Talk:Londonderry Air

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Removed inflammatory POV[edit]

This was placed at the top of the article. I saw fit to remove it because it had no place in the article: "(There is no such place as "Londonderry". THe name of the town, and the county, is Derry. "Londonderry is a British bastardization of the name which is rejected by the Irish, and by the people of Derry.)" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:06, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

Well to be honest if he thinks that then the jokes on him as derry is a British version of what the old irish name was! The C of E. God Save The Queen! (talk) 11:54, 19 September 2010 (UTC)


Properly, "Londonderry Air" can also refer to the music, not just this particular set of lyrics (one of many). The song "Danny Boy" is also set to the same music. Julian May describes a good deal of the song's history in an appendix to her The Many-Colo[u]red Land (it's page 410 of my 1982 Pan paperback, ISBN 0-330-26656-X) and gives a number of more scholarly references. I suspect that there is even more recent scholarship on the tune than that.

The tune, says May, was first published in 1855 by George Petrie in a collection entitled Ancient Music of Ireland. The version in Petrie's book did not yet have a title. 02:30, 30 Nov 2003 (UTC)

Danny Boy[edit]

I suspect that the title, DANNY BOY, would be an anglicisation of the Gaelic, DOMHNAILL BUI, referring to Donal (in modern Irish) with the fair hair (BUI meaning yellow). Any comments?

It seems unlikely given that Danny Boy written by an Englishman, Fred Weatherly, long after the tune was published, but before he had heard it.--Henrygb 03:56, 12 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Alternate Title?[edit]

I seem to recall owning a CD some years ago that listed Danny Boy as set to the music of the "Air from County Derry"? Should this be mentioned? I suspect its a RC/Protestant thing.Hornplease 06:14, 1 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Probably also trying to avoid a schoolboy snigger at derrière. I wouldn't make concessions to sectarian prudes. --Henrygb 02:27, 10 July 2005 (UTC)
Terry Wogan calls it 'Derry Air', and that's good enough for me. The Audley article linked also quotes that name once. Townmouse 19:42, 13 July 2005 (UTC)

"A Derry Air" is not the name of the song. This is supported by doing a google search which lists 3 results relating to the song - one is on a German page, one is on a homepage of a user named "gael"-something (now redundant with a 404 not found error), and the last one is on a Japanese page.

Derry Air is a traditional Irish air. So why call it anything else than the Irish name? If you ask me or anyone of my fellow Irsihmen, they would tell you it is Derry Air, not Londonderry air. Londonderry is a name the British gave Derry during their reign in Ireland, but the tune isn't written by a Brit, is it? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Clamour.For.Glamour (talkcontribs) 17:20, 18 September 2007 (UTC)

The song's name should not be changed simply because of pointless sectarian wranglings over Londonderry/Derry Jonto 14:41, 23 July 2005 (UTC)

The name of the tune is Londonderry Air, whatever the name you want to call the City\County, it doesn't change the name of the song. Keith 17:25, 28 August 2005 (UTC)

Having said that, I would say its name is rather unfortunate as we can expect there will be strong arguments from both sides if and when it becomes an official or at least more common anthem
In that case it becomes "Please stand for the tune from Danny Boy". There isn't any argument that is the name of the melody. theKeith Flag of Northern Ireland2.svg 11:16, 1 April 2006 (UTC)
I deviate slightly but one of the biggest misconceptions of the Derry/Londonderry discussion is that they were the same place. The settlement of Derry was totally destroyed by a local Irish chief in 1608. A brand new city was laid some six miles away from Derry in 1615 and from day one was called Londonderry. It is a mute part of history which, perhaps through ignorance or convenience has been forgotten. In modern terms it would be like bulldozing Lisburn and building a new city in Moira a decade later then claiming that Moira should be called Lisburn. Having looked into this tune, I can find no record prior to 1960 that refers to this tune as the 'Derry air' or air from 'Derry'. it was always the Londonderry Air. Indeed the entire debate of the name of the city is a relatively modern one that simply did not exist prior to 1970. The city was Londonderry but everybody called it Derry in the same way Newtownards is known as Ards. the name was politicised in the 1970s. Captainbeecher (talk) 21:01, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Odd then that James I of England granted a charter in 1613 for the renaming of the city of Derry.[1] Bjmullan (talk) 21:09, 28 September 2011 (UTC)

