Archive Service for Oxford University Press out-of-print choral and vocal music


Is there a specific product you're looking for?

What can I purchase from this website?

All the titles listed on this website are either published or distributed by Banks Music Publications or available through our archive services. If you require music from other publishers, please send your enquiry using the form on our contact page.

"In a world where mutability is the one thing on which we can rely, certain names carry with them an aura of comforting constancy: Banks (Music Publications) is a treasured example in the world of music, and their Eboracum Choral Series continues to be a wonderfully reliable resource".
Rebecca Tavener
Organists' Review: February 2009


DANNY BOY, New SSA/SSAA arrangements by Gwyn Arch



Arranger: ARCH GWYN



RECORDING: Performed by Basingstoke Ladies Choir, Conducted by Margaret Brackenborough

Also known as The Londonderry Air, this lovely melody needs little introduction. The usual assumption that the song is about a girl who is sad that her boyfriend is going away and pleads with him to come back is probably not correct. More likely it is the boy's mother. In the second verse she tells us she will have died before he returns.

The history of this song is particularly interesting. For a start, Danny Boy is one of dozens of songs composed to the same tune. The words were written by an English lawyer, Frederic Edward Weatherly (1848-1929), who was also a songwriter and radio entertainer. In 1910 he wrote the words and music for an unsuccessful song he called Danny Boy. In 1912 his sister-in-law in Colorado (USA) sent him a tune called the Londonderry Air which was unknown to him. She had (supposedly) heard an Irish immigrant singing it during the Colorado gold rush. Weatherly noticed that the melody fitted his Danny Boy lyrics perfectly, so he published a revised version of the song in 1913. Weatherly never visited Ireland, possibly because he was too busy writing other songs. There are said to be over 3000 of them, the best known being Roses of Picardy and The Holy City. He also translated opera libretti and published quantities of verse and children's books. .

The melody is thought to be very old. It first appeared in print in 1855 in a collection of Irish melodies called Ancient Music of Ireland. It was supplied to the collector by a lady from County Londonderry (in Northern Ireland) but without a title. She claimed she had written down the tune from the playing of a wandering piper. So Londonderry Air it became and sometimes Air from County Derry.

Danny Boy has appealed to recording artists from all over the world, particularly the USA.


If you have more questions about this product please click here to go to our contact form

© Copyright 2019 Banks Music Publications

The Granary, Wath Court, Hovingham, York, YO62 4NN
Tel: +44 (0) 1653 628545 • Fax: +44 (0) 1653 627214 • Email:
Goodwin Publications Ltd, T/A Banks Music Publications. 20 Piercy End, Kirkbymoorside, York YO62 6DF
Registered in London, Number 8766895

We accept payments online from the following credit & debit cards:

Visa, Mastercard, Switch, Solo, Maestro • Thawte SSL Security