It's a Long
Way to Tipperary
Jack Judge & Harry Williams
dulcimer arr. Ruth Randle
What do you think of, when you
think of war songs? Songs that inspire glorious deeds?
Urge soldiers – and those at home – to have great
courage? Be patriotic? If you are thinking of songs
before the First World War, you would be correct. During
WWI however, popular songs took a swing toward
expressing the longing for home. Songs like “Keep the
Home Fires Burning” and this month’s selection for
the 135 website – “It’s a Long Way to Tipperary”.
Jack Judge composed the piece the
morning after accepting a 5-shilling bet that he could
not write a song in a day and perform it at “The
Grand” theatre that same evening. *Interestingly, he
had promised his friend Harry
Williams that if he ever wrote a best-selling song, he
would put Harry's name on it also, which he did. This
agreement arose because Harry often lent him money when
trade was poor, during the time that Harry
and his brother kept a small country pub and Jack had a
daytime stall in the local fish market and was an
entertainer in the evenings.
The Connaught Rangers – and Irish
regiment – sang it as they marched through Boulogne on
August 13, 1914. George Curnock of the Daily Mail
heard them and reported it. Other regiments picked it
up. It has been used in several films and even TV shows.
It is often cited when documentary footage of World
War I is presented. Snoopy danced to it as
Schroeder played it on his little piano in It’s the
Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. It has even been
translated into at least one foreign language –
Kannada - one of the major Dravidian languages of India.
Check the historical links below for even more
interesting facts about this inspiring song.
Ruth has used the DF#A tuning to
include several lovely “color chords” in this
arrangement. We do hope you will enjoy it, as you think
of Ireland during the month of March. Look for other
Irish songs in our archives.
It's a Long Way to Tipperary.pdf
It's a Long Way to Tipperary.tef
It's a Long Way to Tipperary.mid