I'm Irish and (at least 'in theory') of the Catholic/Nationalist tradition, and I would normally always call the place Derry rather than Londonderry, if only for the convenience of brevity. Nevertheless I have sometimes heard the expression 'The Londonderry Air', and I had never before now heard the expression 'The Derry Air', nor the expression 'An air from County Derry' (at least not as a name for that air; it is of course an accurate description of that air, and of countless other such airs). That might just be my own eccentricity or ignorance, but I've just finished watching an hour-long programme on BBC Northern Ireland resulting from the 2013 centenary of the publication of Danny Boy. This was a co-production by BBC Northern Ireland and RTE (Radio Teilifis Eireann, the state broadcaster of the Republic of Ireland). The programme repeatedly mentioned The Londonderry Air, and mentioned no other name. Consequently the above rather embarassing claim by Clamour.For.Glamour that "anyone of my fellow Irishmen" (he seemingly isn't claiming to be speaking for Irishwomen, so I guess we should be thankful for small mercies) would "would tell you it is Derry Air" would seem to be thoroughly questionable even as regards Catholic/Nationalist Irish people, let alone Irish people of other traditions. Indeed the fact that his claim, as presently phrased, implies that such people are not Irish means that his claim, as presently phrased, would be rejected as unacceptable by almost the entire spectrum of Catholic/Nationalist opinion (the people who call the place 'Derry' in public, almost all of whom at least claim to regard Northern Irish Unionists as fellow Irish people), though ironically it might well be music to the ears of a rather large section of Northern Irish Unionists (the people who call the place 'Londonderry' in public - unsurprisingly almost everybody abbreviates it to 'Derry' in private), many of whom insist that they are British and Ulster but not Irish, something which rather distresses quite a lot of Catholic/Nationalist Irish opinion. Not that most of this matters all that much to this article, except to make the point that editors should perhaps be rather sceptical of things said here by people who claim they speak for all Irish people. Tlhslobus (talk) 02:58, 12 November 2013 (UTC)

The pun[edit]

Is there a reason for not noting the obvious ribald pun? Litch 21:34, 25 February 2007 (UTC)

What, London Derriere? --ÆAUSSIEevilÆ 21:16, 5 March 2007 (UTC)
Because Wikipedia tries to be encyclopedia not a schoolboy jokebook. --Henrygb 18:05, 6 March 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, it's not noteworthy for the article's purposes, but I do have to admit that is the very first thing that came to mind when I saw the name. - furrykef (Talk at me) 13:19, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

Lyrical texts[edit]

Should the lyrical texts be shortened to one or two verses with an external resource/link?? They seem pretty pointless. Maybe they should have pages of their own or be shortened?--Filastin (talk) 13:23, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

I find it useful to have them collected in a reliable website. nless they can be transferred to wikisource, I vote for keeping them.
Here is one more I found, when searching for wordss I heard in a recording: [2]


Oh Land of Love, we bless thee gentle Mother
Oh Land of Light, feir Jewel of the Sea
Oh Land of Joy, where brother shall greet brother
And all thy souls shall dwell in harmony

And when the clouds of torment and of sorrow
Flee with the dark at rising of the sun
And shall clasp hands in happiness tomorrow
When we have learned that all who dwell in Thee are One.

All wounds shall heal, unkindness be forgiven
All hurts forgot, as in the darkest night
No more shall we by war nor strife be riven
All Ireland's Children face the future bright

One God shall reign in hearts His flame has lighted
And He shall lead our people to the sun
One heart, one soul, one land by Love United
Where we shall live in peace until His Will be done

eddie irvine wanted this played as his national anthem if he won a race not god save the queen or  amhran na bhfiann should this get a mention


Please note : There is a discussion at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Songs/coverversions with the purpose of trying to establish a standard rule for merge/separate different versions of the same song. Please make known your opinions on the matter. --Richhoncho (talk) 13:43, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

Thanks for drawing that general point to our attention.
As regards this particular topic of "Londonderry Air" and "Danny Boy" I suggest keeping them separate. Whereas the majority of popular songs generally have a simple 1:1 link between the lyrics and their tune, this particular case is somewhat different; the simple 1:1 link doesn't hold. "Danny Boy" is a set of lyrics, generally sung to the tune "Londonderry Air". But looking at it from the other direction, the tune is also used, and widely so, for other sets of lyrics. So whatever guideline (that earlier phrase "standard rule" is poor) may be agreed at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Songs/coverversions (where "cover versions" is understood to mean same lyrics+tune pairing) our particular case (multiple sets of lyrics to same tune) has other factors that could sway the balance in a different direction. Feline Hymnic (talk) 14:31, 29 November 2009 (UTC)

I accept the arguments are slightly different here, however I would contend that from your view the lyrics, (as lyrics to a non-existant tune), are non-notable and should be deleted. Anyway, without concensus I am not going to merge, so more comments would be welcome. --Richhoncho (talk) 19:35, 2 December 2009 (UTC)

Both of these are important enough in their own right to have separate articles, so I would be against a merge. Hohenloh + 21:48, 3 December 2009 (UTC)
Since the air existed before Danny Boy, I don't see what would be accomplished by merging the articles. I often think Wikipedia articles are too finely granulated but that's not the case here. The two subjects are virtually independent and should have separate articles. SDCHS (talk) 03:17, 2 February 2010 (UTC)

Let's take this to be a consensus against merging Danny Boy and Londonderry Air--Rumping (talk) 17:26, 3 February 2010 (UTC)

