It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary
DESCRIPTION: Of an Irishman who comes to London then is called back home by his sweetheart. Know mostly for the chorus: "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...."
AUTHOR: Jack Judge (and Harry Williams?)
EARLIEST DATE: 1912
KEYWORDS: love separation return
FOUND IN: Britain(England) US(SE)
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Fuld-WFM, pp. 308-309, "It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary"
Fiddlin' John Carson, "Long Way to Tipperary" (OKeh 45077, 1927; rec. 1926)
Frank Hutchison, "Long Way To Tipperary" (Okeh 45089, 1927)
John & Emery McClung "It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary" (Brunswick 136, 1927)
Gid Tanner & his Skillet Lickers, "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" (Columbia 15249-D, 1928; rec. 1927)
The Harvest War Song (Greenway-AFP, p. 211)
It's a Long Way from Amphioxus (Pankake-PHCFSB, pp. 68-69)
It's a Long Way down to the Soupline [by Joe Hill] (Barrie Stavis and Frank Harmon, editors, _The Songs of Joe Hill_, 1960, now reprinted in the Oak Archives series, pp. 34-35); (William M. Adler, _The Man Who Never Died: The Life, Times, and Legacy of Joe Hill, American Labor Icon_, pp. 276-277; Gibbs M. Smith, _Joe Hill_, p. 30; p. 260)
It's a Long Way down to the Breadline [Joe Hill song rewritten by Charles Ashleigh] (Barrie Stavis and Frank Harmon, editors, _The Songs of Joe Hill_, 1960, now reprinted in the Oak Archives series, pp. 35-36)
The Pawnshop (adapted by Dominic Behan?) (Dominic Behan, Ireland Sings, #70/p. 104)
NOTES [157 words]: The folklore about this song is, if anything, better than the song itself (which, apart from the tune, is banal). Jack Judge came into a town on New Year's night and claimed he could write a song then and there. Challenged, he wrote "Tipperary."
Harry Williams was (like Judge) a vaudeville performer, although Reginald Nettel, Seven Centuries of Popular Song, Phoenix House, 1956, p. 222, says that he was crippled nd the son of a Warwickshire inkeeper. The legend says that Judge owed Williams money, and offered this song in payment of the debt.
It is, of course, no longer possible to verify this. What is certain is that the song became immensely popular in the First World War, though more for the chorus (many, many Tommies came from London, after all) than the plot. Nettel, pp. 221-222, in fact says that the song's initial popularity had faded by the time the war came, and it was more popular at home than among the troops. - RBW
Last updated in version 4.2
Go to the Ballad Search form
Go to the Ballad Index Song List
Go to the Ballad Index Instructions
Go to the Ballad Index Bibliography or Discography
The Ballad Index Copyright 2018 by Robert B. Waltz and David G. Engle.