The History of Danny Boy
Danny Boy is famous Irish ballad with a beautiful haunting melody. It's lyrics, which were written by the Englishman Fred Weatherly, are set to the traditional Irish Melody "The Londonderry Aire". He wrote the lyrics in 1910 and then adapted them to fit the ancient ballad a few years later. Fred Weatherly was a lawyer and a song writer who wrote over 2000 songs. He also wrote the song "The Holy City".
The song Danny Boy became famous during the first world war as the lyrics depicts some one leaving home like a son going off to war. The lyrics "The pipes, the pipes are calling" are thought to be a reference to military bagpipes.
This famous song has been recorded many times by artists such as Judy Garland, Johnny Cash, Tom Jones and Elvis Presley as well as many more! It has also featured in many films and TV shows such as brassed off, Memphis Belle and The Simpsons.
Danny Boy and it's original Irish melody "The Londonderry Aire" are often played at funerals and were played at both Elvis Presley's and Princess Diana's services.
Danny Boy for Guitar
This easy to play version of Danny Boy for guitar is in the Key of D and is played with 4 chords. The chords used are D, A7, G and Am. You can strum or finger pick the chords to accompany singing or another instrument. Please print your FREE COPY OF DANNY BOY GUITAR MUSIC PDF HERE.
Make sure your guitar is in tune so the chords sound correct. Guitar tuners are inexpensive and you should check your tuning every time you play.
Start by practising the chord shapes with your left hand making sure each string sounds cleanly without any buzzing. Try to use your fingertips and keep your thumb behind the neck of the guitar.
Once you have the chord shapes practise moving smoothly between each one.
A good exercise would be to strum chord 4 times while keeping a steady beat, starting slowly at first then gradually speed up.
The 4 Chords You Will Need Are
Start by slowly strumming 4 times in each bar. You could try singing along to help you keep your place in the music. Once you feel more competent you could then try to add a strumming pattern or a finger picking pattern. More advanced players could also try to play the tune while someone else plays the chords.