"Danny Boy" is an Irish song, lyrics written by an English lawyer, and sung to an older tune named Londonderry Air. The song was first written in 1913, and first recorded in 1915. It soon became the most popular song of the new century.
People have different interpretations of the song. Some think it is a message from a parent to a son leaving Ireland as part of the Irish diaspora. Some say the phrase "the pipes, the pipes are calling," means the bagpipes traditionally played at an Irish funeral, and the father knows he will be dead before his son ever returns.
The song is considered am Irish anthem, some thinking of it as a particularly Irish-American signature song because of so many Irish who came to the U.S. in the Irish diaspora and never returned to Ireland.
Oh Danny Boy (lyrics as sung here; there are slightly different versions elsewhere)
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
'Tis you, 'tis 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
'Tis I'll be here in sunshine or in shadow
Oh Danny boy, oh Danny boy, I love you so.
And when you come, and all the flowers are dying
If I am dead, as dead I well may be
You'll come and find the place where I am lying
And kneel and say an "Ave" there for me.
And I shall hear, tho' soft you tread above me
And all my dreams shall warm and sweeter be
For you will bend and tell me that you love me
And I shall sleep in peace until you come to me.