Mudcat Café message #428559 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #32544   Message #428559
Posted By: Jimmy C
29-Mar-01 - 01:31 PM
Thread Name: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
Subject: Lyr Add: RODDY MCCORLEY
I lived beside the Bridge of Toome from 1941 to 1946, and I am sure I learned this song when very young, so the date is well before 1961, probably as Mario said 1891.

BTW - Here is the authentic 1798 ballad about McCorley, it is in O'Lachlainn's book "More Irish Street Ballads." Also in this book is the better known song which is described as Ethna Carberry's modern version of the events.

Roddy McCorley was a young Presbyterian from Duneane whose family had been evicted from their farm after the death of his father, he went into hiding for almost a year following the rebellion, He was later betrayed, tried by court martial at Ballymena and hanged near " the Bridge of Toome" on Good Friday 1799.


Come tenderhearted Christians all, attention pay to me
Till I relate these verses great These verses two or three
Concerning of a clever youth Who was cut off in his bloom
And died upon the gallows tree Near to the bridge of Toome

The hero now I speak of He was proper tall and straight
Like to the lofty poplar tree His body was complete
His growth was like the tufted fir That does ascend the air
And waving o'er his shoulders broad The locks of golden hair

In sweet Duneane this youth was born and reared up tenderly
His parent's educated him all by their industry
Both day and night they sorely toiled all for their family
Till desolation it came on by cursed perjury

'Twas first the father's life they took and secondly the son,
The mother tore her old gray locks She says, "I am undone"
They took from me my property my houses and my land
And in the parish where I was born, I dare not tread upon

"Farewell unto you sweet Drumaul if in you I had stayed
Among the Presbyterians I would not have been betrayed
The gallows tree I'd ne'er had seen had I remained there
For Dufferin you betrayed me McErlean you set the snare

In Ballyscullion I was betrayed, Woe be unto the man
Who swore me a defender and a foe unto the crown
Which causes Rody for to lie beneath the spreading thorn
He'll sigh and say "Alas the day that ever I was born

Soon young Rody was conveyed To Ballymena town
He was loaded there with irons strong His bed was the cold ground
And there young Rody he must wait Until the hour has come
When a court/martial does arrive For to contrive his doom

They called upon an armed band An armed band soon came
To guard the clever tall young youth Down to the bridge of Toome
And when young Rody he came up The scaffold to ascend
He looked at east and looked at west To view his loving friends

And turning round unto the north He cried "O faithless friend
"Twas you who proved my overthrow And brought me to this end
Since 'tis upon Good Friday That i'll executed be
Convenient to the Bridge of Toome Upon a gallows tree

They called on Father Devlin His reverence came with speed
"here's one of Christ's own flock" he said "ye shepherds for to feed,
He gave to him the Heavenly food That nourishes the soul
that it may rest eternally While his body is in the mould

And looking up unto the Lord He says "O Lord receive"
Here is my soul,I do bestow My body unto the grave
That it may rest in peace and joy Without the least surprise
'Till Michael sounds his trumpet loud And says " Ye dead arise".