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Danny Boy

30 Nov 00 - 11:48 PM (#349418)
Subject: Danny Boy
From: GUEST,Mike Dalton

Who is singing to Danny Boy. Is it his mother or father or someone else?


01 Dec 00 - 12:01 AM (#349423)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Gary T

I'd say it's pretty certain the singer is a parent. I see it as a farewell to a lad leaving home to make his fortune. I figured it to be the father, but when I heard some suggestion it was the mother, I couldn't find a reason why that could not be.


01 Dec 00 - 12:03 AM (#349425)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: katlaughing

Depending on which version in the DT, I always took it to be his love/betrothed/girlfriend...


01 Dec 00 - 12:18 AM (#349430)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Gary T

I used to think the same, kat. I changed my view after reflecting on the narrator's contention that (s)he may well be dead upon Danny's return (much more likely of a parent than of a girlfriend) and expectation to be reunited in the afterlife (a lover involved enough to reasonably expect that would be going with him).


01 Dec 00 - 01:22 AM (#349445)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Elise

I always hear tenors sing it, so I supposed it was a father.


01 Dec 00 - 04:22 AM (#349466)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Quincy

My granny told me that it was an old man saying farewell to his son as he went off to war.
Even if his son were to survive the war, as he himself was old, he probably wouldn't be alive to see his return.

Yvonne


01 Dec 00 - 07:14 AM (#349489)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: KT

That's what I've always understood, too, Quincy. KT


01 Dec 00 - 10:18 AM (#349589)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: BigDaddy

Yer right on Quincy and KT. There was a previous thread here about this. And the Weatherly chap who wrote the best known lyrics had apparently lost a son, inspiring him to write the lyrics. Even though his own tragedy does not match the story line in the song, something of his own grief went into the writing of the lyrics.


01 Dec 00 - 02:06 PM (#349723)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Malcolm Douglas

There are links to some 12 previous discussions of "Danny Boy" / "The (London)Derry Air", plus some to information at other sites, in this thread:

give me the history of the song Danny Bo

Malcolm


01 Dec 00 - 03:59 PM (#349781)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Don Firth

Since I don't have three weeks to check out all the previous Danny Boy threads and links, I'll just chuck in what I heard recently from a source that's probably as authoritative as any (which may or may not be saying very much). John McDermott is one of the "Irish Tenors," who appear like clockwork during the KCTS (Seattle's major PBS affiliate) begathons. A couple of months ago, McDermott appeared in person at the KCTS studio and chatted with George Ray, the M. C., during pledge breaks.

The question of "what is Danny Boy all about?" came up. McDermott said that during their various wars, the British were in the habit of conscripting able-bodied young Irishmen to do their fighting for them. When pipers marched through the towns and countryside playing their pipes, this was the signal that all able-bodied young men were to come and "take the king's shilling" -- or else! According to McDermott, the words are spoken (sung) by the mother, hearing the dreaded sound of the pipes ("Oh, Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling. . . "), knowing that her young son must go into the army, and that she'll probably never see him again. With that to go on, the rest is self-explanatory.

Sounds reasonable. . . .

Don Firth


01 Dec 00 - 04:33 PM (#349812)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Malcolm Douglas

Though, if you had had time to look at some of the earlier threads, you'd know that McDermott had very little idea what he was talking about.  Quite apart from anything else, the words were written by an Englishman who had never been to Ireland, and only later set to the Irish tune, at the suggestion of his sister, who lived in America and came across the melody there.

Malcolm


01 Dec 00 - 09:17 PM (#349945)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Don Firth

Sorry. I stand corrected.

Don Firth


01 Dec 00 - 10:02 PM (#349959)
Subject: Lyr Add: DANNY BOY
From: Catrin

For the pur[poses of the discussion:-

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 flowers are dying
'tis you, 'tis you must go and I must bide.

But come you back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
'tis I'll be there in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.

And if you come, when all the flowers are dying
And 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 dreams will warm and sweeter be
If you'll not fail to tell me that you love me
I simply sleep in peace until you come to me.

It's gotta be a parent! Cheers, Catrin


02 Dec 00 - 06:47 AM (#350087)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: rube1

has anyone ever heard Sil Austin"s tenor sax instrumental version of Danny Boy? on an obscure lp called Sil Austin Plays Pretty for the People. Most awesome version I've ever heard.


