Tune of the Day: Danny Boy
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.