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Danny Boy Song Story

Who is the real author of Danny Boy?

An upper class English barrister ravaged by the loss of his estranged son or a tragic Irish-American woman who died alone with bitter memories?

During 1910, a year of tragedy in which his father and only son died, Fred Weatherly wrote some verses for which frustratingly he could not find suitable music until, in l912, he received, from a sister in law in America, the music of the Londonderry air. With modifications, the 1910 words could be fitted to this melody and Danny Boy was born.

Published in 1913, the song became rapidly popular. Anthony Mann is Fred's great-grandson. He wrote: "I soon realised that I knew very little about the lives of Fred and his family; so I set out on some family research. It has been an intriguing journey, touching on such diverse people and topics as W E Gladstone, ballad concerts and silver fox farming. However, for lovers of Danny boy, I can report a new account of the creation of the song, that of Jess Weatherly - the sister in law, whose husband worked in the silver mines in Ouray, Colorado."