02 Dec 00 - 09:56 AM (#350123)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Skivee

Fred Weatherly appears to have written Danyy Boy in TWO version.... Danny Boy, and Ellie Dear. According to his book about his years as a composer. It was written in 1910 , and set to a different tune. His sis sent Weatherly the music to Londonderry aire, and Fred immediatlty realized that it was a better tune than the one he had put to it. It's not about any particular event, but rather his attempt to write a somewhat maudlin parlor song about separation. It most certainly isn't about Da' sending his boyo to the conscription army to fight in WWI. The bomb that started it wasn't thrown in Seriabo for another 4 years.


02 Dec 00 - 03:12 PM (#350286)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

When did Weatherly write the song, and when was it set to Londonderry Air? Dated copies among many songs by Fred E. Weatherly in the Levy sheet music collection range from 1882 to 1916, but "Danny Boy" and "Elle Dear" aren't there. Fuld, 'The Book of World Famous Music', 1966, says of "Londonderry Air": "Many lyrics have been set to this music, perhaps the best known being Danny Boy in 1913 with words by Fred. E. Weatherly".

Was that when "Danny Boy" was written, or when it was set to "Londonderry Air"? I suspect the latter.


02 Dec 00 - 04:13 PM (#350309)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Don Firth

Giving the matter a second think, I still hold with what John McDermott said. The question that precipitated this thread was not "Who wrote Danny Boy, but "Who is singing to Danny Boy. Is it his mother or father or someone else?" In terms of interpreting the song, what McDermott said makes sense. Parent, definitely. Somehow, the mother resonates a bit more, at least to me.

I enjoy the song when well sung, but I don't sing it myself.

Don Firth


02 Dec 00 - 04:35 PM (#350325)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: GUEST

Face it Skivee, most want a nice romantic story, and if your facts don't add up to such they will be ignored.


02 Dec 00 - 10:52 PM (#350546)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Don Firth

If there were any war involved, it would most probably have been the Crimean War.

Don Firth


03 Dec 00 - 09:49 PM (#350903)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Bob Bolton

G'day Don,

I remember a master class presented by Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger ... Ewan suggested that you had to think hard about who you are when you sing a song. You can be anyone involved with the song - but you have to know who, to decide how you will sing it. John McDermott knows how he thinks of the song, not how Fred Weatherly did ... and it works for him.

Of course, Weatherly had several more recent (British)wars to think of ... most recently the Boer War and the Sudan about 15 years before that. By 1910 he would have had intimations of the "Great War" looming - these things don't happen because some nutter throws a bomb or shoots a minor royal in the Balkans ... that is just a triggering event.

Anyway, a close look at some of the songs set to The Air from Londonderry over the preceding 5 decades or so suggests that Weatherly was not above recycling someone else's good lines.

Regards,

Bob Bolton (who avoids the sort of places where one could find oneself singing this)


05 Dec 00 - 07:54 PM (#352072)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: GUEST,Bruce O.

Sorry Skivee, I missed your third line which answers the first part of my question, and implies that it was in 1913 that "Danny Boy" was set to "Londonderry Air"


06 Dec 00 - 03:06 AM (#352233)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Ferrara

Umm... here are my conclusions from singing the song a zillion times... at first I thought it was a smarmy boy-girl love song, and didn't like it much... then decided that "the pipes" indeed were sounding a call to war and it was an aged parent (to me, being female and all that, it was a Mom) singing. Lots of folks think of it as a Dad. Not an answerable question. Has to be your choice as to what you picture when you sing it.

As to the pipes calling -- I always thought of it as being a generic reference to young men going off to war; i.e., any time fighters were being mustered up, this song would be timely again. Never thought it had to be a specific war. And I did assume (maybe wrongly) that the sound of the pipes might have been used in Ireland as a call to assemble and be ready to fight.

Does anybody know about the latter? Actually, if Weatherby thought it was true (which we can't know, can we?) that would be good enough.

... I love parlor songs. Sentimental twaddle but oh so lovely. Wish I had the range to sing this one well. By the way, in the American Civil War, publishers liked to add "true stories" to give poignancy to songs. 90% of The true stories came from the publishers' or songwriters' imaginations. So I don't feel that it diminishes a song like Danny Boy to be about an imaginary situation. "It's true, even if it never did happen."


