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"Danny Boy" is a song, whose lyrics are set to the Irish tune Londonderry Air. The lyrics were originally written for a different tune in 1910 by Frederick Weatherly, an English lawyer who never actually visited Ireland, and modified to fit Londonderry Air in 1913. The first recording was made by Ernestine Schumann-Heink in 1915. Weatherly gave the song to Elsie Griffin, who made it one of the most popular in the new century. Weatherly later suggested in 1928 that the second verse would provide a fitting requiem for the actress Ellen Terry.
The song is widely considered an Irish anthem, and the tune is used as the anthem of Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games, even though the song's writer was not Irish, and the song was and is more popular outside Ireland than within. It is nonetheless widely considered by Irish Canadians/Americans to be their unofficial signature tune. It is frequently included in the organ presentation at Irish-American funerals.
Though the song is supposed to be a message from a woman to a man (Weatherly provided the alternative "Eily dear" for male singers in his 1918 authorized lyrics ), the song is actually sung by men as much as, or possibly more often than, by women. The song has been interpreted by some listeners as a message from a parent to a son going off to war or leaving as part of the Irish diaspora.