Lyric Of The Week: Johnny Cash, ‘Danny Boy’ – American Songwriter

This week in honor of St. Patrick’s Day, people all over the world will be singing the Irish classic “Danny Boy.” American Songwriter has featured two versions of this classic song, as performed by Johnny Cash:

Johnny Cash recorded the song, with a spoken word intro, on his 1965 album Orange Blossom Special. Interestingly, on that version, he reworked the lyrics of the second verse so that, instead of singing as a person speaking of his own death, he is singing about visiting the grave of someone else who has died.

… When he recorded that version, Cash was still in his 30s and dying was probably the last thing on his mind. But when he recorded the song again for his 2002 American IV: The Man Comes Around album, he sang the verse the way it was originally written, using the first person “I” instead of “you,” singing as the person who will be visited at his own grave. Death was not far off for the ailing Cash and perhaps he knew it. He died less than a year after the album was released.

Read more at American Songwriter.