The song Danny Boy has been a big part of my childhood days. This is because it has been and is still is my mother’s favorite song. I don’t know why she knows so many Irish songs. I have to ask her that one day. But my fond memories of those blissful days were of her singing to us Danny Boy. She has a melodious, soprano voice and every time she is requested to sing, Danny Boy would always be foremost in her list. She even composed a native song to the tune of Danny Boy, and the folks out there in the hinterlands of Kalinga learned how to sing this beautiful Irish song. I have just heard Deanna Durbin from you tube and that was exactly how my mother sang it.

My relatives from the mother side are all good singers and I would like to believe I had inherited some of this talent for singing because I can carry a tune too…lol….

There are various versions to the song and I don’t know who the original singer was. Anyone who knows? Ken Armstrong, perhaps you can help us with this one? Thanks.

Listen to the song as performed by Cliff Richard and Helmut Lotti– two of the world’s best singers – and be refreshed and invigorated. You have to play it twice so it would download properly. Enjoy!

Video from Siroceandeep


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 dying
‘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 you 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, 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.


  1. This is the first time for me to hear this song, but second time to hear about it. It’s such a sad song! Why does your mom sing this to you when you were still kids?
    I guess, it didn’t hurt to sing tragic songs, looking at how successful you’ve become now. 🙂


  2. Hi Z,

    It’s how you perceive it. It’s actually a love song of lasting love. The melody is so sweet that we usually go to sleep with it. I remember the melody, the most and the chorus. Sometimes she hums it. But either way, we loved it, that age the lyrics were not so important.

    Listen to the melody Z, and you’ll know what I mean.

  3. Hello Z,

    Here’s something informative. I got this from and I quote:

    “Though the song is supposed to be a message from a woman to a man (Weatherly provided the alternative “Eily dear” for male singers in his 1918 authorised lyrics),[1] the song is actually sung by men as much as, or possibly more often than, by women. The song has been interpreted by some listeners as a message from a parent to a son going off to war or leaving as part of the Irish diaspora.

    Although many view the above interpretation of Danny Boy as the true meaning, some interpret it differently. The lyrics were supposedly written by a father to his leaving Danny with the knowledge the father-figure will die. The phrase, “the pipes, the pipes are calling” refers to the tradition funeral instrument.”

    Unquote. So even my interpretation was wrong, I had thought it was a song of a woman to her man, or vice versa…lol…it is considered an Irish Anthem so wikipedia says.

  4. and If you happen to drop by Ken, I read too in wikipedia (yes, I finally researched ) that the song was first sung by Grace Fields in Shipyard Sally, her 1939 film.

  5. Jena,
    I really listened to the song again and again… that’s why i think it’s a tragic song and since it was a song a very long time ago… I thought it would have been related to the war. those were my thoughts while i was listening. but, for me, since the two sopranos (of the time) sung the song, it occurred to me that it was dedicated to a soldier… but, my interpretation was that, the singer or whoever danny is related to, died even before danny came back from the war. again, very tragic!
    the pipes, i thought were bag pipes, hehehe, then again, it was braveheart who uses them not the irish people. 🙂
    thank you for researching. i looked at the lyrics online and there were several versions… but i’d stick with the one from the video.
    thanks jena for clarifying the song with me… like i said, tragic.


  6. Hi Z,

    Thanks for your interest in the post. Yes it is actually a “war” song when a parent sents his boy during the early years. It is an Irish song. And yes, bagpipes are used by both Scottish and Irish.

    And as I have said earlier, I try to be an optimist – always seeing the positive in things (taught by my mother); and in this song, I see the positive: the lasting love and concern of a parent for his/her child, and the uplifting thought that death is not the end; with the verse ” until you come to me”. This denotes that there is still something beautiful even after death. And that death is not really the end.

    Cheers and smile. Life is still beautiful! lol

  7. Hi Jena, nice post.

    My understanding is that the tune is much older than the words. It was known as ‘The Londonderry Air’ before the words and it’s haunting quality has lead some people (not me) to believe that the melody came straight from the spirits.

    I think the second verse is much stronger than the first and I have sung it several times myself, knowing it, as I do, by heart. I can sound a bit like this guy:

    Happy La Le Padraig!! (St. Patrick’s Day). 🙂

  8. Hi Jena,
    This song is really one of my favorites to hum also. I suppose, I’m at the ripe old age too. Hee, hee. We’re antiques, huh?

    Yeah, I thought it was a love song sung by a girl to her boyfriend also. This goes to show what I know, huh?

    I’m loving the video. Cliff and Helmut did a great job with it.

    Have a great day,

  9. Hi Ken,

    I was thinking that, the melody is indeed hauntingly beautiful. It gives me the shiver at times. Thanks for the information. You’re not only a true artist but a generous spirit as well. And not only that, you so humble in spite of all these successes that came your way.

    God bless you Ken. May you have more successes in the future, and may you finally grab that Hollywood assignment. I sincerely pray so. Good luck.

  10. By the way Ken,

    You know the 2nd verse by heart, that’s good to know. Let’s have some duet sometime…he he he.. and Happy La Le Padraig too.

    Hi Tasha,

    I’m glad you like it. It is great music isn’t it? I miss those…thanks and happy blog hopping.

  11. I was going to give you a history lesson on the origins of the song. But I see Ken has beat me to it.

    Enjoyed reading your post.

  12. Hi Jon,

    I learned vital information from Ken’s comment, but I could learn from you too.

    Thanks and happy blog hopping.

  13. Thanks Jena.
    I’ve been absent from the blogoshere for a while due to my father’s sudden death. But I’m back now and I will continue to drop by.


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