Article Conflict (Danny Boy Section)[edit]

There is a conflict between this article and the one on Danny Boy. Here, we are told unequivocally that "Weatherly intended the song as a parting message from a woman to a man". The latter article says "Some contend that 'Danny Boy' was intended as a message from a woman to a man ... but it was actually intended as a father to a son." It would be nice if someone who knows definitively would straighten this out. If no one can say beyond personal preference which is true, appropriate weasel words should be added to both articles. SDCHS (talk) 02:41, 1 February 2010 (UTC)

Interesting. I thought the concensus was that Londonderry Air and Danny Boy should have 2 articles (as per discussion above) and yet... this article covers the words as if it is one and the same. --Richhoncho (talk) 12:13, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
Danny Boy was wrong, due to a recent edit by someone who has made no other edits.--Rumping (talk) 16:06, 1 February 2010 (UTC)
The "woman to man" is just one of several and certainly not as authoritative as the article suggests. I've taken the whole section out, it belongs in Danny Boy anyway, and I've rewritten the references in the Danny Boy section to square up much closer to the facts. David T Tokyo (talk) 05:33, 4 August 2010 (UTC)


Isn't it the Londonderry Air? I've never known it called A until I came to this page. Totnesmartin (talk) 16:39, 31 March 2011 (UTC)

The A was the result of the article having been renamed by Eduardo Sellan III on 24 March 2011 without explanation or discussion. I've now moved the article back to Londonderry Air (which is the correct title per WP:COMMONNAME). --Zundark (talk) 12:45, 24 June 2011 (UTC)

Aislean an oigfear[edit]

Does anybody know the tune of the Aislean? Well, I do - I found it in the net a couple of years ago, it was published on I added the tune to my harp- repertoire, and I am still wondering, why it is connected to the Derry- Air. You could as well take e.g. "Let it be" or something similar (ok, Paul McCartney is still a bit younger than Ruaidri Dáll Ó Catháin). The tune is quite connectable to London derrière, but it is a tune of its own, and I regard the similarity to be mere chance, really normal in traditional music. The link between the two tunes goes back to a man called Hugh Shields, who published it as early as 1979 [3] , and everybody believes it. I don't.
Donnchadh Ó hAmhsaigh, who is supposed to be the Aislean's author lived through the complete (!!!) 18th century, wich is not so very long ago - though I regard the tune a little older - Ruaidri Dall seems more plausible , as the tune sounds more like rennaissance music, than baroque.
Funny enough, the words of the "The Confession of Devorgilla" fit much more to the Aislean. Have you tried to sing them to the plumber- boy's song (Just to add another schoolboy's joke: the pipes are calling, harr, harr): they fit into a different metrical system, you'll find it hard to press them into the Derry- Air. But the Aislean's time fits them all right - good to have another tune in store.--Ginness (talk) 22:56, 13 May 2013 (UTC)

By the way, here you are: Media:Aislean_an_oigfear_(Tune).mid --Ginness (talk) 22:17, 17 May 2013 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. Should this link be included in the article to improve it by allowing readers make up their own minds on whether the theory makes sense, or would that violate some of the 2 million variants of WP:Whatever-you-do-DO-NOT-let-mere-readers-make-up-their-own-minds-in-case-this-might-call-into-question-the-Infallible-Authority-of-the-Priesthood-of-Authors-of-Reliable-Sources? Tlhslobus (talk) 01:55, 12 November 2013 (UTC)
To my astonishment, I lately found a comment in Waltons' "Ireland - The Songs" (Dublin/ Westfield, MA, 1993 Vol. 4, p.16) upon the song "The Last Rose of Summer", where it is stated that Thomas Moore wrote the song to a tune called "The Young Man's Dream". Knowing the Aislean for a couple of years now and the Lst Rose even ten times longer, I was really surprised to find out that in this case it is definitely the same tune with only a few variations. But honestly, did anyone ever connect the Last Rose of Summer to Danny Boy???--Ginness (talk) 08:07, 4 June 2014 (UTC)

Too many songs[edit]

It's time to move these various songs and hymns to Wikisource - they are taking over the article. Wikipedia is not a song-book. Hohenloh + 14:29, 23 June 2013 (UTC)

I agree.--Ginness (talk) 17:05, 4 July 2013 (UTC)

Instrumental Settings[edit]

Could add 'Irish Rhapsody No. 1' by [Stanford].

Possible reference: [1]

I would do it, but I'd probably kill WP. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:56, 29 August 2013 (UTC)

National anthem of Northern Ireland?[edit]

National anthem of Northern Ireland redirects to Londonderry Air, but I think it's wrong. Northern Ireland national football team uses God Save the Queen as national anthem, like the English team. I think National anthem of Northern Ireland should be a separate article like National anthem of England, National anthem of Scotland and National anthems of New Zealand. --Wikipean (talk) 14:34, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

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