It’s been interpreted a thousand different ways to Sunday, but “Danny Boy” has all the markings of a song about the bond between a father and son, making it the perfect Fathers Day song and poem.
Of all the singers who’ve covered it, nobody ever sang it better than the late, great country music legend and Texan Ray price.
But then, this Texas boy started listening to Ray Price music in the fifties and throughout the rocky (“rocky” in music and in every other way) the sixties.
Then as a teen and young adult, I had the pleasure of dancing to the music of Ray and his great band the Cherokee Cowboys when they played gigs at the VFW Hall in my hometown Navasota, Texas. It was a great Texas dancehall that the Cherokee Cowboy, a WWII Marine veteran, loved to play.
Except for his flashy old-school Country and Western suits and ultra-shiny boots that he wore back in the early days, there was nothing flashy about Ray Price. Like Sinatra and Sam Cooke and his best bud Willie and other elite vocalists, Ray just stood up and sang his songs of joy and pain.
Small wonder that even as he was dying fast from cancer, he very vocally lamented the pathetic state of what passes for “country” music today, with all its slick, over-the-top, urban, Hollywood-production cool.
But that was just the one man Ray Price’s opinion, which happens to be that of my own self.
So being the old-school music guy that I am — especially when it comes to country music — I’m a trifle prejudiced toward Ray Price, and you can click here for more on him.
And with no further ado . . . Happy Fathers Day, fellow dads.
Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side
The summer’s gone, and all the roses falling
‘Tis you, ’tis you must go and I must bide.
But come ye back when summer’s in the meadow
Or when the valley’s hushed and white with snow
‘Tis I’ll be there in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.
And when you come, and all the flowers are dying
If 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.
And I shall hear, tho’ soft you tread above me
And all my grave will warmer, sweeter be
For you will bend and tell me that you love me
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me.
I’ll simply sleep in peace until you come to me.
And I shall rest in peace until you come to me.
Oh, Danny Boy, Oh, Danny Boy, I love you so.