
    But her pony did stumble and she did fall
    Her dying touched the hearts of us one and all
    Young Vandy in his pain put a bullet through his brain
    And we buried them together as the snows began to fall
    They sing of Darcy Farrow where the Truckee runs through
    They sing of her beauty in Virginia City too
  • At dusky sundown to her name they drink a round
    And to young Vandy whose love was true