17 Jun 01 - 07:42 AM (#485369)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: GUEST,ortiga_f@hotmail.com

Who can help me find performers of this song?


17 Jun 01 - 08:28 AM (#485377)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: George Seto - af221@chebucto.ns.ca

Are you looking for recordings? or someone to perform it live?

IF it's looking for a recording, you might check the http://www.cddb.com. I would venture to say there are probably 1000 or 2000 people who have recorded it.


17 Jun 01 - 08:30 AM (#485378)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Fiolar

Go to the website www.allmusic.com Click on songs and then in the search panel type in Danny Boy. It lists many hundreds of performers who have recorded it. Good hunting and let us know how you got on.


18 Jun 01 - 01:30 AM (#485802)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Lucius

I can't say that my father was a Pacifist, but he did his best to keep his oldest son (Paul) from going to Viet Nam. He was a man of duty, so it's not surprising that his second son (Daniel), upon leaving ROTC enlisted to fight on Viet Nam.

I remember my father on Friday nights would listen to Walter Cronkite give the body counts. This would often be followed by a long silence as my father choked backed the tears. Then a record was placed on the victrola, and my father listening (and sometimes sang along) to "Danny Boy". It seemed to me that it wasn't just for his own "Danny Boy" that he greived, but for every father that the war touched.

I have no choice in my beliefs, it is a fathers lament.


18 Jun 01 - 11:13 AM (#485922)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Big Tim

The melody is said to have been first collected in Limavady (Co Derry) in, I think it was 1854, by Jane Ross who overheard it being played by an itinerant piper (or fiddler). I passed through the town last year and photographed the plague on her house (on the main street). "Jane Ross, 1810-79, who recorded the folk tune The Londonderry Air lived here"


18 Jun 01 - 11:29 AM (#485938)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: mousethief

Everybody knows the melody was brought here from another galaxy during the Pliocene era by people unable to use metal weapons.

Alex


18 Jun 01 - 11:06 PM (#486637)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: GUEST,leeneia

Danny Boy is a good example of someone seizing a defenseless tune and yoking it to mediocre words or even doggerel. Said words then degrade the tune forever, because they are almost impossible to expunge from the memory.

Seize power! Forget, ignore, replace or refuse to sing these maudlin words!


18 Jun 01 - 11:23 PM (#486645)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Mark Cohen

Tim, wasn't there a plague on both their houses? (Awfully sorry, not trying to be mean, but I just couldn't resist!)

Aloha,
Mark


19 Jun 01 - 01:28 AM (#486688)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Amergin

Alex, I see you have read those books by Julian May also!


19 Jun 01 - 04:03 AM (#486751)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Big Tim

Maudlin, sentimental or otherwise I love this song, OK! Also it would be a suitable anthem for Northern Ireland as it has appeal for both communities (remember the Prot boxer who won a medal somewhere (Commonwealth Games?) and sang the song live in the ring, in tears. Same applies to Barry McGuigan (Catholic ex-world boxing champ).

Best description of the song that I have is heard is by Shane MacGowan, "it's a song about love conquering death".


19 Jun 01 - 11:41 AM (#487011)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: GUEST,leeneia

I disagree. It would not be a suitable anthem, because the range is too big even for an accomplished singer. The general public would never feel comfortable singing it. It was probably composed as a purely instrumental number.

As for the quotation - what nonsense! Nothing can conquer death.


19 Jun 01 - 12:10 PM (#487034)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: mousethief

Yeah, Amergin, aren't they great? What a world she creates! Very believable! Poor Uncle Rogi!

Alex


19 Jun 01 - 03:10 PM (#487183)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Big Tim

i don't think Shane meant it literally.


19 Jun 01 - 07:19 PM (#487374)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: GUEST,Glenbogie of Glenbogie

Without wishing to promote the more lunatic fringes of political correctness, the ignored scenario is that of an unrequited boyfriend. Seriously though. The sense is clear enough. The "pipes" call the young soldier. In the warrior tradition, the father, if alive would probably go too. The singer "bides" at home and that is a common enough reference to the predicament of the women in such circumstances. "as dead I may well be" suggests either an ageing parent or a consumptive lover but the inevitability of mortality suggests the mother. It is sung by men because the true tenor voice can cope with the range and that top note is a showpiece test. The soprano voice can reach the notes but it takes the voice into the range that shatters beer glasses. As for its popularity, just watch any Irish audience on St Pat's night. It is not the song, it is the history that evokes the pathos.


