Henry's Songbook

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The Writing Of Tipperary

  • (Bill Caddick)

    King Edward the Seventh, whom some called the peacemaker
    Died in Nineteen-and-ten
    He was buried at Windsor, and in the procession
    Were the finest and highest of men
    There were nine crowned kings, thirty proud princes
    Leaders of many a land
    And old Kaiser Bill rode next to King George
    With his field-marshal's baton in hand
    Crippen was caught that very same year
    Halley's comet flashed by
    The first of the labour exchanges was opened
    The year the old king died

    The Sidney Street siege brought Nineteen-eleven
    When anarchy died in the flames
    In London in June King George and his queen
    Played the Coronation game
    "A place in the sun" said the Kaiser in Hamburg
    Launching his new battleships
    King George made India, Ireland and Wales
    Places for right royal trips
    Titanic was launched on the day of the Derby
    London's last horse-bus was shelved
    Suffragettes marched, demanding their rights
    Then in came Nineteen-twelve

    Jack Judge went down to West Bromwich town
    To welcome the brand-new year
    And he went to a pub to have a little sup
    'Cos' he liked his pint of beer
    And when he had a few he started to sing, and his voice he lifted high
    My name's Jack Judge, I'll write you a song, from Mowbray Town come I

    A Birmingham man was sitting close by
    He heard what Jack did say
    A pound to a penny, said he to Jack
    You can't write a song in a day
    Jack he laughed and he sang another song
    And he said, I'll take you on
    This afternoon I'll write you a song
    And sing it 'fore the day is done

    Jack laughed again, he sang another song
    And he called for a pint of beer
    Then he caught his train to Stalybridge
    Where that night he was due to appear
    And on the very first day of Nineteen-twelve
    Old Jack Judge won his bet
    And the song he made and sang that day
    We never will forget

    In March Nineteen-twelve, brave Scott and his comrades
    Died while a snowstorm roared
    And later that year the good General Booth
    Finally laid down his sword
    There were riots in Ireland concerning Home Rule
    Mrs. Pankhurst was imprisoned again
    Wilbur Wright died, the first of the fliers
    As the Royal Flying Corps was named
    Titanic went down in the spring of that year
    Taking one thousand five hundred lives
    The Balkan states blazed from border to border
    As Death began sharpening his knives

    Of the Nineteen-ten monarchs who mourned for King Edward
    In Nineteen-thirteen few survived
    Though some of them lived to a peaceful old age
    Assassains took many a life
    Death came calmly to China and Sweden
    But elsewhere the murderer's hand
    Struck the Pasha of Turkey and the King of the Greeks
    While Spain pursued Death's plan
    The armies of Europe paraded and postured
    The stockpile of weapons increased
    At The Hague, as if in grim desperation
    They opened the Palace of Peace

    More Suffragettes marches brought Nineteen-fourteen
    Then the Archduke of Austria was slain
    In less than two months, all of Europe was marching
    Death was in business again
    Many a young man from many a family
    Willingly gave of his all
    They died in their millions for dubious victory
    Answering Kitchener's call
    As they went off to the war in the trains and the troopships
    They sang as they hurried along
    And their words echo back from the graveyards of Flanders
    Singing old Jack Judge's song

    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 lies there

    (as sung by Iain MacKintosh)

Susannes Folksong-Notizen

  • [c. 1978:] [Jack Judge, the author of It's a Long Way To Tipperary'] is now immortalised in song, for earlier this year Wolverhampton folk singer Bill Caddick, former member of Magic Lantern, wrote a song about 'the writing of Tipperary'. Says Bill, I was looking through a book called 'The Black Country' by Edward Chitham and saw a brief mention about Jack Judge and his wager. It struck me as a good idea and I decided to try and write a short song about it. Which I did. - Then I was looking through another book which someone had given me, 'The Silver Jubilee Book', which covers the major national events of the early 1900s, and I wrote a song about this. The First World War marked the end of an era because no end of songs and dances died out during the war and the years leading up to it. However, few songs have been written about that era. After writing these two songs I realised that the writing of Tipperary was a very small event in the midst of all the world events of that time, yet it probably had more effect than all the rest, so I tried to join both songs together as one. Although, at first, I thought it was too long and cumbersome I found it worked and that's how The Writing of Tipperary evolved.

