The Derry Air reel

Also known as Anthem For Ireland, Aonach Druim-da-leac, Danny Boy, The Derry Ayre, Drimoleague Fair, Emer’s Farewell To Cuculainn, Joe Ryan’s Air, Londonderry Love Song, O Danny Boy, O’Cahan’s Lament.

There are 58 recordings of this tune.

The Derry Air has been added to 30 tune sets.

The Derry Air has been added to 418 tunebooks.

Download ABC

Two settings

X: 1
T: The Derry Air
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Gmaj
F GA|"G"B3A "G7"Be dB|"C"AGE2zG"Cm" Bc|"Bm"d3e "Em" dB GB|"A7"A4z "D7"F GA|
"G"B3A "G7"Be dB|"C"AGE2zF "Cm"GA|"Bm"B3"Em"c "A7"BA "D7"GA|"G"G4z d "D7"ef|
"G"g3f "C"fe de|"Bm"dB"Em"G2z"Am"d "B7"ef|"Em"g3f "C"fe "Bm"dB|"A7"A4z "D7"d dd|
"G7"b3a "C"ag eg|"Bm"dB"Em"G2z"Cm"F GA|"Bm"Be "Em"dB "A7"AG "D7"EF|"G Cm G"G4z||
X: 2
T: The Derry Air
R: reel
M: 4/4
L: 1/8
K: Fmaj
E FG|"F"A3G "F7"Ad cA|"B,"GFD2zF"B,m" AB|"Am"c3d "Dm" cA FA|"G7"G4z "C7"E FG|
"F"A3G "F7"Ad cA|"B,"GFD2zE "B,m"FG|"Am"A3"Dm"B "G7"AG "C7"FG|"F"F4z c "C7"de|
"F"f3e "B,"ed cd|"Am"cA"Dm"F2z"Gm"c "A7"de|"Dm"f3e "B,"ed "Am"cA|"G7"G4z "C7"c cc|
"F7"a3g "B,"gf df|"Am"cA"Dm"F2z"B,m"E FG|"Am"Ad "Dm"cA "G7"GF "C7"DE|"F B,m F"F4z||
# Added by JACKB .

Seven comments

Londonderry air / Danny boy

This is perhaps one of the most famous of all irish airs (though listed here as a reel!). It´s also known as Danny Boy. Though perhap considered a hackneyed piece today I personally like Londonderry air very much. I´ve added chord for those of you who the play guitar.

Londonderry air / Danny Boy

The Air and the song are different, played as a tune its the Derry Air, an Englishman then adapted the tune to a set of Lyrics he wrote.

The air was collected by Jane Ross of Limavady, County Derry, who heard it played by an itinerant piper.

The descendents of blind fiddler Jimmy McCurry assert that he is the musician from whom she transcribed the tune but there is no historical evidence to support this speculation.

The most popular lyrics for the tune are “Danny Boy” (“Oh Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling”) written by the English lawyer, Frederick Edward Weatherly, in 1910 and set to the tune in 1913. While Weatherly intended the song as a parting message from a woman to a man, others have interpreted the parting in the song as that between a parent or grandparent and a son or grandson going off to war. The song has sometimes been taken as a call to arms, or a rebel song, sometimes with the addition of additional verses of a more military nature.

Long live Barry Mcguigan !

Did you know that is the #1 hit if you put “cheesy irish songs” into Google?

This is actually a much, much nicer tune played with elegant simplicity than it ever is when sung as a sickly sentimental song.

That has got to be the best version I have every heard. It also goes to show, put anyone in the right jumper and they’ll look like a Clancy!

@ Red Menace

“snobby irish musicians” works just as well, just so you know.

Ben Webster tenor saxophonist’s version is fabulous