19 Jun 01 - 09:15 PM (#487448)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Malcolm Douglas

All this speculation can be interesting (well, perhaps the first time round), but in the end that's all it is.  People may impose their own personal meanings on the song, but that's all they are.  I'd refer anyone who hasn't looked at it yet to this well-researched and detailed history of both song and tune, which also debunks some of the sillier interpretations that people will insist on trying to foist on a credulous public:  Danny Boy  at StandingStones.com

I urge you all to read it.


20 Jun 01 - 11:41 AM (#487879)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Big Tim

Thanks Malcolm, again, much appreciated.

As for the sex of the singer: I've heard Ronnie Drew struggle badly with it and Mary O'Hara hit the high notes beautifully.


20 Jun 01 - 12:42 PM (#487968)
Subject: Lyr Add: COME ULSTER
From: Big Tim

Re the anthem thing I must admit that last year I wrote the following lyrics to the Danny Boy tune but never had the guts to go public with them, until now! I would appreciate your honest opinions. Don't worry I can take criticism. As a native of Ulster but not Northern Ireland I'm well aware that the two are not the same but allow me some poetic licence in this context.

COME ULSTER

I long to walk a peaceful Ulster valley,
That Red Hand land where once lived Danny Boy,
But Omagh town and round by Ballymoney,
Are names of shame that once were pride and joy,

Too many tears and years of blood and blunder,
For flag of green and streets red, white and blue,
Too long we've seen our people torn asunder,
Tear down the walls instead and start anew,

Come Ulster north, south, east and west together,
Through Antrim, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone,
Through Armagh too, then view the Walls of Derry,
Together side by side and no more walk alone,

Leave ancient days and ancient ways forever,
Within the rage and page of history,
With heart and hand, come Ulster stand together,
Come Ulster build a new society

And let us walk a peaceful Ulster valley,
That Red Hand land where once lived Danny Boy,
Let Omagh town and round by Ballymoney,
Again resound in peace and pride and joy,

Come Ulster north, south, east and west together,
Through Antrim, Down, Fermanagh and Tyrone,
Through Armagh too, then view the Walls of Derry,
Together side by side and no more walk alone.


21 Jun 01 - 08:23 AM (#488671)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Wolfgang

Big Tim,

I think it should be brought to the top again so that people with a better knowledge of English and Ulster than I have an opportunity to comment (you'd get more comments in an extra thread I guess).

I think the lyrics are a very good fit to the tune and the sentiment in the song is true, strong and well transported by the words. I only have difficulties with the 'and round by Ballymoney' bit because I do not get the sense.

Try it out when singing in public and you'll find out how the people react. You wouldn't get a warm applause by either republicans or loyalists, for you do not appeal to their feelings. But I hope for the sake of peace over there that there are some people whose feelings are expressed by this song.

Wolfgang


21 Jun 01 - 08:28 AM (#488674)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: pavane

My wife is an Alto, and sings it fine. I heard Tom Jones sing a bit of it on a radio program, gasping for breath between each two words - NOT impressed!


21 Jun 01 - 09:54 AM (#488740)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Fiolar

Any body watchhing the news of the problems of the last 24 hours in Belfast would doubt if there ever can be peace in Northern Ireland.


21 Jun 01 - 09:57 AM (#488743)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Orac

Erm.. Danny Boy is nothing to do with Ireland.. the writer mearly used an Irish Aire to put his song to.


21 Jun 01 - 10:03 AM (#488749)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: pavane

True, but obviously set in Ireland, what with pipes and glens. Could conceivably have been Scotland, but there are fewer Catholics there.


21 Jun 01 - 10:12 AM (#488759)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: IanC

Pavane

Wots it got to do wiv Catholics?


21 Jun 01 - 10:18 AM (#488770)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Kim C

This song almost always makes me cry. Especially now that my friend in the Army is being sent to another post and will leave in about 3 weeks. :-(


21 Jun 01 - 10:19 AM (#488771)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: pavane

Who else would knee and say an Ave?