    And as one line in Bill's song says of Judge, "The song he made and sang that day, we never shall forget." (Folk Review, ???)

  • [1985:] Booth, William (b. April 10, 1829, Nottingham, Eng. - d. Aug. 20, 1912, London), founder and general (1878-1912) of the Salvation Army. [...] Booth held the simple belief that eternal punishment was the fate of the unconverted. Coupled with this was a profound pity for the outcast and a hatred of dirt, squalor, and suffering. In 1864 Booth [...] founded at Whitechapel the Christian Mission, which became (in 1878) the Salvation Army. [...] The opposition and ridicule with which Booth's work was for many years received gave way, towards the end of the 19th century, to very widespread sympathy as his genius and its results were more fully realized. (Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol 2, 375)

    Halley's Comet - In 1705 Edmond Halley published his calculations showing that comets observed in 1531, 1607, and 1682 were really one comet and predicting its return in 1758. It was sighted late in 1758, passed perihelion in March 1759, and was named in Halley's honour. During the comet's approach in 1910 the Earth probably passed (without noticeable effect) through part of its tail, which was millions of kilometres in length. Astronomers sighted the comet again approaching Earth late in 1982. (Encyclopaedia Britannica 5, 645)

    Home Rule, in British and Irish history, movement to secure internal autonomy for Ireland within the British Empire. The Home Government Association, calling for an Irish Parliament, was formed in 1870 by Isaac Butt, a Protestant lawyer who popularized "Home Rule" as the movement's slogan. In 1873 the Home Rule League replaced the association, and Butt's moderate leadership soon gave way to that of the more aggressive Charles Stewart Parnell. [Home Rule] was rejected by Parliament in 1886. Gladstone introduced a second Home Rule Bill in 1893; it was defeated in the House of Lords. The third bill had to wait for another Liberal ministry [...]; its introduction in 1912 inflamed the militant opposition of both Ulster Unionists (led by Edward Carson) and republicans in Ireland [sic!]. The bill became law Sept. 18, 1914, but was inoperative for the duration of World War I. (Encyclopaedia Britannica 6, 23f.)

    Kitchener (of Khartoum and of Broome), (Horatio) Herbert, 1st earl, [...] (b. June 24, 1850, near Listowel, County Kerry, Ire. - d. June 5, 1916, at sea off Orkney Islands), British field marshal, imperial administrator, conqueror of the Sudan, commander in chief during the South African War, and (perhaps his most important role) secretary of state for war at the beginning of World War I. At that time he organized armies on a scale unprecedented in British history and became a symbol of the national will to victory. [...] Kitchener, who was on leave in England and had just received an earldom (June 1914), reluctantly accepted an appointment to the Cabinet as secretary of state for war and was promoted to field marshal. He warned his colleagues, most of whom expected a short war, that the conflict would be decided by the last 1,000,000 men that Great Britain could throw into battle. Quickly enlisting a great number of volunteers, he had them trained as professional soldiers for a succession of entirely new "Kitchener armies". By the end of 1915 he was convinced of the need of military conscription, but he never publicly advocated it, in deference to Prime Minister Herbert H. Asquith's belief that conscription was not yet politically practicable. In his recruitment of soldiers, planning of strategy, and mobilization of industry, Kitchener was handicapped by British governmental processes and by his own distaste for teamwork and delegation of responsibility. His Cabinet associates, who did not share in the public idolatry of Kitchener, relieved him of responsibility first for industrial mobilization and later for strategy, but he refused to quit the Cabinet. His career was ended suddenly, by drowning, when the cruiser "Hampshire", bearing him on a mission to Russia, was sunk by a German mine. (Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol 6, 897)

    Pankhurst, Emmeline, née Goulden (b. July 14, 1858, Manchester - d. June 14, 1928, London), militant champion of woman suffrage whose 40-year campaign achieved complete success in the year of her death, when British women obtained full equality in the voting franchise. Her daughter Christabel Harriette (afterward Dame Christabel) also was prominent in the woman suffrage movement. [...]

