It's a Long Way to Tipperary

"It's a Long Way to Tipperary" is a British music hall song written by Jack Judge.

It was allegedly written for a 5 shilling bet in Stalybridge on 30 January 1912 and performed the next night at the local music hall.

Judge's parents were Irish, and his grandparents came from Tipperary. It became popular among soldiers in the First World War and is remembered as a song of that war.

The Irish regiment the Connaught Rangers were witnessed singing this song as they marched through Boulogne on 13 August 1914 in the 1st World War by the Daily Mail correspondent George Curnock. This was then reported in that newspaper on 18 August 1914 and the songs popularity started to grow.

In November 1914 it was recorded by the well-known tenor John McCormack, which helped contribute to its worldwide popularity.

One of the most popular hits of the time, the song is typical in that it is not a war-like song that incites the soldiers to glorious deeds.

First sung on the British music hall stage in 1913 by Florrie Forde, it was featured as one of the songs in the 1951 film On Moonlight Bay, the 1960s stage musical and film Oh! What a Lovely War and the 1970 musical Darling Lili, sung by Julie Andrews.

It regained popularity after being sung in the 1998 hit film Goodnight Mister Tom.

Lyrics

Up to mighty London

Came an Irishman one day.

As the streets are paved with gold

Sure, everyone was gay,

Singing songs of Piccadilly,

Strand and Leicester Square,

Till Paddy got excited,

Then he shouted to them there:

It's a long way to Tipperary,

It's a long way to go.

It's a long way to Tipperary

To the sweetest girl I know!

Goodbye, Piccadilly,

Farewell, Leicester Square!

It's a long long way to Tipperary,

But my heart's right there.

(repeat)

Paddy wrote a letter

To his Irish Molly-O,

Saying, "Should you not receive it,

Write and let me know!"

"If I make mistakes in spelling,

Molly, dear," said he,

"Remember, it's the pen that's bad,

Don't lay the blame on me!

It's a long way to Tipperary,

It's a long way to go.

It's a long way to Tipperary

To the sweetest girl I know!

Goodbye, Piccadilly,

Farewell, Leicester Square!

It's a long long way to Tipperary,

But my heart's right there.

Molly wrote a neat reply

To Irish Paddy-O,

Saying Mike Maloney

Wants to marry me, and so

Leave the Strand and Piccadilly

Or you'll be to blame,

For love has fairly drove me silly:

Hoping you're the same!

It's a long way to Tipperary,

It's a long way to go.

It's a long way to Tipperary

To the sweetest girl I know!

Goodbye, Piccadilly,

Farewell, Leicester Square!

It's a long long way to Tipperary,

But my heart's right there.

An alternative concluding chorus, bawdy by contemporaneous standards:

That's the wrong way to tickle Mary,

That's the wrong way to kiss.

Don't you know that over here, lad

They like it best like this.

Hooray pour Les Français

Farewell Angleterre.

We didn't know how to tickle Mary,

But we learnt how over there.

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