One of my friends from the circle of Harpers that I know has a thing against the song O Danny Boy. She'd taken a solemn vow that she would never, never, never sing it for any reason.
I never actually heard why. It may have been that this lovely Irish song was actually written by an Englishman, which makes it highly suspect (if not downright sacrilegious). Or it may have been that since she'd spent time learning to play the harp in Ireland, that she knew so many better songs; so after all, why not sing them instead?
My wife's theory is that most people over here don't know Irish music from squat, so the only Irish tunes they know to ask for are O Danny Boy and When Irish Eyes Are Smiling. (And maybe there are a few who know that tune that the Roadrunner kept trying to plunk out on that dynamite-rigged piano. Anyone remember the name of that song?) After a while, an Irish harper who takes those requests over and over and over again is bound to get sick of them, no?
All the same, though, I found a version of the song on youtube a few months ago that Deborah would probably have found amusing. So at the risk of taking a shillelagh to me noggin' on this fine St. Patrick's day, I present you O Danny Boy.