Sheet Music: Danny Boy

TitleDanny Boy
Alternate titlesLondonderry Air
ComposerTraditional Irish
InstrumentationFlute and Piano
KeyF major
Time signature4/4
Tempo72 BPM
Performance time0:55
Difficulty leveleasy
Download printable scorePDF Sheet Music (50 kB) (preview)
Download audio tracksMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (794 kB)
Play-along accompanimentMIDI (change tempo/key) MP3 (823 kB)
Date added2009-05-01
Last updated2009-05-01
Download popularity index☆☆☆☆☆ 13.1 (extremely popular)
Ballads, Celtic Music, Show-off pieces, Traditional/Folk


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Friday 1 May 2009

Tune of the Day: Danny Boy

Traditional Irish air

To begin with, “Danny Boy” is just one of over 100 songs composed to the same tune, the “Londonderry Air”. The author of the famous lyrics

Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling…

was an English lawyer, Frederic Edward Weatherly (1848–1929), who was also a songwriter and radio entertainer. In 1910 he wrote the words and music for an unsuccessful song he called “Danny Boy”. In 1912 his sister-in-law in America sent him a tune called the “Londonderry Air”, which he had never heard before. He immediately noticed that the melody was perfectly fitted to his lyrics, so he published a revised version of his song in 1913.

Curiously enough, it seems that Weatherly never set foot in Ireland.