Smoky Mountain Family Historian

Saturday, April 26, 2008

It's a Long Way to Tipperary

So far I've uncovered no Irish ancestry, but I've decided to participate in the 5th edition of the Carnival of Irish Heritage & Culture. The call for submissions is at Small-Leaved Shamrock. My submission will roughly fit the first category. There are some very curious Irish place names. For example, Limerick reminds me of poetry. Then there's Killarney (and other places that begin Kill or Kil)--You wonder if someone actually killed someone named Arney there. Londonderry is a fascinating name and reminds me of a piece called "Londonderry Air" that used to be on every beginners' piano recital. Most of us know the tune as that of "O Danny Boy" or the gospel song "He Looked Beyond My Fault and Saw My Need."" (By the way, there's an interesting story of this tune written by Michael Robinson. I haven't verified the story's reliability, but it is interesting.)

However, the town I want to write about is Tipperary. I grew up hearing about it being a long way there! The song, "It's a Long Way to Tipperary," is an old World War I song. (You'll find 3 early recordings of the tune in MP3 format on that site.) I understand that the song is somewhat offensive in Ireland, but many is the person that first heard of Tipperary through that song.

Tipperary is the name of both a county and a city in Ireland. Other places in the county include Nenagh, Roscrea, Templemore, Thurles, Cashel, Cahir, Clonmel, and Carrick on Suir.

Tipperary is Ireland's largest inland county. The official tourism site includes several photos of the island as well as a video. (They gave the embed code, but it was creating problems in editing the post further so I removed it.) According to the site, the town of "Tipperary derives its name from Tiobrad Arann meaning the Well of Ara. It is a market town in the heart of the Golden Vale and it is on the main Limerick- Cashel road." The best place in town to visit if you are researching your family history is the former prison which houses the Heritage and Genealogical Centre.

I'll probably never visit this place because "It's a Long Way to Tipperary."



  • Lori!

    Tsk tsk... Tipperary is only a few hours away. It costs less to get there than it does to fly coast to coast in the United States (and the stewards and stewardesses are much nicer too)


    By Blogger Janice, at 10:39 PM  

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