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Londonderry Air (Oh Danny Boy) Help Opus Details
For feedback and questions, please contact Victor Gomersall.
This tune is normally called The Londonderry Air, and it is usually assumed to be Irish, but there is some question as whether it could have actually originated in lowland Scotland around 1740, and then taken to Ulster by oral tradition. The first appearance of the tune in print, as we now now it, (but without any title) occurred in 1855, in Ancient Music of Ireland, published by the early collector George Petrie (1789-1866). It was collected from Miss Jane Ross of Limavady, County Londonderry, who claimed to have taken it down from the playing of an itinerant piper.

However, an earlier tune from the 17th or even 16th century called The Young Man's Dream has been proven extraordinarily similar, though in 3/4 rather than 4/4 time. This appeared in print in 1740 in Scotland. It has been claimed that if the piper played this molto rubato, Jane Ross may have written it down in 4/4. There are over 100 different sets of words for this tune, but Danny Boy is probably the best-known set of words these days. Ironically, these words were written in 1910 by an English lawyer, Frederic Edward Weatherly (1848-1929), who was also a songwriter and radio entertainer. His words appear below:-

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 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.
Category: Folk Song Other Ensembles Featuring Guitar Traditional Period
Time Signature 4 /4 Key Signature   D Major also featuring Strings Play MP3 using player below.

1    Londonderry Air (Oh Danny Boy)
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