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"It's a Long Way to Tipperary" is a bland and syrupy song about missing one's girl, who is far away in a small Irish town and getting attention from a young man there. Nevertheless it is very widely known in the English speaking world, because it was popularized at the beginning of the First World War.

The Irish town of Tipperary quartered the Connaught Rangers of the British Army between 1908 and 1910. In 1912, when the Rangers happen to have returned to England, Jack Judge (1878-1938) and Harry Williams wrote the song. It is said that the name "Tipperary" did not originally appear in the lyrics, and was only added to provide a more recognizable place-name than the original "Connemara". In any case, the song became popular with the Rangers, many of whom no doubt still had thoughts for the young ladies of Tipperary.

But it would surely have remained a mere music-hall pop-song if not for the war. The Connaught Rangers were among the regiments that first entered France under the name of the British Expeditionary Force, a forerunner of modern special forces. In those idealistic, unmechanized days, soldiers still sang marching songs to build morale and ease tension, and the Rangers (as well as the Germans and Russians!) sang "Tipperary", which caught on famously. It was recorded by the Irish singer John McCormack. "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" became the best known song of that war, possibly the most famous English language war song of any era.

The refrain runs like this:

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!

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