The Writing of 'Tipperary'

Words and Music: Bill Caddick
(Recorded by Tom Lewis on Mixed Cargo)

King Edward the Seventh, who some called The Peace Maker, died back in nineteen-and-ten,
He was buried at Windsor and in the procession rode the noblest and highest of men,
There were nine crowned kings and thirty proud princes, leaders of many's the land,
And old 'Kaiser Bill' rode next to King George, with his Field Marshall's baton in hand,
Crippen was caught that very same year, Haley's Comet flashed by,
And 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 battle ships,
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,
The suffragettes marched demanding their rights, then in came nineteen-and-twelve.

Jack Judge went down to West Bromwich town, to welcome a brand new year,
He went to a pub, to have a little sup, 'cause he liked his pint of beer,
When he'd had a drink he started to sing and he raised his voice on high,
My name's Jack Judge, I'll write you a song, from Oldbury town come I.

Now a Birmingham man was standing near and he heard what Jack did say,
"A pound to a penny", he says to Jack, "you can't write a song in a day",
Jack just laughed, sang another song and he says: "I'll take you on,
This afternoon I'll write you a song and I'll sing it 'fore the day is done".

Jack laughed again, sang another song, drank another pint of beer,
Then he caught a train to Stalybridge where that night he was due to appear,
And the very first day of nineteen-twelve old Jack Judge won his bet,
And the song he made and he sang that day we never will forget.

In March nineteen-twelve brave Scott and his comrades died while the snow storm 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 in prison again,
And 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,
And 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, assassins took many's the life,
Death came calmly to China and Sweden, but elsewhere the murderer's hand,
Struck The Pasha of Turkey, The King of the Greeks, while Spain pursued death's plan.
The armies of Europe paraded and postured, the stock-pile of weapons increased,
At the Hague, as if in grim desperation, they opened The Palace of Peace.

In nineteen-fourteen, with more suffragettes marching, the Arch-Duke of Austria was slain,
In less than two months all Europe was marching, death was in business again,
Many's the young man, from many's the family, willingly gave of his all,
They died in the millions for dubious victory, answering Kitchener's call.
But as they marched off to the trains and the troop ships, they sang as they hurried along,
And the words echo back from the graveyards of Flanders, singing old Jack Judges 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,
Good-bye Piccadilly, farewell Leicester square,
It's a long, long, way to Tipperary, but my heart lies there.

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