Friday, January 23, 2015

100 years ago: “It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary” hit #1 a second time

It’s a Long, Long Way to Tipperary

John McCormack

Writer(s): Jack Judge, Harry Williams (see lyrics here)

First Charted: January 16, 1915

Peak: 18 US, 12 GA, 16 SM, 9 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 (sheet music)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 2.5 video, 2.29 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

“Tipperary” was a British music hall song written in 1912 by Jack Judge. He wrote the song on a bet when someone dared him to write a new song the next day and perform it the same evening. That night, Judge overheard one man giving directions to another, saying, “it’s a long way to…” When Judge sang the song the next morning, a friend wrote down the musical notation for him. TY2 Harry Williams, another friend, got credit on the song because Judge had often borrowed money from Williams and Williams asked for credit if Judge ever wrote a best-selling song. TY2

Judge’s parents were Irish and his grandparents hailed from Tipperary, Ireland. During World War I, Daily Mail correspondent George Curnock witnessed Irish troops singing it while marching. It caught on with other units of the British Army as a lament on longing for home and eventually gained worldwide appeal. WK Although the song “really has nothing to do with war,” TY2 it became “a classic military song and has often been parodied through the decades.” DJ

Florrie Forde first sang the song on the British music hall stage in 1913 and the following year the song appeared in two Broadway musicals, sung by Montgomery and Stone in Chin-Chin and Al Jolson in Dancing Around. DJ That year, the American Quartet were the first to chart with the song in the U.S., hitting #1 for seven weeks. However, it was John McCormack, who has been called “the most famous Irish tenor of all time,” PM who had the most successful version. He made his operatic debut in Italy and became an American sensation in 1910. He first hit #1 in 1911 with a pair of songs, “I’m Falling in Love with Someone” and “Mother Machree.” His version of “Tipperary” spent eight weeks on top and become the biggest song of the year. CPM

Charles Adams Prince’s Orchestra and Albert Farrington also released versions of the song in 1915, peaking at #2 and #8 respectively. The song was featured in the the film On Moonlight Bay (1951), the musical and film Oh! What a Lovely War in the 1960s, and the musical Darling Lili (1970), which starred Julie Andrews. The German U-boat crew sings it to boost morale in the film Das Boot (1981). On the final episode of TV’s Mary Tyler Moore Show, the newsroom staff sing the song as they march off screen. The song also features in the television special It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown when Snoopy, pretending to be a World War I flying ace, dances to a medley of the era’s tunes as played by Shroeder. WK


First posted 1/23/2013; last updated 2/24/2023.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Maroon 5’s “Sugar” released


Maroon 5

Writer(s): Mike Posner, Adam Levine, Joshua Coleman, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, Jacob Kasher Hindlin, Henry Walter (see lyrics here)

Released: January 13, 2015

First Charted: January 18, 2015

Peak: 2 US, 12 RR, 2 AC, 13 A40, 7 UK, 2 CN, 6 AU, 12 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 11.0 US, 1.46 UK, 13.5 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 3514.0 video, 1613.13 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

Mike Posner, who co-wrote Justin Bieber’s “Boyfriend,” was working on Pages, his follow-up to 2010’s 31 Minutes to Takeoff album and came up with “Sugar.” Maroon 5’s Adam Levine heard the song and wanted it, but Posner declined. However, when Posner switched labels in 2014 and Pages was aborted, he gave the song to Adam. Of the final results, Posner said, “Adam added his flavor to it and…he really sang it well. I’m a big fan, so I’m glad they did it.” WK

On the final results, Posner provides additional vocals alongside Levine’s lead vocals. Dr. Luke, the hitmaker who co-produced many of Katy Perry’s singles, helped shape the song into the disco-infused, funk-pop track that it became. Cirkut, who co-wrote Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball,” produced the song along with Amno, who had Kesha’s “We R Who We R” to his credits. SF The song “combines the grooves of the funk and ‘synth-driven’ of the 1980s music nostalgia feeling.” WK Lyrically, “sugar” is used as a reference to sex.

VH1’s Alexa Tietjen called it a “radio-friendly pop song” WK and the Idolator’s Mike Wass described it as a “ridiculously catchy jam.” WK The National’s Saeed Saeed praised “Sugar” for having “a bullseye of a chorus that will have you singing along immediately.” WK

“Sugar” was the third single from Maroon 5’s fifth studio album, V. Like its predecessors, “Sugar” was a top ten hit in the U.S. It was also their third song to debut in the top ten. WK It was the band’s eighth top-ten hit in a row and eleventh overall. WK The song peaked at #2 for four weeks behind Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.”

The video, directed by David Dobkin, follows the same plot as Wedding Crashers, his 2005 romantic comedy film. The band drive across Los Angeles, showing up at actual weddings as the surprise wedding band. CNN’s Melodi Smith notes that the looks of faces in the rooms are “priceless: delight, tears, confusion.” WK Elizabeth Vanmetre of Daily News wrote that “Having Adam Levine crash your wedding would be the icing on any wedding cake.” WK There were some accusations that the video was staged and filmed with actors, but USA Today’s Carly Mallenbaum analyzed the video to determine that at least two of the weddings were real. WK

“Sugar” was nominated for a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance.


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Last updated 7/21/2023.