I'm sorry to see that 'Danny Boy' has been allowed back into the only Irish bar in the world where we were safe from hearing it sung by drunks.
Foley's Bar in Manhattan won worldwide headlines when they banned the song, calling it too maudlin. The reintroduction came when a new whisky called 'Danny Boy' launched at the venue on Manhattan's West Side.
Which I'm sure was an occasion of sin for every 'Danny Boy' warbler between here and MuttontownLong Island to give it a good wail.
Its not that I don't like 'Danny Boy.' In the hands of the late Frank Patterson it was a beautiful moving air, a fabulous love song between a father and a son which could bring tears to the eyes.
It is just there is no song on earth that can be sung as badly as 'Danny Boy.' Like the 'Star Spangled Banner' it has got high notes that invite the kind of screeching that usually occurs only when your brakes fail at high speed.
The other problem is that other drunks invariably join in at that high point, making it like a male cat's convention when the only female in town is introduced and the brawl begins.
Even if you shut your ears to that there is worse to come, the dreaded 'Erin go Bawl' moment, when the singer breaks down and begins blubbering like a two-year-old with a wet diaper. The other drunks immediately find their emotions getting the worst of them and a sea of tears ensues.
However, no one stops singing and the effect is like a coyote convention on full moon night.
Also to be avoided at all costs is the 'designated Danny Boy singer.' Every group has one, the person, who after the required magic potions, is asked to step up to the plate.
After much protesting and throat clearing he manfully launches into the task. Woe betide anyone who asks for a drink or lets a cell phone go off while Caruso is killing his number. Fights are known to breakout when the Great One is interrupted.
The moral of the story is approach 'Danny Boy' with care, either as singer or listener. Avoid if at all possible if in the company of good cheer on St.Patrick's Day. Stick with the Teletubbies theme song instead. Its got no high notes, only one line 'Teletubbies" and everyone knows the words, er word.
Even The Muppets, though their rendition of the song is hilarious, prove the song should sometimes come with a health warning!
Here's the audio for Frank Patterson's version:
Here's the Muppets version of the Irish tune:
Originally published in 2010.