    From 1906 Emmeline Pankhurst directed WPSU [Women's Political and Social Union] activities from London. [...] In 1908-09 Pankhurst was jailed three times, once for issuing a leaflet calling on the people to "rush the House of Commons". A truce that she declared in 1910 was broken when the government blocked a "conciliation" bill on woman suffrage. From July 1912 the WPSU turned to extreme militancy, mainly in the form of arson directed by Christabel from Paris, where she had gone to avoid arrest for conspiracy. Pankhurst herself was imprisoned and, under the Prisoners (Temporary Discharge for Ill-Health) Act of 1913, (the "Cat and Mouse Act"), by which hunger-striking prisoners could be freed for a time and then reincarcerated upon regaining their health to some extent, she was released and rearrested 12 times within a year, serving a total of about 30 days. With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, she and Christabel called off the suffrage campaign, and the government released all suffragist prisoners. [...] Pankhurst's autobiography, 'My Own Story', appeared in 1914. 'The Life of Emmeline Pankhurst' (1935) was written by her second daughter, E. Sylvia Pankhurst. (Encyclopaedia Britannica 9, 115f.)

    Scott, Robert Falcon (b June 6, 1868, Devonport, Devon, Eng. - d. c. March 29, 1912, Antarctica), English naval officer and explorer who led the famed, ill-fated second expedition to reach the South Pole (1910-13). Scott became a naval cadet in 1881 and by 1891 had become a full lieutenant. While commanding an Antarctic expedition (1901-04), he proved to be a competent scientific investigator and a resourceful leader and was promoted to captain upon his return to England. [...] Equipped with motor sledges, ponies, and dogs, he and 11 others started overland for the pole from Camp Evans on Oct. 24, 1911. The motors soon broke down, the ponies had to be shot [and] the dog teams were sent back. [The] polar party - Scott, E.A. Wilson, H.R. Bowers, L.E.G. Oates, and Edgar Evans - reached the pole on Jan. 18, 1912. Exhausted by their 81-day trek, they were bitterly disappointed to find evidence that Roald Amundsen had preceded them to the pole by about a month.

    The weather on the return journey was exceptionally bad. Evans died at Beardmore (February 17). Food and fuel supplies were low. At the end of his strength and hoping to aid his companions by his own disappearance, Oates crawled out into the blizzard on March 17 [...]. The three survivors struggled on for 10 miles (16.1 kilometres) but then were bound to their tent by another blizzard that lasted for nine days. With quiet fortitude they awaited their death - 11 miles from their destination. On March 29 Scott wrote the final entry in his diary: "Every day we have been ready to start for our depot 11 miles away but outside the door of the tent it remains a scene of whirling drift. ... We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker, of course, and the end cannot be far. It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more." On Nov. 12, 1912, searchers found the tent with the frozen bodies, Scott's records and diaries, and geological specimens from Beardmore. (Encyclopaedia Britannica, vol 10, 564f.)

    Wright, Wilbur (b. April 16, 1867, near Millville, Ind. - d. May 30, 1912, Dayton), [with his brother Orville:] inventors and aviation pioneers who achieved the first powered, sustained, and controlled airplane flight (1903) and built and flew the first fully practical airplane (1905). [...] The Wrights arrived on the aviation scene at the most opportune moment. Aerodynamics, structural engineering, engine development, and fuel technology had all reached a stage at which they could be welded together to produce a practical flying machine. The Wrights, [self-taught], hardworking, pertinacious and gifted with outstanding mechanical talent, were ideally suited to achieve the final conquest of the air. [...] The Wrights continued to dominate world aviation until 1909, building their machines in both Europe and the United States. Although improved Wright machines continued to appear and make excellent flights in 1910 and 1911, European competition eventually surpassed them. Wilbur died of typhoid in 1912. (Encyclopaedia Britannica 12, 772f.)

