Initially written to a tune other than "Londonderry
Air", the words to "Danny Boy" were penned by English
lawyer and lyricist Frederic Weatherly in Bath,
Somerset in 1910. After his Irish-born sister-in-law
Margaret (known as Jess) in the United States sent him
a copy of "Londonderry Air" in 1913 (an alternative
version has her singing the air to him in 1912 with
different lyrics), Weatherly modified the lyrics of
"Danny Boy" to fit the rhyme and meter of "Londonderry
Weatherly gave the song to the vocalist Elsie Griffin,
who made it one of the most popular songs in the new
century; and, in 1915, Ernestine Schumann-Heink
produced the first recording of "Danny Boy".
Jane Ross of Limavady is credited with collecting the
melody of "Londonderry Air" in the mid-19th century
from a musician she encountered.