It’s a Long Way to Tipperary was a British music hall song written in 1912 by Jack Judge whose parents were Irish and whose grandparents came from Tipperary. The song was adopted as a marching tune by the Connaught Rangers, many of whom had been stationed at the Tipperary Barracks before the war. They were singing the song on 13 August 1914 while marching through Boulogne on their way to the front. The rousing tune and poignant lyrics caught the attention of the Daily Mail correspondent George Curnock, who was watching the march in front of the Metropole Hotel. He reported the incident in the newspaper on 18 August 1914. As a consequence, the song became one of the most popular anthems sung by soldiers on the way to the Western Front during the early enthusiasm of autumn 1914.
You can listen to an original recording of the song from 1914, sung by John McCormack.