Danny Boy Lyrics:  Sing Along to the Most Famous "Irish" Song of All!

Danny Boy lyrics are the 'keys to the kingdom' if you like to sing along to famous Irish songs - and O' Danny Boy may just the most famous of them all!

Irish Expressions - Celtic Woman sing Danny Boy, via YouTube.

The lyrics are written by Frederic Weatherly, but the melody is the traditional Irish tune called Londonderry Air. The song is sung in Irish pubs across the globe, as people longingly (sometimes tearfully) express their "Irish Sides" together.

Things to Know About the Song

Here are some fun facts about Danny Boy lyrics.  Hopefully they will entice you to sing along next time you hear it!

  • Believe it or not, the songwriter Frederic Weatherly was actually English, not Irish! Weatherly was a lawyer in Somerset, England, who wrote the lyrics after an Irish sister-in-law introduced him to the melody of Londonderry Air.
  • While Danny Boy has been sung by millions since it was written, it rose to fame quickly thanks to the voice of Elsie Griffin. The singer recorded the first ever version of Danny Boy, now considered to be the true original.
  • Most iterations of Danny Boy lyrics have just four verses. In Ireland, however, two additional verses have developed over time. It's common to hear all six verses sung while in Ireland.
  • The interpretation of the lyrics are still up for debate over a century later. Many people believe that the song is a father singing to his son who is about to go to war. Others say that it is the song of a scorned lover or even a ballad about immigration.
  • Immigration is certainly one of the reasons that Danny Boy is still so popular to this day. Irish immigrants in the 1920s brought the song with them to America, where it has since been recorded by artists as varied as Judy Garland, Johnny Cash and Elvis Presley.

Danny Boy Lyrics

Irish expressions is about having an Irish experience, on demand, wherever you happen to be.  And what better way, than to sing along? 

To help you do just that, here the Danny Boy lyrics! 

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
It's you, It's 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
I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny Boy, oh Danny Boy, I love you so

But if you come, and 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 will know, tho' soft ye tread above me
And then my grave will richer, sweeter be
And you'll bend down and tell me that you love me
And I will rest in peace until you come to me

Our Favorite Performance

The haunting harmonies and angelic voices make this our favorite recording.  

Another Version - Which Do You Like Better?

Here is another version, sung in a different meter and with male voices. 

Which one do you prefer?

Want More Irish Song Lyrics?

It is probably obvious - at Irish Expressions, we love Irish songs!  The music of the Emerald Isle brings people together, telling stories that touch every human emotion.

Learning the lyrics and singing these songs gives us a deeper sense of connection with Ireland, wherever in the world we happen to be!

We have captured 10 of our favorite Irish songs in an e-book we call "An Illustrated Irish Songbook."

This fun, free guide is available to you to download.  Answer two quick questions below to get instant access!

What's Next?

Folk songs like this one are an essential part of Irish culture and heritage. Even if you're not really into folk music, these Irish melodies tell fascinating stories that take you back to special times in Ireland's long and proud history. 

Sing them, listen to them, dance to them, to celebrate Irish culture and share your personal Irish side!

For more information of this type, you may want to pay a visit to our main section on Irish Song Lyrics.

And you enjoyed this page in particular, please share your feedback, opinions and stories with your Irish Expressions community!  You can do that by visiting us on Facebook or Twitter.

Meanwhile, thanks for visiting! Now let's click on another topic above and continue expressing your Irish side at Irish Expressions.com.

Want to Feel More Connected to Ireland?  Here's How!

At Irish Expressions we believe everybody – well almost everybody! - has an "Irish side."  So - how nice would it be to have access to a fun Irish experience, on demand, wherever you are?


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