Danny Boy is a song written by Frederic Weatherly in 1913 to the traditional Irish melody “Londonderry Air”. In this post, we’ll cover the guitar chords you can use for this song, sheet music for the melody including tabs, and also a finger style guitar arrangement.
How to read the guitar chord charts
To clarify how to read the chord charts, the top horizontal line represents the high E string and the bottom horizontal line represents the low E string. The vertical lines separate each fret. The numbers in the blue dots tell you which fingers to use on the fretting hand.
For example, on the C Major chord, you use the:
- 1st finger on the 2nd string, 1st fret
- 2nd finger on the 4th string, 2nd fret
- 3rd finger on the 5th string, 3rd fret
- Circles represent open strings
- X means to avoid the string
If needed, check out this link for more on how to read guitar notation symbols.
Danny Boy – chords in C Major
The chords you can use for this song are C Major, C7, F Major, C/E, A minor 7, D/F#, G Major, F# dim 7, and E 7. You can click on the chords with links to learn different ways of playing that chord.
Try the following guitar chords one at a time until you feel comfortable switching between them. These chords will be written above the melody in the next section.
Here are some other resources on chords:
- What are the first chords you should learn on guitar?
- 6 tips to get better at switching between chords on guitar
- Learning the four essential 7th chords on guitar
- How to play chord inversions on guitar
- How to play diminished chords on guitar
Danny boy – melody with tabs and chords
For the sheet music below, keep in mind that the chords and melody are meant to be played as separate parts. We’ll look at how to connect these parts later in the arrangement section of this post.
You can refer to this simple guide to understanding music symbols if needed.
Danny Boy lyrics
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,
It’s I’ll be there 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 Avé 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!
Reference: Danny Boy. wikipedia.org
Danny boy – guitar arrangement
In this section, we are essentially connecting the melody and chords together using a finger picking method of playing. If needed, check out this post to learn how to finger pick on guitar.
If you like this style of playing, see this other post on how to connect a melody and chords on guitar.
Another song that shares the same melody as Danny Boy is a hymn called “I Cannot Tell“, which you can check out using the link.
Get the free guitar practice guide here!
Want to learn more songs? Check out the sheet music with guitar tabs resource on this site.
All the best,