21 Jun 01 - 10:19 AM (#488772)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Orac

I think that you can be sure the writer had Scotland in mind when he wrote this. Pavane...Why did you mention Catholics? .. there is nothing in the song about that. The Irish have adopted this English song and put their own meaning to it.. but doing that puts a completely false purpose to the song.


21 Jun 01 - 11:40 AM (#488868)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Fiolar

I don't have to think anything of the kind. Surely the purpose of the song is a lament for a lost one, be it son or father is irrelevant. The "Ave" mentioned is the Latin for the prayer "Hail Mary." It's very unlikely that another nationality other than Irish would say a "Hail Mary" at a graveside.


21 Jun 01 - 11:53 AM (#488879)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: IanC

This "Ave" thing is a red herring. At the time the English High Court Judge, Fred Weatherley, wrote the song, it was thought of as romantic ... it still is. You don't have to be Catholic to know about Aves or to think of them as relevant in a song. Don't forget that Scottish romanticism is associated with a Catholic kinglet.


21 Jun 01 - 12:01 PM (#488886)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: ScottyG

Big Tim,

Danny Boy is one of the mainstays in my limited "repertoir". I've just sung your lyrics to the tune in my head, and I am deeply moved. I can tell that you wrote them to fit the rhythm of Danny Boy (Londonderry Aire), but I think your words deserve their own tune altogether. A brand new melody that belongs to no other song.

Peace,

ScottyG

P.S.

There's a couple of lads here in the Washington DC area that play the Irish Pub circuit, mainly Murphy's in Old Town Alexandria. They're called Double Down. Would you mind if I showed them the lyrics to Come Ulster? They get a lot of flack if they do Danny Boy, but if they put your words to it, they'd get a different reaction. Whaddaya say?


21 Jun 01 - 12:27 PM (#488917)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Big Tim

Scotty G; I say "yea, go for it".

Wolfgang: Ballymoney is where the three Quinn children died in a "loyalist" petrol bomb attack in 1998. Omagh was of course an IRA atrocity, 29 dead, of both religions, including an unborn baby, thanks.


21 Jun 01 - 01:08 PM (#488970)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Fiolar

Nice alternative lyrics - only one little quibble. Shame about the inclusion of "Red Hand" (and I do know all about the legend by the way) which is now sadly linked to the terrorist group "The Red Hand Commandos." Ian C - why use the derogatory word "kinglet" in relation to Scottish kings? The Scottish royal line was just as legitimate as the English one, in fact more so. Yet no one uses the word "kinglet" or indeed "queenlet" for them


21 Jun 01 - 01:57 PM (#489011)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Big Tim

Fiolar; use of Red Hand is an attempt to reclaim the symbol from the terrorists back to where it belongs, with all the people of Ulster.


21 Jun 01 - 08:12 PM (#489312)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Snuffy

Not Scottish Kings, Fiolar, just Charles Edward Stuart


22 Jun 01 - 04:13 AM (#489526)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: IanC

Fiolar

He wasn't a king.

Cheers!
Ian


22 Jun 01 - 05:24 AM (#489551)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Fiolar

Appreciate people "clearing up" things for me. Sadly the "Red Hand" is now too intricably linked with something it shouldn't and in view of the latest riots in Belfast, I sadly feel that any chance of people living together in harmony is fast diasppearing down the proverbial plughole. Ian - yes I know Charles Stuart wasn't a king but neither was he a kinglet. In fact, the man was a walking disaster and many good men lost their lives in his support. Still that's life. I wonder what would have happened if he had marched on London rather than retreating.


22 Jun 01 - 05:41 AM (#489557)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: IanC

Fiolar. Hard to put a word to what he was. I'm not going to argue with you about words, but I chose this one because I felt it adequately described him. I was upset that you seemed to think I was applying it to Scottish kings which I was not.


25 Jun 01 - 08:18 AM (#491261)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Orac

Does anyone have the original tune for Danny Boy as published in 1911 before the writer changed his mind and revised it to use The Londonderry Aire tune in 1913. (A move which has, of course, caused the erroneous association with Ireland for the song)


30 Jan 04 - 02:23 AM (#1104905)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: GUEST,wjvenuti@yahoo.com

I am looking for the verses for "Danny Boy", for a MALE Voice.

