"Danny Boy" Banned

They may be wearing the green in Foley's Pub in New York City, but there will be no singing of "Danny Boy" during the month of March. Among the many reasons, according to pub owner Shaun Clancy, is the nature of the tune. "It's depressing," he says. "It's ranked among the 25 most

“A man’s got to believe in something. I believe I’ll have another drink.”

—W.C. Fields

They may be wearing the green in Foley’s Pub in New York City, but there will be no singing of “Danny Boy” during the month of March. Among the many reasons, according to pub owner Shaun Clancy, is the nature of the tune. “It’s depressing,” he says. “It’s ranked among the 25 most depressing songs ever written and it’s more appropriate for a funeral than a celebration.” The fact that it was written by an Englishman, Fred Weatherly, who never visited Ireland doesn’t help.

Clancy has offered free Guinness stout and other surprise gifts for pub patrons who choose to sing other traditional Irish tunes. This Monday’s St. Patrick’s Day is always a big day for Guinness sales here in the United States, where sales of its stout jumped almost 6% last year. The rich dark brew is also getting healthier in its native land, with sales in Ireland rising 1.3% last year, after years of decline.

1766Year of the first official St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York City.(www.saintpatricksdayparade.com, 2008)