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Oh Danny Boy, we all love you

A whole hour … and just one song. But what a song.

Absolutely fascinating viewing from BBC Four with the screening of Danny Boy: the song that bewitched the world.

There was not a minute of boredom or padding in this wide-ranging analysis of Danny Boy, its beginnings, its history, its performers and, above all, its meaning.

How could a single song of a mere three verses demand so much time and attention from so many experts and luminaries across the spectrum of the arts? Watch it and discover – and learn.

One wonders how many of today’s fleeting hit parade contenders would ever justify such attention.

Through balladeers, rockers, country and western singers, Elvis, jazz, blues, Johnny Cash and even rappers the seemingly simple air has remained virtually  indestructible since Fred Weatherley purloined his sister-in-law’s melody as a long-sought match for his words more than a century ago.

There are so many interpretations to this enduring marriage of words and music and none of them have managed to undermine, mar or diminish the original.

Indeed, the pipes are calling … and continue to call down the decades.

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