"Danny Boy" was written by the English lawyer and
lyricist Frederick Weatherly in 1910. Although the
lyrics were originally written for a different tune,
Weatherly's sister modified them, in 1913, to fit
"Londonderry Air" (Irish diaspora anthem : irish
emigrants and their descendants in countries such as
the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada,
Australia, Argentina, New Zealand, Mexico, South
Africa, Brazil and states of the Caribbean and
continental Europe. The diaspora, maximally
interpreted, contains over 80 million people, which is
over eleven times the population of the island of
"Danny Boy" was intended as a message from a woman to a
man, and Weatherly provided the alternative "Eily dear"
for male singers in his 1918 authorised lyrics.
However, the song is actually sung by men as much as,
or possibly more than, women. The song has been
interpreted by some listeners as a message from a
parent to a son going off to war.
The song is widely considered an Irish anthem, although
Weatherly was an Englishman. (from Wikipedia).