Thank you.


30 Jan 04 - 05:46 AM (#1105006)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

The song is for either a male or female parent to sing, as discussed at the beginning of this thread.


30 Jan 04 - 07:02 AM (#1105053)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: pavane

Often IS sung by a male voice. Tom Jones, for one (not very well though - all panting and heavy breathing!)


30 Jan 04 - 09:34 AM (#1105149)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Teribus

Don Firth - 01 Dec 00 - 03:59 PM

"McDermott said that during their various wars, the British were in the habit of conscripting able-bodied young Irishmen to do their fighting for them."

I'd like to ask Mr. McDermott to name one. Conscription was introduced in 1916 in England, Wales and Scotland - it was never introduced in Ireland. It was considered but the idea was rejected, the prospect of its introduction was one of the spurs that provoked the Easter Week Rising in Dublin.

Regarding the song and who is singing it - I have always thought that it was a father bidding his son farewell, in realisation on the part of the father that he would never see his son again. There is nothing to suggest it has anything to do with war, the lyrics clearly show that the father fully expects his son to return to his graveside to pay his respects. The "pipes are calling" reference could very well refer to the practice of playing ships away from the Quayside on departure.


30 Jan 04 - 01:10 PM (#1105293)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: DADGBE

After cringing for years over the maudlin excess in the song, I finally heard it performed well enough to overcome all my negativity. And it's sung by a bass - perhaps the greatest who ever lived - Paul Robeson.

It's been released on a recent CD which does justice both to the song and the singer. "The Odysey of Paul Robeson" is a compilation of rare recordings in possession of the Robeson family and is the best I've ever heard.


02 May 05 - 01:55 PM (#1476602)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Nigel Parsons

To continue the discussion, it would seem that it is a lover speaking to Danny boy, as Weatherby's alternate lyrics just show the song from the other viewpoint, although suggesting that Eily may find Danny's grave, without it necessarily being at home!.

Copyright was by Boosey&Co 1913, the lyrics in the next message (if no-one beats me to it) are from the "New Edition" copyright Boosey&co 1918

Nigel


02 May 05 - 01:59 PM (#1476608)
Subject: LyrAdd: Eily dear
From: Nigel Parsons

EILY DEAR
words Fred E Weatherly, written to an old Irish air



Oh, Eily dear, 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 I, it's I must go, and you must bide.
But I'll come back when summer's in the meadow
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow
And you'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Eily dear, oh Eily dear, I love you so.

Someday, may be, when all the flow'rs 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 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.

Copyright 1913 by Boosey & Co
New Edition Copyright 1918 by Boosey & Co
NP


02 May 05 - 02:14 PM (#1476619)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Where did you find the sheet music, Nigel? I couldn't find it in the usual suspects (Levy, Ammem, etc.).


03 May 05 - 05:20 PM (#1477344)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Nigel Parsons

Q:
In a jumble sale, I'm not talking here of 'virtual' sheet music!
I can't even 'nail down' a description of the paper size! (the open centre page is 20½" wide by 14" high. In the same format is a copy with the cover quoting "Mother Machree" with no single copyright date, but the last copyright date of the 7 songs included is 1915.
"The Floral Dance" (Copyright 1911) which is mentioned in another thread is on paper 19" width * 12¼" height to the open double page.
In this second format I also have:
1, "The Lost Chord" (words Adelaide Proctor, Music Arthur Sullivan)no copyright date
2, "Up From Somerset" (w. Fred E Weatherly, m Wilfrid Sanderson) Copyright 1913
3, "The Lass With The Delicate Air" (composed A.R.N. arranged by A.L.) no copyright date

The problem with all of these is that not only has the paper quality already suffered, but they are a little large for my flatbed scanner!

CHEERS

Nigel


03 May 05 - 05:38 PM (#1477361)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Q (Frank Staplin)

Thanks, anyway. Sounds like a real find!


04 May 05 - 05:50 AM (#1477681)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: RobbieWilson

Just reading through the last few posts again the thought occurred to me that the Eily version is not the same story from the other perspective.

In this version it is the person going who says come and find the place where I am lying. This is much more compatible with the lovers version where he goes of to war not expecting to survive.

