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Danny Boy was written by an English lawyer, Frederic Edward Weatherly in 1910 and the tune was not successful. His sister-in-law sent him the music for "The Derry Air" (also known as "The Londonderry Air") from America and he found that the words for his Danny Boy fit it perfectly. He published the revised (filked?) version in 1913 which became the popular melody we all know.

The Londonderry Air first appeared in print in 1855, in "Ancient Music of Ireland", published by the early collector George Petrie (1789-1866). The untitled melody, was supplied to Petrie by Miss Jane Ross of Limavady, County Londonderry, who claimed to have taken it down from the playing of an itinerant piper. This is the origin of the Londonderry Air name.

    Danny Boy

    by Frederick Weatherly
    [G7] Oh Danny [C] Boy, the [C7] pipes the pipes are [F] calling [Dm]
    from glen to [C] glen and down the [Am] mountain [Dm] side. [G7]
    The summer's [C] gone and [C7] all the flowers are [F] dy- [Dm] ing
    'tis you, 'tis [C] you must [G7] go and I must [C] bide. [G7]

    But come ye [C] back
    when [F] summer's in the [C] meadow
    or when the [Am] valley's [F] hushed and white with [Dm] snow. [G7]
    'Tis I'll be [C7] there
    in [F] sunshine or in [C] shadow. [Am]
    Oh, Danny [C] boy Oh Danny [Dm] boy
    I [G7] love you [C] so.

    And when ye come and all the flowers are dying;
    and if I'm 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, though soft you tread above me;
    and all my grave will warmer, sweeter be.
    If you will bend and tell me that you love me;
    then I shall sleep in peace till you're with me.