Danny Boy Lyrics
Posted by LOTGK on March 17, 2007
Perhaps the most popular American Irish song is Danny Boy. Many people here in the states identify Danny Boy to Ireland and its people. It is sung and played at many Irish funerals and the tune can be heard throughout the day at almost every drinking establishment in the United States on St. Patrick’s Day. But did you know Danny Boy is really not an Irish tune? That is correct! It was written by Frederick Weatherly who was an English lawyer, in 1910. Weatherly later married the lyrics to an old melody, Air From County Derry, (Londonderry Air) which became the classic song everyone knows today.
But what is Danny Boy about? What do the lyrics mean? There is plenty of speculation that it is about an Irish father watching his son go off to war knowing that he will (The father) will be gone, (Dead) or of the IRA going to battle, or a sickly mother to her son saying goodbye as her son leaves for the states. But, the real meaning is a love song from a woman to man. Even so, the lyrics are written well enough to have several meanings throughout the ages and the Irish have taken this song as one of it’s own. It will be sung at my own funeral one day. Hopefully a long long time from now.
What about the revisions of the song the past 100 years. Well, the verses below are what my grandmother Veronica sang to us.
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
Oh 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
LURKING, ERIN GOES BRALESS, ON THE GRASSY KNOLL