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A long way to Tipperary...

There will be the sound of haunting optimism whistling through the air at the British Open this weekend...

tIPPERARY
  The song seemed to speak of optimism...

There will lots of little snippets from works that helped create the Mortimer 'Dynasty' to be heard at Symphony Hall at this weekend's British Open Championship – including the sound of players whistling the tune 'A Long Way to Tipperary'.

Music hall song

The music hall song was written in January 1912 in Stalybridge by Henry 'Harry' Williams and co-credited to Jack Judge.

When War was declared and soldiers conscripted to fight in France, it soon became popular as they set off to France full of joyful optimism – a feeling that was all too soon to disappear once they reached the front lines of battle.

Haunting

In this context there is a haunting quality to its inclusion – one enforced by the composer's own family history.

He told 4BR that during the First World War his grandfather and his brother joined up to serve in France – the elder leaving for France before the other. By chance they met as their two units passed each other in opposite directions.

Instead of being greeted by a warm embrace and best wishes, the elder brother simply told his younger sibling to turn around and run...

A return to Tipperary for him was a very long way away indeed...

Instead of being greeted by a warm embrace and best wishes, the elder brother simply told his younger sibling to turn around and run...4BR

Mortimer connection

The song was reportedly first heard sung by the Connaught Rangers in France by a Daily Mail newspaper correspondent in August 1914 and referred to as 'The song they sing as they march along'.

It was later recorded by the great Irish singer John McCormack which helped with its worldwide popularity.

Fred Mortimer served in France during the First World War and would surely have heard the song sung at some time or another.

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