For today’s featured song, I thought we would feature the most famous Irish associated song of all time. Danny Boy is a classic that has been around for so long. It has a long history and has been covered by almost any artist who could come close to hitting a high not. I wish I could do this song justice, but I can’t so I just have to enjoy other people doing it instead.
I absolutely love this song. When those high notes are hit, it is hard to keep a tear from coming to your eye. However you interpret the song or whatever meaning it has to you, it is for certain that the song is filled with emotion.
My college coach, Dan McCarney, told me that his mom used to sing this song to him when he was a little boy. That warms my thoughts and I usually think about Coach when I hear this song.
As you listen to this song, I hope you have great thoughts and you enjoy your St. Patrick’s Day. Don’t forget to wear green! Enjoy!
Version of the song done by Andy Williams.
Liam McNally doing an amazing version of the song on Britain’s Got Talent.
Version of the song by the Celtic Women.
Version of the song sung by Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns.
Version of the song sung by the Pogues.
Version of the song sung by Mario Lanza. This one is my very favorite!
Version of the song sung by the Irish Tenors.
Version of the song sung by Colm Wilkinson.
Version of the song sung by Roy Orbison.
Although initially written to a tune other than “Londonderry Air“, the words to “Danny Boy” were penned by English lawyer and lyricist Frederick Weatherly in Bath, Somerset in 1910. After his sister-in-law in the United States sent him a copy of “Londonderry Air”, in 1913, Weatherly modified the lyrics of “Danny Boy” to fit the rhyme and meter of “Londonderry Air“.
Weatherly gave the song to the vocalist Elsie Griffin, who made it one of the most popular songs in the new century; and, in 1915, Ernestine Schumann-Heink produced the first recording of “Danny Boy”.
The song is popular for funerals; but, as it is not liturgical, its suitability as a funeral song is sometimes contested. In 1928, Weatherly himself suggested that the second verse would provide a fitting requiem for the actress Ellen Terry.
There are various theories as to the true meaning of “Danny Boy”. Some listeners have interpreted the song to be a message from a parent to a son going off to war or leaving as part of the Irish diaspora. The 1918 version of the sheet music included alternative lyrics (“Eily Dear”), with the instructions that “when sung by a man, the words in italic should be used; the song then becomes “Eily Dear”, so that “Danny Boy” is only to be sung by a lady”. In spite of this, it is unclear whether this was Weatherly’s intent.
by Frederic Weatherly
Oh, Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer’s gone, and all the flow’rs are dying
‘Tis you, ’tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow
Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow
‘Tis I’ll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh, Danny boy, oh, Danny boy, I love you so.
And if you come, and all the flowers are dying
If I am dead, as dead I well may be
I pray you’ll find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an “Ave” there for me.
And I shall hear, though soft you tread above me
And all my grave will warm and sweeter be
And then you’ll kneel and whisper that you love me
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me.
- or I’ll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.
- or And I shall rest in peace until you come to me.
- or Oh, Danny boy, oh, Danny boy, I love you so.