Connaught Rangers sing Its a Long Way to Tipperary in Boulogne

13th August 1914
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On August 13, 1914, the Irish regiment, the Connaught Rangers, sang "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" as they marched through Boulogne. This scene, observed by Daily Mail correspondent George Curnock, was reported on 18th of August 1914. This song has been associated with the First World War ever since.

This Irish song, composed by Harry Williams and Jack Judge in 1909, was not intended to be a war song. It is about the London Irish experience of homesickness. Originally entitled "It's a long way to Connemara" Judge changed the name in order to win a 5-shilling bet (that he couldn't write and perform a song in 24 hours).  It was only when the song was published in 1912 that it was changed from a ballad to a marching song.  

In November 1914, when it was recorded by Irish tenor John Mc Cormack, the song became popular worldwide. 

It's a long way to Tipperary 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:

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,
Farewell, Leicester Square!
It's a long long way to Tipperary,
But my heart's right there.

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!"

Chorus

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!"

Chorus

An alternative bawdy concluding chorus:

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.
Hoo-ray pour les français,
Farewell Angleterre.
We didn't know how to tickle Mary,
But we learnt how over there.

Welcome signs "You've come a long long way..." can be found In Co. Tipperary today.

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