“It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary”


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...."


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. 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. - RBW

Same tune

  • The Harvest War Song (Greenway-AFP, p. 211)
  • It's a Long Way from Amphioxus (Pankake-PHCFSB, pp. 68-69)


  • 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)


  1. Fuld-WFM, pp. 308-309, "It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary"
  3. Roud #11235
  4. BI, DTtiprar


Author: Jack Judge (and Harry Williams?)
Earliest date: 1912
Keywords: love separation return
Found in: Britain(England) US(SE)