  • [1989:] Some of the references in the song I didn't understand when I was first learning it - Sidney Street siege, and so on, and I looked it up, and I discovered that Tipperary in the song had nothing to do with the town Tipperary in Ireland. 'Tipperary' was the name the soldiers gave to the brothel area of Soho in London before the start of the First World War, and that's why they sang it. (Intro Iain MacKintosh)

  • [1990:] Tipperary was actually written in 1912, and was sung even in the army before the war. [...] It is probably not quite true to claim globally, that 'troops came to loathe it' or 'were nauseated by it'. Doubtless it was heard too often, and became simply boring, but although its triviality seems inappropriate to the war in which it is now so firmly embedded, it became a war song just as much as any regimental march. [...] The song as such tells of an Irishman wanting to return to his own country. But in its reception by soldiers from England in 1914 the emphasis was - as has been pointed out - on the farewell to Piccadilly, Leicester Square, and so on, as well as on the abstracted notions of 'it's a long way to go' and 'my heart's right there'. (Murdoch, Fighting Songs 72f)

  • [1990:] It's A Long Way To Tipperary is commonly regarded as being the song of the First World War. It has a catchy tune; it had been the hit song of 1913 and, in those days before the advent of electronic mass-entertainment, its appeal had by no means worn out a year later [...]. Those soldiers certainly sang it and the circumstances caught the popular imagination and made the song immortal. But Tipperary was a soldiers' song only briefly and by association. It was as remote from the experience of the First World War as two decades later the anodyne sentiments of The White Cliffs of Dover [...]. (A Long Way To Tipperary soon descended on the lips of the soldiers to a parody of which the only printable lines were "That's the wrong way to tickle Mary, it's the wrong way, you know".) (Lyn Macdonald in Palmer, Lovely War 1)

  • german [1992:] Aber nur wenige Souveräne waren gewöhnlicher oder unersättlicher als König Edward VII., der freimütige, für alle Zeiten als 'Edward the Caresser' verspottete Monarch. Bertie, wie er von seinen Freunden und Untertanen in der letzten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts genannt wurde, war ein Hedonist, der von den Extravaganzen, die sich ein Mann seines Vermögens und Standes leisten konnte, berauscht war und es nie versäumte, von seinem Geburtsrecht Gebrauch zu machen, um seinem Vergnügen frönen zu können. Seine Lust auf Sex, die er häufig in Europas teuersten Bordellen - oder in den Schlafzimmern der Frauen seiner Freunde - zu befriedigen suchte, war enorm [und er war auch] ein unersättlicher Esser - er konnte ein 12gängiges Mahl vertilgen - und ein exzessiver Glücksspieler [...].

    Zu seiner Mutter und seinem strengen, frommen Vater, Prinz Albert, hatte er allenfalls eine unklare Beziehung, was vielleicht auf seine unglückliche, spartanische Kindheit zurückzuführen ist. Am 9. November 1841 geboren, wurde er, sobald er alt genug war, um verstehen zu können, in der Kunst königlichen Verhaltens geschult und auf seine Rolle als künftiger König vorbereitet. Edward war jedoch nicht besonders intelligent [...].

    Als Königin Viktoria 1901 starb, gab es für Bertie endlich etwas anderes, womit er seine Zeit ausfüllen konnte, außer Frauen und Glücksspiel. Während ihrer langen Regierungszeit hatte Viktoria, die ihren Sohn zu Recht für einen verantwortungslosen Playboy hielt, Edward auf Distanz gehalten und ihm nie erlaubt, sich mit Staatsangelegenheiten zu befassen. Er war bereits 51 Jahre alt, als seine Mutter ihn zum ersten Mal Kopien der Berichte des Premierministers über Kabinettssitzungen einsehen (nicht behalten!) ließ. Und nun war er plötzlich König Edward VII. Er stürzte sich in seine Rolle als Führer des britischen Empires und entwickelte ein Interesse für auswärtige Angelegenheiten, wenn er auch nicht den gleichen Scharfsinn wie seine Mutter besaß und sich nur ungern mit der Komplexität internationaler Beziehungen auseinandersetzte. [...] Doch in Wirklichkeit war er nicht besonders an öffentlichen Angelegenheiten interessiert. Er langweilte sich schnell, war faul und erlaubte sich mehrere diplomatische Schnitzer, z. B. [...] übergab ihm der Außenminister, Lord Lansdowne, einige vertrauliche Papiere, die ihm beim Umgang mit seinem deutschen Gesprächspartner [Wilhelm II.] eine Hilfe sein sollten. Bertie gab sie dem Kaiser zu lesen. (Blundell / Blackhall 61ff.)

  • For original 'It's A Long Way To Tipperary' see

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