This week, we’re going to take a look at the beloved folk song “Danny Boy”. Its sweet and yearning melody has endeared it throughout the generations. While we think of it as an Irish folk song, it was actually written by an Englishman who never visited Ireland. His name is Frederic Weatherly and he was both a lyricist and a lawyer. He wrote the lyrics for this song in 1910, but it was originally set to different music than we know today. Around 1913, he was introduced to the “Londonderry Air” and set the lyrics to this new tune. However, the song wasn’t recorded until 1915. Since then it has become well-known and is seen as the unofficial anthem of Ireland. Weatherly never revealed the meaning of the song so it has several possible interpretations. Some think it is about a son going off to war or emigrating away from family and some think it’s written by a young woman to her lover. Whatever the meaning, the words and music are heartfelt and soul-stirringly beautiful.
What’s your favorite version of Danny Boy? Share it in the comments below!
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 flow’rs 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.