Danny Boy is a love song from a woman to a man, providing one of many lyrics set to the tune of the Londonderry Air. It was written in 1910 by Frederick Weatherly, an English lawyer, and set to the tune in 1913. The first recording was made by Ernestine Schumann-Heink in 1915. Weatherly gave the song to Elsie Griffin, who made it one of the most popular in the new century. Weatherly later suggested in 1928 that the second verse would provide a fitting requiem for the actress Ellen Terry.
The song is widely considered an Irish anthem, and the tune is used as the anthem of Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games, even though the song's writer was not Irish, and the song was and is more popular outside Ireland than within. It is none-the-less, widely considered by Irish Canadians/Americans, to be their unofficial signature tune. It is very frequently included in the organ presentation at Irish-American funerals. Though the song is supposed to be a message from a woman to a man, the song is actually sung by men as much as, or possibly more often than, women. It has also been interpreted by some listeners that the song is a message from a parent to a son, with the singer saddened that the son has gone to war, or left Ireland forever in the Irish diaspora.
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
'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
Danny Boy, oh Danny Boy, I love you so
And when ye come, and all the flowers are dying
And 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, though soft you tread above me
And all my grave shall warmer, sweeter be
For you shall bend and tell me that you love me
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me
(Courtesy of Wikipedia)
The 32-bar Danny Boy is an old Irish air. A chord-melody arrangement of this song is presented below in the key of C. The song is played slowly in 4/4 time.
I used the chord progression from the "Fake Book of the World's Favorite Songs (HL)."