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Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?

DigiTrad:
RODDY McCORLEY (Gaelic)
RODGER YOUNG


Related threads:
Review: Roddy McCorley (6)
(origins) Origins: facts behind 'Roddy McCorley' (91)
happy? – Mar 1 (Rody MacCorly hanged) (23)
Rodi Mac Corlai/Roddy McCorley: seek recording (6)
Lyr/Tune Req: Roddy McCorley (12)
CRDS? / History? Roddy McCorley (9)


GUEST,Martin 29 Mar 01 - 11:47 AM
Wolfgang 29 Mar 01 - 11:55 AM
IanC 29 Mar 01 - 11:56 AM
MMario 29 Mar 01 - 12:32 PM
Fiolar 29 Mar 01 - 12:47 PM
Malcolm Douglas 29 Mar 01 - 12:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 29 Mar 01 - 01:24 PM
Jimmy C 29 Mar 01 - 01:31 PM
Jimmy C 29 Mar 01 - 01:41 PM
JedMarum 29 Mar 01 - 01:51 PM
GUEST,Martin 29 Mar 01 - 01:55 PM
MartinRyan 29 Mar 01 - 04:26 PM
MartinRyan 29 Mar 01 - 04:38 PM
Big Tim 30 Mar 01 - 04:36 AM
Liam's Brother 30 Mar 01 - 07:57 AM
Big Tim 30 Mar 01 - 08:47 AM
Fiolar 30 Mar 01 - 08:51 AM
Stewie 30 Mar 01 - 09:48 AM
Big Tim 30 Mar 01 - 12:44 PM
old head 30 Mar 01 - 01:25 PM
Frank McGrath 30 Mar 01 - 06:50 PM
Big Mick 30 Mar 01 - 06:59 PM
Frank McGrath 30 Mar 01 - 08:08 PM
Amos 30 Mar 01 - 08:18 PM
Frank McGrath 30 Mar 01 - 08:57 PM
Frank McGrath 30 Mar 01 - 09:06 PM
Jimmy C 31 Mar 01 - 12:20 AM
Jimmy C 31 Mar 01 - 02:16 AM
Big Tim 31 Mar 01 - 03:15 AM
Fiolar 31 Mar 01 - 04:59 AM
Jimmy C 31 Mar 01 - 11:19 AM
Big Tim 01 Apr 01 - 07:55 AM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Apr 01 - 07:20 PM
Big Tim 02 Apr 01 - 04:26 AM
Art Thieme 02 Apr 01 - 09:59 PM
GUEST,John Moulden in Galway 03 Apr 01 - 12:04 PM
Brendy 03 Apr 01 - 12:09 PM
Big Tim 21 Apr 04 - 04:34 AM
GUEST,paul 28 Nov 12 - 11:45 AM
GUEST,Lighter 28 Nov 12 - 12:22 PM
GUEST,John Moulden 28 Nov 12 - 03:19 PM
GUEST,Roger McGrath 24 Jan 18 - 07:57 PM
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Subject: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: GUEST,Martin
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 11:47 AM

I know the song "Roddy McCorley" is about the 1798 Rebellion. Does anyone know when the actual song is dated from? Would it be authentic to sing this 'as an Irishman' at Civil War re-enactments ? Any thoughts at all would be appreciated.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Wolfgang
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 11:55 AM

Some information (the date of the better known song, e.g.) is in this old thread.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: IanC
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 11:56 AM

I had always assumed this to be quite old but it appears it was written by Ethna Carberry (AD 1866 - 1902). The tune is older.

Here's the entry from the Traditional Ballad Index.

Roddy McCorley
DESCRIPTION: "Oh see the fleet-foot host of men..." who are hurrying to stage a rescue. "For young Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today." They are too late. The song recalls McCorley's actions; he would not turn traitor even to save his life
AUTHOR: Words: Ethna Carberry
EARLIEST DATE: 1961
KEYWORDS: Ireland rebellion death execution
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (2 citations):
Silber-FSWB, p. 324, "Roddy McCorley" (1 text)
DT, RMCORLEY*
File: FSWB324

Cheers!
Ian


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: MMario
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 12:32 PM

?? Ethna Carberry is listed as 1866 to 1902 - earliest dat e of the song known 1961? 1861? 1891?


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Subject: Lyr Add: RODDY MCCORLEY
From: Fiolar
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 12:47 PM

The earlier words are as follows and my notes indicate that they were given by Donal O'Sullivan who had them from Francis-Joseph Bigger(1863 - 1926). This is the earliest version known and Bigger must have had it from another source.

You tender hearted Christians all, now listen unto me,
Till I relate these verses great, these verses two or three,
Concerning of a clever youth was cut off in his bloom,
And died upon the gallows tree, near to the bridge of Toome.

The hero whom I now speak of was proper, tall and straight,
Unto the lofty poplar tree his body was complete,
His growth was like the tufted fir that did ascend the air,
Hung wavering o'er his shoulders broad his links of yellow hair.

This youth was born in sweet Duneane and reared up tenderly,
His parents educated him by all their industry,
Both day and night they sorely toiled all for their family,
Till desolation did come on by cursed perjury.

First the father's life they took, and secondly the son,
The Mother she tore her old grey hair and says,"I am undone:
They took from me my property, my houses and my land,
And in the parish where I was bred, I dare not even stand."

