Danny Boy

 
The song Danny Boy was written by the English lawyer and lyricist Frederick Weatherly in 1910. Although he originally set the lyrics  to a different tune, Weatherly modified them to fit the “Londonderry Air” in 1913.
 
Many recordings are available, including as traditionally sung, this scenic video, and versions by Deanna Durbin, Mario LanzaAndy Williams, Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley and The Pogues, plus our favourite by the Muppets.
 
(There are a number of variations on these lyrics.)
 
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 leaves 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 there in sunshine or in shadow

Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

And when ye come, and all the flow’rs are dying

If I am dead, as dead I well may be

Ye’ll come and find the place where I am lying

And kneel and say an “Ave” there for me.

And I shall hear, tho’ soft you tread above me

And oh, my grave shall warmer, sweeter be

For ye will bend and tell me that you love me

And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me

Weatherly gave the song to the vocalist Elsie Griffin, who made it one of the most popular songs in the new century.

The author later acknowledged that Danny Boy was sung “all over the world by Sinn Feiners and Ulstermen alike“, and also noted that the song had “nothing of the rebel song in it, and no note of bloodshed“.

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