A plaque has been affixed to the Bristol home of Elsie Griffin, the opera singer who made ‘Danny Boy’ one of the most beloved songs of the First World War.
Written in 1910 by a US-based English lawyer, Frederick Weatherly, and recorded in 1915 by one of Mahler’s singers, Ernestine Schumann-Heink, ‘Danny Boy’ was then given by Weatherly to Griffin, who made it universally popular. Over time, it became an anthem for Irish expatriates.
We can’t find a recording of Griffin singing it; make do with the lovely Deanna Durbin.
Griffin went on to become a stalwart of English opera between the two wars. She died, aged 94, in 1989.
Here she is singing Yum-Yum in a 1926 Mikado.