The Danny boy version, where the person remaining does not expect to outlive the one leaving sounds most likely to be sung by a parent ( it could be that his sweetheart is implying that she will die from a broken heart without him). But part of the beauty of the song is its ambiguity deliberately, some might say cynically, built in by a crafstman song writer to increase the market and make more people feel it relates directly to them.


04 May 05 - 10:08 AM (#1477829)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Ferrara

Nice to have the original words. Thank you.


04 May 05 - 11:18 AM (#1477903)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: wilbyhillbilly

How come nobody has yet mentioned the ROY ORBISON version which in IMHO is the best recording I have (I've got about 40 different versions to date) sad I know, but there is a very special reason.

Anyway this version starts with Danny "standing at the place where daddy is lying" then goes into the regular song, with an extra verse at the end that gives you goosebumps.

Where did these extra bits come from? I don't know, but its hell of a version.


whb


05 May 05 - 01:59 AM (#1478545)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy thread from beyond the grave
From: GUEST,Skivee

What follow is JUST MY SUPPOSITION, LACKING ANY AUTHORITY OR PRETENSE OF ABSOLUTE TRUTH !!!
I think it's posible that Weatherly was making reference to the Irish Potato famines. In many regions starvation was so bad the most folks died. If your family got some cash together and sent you to America... or any other place... you were going to probably live. If you stayed, it was likely you would die.
In Skibbereen 90% of the people perished of starvation.
Pipes were sometimes used to call passengers to embark on ships.
Or maybe Danny was heading off to his new carreer as a plumber.
FW wrote the lyrics in 1910. His sister tipped him to The Londonderry Aire two years later in 1912. I may have given the imperssion that she wrote him in 1913.
Honestly, I like the tune and the lyrics. It's the bad performances that curdle my whey. It's a beautiful thing when well done.
And, like the Star Spangled Banner, the choice of key should be made by the singer, not the piano player. You may not be able to sing the whole range of the tune in F, but C might suit you fine.


05 May 05 - 12:55 PM (#1478766)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Nigel Parsons

Guest:Skivee

The copy I describe above is in C,

BUT: the cover shows that it is available in 3 versions, in C, D, or Eb. (with each it shows the key signature & range of the notes) These would have been the versions available from Boosey & Co in 1918

Nigel


17 Dec 12 - 02:33 PM (#3453404)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: kendall

I've always loved this song. The lyrics tell me that it is a parent talking to a son who is going to America and may never return. Ever hear of the "American Wake"? This is similar in thought.

I heard this sung by my good friend, Gordon Bok, at the funeral of a dear mutual friend. That will make anyones eyes leak.


17 Dec 12 - 05:07 PM (#3453463)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: GUEST,Bill Amatneek

Lou Gottlieb, he of the Limeliters, loved this song and gave me his interpretation of it one day. Lou said it is a father or a grandfather singing to his son/grandson as the young man goes off to war. He interpreted the lyrics line by line:
"Oh Danny Boy" - Who would call another man "boy" Lou asked. Only a father or grandson.
"The pipes the pipes are calling" - That's the pipes of war.
"From glen to glen and down the mountain side" - When the English wanted the Irish lads to fight their wars, they would send pipers to the hills surrounding the towns where they would pipe the pipes of war.
"The summer's gone and all the roses falling, it's you it's you must go and I must bide" - It's too late in the father's life for him to fight; it's the son who must go and fight.
"But come you back when summer's in the meadow, or when the valley's hushed and white with snow" - no matter when the son comes back, in summer or winter ...
"It's I'll be there in sunshine or in shadow…" - I'll be waiting for you whether I'm dead or alive.
"Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so." - That line is self evident.


18 Dec 12 - 04:57 AM (#3453669)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Allan Conn

"Who would call another man "boy" Lou asked" Anyone a bit older than Danny may well do that. And what is to say that the person speaking is male anyway? It could well be a mother or even I suppose a lover! The pipes may well be pipes of war or they may just be a metaphor for the homeland itself calling out for Danny not to leave. It could be someone going to war or it could simply be someone migrating away for work! I suppose in the end people will interpret songs as they wish and who's to say that one interpretation is right and one wrong. I take it the English lawyer who wrote the song didn't himself leave an interpretation but even if he did other people may still interpret the lines differently


18 Dec 12 - 05:17 AM (#3453672)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Nigel Parsons

I take it the English lawyer who wrote the song didn't himself leave an interpretation but even if he did other people may still interpret the lines differently
Apparently not, but he did, in the Boosey & Co edition of 1918 give alternate words (Eily dear) to be used if the song were to be sung by a man.
This makes it clear that it is intended to be either a woman singing to a man, or a man singing to a woman. As such it seems resonable to suppose it is intended to be read as being sung by a lover.


