Oh Danny Boy Lyrics
Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling.
Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling. - Bagpipes were used as a call to arms, calling Irish men to battle.
From glen to glen and down the mountain side
The summer's gone, and all the flowers dying.
'Tis you, 'Tis you, must go, and I must bide.
It's you, It's you, must go, and I must bide. - Women had to say goodbye to their husbands and sons when it was time for them to fight in the war.
The bagpipes are calling men to arms and can be heard every where. Summer is turning to autumn, and you have to go, so I need to say goodbye.
But come ye back when summer's in the meadow.
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow.
I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
I'll be here in sunshine or shadow - The light and the dark spots in life.
Oh Danny Boy, oh Danny Boy, I love you so.
Whether you come back in the summer or winter I'll be here through the good and the bad times. Danny, my son, I love you so much.
But when ye come and all the roses falling
But when ye come and all the roses falling - The author is comparing the withering flowers to passing time.
And I am dead, as dead I well may be.
You'll come and find the place where I am lying.
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.
If you come back, and time has, passed, I'll be dead. You'll find my grave and then pray for me.
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me. - Ave is short for Ave Maria which is a prayer to the Virgin Mary.
And I will know, tho' soft ye tread above me
And then my grave will richer, sweeter be.
And you'll bend down and tell me that you love me
And you'll bend down and tell me that you love me - The author is saying that at her grave, her son will say that he loves her.
And I will rest in peace until you come to me.
I'll know when it's you walking on my grave, and you will make death better. So tell me that you love me, and I'll wait until we are reunited.
About the Author and Artist
The lyrics were written by Frederic Weatherly Frederic Weatherly was an English lawyer, but he was also a lyricist and broadcaster. The most popular version of this English song set to an Irish tune, is sung by Johnny Cash. Johnny Cash was an American singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor, and author. He was one of the best-selling music artists, and is considered to be one of the most influential musicians from the twentieth century.
The Cultural Aspect
The lyrics correspond with Irish culture. Men went to war a lot and there are many songs about Irish men going to war, but this one is kind of emotional. It's about a mother saying goodbye to her son, and she dies before the war ends. She said goodbye not knowing whether or not she would outlive her son. In the end, time passes, and she doesn't make it, and the song ends with the mom saying that she will be reunited with her son one day.
The theme of this ballad is really sad. A mother is sending her son off to war. The theme is both sad, and nostalgic. The author uses a lot of figurative language, such as the metaphor of withering flowers being like time passing. The tone is very depressing, and somber.
The characteristics of this ballad are that it's very descriptive. It talks about time passing, by using a metaphor/analogy of withering flowers. Also, it describes seasons, but we have to kind of infer what season the author talks about. This ballad, the only one I have heard before, is a really beautiful song. The characteristics include imagery, figurative, description, and even vocabulary use. Also, the fact that this song is something based on real history makes it all the more enjoyable.