Danny Boy

Re: Danny Boy

I have no problem with Danny Boy (Or Londonderry Aire), but would someone tell me why we see the GHB in parades, on posters, and celebrations on this day. BAGPIPES for chrissake!

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U-pipes not loud enough for parades, maybe?

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I heard on the radio today that some pub in NYC banned it!!! I forget which, but the owner said his idea of dying and going to hell was to be doomed to listen to it non stop for all eternity. So he banned it esp. for 3/17! Think it’s off the julebox too he said. Not allowed anymore.

Personally I love the air. It gets a bad rap. I recorded it on my CD because I liked it as an air and don’t feel the need to be "cool" . Besides someone always ends up asking for it. I surely can’t sing it, they’d throw tomoatoes, so learned it for fingerstyle guitar. You can really make the strings cry on it, pull out the long notes. Learning it on harp too…. people almost always asks for it, so why not.

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"A pub near Detroit — AJ’s Cafe in Ferndale, Mich. — is staging a "Danny Boy" marathon on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, offering 1,000 renditions of the song over 50 hours."

Why would anyone do that to themselves?

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The GHB pipes, the Danny Boy, the kilts, the plastic paddy nonsense, yeah, it’s all pretty disgusting, to be honest.

We have to be the only ethnicity in America that celebrates itself with flagrant alcohol abuse and demeaning hackneyed ethnic sterotypes.

I was playing a festival recently and someone asked me why I wasn’t dressed "Irish".

I said "Excuse me?"

"Yeah, you know, like with a kilt or a big green hat?"

I said "Faith and Begorrah me laddie! I just got here from the Emerald Isle and me leprecaun outfit is still in storage! I’m drunk as a skunk and starving to death, d’ya have any spuds?"

He’s lucky I just dowsed him in sarcasm as opposed to knocking his teeth in.

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The GHB counts as a traditional Irish instrument as well as a Scottish one. It was common to both the Gaelic Scots and the Irish until the British banned them in Ireland. The Irish ones were last heard at the Battle of Fontenoy in 1745 (or thereabouts). They had two drones instead of the present-day three - I think that’s the only structural difference from the GHB. The GHB has long been back in Ireland.

Its purpose, of course, is to fill the crowded streets with primitive sounds and get the crowds bolting into the pubs like scalded cats. Therein, they are enticed into an endless cycle of buying drinks for musos cranking out Pure Drop on sonorous uilleann plumbing - at first, anyway, a delight after what they have just endured. How mystical The Fox Chase sounds, after all that. But lo! The pipers will darken the door, and the trapped punters will divest themselves of their last small change in a bid to make them drink instead of play. Then they will be vouchsafed an exit, as the establishment is given over to air-rending cacophony.

N’est-ce-pas?

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I wonder if I could ask, on behalf of my Irish friends, that folks think very carefully before referring to the air to Danny Boy as the "Londonderry" air?

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yeh, you could make a right French *rse of it

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I will play Danny Boy on my genuine imitation piano if someone asks me politely and especially if they offer me money to play it (but not for fifty hours in a row). As for why someone would do this to themselves, perhaps they are doing this so they won’t have to seek psychiatric help. As for the person who asked why you weren’t dressed "Irish"—were they drunk? Sarcasm was a better response than knocking his teeth in. If you had hit this fool, you might have broke something such as your finger or your hand or your wrist and then you wouldn’t be able to play music.

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Know what you mean, Bren, but not quite what I had in mind. I wonder if anyone here would like to put their hands up to living in "Londonderry"?

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The Muppets rule!

My apologies for dragging the poor GHB pipes into this, they didn’t do anything wrong.

Fauxcelt, I take it you are not in the States? Utter ignorance of actual Irish culture and music as well as total drunkeness are the usual claims to identity for Irish Americans around St. Patty’s Day.

Case in point, an email from a friend today:

‘[We] played in Rotunda last December (Charlotte County). We played @ the enterance gate, while the other performers (including Brenden Nolan, one of the best Irish Bards/Solo Performers around, and a Dublin native) were on stage. A somewhat past middle aged woman thought she was paying us a complement when she said, and I quote "I’m going to recommend the Club that you play on the main stage next year. The man who is on there now (Brenden) is foreign!"’

Sigh. 😉

Mr. Nolan’s website: http://www.brendannolan.com/

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I’ve said it on here before and it’s worth repeating again, there is no town in Ireland called londonderry.

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Derry is still called Londonderry by some. "According to the city’s Royal Charter the official name is Londonderry and, as stated in a recent High Court decision in January 2007, remains so"

I think the forcing of "London" onto "Derry" was an act of colonial arrogance and hubris and go along with most people in calling it "Derry"

But you will read many historical and other references to "Londonderry" , especially what has become known as the "Londonderry Air" , and when quoting them, I’d rather people didn’t censor it and trusted us to have the intelligence to know the context

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And our intelligence can only be trusted when we do speak of the context.

