Dried Apples
Veteran's Day

O Danny Boy

O Danny Boy is one of the most well known and beloved Irish Songs. It's what folks refer to as an "old standard". O Danny Boy is popular world wide-sung by famous vocalists as well as around the family piano-or guitar in my case.

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As I researched the old song I discovered some interesting facts:

  • While the tune is indeed Irish-the words were written in England
  • There are varying opinions about the origin of the tune-some believe its as old as the 1600s
  • In about 1855 Jane Ross rediscovered the tune and passed it along too a collector of old Irish music, at that time the tune was called Londonderry Air
  • Many songwriters tried to add words to the music but nothing seemed to fit the mournful tune
  • In the 1800s the tune made it to America along with Irish immigrants
  • About 1912 a Mrs. Weatherly heard the song in Colorado, she sent the music back to England to her brother-n-law who was a songwriter
  • Mr. Weatherly had already penned the words to Danny Boy but had never found the right melody-now he had it
  • When Mr. Weatherly put the old Irish tune to his words a hit that would last through the ages was created
  • To read more about the fascinating story behind the song check out The Origin Of Danny Boy

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I believe O Danny Boy appeals to so many people because the song evokes a strong emotion of longing for someone you love and miss-a truly common theme of mankind. For me personally, the song also transcends location-if I replace the word glen with hollow-I would swear someone from Appalachia wrote the words. In the same way, you could substitute glen and mountainside with hills, dunes, or whatever topography you live near-and feel as though it was written just down the road from you. When I think of the longevity of the song, it seems fitting that O Danny Boy started in Ireland hundreds of years ago, came to America, went to England and then on to the world.

For this week's Pickin' & Grinnin' In The Kitchen Spot O Danny Boy. I want to encourage you to watch the video-Paul sings the original 2nd verse- most performers leave it out. No matter how many times I hear the 2nd verse-I still get chills.

Before you start the video, go to the radio and pause it by clicking the first "button" starting on the left under the title. You need to do this-so you can hear the video. If you have dreaded dial up service (like I do)-I would suggest you click the button to start the video and then go do something else until it loads. Once it has downloaded then you can start it back to the beginning and watch it through. 

Hope you enjoyed the song-and the history.


p.s. Ireland landscape pics were provided by RyanMcD and the song is dedicated to Jennifer In Or's Mother.


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Oh Tipper Paul does a great job with this song. My grandfather loved this and it was sang at his funeral. It can still make me cry.

I enjoyed them both VERY much! Thanks for all that great info...and the song is so beautiful, and was so beautifully sung. It's so appropriate for Veteran's Day, too.

I think Danny Boy is on every single Celtic CD I have ever purchased. It's a great tune, and a true perennial And this is a great version!

That was truly wonderful!

Awesome video! Paul does a wonderful job on that song.

Even though part of my heritage is Irish, I don't know this song yet. I love the way Paul is singing it. He's got a very nice voice. I think the TV was distracting the younger boys though! Ha Ha!

Just beautiful. I have to be honest here and say this has never been my favorite song. In fact, I have disliked it at times because I thought it was overdone. But when I saw tyour post, I knew it would be the pickin' and grinnin' song, and I somehow knew I would like it. I did!

Morning Tipper! Very interesting
history about O Danny Boy! Noticed
that whenever your father and Paul
play they are so focused and in
sync every note of the song.
Lovely! Hope you're having a wonderful weekend! Petra :))

Danny Boy has been a favorite for years! Thanks for sharing the song, and the facts :)

I love that song! The Three Tenors perform a particularly lovely version that I have on cd which I play regularly. It's so beautiful!

Love this post! Who tried the soap first?


I love this song, and your post is a great reminder that even the purest of things are hybrid--that Irish tune has a lot of other influences that make it what it is!

The longing in the song is palpable.

I used to play Danny Boy on the piano(by ear). I will have to try it and see if I can still play it.
Love the pictures. You know this slow dialup, but I will try to come back to listen to the music. I sure would like to hear it.

Being an Irish gal, this is one of my favorite old time songs. My Dad often sang it as he was going about his chores. Thanks for the memories. Enjoyed it.


i love that song - one of my favorites, thanks for the history and the song.

Those images are just beautiful...the green...wow!

Tipper, thank you so much!! Pap and Paul and the boys, thank you!!! What a lovely and precious surprise to find this here. I can see why this is my mom's favorite song and why it's appealing to folks the world over. I love the history you shared. It's very late here and my mom is in bed, so tomorrow I'll have her listen.

Blessings to you, my dear friend,


Love Danny Boy! And I always enjoy the music and history!

(I'm guessing the tennis match in the background was added entertainment? haha!)

Cool music! I love pics of the wall also...Hadrian's wall I think? Anyhow, cool pickin' 'n' grinnin'!

Beautiful, just beautiful.

I love this song. I only have one grandmother who was Irish, and all I know about her is that her name was Cisley. She married Edward Burns, who was an Ulster Scot (Scotsman who moved to the Ulster region of Ireland for free land). The Ulster Scots became the ruling class over the native Irish, so I'm sure there is a good story there about how an Ulster Scot married a a lowly Irish girl. They came to America around 1770 (and were the last set of grandparents to come to this country). The rest of my people came to the colonies a lot earlier.

I guess that's why Danny Boy must resonate with me...it's my Irishness. I love Ray Price's version.


I've always loved Irish songs and ballads. Thank you for sharing O Danny Boy with us!

Tipper: What a neat rendition of a classic. I loved your story of the origin of the song. Send my best wishes to Paul and Pap for a great duet on the great song. I'm finishing a post for later tonight and have honored you twice. I am always twice blest when I visit your site.

Thank you for sharing these sessions with us. I really enjoy them.

Great song and thanks for the history. I really appreciate your insight---longing is a universal emotion!

This post really impressed me. Knew the song, but never really knew its history. Tipper you did a great job presenting this and the pictures you used made me fell like I was there.

I got chills hearing the second verse too, and was totally in awe to hear Paul hit those high notes without a waiver in pitch. Wow!

This was a great post and I thank you for sharing it with us. xxoo

Tipper, I really enjoyed Paul and Pap's rendition of an old classic.
And I had no idea there was so much history behind that song.
Thanks for sharing it with us!

Thanks Tipper! Have a fantastic weekend!

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