Danny Boy is one of the most famous, but also one the most loved songs in the world. Elvis Presley admitted it was his favourite piece of music. He said he thought it must have been written by angels. Although extremely popular in Ireland & ex-pat Irish communities around the world, it has transcended them too, becoming a universal anthem about hope, reunion & the human spirit.
‘Happy Birthday Danny Boy' tells the captivating story of this iconic song that has crossed religious, political and geographical divides and earned a place in musical history. It marks the song's 100th anniversary of the song whose origins lie in the small town of Limavady, County Londonderry.
The film takes the audience on an intriguing journey to unlock the seductive mysteries of Danny Boy. It reveals how different worlds collided when Fred Weatherly – an English barrister who never set foot in Ireland – added lyrics to a forgotten Irish melody called The Londonderry Air to create Danny Boy. It investigates how the song then developed into a symbol of Irish culture and became a tune that most people in the English-speaking world know, love and sing at gatherings as disparate as sporting events, reunions, funerals and weddings.
1 hour documentary for RTE/BBC NI and BBC 4