Tuesday, March 17, 2009

It's a Long Way to Tipperary - first find a Rarey

My county of origin is Tipperary and if I had a dime for every time someone said to me when I said I was from Tipperary , "It's a long way", I'd be living the life of Riley now! As far as I know Riley was the catch- all name for the Irishmen who emigrated to America and struck it rich. The other line was "to tip a Rarey, you first have to find one". It's a rich, lush county and the name derives from the Gaelic meaning "Well of Ara"....the river Ara flows through part of the county.
The song was written by a man who had never set foot in Ireland ; his grandparents had left there for England long before he was born. It was, so the story goes, written one night in 1912 as a bet and performed in a music hall the following night. It got picked up by foot soldiers in France during World War 1 and was catapulted to fame when the Irish tenor, John McCormack, recorded it. It is nice to know that the song writer put the name of his friend who placed the bet on the music sheets and the two reaped good royalty rewards.
For a good read check out 'Tipperary' by Irish novelist Frank Delany ...it is, as my father was fond of saying about a book he enjoyed, "a good yarn".
I grew up on the Irish tenors. "I'll take You Home Again Kathleen" (my mother's name) and "Danny Boy" being two of my father's favorites. In tribute, I'll play my cd of Irish tenors singing maudlin songs tonight! No corn beef and cabbage though. I'm up at the cabin, have just lit a fire, brought the dogs in from chasing canada geese and I'll probably have salmon for dinner...not Irish though, this piece swam it's last laps in Alaska.

Meanwhile, visit Connections for Women and find our delightful Irish baby. She'll lead you to a pot of gold! You have until noon MST tomorrow to enter.

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