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What are the lyrics to ‘Danny Boy’?

The iconic Irish ballad 'Danny Boy' was written over 100 years ago in the early 20th century. Here are its famous emotional lyrics

Danny Boy lyrics

Who wrote the song ‘Danny Boy’?

Did you know the popular Irish song ‘Danny Boy’, set to the tune Londonderry Air, was actually written by an Englishman? Frederic Weatherly wrote the lyrics in 1913 after being sent a copy of Londonderry Air by his Irish-born sister-in-law Margaret Enright Weatherly. It was first publicised by opera singer Elsie Griffin, who would go on to perform it to the troops in France during World War One

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Today ‘Danny Boy’ is often sung at funerals  and memorial services particularly for those with Irish heritage

What is ‘Danny Boy’ about?

It is unclear what ‘Danny Boy is about, but it has been suggested  that it is message from a parent to a son off to war, or the Irish uprising. Whatever the truth it is clearly a song about hope, loss and departure from the homeland with the faith of a possible reunion in the future.

What are the lyrics to Danny Boy?

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 there 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,
Ye’ll come and find the place where I am lying,
And kneel and say an Avé 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!

Buy Eva Cassidy’s recording of ‘Danny Boy’ from Amazon

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Image credit: Getty Images