Somerset poet Fred Weatherly was born in Portishead. His sister sent him a tune from Ireland we know as Londonderry Air. Fred had written words to another tune but found this tune fitted his verse perfectly and thus the unofficial national anthem of Ireland, Danny Boy, was born and written by a Somerset man. Although leading a busy professional life in the legal world as a barrister, he was a prolific poet and this produced two more notable and heart wrenching famous songs, Roses of Picardy and The Holy City.
There are many versions recorded of Danny Boy from Joesf Locke to Elvis Presley, The Pogues and even The Muppets! But there is something about Deanna Durbin that captures the essence of the song that is really about a mother’s heartfelt wishes spoken to her son.
Deanna Durbin retired from film and showbiz in her mid-twenties. But she is still alive and living in Paris and a few years ago had to ask her fans to stop writing to the web site dedicated to her memory as she could not possibly answer letters any longer due to their volume and her age.