Percy A. Grainger

Irish Tune from County Derry

            There are melodies whose immortality is assured by an intrinsic beauty that defies straightforward analysis—and this is surely one.  It has borne a variety of texts, most of them expressing deep sincerity and emotion, but most of those for whom it speaks directly to the heart associate it with the 1910 lyrics written by Frederick Weatherly, “Danny Boy.”  Other texts include “The Confession of Devorgilla,” “Irish Love Song,” and several hymns.  It is an old song, whose composer is unknown, and it first came to light in modern times in a collection of Irish folk songs published in 1855.  Its sturdy indestructibility is evidenced by the remarkable diversity of the hoard of artists who have recorded it:  Johnny Cash, Art Tatum, and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf—to name just three.  But