Back to Main Page
Music Note tells the story behind the songs on Room 217.
Londonderry Air (Danny Boy) Traditional Irish, (Celtic Whisperings)
The Londonderry Air is an Irish anthem which is popular throughout the world. The “air” or melody’s title comes from the County Derry in Ireland and was transcribed by Jane Ross to be published in the 1855 book The Ancient Music of Ireland, edited by music collector George Petrie. The most recent research claims the origin of this tune came from the late 1700’s from a song called Aislean an Oigfear (Audley,2000). Londonderry Air is played as the Northern Ireland anthem at the Commonwealth Games.
This melody has been used in many songs i.e. In Derry Vale, The Confession of Devorgilla, Irish Love Song, and many hymns including I Cannot Tell. But the most popular song using this tune is Danny Boy, written by English lawyer F.E. Weatherly in 1910. He intended the song to be a parting message from a woman to a man. Others have interpreted the parting in the song as that between a parent or grandparent and a son or grandson going off to war.
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.
But when ye come, and all the flowers 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, tho' soft you tread above me
And all my grave will warmer, sweeter be
For ye shall bend and tell me that you love me
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me.
Back to Main Page