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There was music fair
On the derriere

- Phil Colclough

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I live in Arkansas and used to participate in the local Irish Sessions sponsored by the Arkansas Celtic Music Society which are held four times a month at different places. I was one of the few musicians at the sessions who didn’t mind playing Danny Boy. Two of these sessions are held at a restaurant called Cregeen’s (in North Little Rock) which is supposed to be either a copy of or an imitation of a genuine Irish pub. My wife and myself did eat supper at Cregeen’s one evening. We were both impressed by the food and the service. Also, we liked the fact that eating at Cregeen’s wasn’t outrageously expensive. However, since neither one of us has ever been to Ireland, we don’t how authentic or inauthentic Cregeen’s actually is. I am supposed to have ancestors who came here from Ireland and Scotland (or so I have been told by some of my older relatives).

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Good on ya then fauxcelt. I don’t like being expected to sing it, along with other hackneyed songs, I guess.

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"…music fair on the derriere…"

Beans?

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"…like a language that our noses could understand…"?

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"impressed by the food and the service" - it’s not authentic then! OK, not true, the food is great in Ireland these days

Our music teacher at our little primary school was a Miss Canard who (to little schoolboy me) sang Danny Boy beautifully. She looked a bit like a duck too.

Later we would get a local bloke called Jer Mahoney who would stand onstage at the local football club nights with a green sash on and intone DB in a high tenor while gazing at the balloons hanging over the door at the back of the hall as if they were distant stars

Corny as hell but "inauthentic"? Does anyone but the constipated middle classes worry about "authenticity"? How can hearing a beautiful melody and liking it there, in that moment, be anything but authentic?

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On my first visit to Brugge last week., I was surprised and amused to find the tune played as one of the quarter hour chimes in the Belltower.

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In the states there is no getting around it.

If the crowd is getting out of the mood, it’s the all purpose attention getter…especially the more Guiness they’ve consumed. Some will wail it out and then they get all weepy.

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So, is the local version of Cregeen’s authentic are not? We enjoyed it anyway whether or not it is authentic and we will probably eat there again. Neither one of us makes enough money to be classified as "middle class".
Was Miss Canard’s first name Daisy? (as in Daisy Duck)

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zippydw with the proper use of Danny Boy as a crowd control device, duly noted. 😉

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Just a wee word - there are many musicians in this part of the world who would happily refer to the Maiden City as Londonderry. Stating that there is no such city smacks of exclusive republicanism. I personally would call it Derry [and interestingly most of the Loyal Orders do not append ‘London; to their institutions’ names - viz Apprentice Boys of Derry, Grand Lodge of Derry, etc.]

Music and politics may be linked in the minds of many but this site should be free of such notions and be open to one and all regardless of their personal religious or political persuasion. Making cheap puerile political points does not advance the cause of trad music. Bad enough that the likes of the UVF see it as ‘republican/fenian’ music without members here feeding those worst fears.

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I used to have a small problem with the song, various reasons, and history. But everywhere I went I kept tripping across it, including some damned nice renditions, Irish, Scottish and otherwise. Then the clincher, I had Sarah Makem sing it to me from her deathbed, clinging to me, with every ounce of heart she had left going into it. I want to cry now, and I know that is part of what irritates some about this song. I don’t care how it mutated and spread and became melodrama, I can never let go of that one experience that clinched it for me. It isn’t the song air or the lyrics, it is who delivers it. Yes, it can and is abused. Yeah, it gets me now in the gut and my eyes start to water too. I can’t deny it anymore, and I can’t see the reason to want to anymore than to deny others their pleasures even if they aren’t necessarily for me… We are each different.

I remember the affront we felt when reading a sign on the grass of one of the US cemetaries in France telling us not to cry. What crap! Sometimes it is all we can do. Sometimes, however selfish that might be thought of, as suggested by this sign, we just need to shed some tears. Better that than blood or bile… We walked those gravestones, American, English, German, French, and yes, we did shed tears. Borrowed from Seamus Tansey, and also an album of his ~ "to hell with the begrudgers…

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What does "UVF" stand for?
When I play Danny Boy, I try to avoid any drama and play it quietly and respectfully in an understated way.

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Anyone who can play Danny Boy with conviction should get down on their knees and thank the Almighty for their gift. I LOVE Danny Boy !!!

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Dunno why that link doesn’t work from here. It works elsewhere.

The Google search phrase is:
Danny Boy Damien Leith youtube

and it should be at the top of the list. Melbourne copy.