Danny Boy Piano Lesson

Posted by Yoke Wong on 3/11/2014 to Learn To Play Piano

In this video, I play the song with lots of arpeggiated color chords. If you are not used to playing arpeggios, you can also play this song using simple block chords or ballad chords.

I use several color chords e.g. 2nd, 6th, and 7th chords to make the music more vibrant. In addition, I also rearrange the chords for accompaniment on the piano. This technique is great for those who cannot read music notes but can play chords. To learn more about color chords and other chord techniques, please visit Definitive Piano Improvisation course

The more variation you introduce to your accompaniment, the more refreshing it is going to sound to your listeners.

To learn more about how to play Danny Boy and piano accompanying techniques, please visit Mastering Piano Accompaniment course.

As one of the most popular songs for St. Patrick's Day, Danny Boy is patterned from Londonderry Air. You can easily learn to play this on the piano. Londonderry Air is an easy piece and can be learned by pianists even at the beginner level. Click the link to download and print the sheet music (original).


Danny Boy was composed by an English lawyer named Frederic Weatherly. He wrote the lyrics in Bath, Somerset in the year 1910. After two year, Frederic's Irish-born sister-in-law sent him a copy of Londonderry Air. Frederic liked the tune of Londonderry Air so much that he modified the lyrics to fit in the melody of Londonderry Air.

The first recording of Danny Boy was produced in 1915 by Ernestine Schumann-Heink and was made popular by singer Elsie Griffin.

Several variations of the lyrics emerged years after Danny Boy was officially aired. But the Irish Americans and Irish Canadians consider Danny Boy (the original version) as their signature song or anthem. Below are the original lyrics by Frederick Weatherly.

Oh, Danny Boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling
From glen to glen, and down the mountain side,
The summer's gone, and all the roses falling,
It's you, it's you must go and I must bide.

But come ye back when summer's in the meadow,
Or when the valley's hushed and white with snow,
And I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow,
Oh, Danny Boy, oh Danny Boy, I love you so!

But when ye come, and all the flowers are dying,
If I am dead, as dead I well may be,
Ye'll come and find the place where I am lying,
And kneel and say an Ave there for me;

And I shall hear, though soft you tread above me,
And all my grave will warmer, sweeter be,
For you will bend and tell me that you love me,
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me!

Mastering the Art of Piano Accompaniment Course

piano accompaniment course



Joann Edwards
Date: 3/12/2014
I love watching you play the piano. I read music very little but have been playing in church since I was 14 years of age. I am now 67 and thank God for the talent he has given me. It is with great joy to receive emails from you and tips you always have for us all. Thanks very much and keep up the good work. YOU are very much appreciated!!!
Date: 3/12/2014
VERY very pretty. But...sung by the right singer, it's a tear-jerker! Especially if you know the traditionally-held backstory, which is that it's a song for a son going to war and a parent who is ill at death's door. The lyrics were actually written by a Englishman, who never had visited Ireland. (Which explains the reference to "pipes" which in Irish tradition the bagpipes are NOT used in war/battles, whilst in the Scots tradition, the bagpipes ARE used for battle calls.)
Date: 3/12/2014
very good and expect more of your very beginners lessons.thanks and God bless.
john cerveny
Date: 3/12/2014
T did TAKE LESSION 35 YEARS AGO FOR ABOUT 2 YEARS I LIKE EASY PLay for the notes and enjoy colour chords for the variation
Dubois Loup
Date: 3/12/2014
Is it possible receive the sheet music from Danny Boy Piano Arrangements? Thank you Loup
Marlene Brilz
Date: 3/12/2014
Hi Yoke, I just have to tell you how much I enjoyed playing "Mona Lisa" in what you called Double Hands Melody. It is a very pretty sound. What other songs would sound good in this style? I also liked what you did in "Misty" and again today in "Danny Boy" Thanks for the ideas as I like to play a song with different styles just to change it up. Thanks Yoke, Marlene.
Date: 3/12/2014
Very good video. I would love to see the sheet music for this so l can see the colored chords chords. I can play chords but would like to see how you blend right hand into left.
Date: 3/12/2014
What a lovely arrangement for a lovely song! Just like a few viewers have commented, I also would like to see the sheet music so that I can learn how you colored the chords for this song. Thank you.
Date: 3/12/2014
This song is lovely, I enjoyed your playing, it was magnificent, I see how you play it with chords, and with that it brought out the melody , I could only watch and listened as I am awaiting my Piano which is taking very long to come, I should hope to have it soon .Thank you for letting me see how you played it with the Chords.
Date: 3/15/2014
I enjoyed watching the video and the way your playing with the cords, would love to have a copy of the sheet music of Danny Boy. Thank you. Very much appreciated.
Mabel Marilyn
Date: 4/9/2014
lovely song. Ammendable job
Barbra Jacobs
Date: 3/16/2015
I think that you play so so beautiful and I have all you wonderful vidios You are just wonderful
Marlene Brilz
Date: 3/16/2015
Hi Yoke, Love both Danny Boy and Season of Hope. How do you mean to rearrange the chords to play accompaniment on the piano. Thanks
Date: 3/16/2015
Yoke I do appreciate what you share. I have most of your stuff I think. You have a great way of advertising. Regards Ed
Susan Champion
Date: 3/16/2015
Hi Yoke, It's a lovely song and it relaxes me a lot after a long day. Beautiful! Love Susan
A Sham
Date: 3/17/2015
Hi Yoke, Beautiful and lovely playing! Thank you and much appreciate your sharing from time to time. Cheers!
Date: 3/17/2015
Hi Marlene, Yoke Wong meant that you can rearrange the chords based on the notes. So instead of playing block chords or ballad chords, you can play arpeggio and rearrange the notes in the chords. For example, instead of playing the chord C in this order, C-E-G, you can rearrange the notes and play it backwards, G-E-C, or E-C-G, or G-C-E. You can also make the basic C chord into a color chord like C2 or C7 and rearrange the notes. You will find the full explanation of rearranging the chords in Yoke Wong's Mastering the Art of Piano Accompaniment.
Selma French
Date: 3/25/2015
Beautiful!! I loved it! You play so beautifully! I'll try to play it on my piano. Thank you so very much for sharing with us. Best regards from Brazil.
Date: 4/15/2015
Very interesting!
Georg Burk
Date: 4/23/2015
Hello, where is the full score sheet?
Date: 4/23/2015
You can find the link to the sheet music of Danny Boy here: http://www.pianomother.com/danny-boy-video.html
Date: 3/8/2016
Thanks Yoke! I was able to download the sheet music here: http://www.pianomother.com/assets/images/SheetMusic/Classical/Londonderry-Air-Irish-Melody.pdf

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