‘Danny Boy’ is a recognizable and popular Irish song of all times. Despite the Irish background, not many know that it's not an Irish song totally.
Danny Boy is a ballad. Irish American actor & writer Malachy McCourt, in 2001, tried unraveling the mysterious song in his book "Danny Boy: The Legend of the Beloved Irish Ballad." It is also known to be read at funerals.
With time, people tried interpreting the lyrics of Danny Boy in their own way. There were many attempts to decipher the exact meaning behind the lyrics. Out of those, few theories suggest that the lyrics are from the parents’ perspective, who wished their son returns to them before their demise, while others are suggestive of a parent sending a message to their son at war, and likewise.
Find the lyrics below:
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 roses falling,
It's you, it's 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,
It's I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow,
Oh, Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so!
But when ye come, and all the flowers are dying,
If I am dead, as dead I well may be,
You'll come and 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 warmer, sweeter be,
For you will bend and tell me that you love me,
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me!
Want to add this wonderful song to your little one’s collection of best rhymes? Then, find the complete printable lyrics here.
Check out the videos below to grab the essence of the famous Danny Boy with cute graphics and subtitles for the younger ones.
Origin & History
The big question that arises is, who is Danny after all?
As per McCourt, the song ‘Danny Boy’ is based on the devastating siege of Derry in 1690 (Northern Ireland).
Since then it became apparent and was accepted that the lyrics of "Danny Boy" are not related to Ireland.
McCourt further clears that the song ‘Danny Boy’ is not 100% original but just another version from amongst a variety of lyrics based on the tune of ‘Derry Air.’
It further unravels that the famous lyrics were neither Irish nor were composed by any Irishman.The original Derry Air is based on Rory Dall O'Cahan, an Irish harpist from Scotland in the late 17th century. The lyrics were composed by Frederick Edward Weatherly, a prolific songwriter who was also a British barrister.
Hence, the fact remains that people’s beloved ‘Danny Boy’ was written by a British lawyer.
In spite of the conflict of opinion on the origin and history of Danny Boy, it is still claimed by the Irish people as they associate it with their country's struggle for independence.
Danny Boy is an old and a very popular song that was often sung at funerals across the west.
Through the decades, the song became woven into the cultural fabric of the U.S. and beyond, often as a final farewell. Elvis said he thought “Danny Boy” was written by angels and asked for it to be played at his funeral.
An Irish singer, Frank Petersen.
A ballad is a blend of poetry and song of Britain and Ireland from the Late Middle Ages.