O Danny Boy

Long before the tune Danny Boy even had words the tune existed as an Irish folk melody.  A study in 1979 revealed that Londonderry Air was related to Aislean an Oigfear (The Young Man’s Dream), which had been collected in 1792 from harpist Denis O’Hampsey  He was over ninety at the time and had played it for years.

While the Irish may claim the tune of Danny Boy as their own, the lyrics were written by Fred Weatherly (who also wrote lyrics for The Holy City), an Englishman, and was first published in 1913.  The lyrics were written before he had seen the tune.