18 Dec 12 - 05:56 AM (#3453687)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: kendall

As far as I'm concerned it doesn't matter who has the interpretation that the writer intended.
This reminds me of the old saying: to examine a joke to see why it is funny is like disecting a frog to see how it jumps. You may learn something in the process, but, it is hard on the subject.

Anyone know why spell check doesn't work on mudcat?


18 Dec 12 - 08:48 AM (#3453746)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Allan Conn

"As far as I'm concerned it doesn't matter who has the interpretation that the writer intended"

Quite agree. People will interpret things as they see it!


18 Dec 12 - 09:04 AM (#3453750)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: mikesamwild

My dad sang danny boy and always said if you can't shut up a pub with it you weren't a singer!

By the way how do Irish tenors get so high and sweet( no flippant answers required!)


18 Dec 12 - 12:52 PM (#3453832)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: GUEST,leeneia

Men are capable of singing two different ways. In the first way, only the edges of the vocal folds come together. This is how children and women sing. At puberty, a male's voice starts to change, and he comes to sing (or speak) with more than the edges coming together. His voice sounds deeper.

However, some men keep the knack of the childhood style and can sing very high and pure. This style is called "countertenor." I once went to a concert by a countertenor, who said that in the old days, it was quite common for a man to sing one part of a song in his adult style and one in countertenor. He sang "Molly Malone" that way to demonstrate.

I have thought since then that "Danny Boy" would be a logical song to receive this treatment.


19 Dec 12 - 08:38 AM (#3454223)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: mikesamwild

Thanks , must practice that and scare dogs.


26 May 14 - 05:00 AM (#3628235)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: GUEST,oneeyedshoe

cute version of danny boy chorus is the best part!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFeqW7gNAGc


26 May 14 - 03:49 PM (#3628318)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: GUEST,leeneia

I find it more than cute. I find it interesting. The process by which little humans master something as complex as speech is amazing.

I listened and watched fascinated by what he can pronounce and what he can't. For example, he's got 'glen' down and 'flowers,' but he can't say 'the.'

The next time I face a high note, I too will try opening my mouth as wide as I can and looking straight at the ceiling.


26 May 14 - 03:59 PM (#3628320)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: GUEST,crazy little woman

What a coincidence! on the same day that we see the little boy aiming at the ceiling to get the high note, we also see a famous Welsh singer doing (almost) the same thing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hp2pazjN6wo


26 May 14 - 07:15 PM (#3628380)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: Stilly River Sage

Be one or the other, Ms. Sock Puppet.


27 May 14 - 04:38 PM (#3628606)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: RoyH (Burl)

I love this song. Some may think it overly sentimental, but that doesn't bother me. I find the whole thing very moving, especially the last verse, which never fails to choke me up.I too have puzzled over the 'Lover or Parent' problem and I plump for the Lover. She says she may be dead when Danny Boy comes back, which seems to hint either that he is going away for a long time, or he is going somewhere dangerous. But her declaration that she will hear him speak above her, and that her grave will be warmer for the sound, really gets to me, maybe because I am getting old enough to have the end of life looming in my quiet thoughts. There is something in this song that touches peoples hearts and accounts for its massivbe popularity. I'm not sure what it is,perhaps the combination of the lovely tune and the emotional words, whatever, it always works on me.
By the way, I was on a radio programme with Barry McGiugan some years ago and we talked about this song. He knew that I had been a boxer in my youth, and that I was a singer. He asked me if I knew Danny Boy, saying it was his father's favourite song and he (McGiugan Snr) liked to sing it from the ring after Barry's fights.


28 May 14 - 07:38 AM (#3628674)
Subject: RE: Danny Boy
From: RoyH (Burl)

I forgot to add that I concur with DADGBE that Paul Robeson sings this beautifully. Check it out on You Tube.

Apologies to my friend Barry for spelling his surname wrongly TWICE in my previous post.