Age shall not weary them.

Remembrance Sunday – if only for a few minutes, please take time out to consider those that gave, and those who may yet give their lives for us to live in peace and prosperity today. From the fields of Flandria to the jungles of Burma, from the deserts of Iraq to the frozen waters of the South Atlantic, when their time has come, good and noble people have given their all that we may enjoy better days.

Please show your support for those to whom we owe so much by making a donation to the Royal British Legion, who do excellent work. I’m taking the liberty of including a link to the remarkably moving Bill Caddick song ‘The Writing of Tipperary’, performed by folk legend June Tabor, a wonderful tribute to the iconic Great War song and the Black Country man who wrote it, Jack Judge.

The Writing of Tipperary

by 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
Haley’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 a drop 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 Oldbury town come I

A Brummagem fella as was sitting close by
He heard what Jack did say
A pound to a penny, said he to Jack
Yow cor 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 a 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 survived 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 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

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3 Comments

  1. Flipping the bird « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog  November 10, 2009

    […] 10, 2009 by BrownhillsBob In yesterday’s post here, I urged readers to consider the national act of remembrance, to think a little about the horrors and privations others went through in order that we may live […]

     
  2. A place called England « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog  April 22, 2010

    […] of incisive, but affectionate sentiment about our shared heritage. It’s not the first time I’ve dipped into the work of June Tabor for a blog post, nor indeed this album. If you like it, please do hunt it […]

     
  3. They left in their trains and their troop-ships « BrownhillsBob's Brownhills Blog  November 14, 2010

    […] 14, 2010 by BrownhillsBob We should never, ever forget. It’s easy to say, and I repeat it every year, but war is an ongoing business. Nearly every year since WWII British servicemen and women have […]

     

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