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Origins: Bold McDermott Roe

raheenranger 14 Jun 14 - 06:14 PM
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Subject: ADD: Bold McDermott Roe
From: raheenranger
Date: 14 Jun 14 - 06:14 PM

I found the following song on a recording by Wallace House(1956 I think) It is available, along with a batch of rebellious ballads, on Spotify (just search for Wallace House - Irish Songs of Resistance.
It has the look and feel of a Street Ballad.

The following plus a lot more is available on the Internet:
Thomas McDermott Roe (born c 1851) was Colonel of the Athleague Rangers (Roscommon Militia). During the French Revolution, he joined Lord Edward Fitzgerald and others in Paris to enlist French support for an Irish rebellion.
His brother, Owen, was secretary of the Dublin Society of United Irishmen.

Has anymore more pertinent information on the song, alternative air etc.??


Come all you noble gentlemen so reckless and so bold
My hardships and my miseries I'm going to unfold
McDermott Roe it is my name, a man of birth well known
And by my wicked follies to destruction I was thrown.

I headed the defenders as their Captain 'tis the truth
In the County of Roscommon I was called the undaunted youth
1000 men at my command, no rent I'd let be paid
For to face an army I was born, nor was I e'er afraid.

When my men were taken, I did swear I'd rescue them with speed
Like Hector bold I ventured out but I did not succeed
I fought like any hero till my face was shot away
Nor did I turn a traitor nor lead my boys astray.

So McDermott Roe was taken and laid in Roscommon gaol
Of all my friends both rich and brave, for me they'd take no bail
Whilst I was at assizes tried and each time guilty found
But yet they dared not hang me for fear of the country round.

There are numbers in the country would shed salt tears for me
Would venture life and limb to save me from the gallows tree
Farewell dear honoured father, you thousands lost by me
Your trouble grieves me more than going to face the gallows tree.

To Dublin I was brought to hang upon the gallows tree
'Tis little thought I had that time of my nativity
My father was a gentleman and my mother a lady gay
1000 was her fortune upon her wedding day.

There were estated gentlemen that do belong to me
And did I lead a sober life, it's hanged I ne'er would be
I backed the poor against the rich, with them would not agree
And so McDermott Roe must die in shame and misery.

BTW: I have made a few minor alterations for myself to make the song easier to sing.

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