"Danny Boy," the History and Lyrics

Beautiful Woman Playing Celtic Harp While Sitting On Grassy Field
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"Danny Boy" is one of the most popular songs in the entire Irish music repertoire, and it has been recorded hundreds of times. Set to the tune of the traditional song "Londonderry Air," the lyrics were actually written by an Englishman, Frederick Weatherly, who apparently never set foot in Ireland. Nevertheless, it became a favorite among Irish recording artists (and drunken revelers on St. Patrick's Day) and gained particular favor among Irish-Americans and Irish-Canadians.

Essential Recordings of "Danny Boy"

"Danny Boy" Lyrics

As "Danny Boy" has been recorded literally hundreds of times, multiple versions of the lyrics exist, but the traditional lyrics are as follows:

Oh, Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling

From glen to glen, and down the mountainside.

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.

For 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,

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 grace will warm and sweeter be,

For ye shall bend and tell me that you love me;

And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me.