Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Danny Boy banned

The Irish classic song Danny Boy has been banned for a month by an Irish pub in New York because it's too depressing and was written by an Englishman.

"It's overplayed, it's been ranked among the 25 most depressing songs of all time, and it's more appropriate for a funeral than for a St Patrick's Day celebration,'' said Shaun Clancy, who owns Foley's Pub and Restaurant, just off Fifth Avenue opposite the Empire State Building.

Mr Clancy, 38, who started bartending when he was 12 at his father's pub in County Cavan, has promised guests a free Guinness for singing any other traditional Irish song at the pub's pre-St Patrick's Day karaoke party on March 11, the Associated Press reported.

St Patrick's Day is on March 17.

"I'm glad! I'm glad! I'm glad!'' shouted Martin Gaffney, 73, a retired passenger ship waiter who said he planned to croon his old Irish favorites.

The song's lyrics were written by English lawyer Frederick Edward Weatherly, who never visited Ireland, according to Malachy McCourt, author of the book Danny Boy: The Legend of the Beloved Irish Ballad.

Weatherly's sister-in-law had sent him the music to an old Irish song called The Derry Air. His new version was published in 1913 and became a huge hit when opera singer Ernestine Schumann-Heink recorded it in 1915.

Some people still love the song. AJ's Cafe in Ferndale, Michigan, is staging a Danny Boy marathon on St Patrick's Day weekend, offering 1000 renditions of the song over 50 hours.

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