"In Ballyscullion I was betrayed, now woe be to that man,
He swore me a Defender and a foe unto the crown."
Which causes Rody for to lie beneath a spreading thorn,
He sighs and says, "Alas the day that ever I was born."

"Farewell unto sweet Drummail, if in it I had stayed,
Among the Presbyterians there, I n'er had been betrayed
The gallows tree I n'er had seen had I remained there,
For Duffin he betrayed me, and MacErlain he set the snare."

Then young Rody was conveyed to Ballymenagh town,
Was loaded there with irons strong, his bed was the cold ground
And there young Rody he must lie until his hour comes,
Till the court-martial does arrive for to contrive his doom.

"Since it's upon Good Friday, the day I am to die,
The day Christ suffered for us all, Oh! why should I deny,
His head was pierced, His crown was clad with thorns most severe,
They nailed His body to a cross and pierced it with a spear."


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 12:48 PM

It just means that's the earliest documented date they'd seen for the song when they compiled the Index.  A lot of those dates are wrong, I've noticed, but that's hindsight really.

Malcolm


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 01:24 PM

Incidentally it can get confusing, because Ethna Carbery was born Anna Johnston, so that name gets attached to it as well.

But either way, the songs of a lady born in 1866 will never have been sung in the US Civil War, unless Dr Who has got into the act somehwere.

But you've got Thomas Davis and Charles Kickham for a start, so your man needn't go short for a few good rousing songs about the 98 that would have been around for the Civil War.


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Subject: Lyr Add: RODDY MCCORLEY
From: Jimmy C
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 01:31 PM

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.

RODDY (RODY) MC CORLEY

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".


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Jimmy C
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 01:41 PM

It looks like Fiolar was submitting his response as I was typing mine. I notice that I screwed up the last verse which is different to Fiolar's." The more the merrier'.

O'Lachlainn got this version from his friend Benedict Kiely ( A.K.A. Patrick Lagan of teh irish Press)

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
And says " Ye dead arise".


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: JedMarum
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 01:51 PM

The previous thread on this subject has some valuable background info, as well. It's amazing how people respond to this song, even those who've never heard and don't know the background.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: GUEST,Martin
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 01:55 PM

Well, as ever, Mudcatters come through ! Thanks for all the information. I will probably play it but as an instrumental only.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 04:26 PM

The two songs are unconnected, other than as to subject. The "Come Tender hearted christians.." one is definitely the earlier - O'Lochlainn refers to it in a book by Petrie in 1882 - and reckons it is near contemporary to 1798.

Regards

p.s. The Gaelic version of "Oh see the fleet foot hosts.." given in the earlier looks like a relatively recent translation.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: MartinRyan
Date: 29 Mar 01 - 04:38 PM

...earlier thread.... dammit!

Regards


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Big Tim
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 04:36 AM

Carbery's Roddy was published in 1904 in her poetry collection "The Four Winds of Erin". Born Anna Johnston she married the Donegal writer Seamus MacManus but died a few years later. McManus survived her by 58 years. Her father was an old Belfast Fenian and her mother came from rural Donegal so he was raised in a strongly nationalist atmosphere. She lies buried in the little churchyard at Inver about six miles west of Donegal town. Try as I might I have been unable to find the cause of her early death in 1902. Anyone know? PS Roddy McCorley was hanged at Toome(bridge) 28th February 1800 as a common criminal not as a United Irishman. The truth about him will probably never be known as very, very little is documented.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Liam's Brother
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 07:57 AM

Driving on the A6 (the main Belfast - Derry road) for the first time a few years ago, I came to the town of Toomebridge. I believe the place McCorley was hanged was just to the south where the River Bann flows out of the north end of Lough Neagh.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Big Tim
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 08:47 AM

The bridge where he was hanged is now long gone, replaced by the modern one. He was buried on the road beneath the gallows, his body having initially been given up for dissection. His nephew disinterred the body in 1857 when a new road was being built and reburied it in Duneane Protestant Churchyard in an unmarked grave. This need not necessarily imply that Roddy was a Prot as Catholics were often buried in Prot churches at that time. I was assured in Toome that McCorley is "a very, very Catholic name". In fact another Roddy McCorley, of Belfast, was a well known IRA man in the 1920s. An earlier monument to the original Roddy was destroyed and a more recent one stands unmolested, strategically located directly oposite the RUC station in the centre of Toome. It is inscribed, in both English and Irish,"In memody of Rody[correct spelling] McCorley who was hanged here for his part in the rising of 1798. Those who died for Ireland let not their memory die". As I said earlier it's a moot point whether Roddy "died for Ireland". He was a member of Thomas Archer's gang of murdererers and robbers who terrorised the area for a couple of years after the rising. Archer was hanged soon after Roddy. However Roddy had probably fought at the Battle of Antrim though he certainly did not, as Carbery put it, "lead them to the fray".


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Fiolar
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 08:51 AM

To Big Tim: According to the Dictionary of Irish Biography she died in 1911. However the The Oxford Companion to Irish Literature shows her death as 1902. Amazing how "expert" sources can differ.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Stewie
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 09:48 AM

The version that Fiolar posted is the same as song #17 in Georges-Denis Zimmermann's 'Songs of Irish Rebellion'. Zimmermann has the same note - that he had it from Donal O'Sullivan who had it from Francis-Joseph Bigger. However, the text in Zimmermann has an additional 4 stanzas that accord with, but differ textually from, the latter verses in the O Lochlainn version posted by Jimmy C. His title is 'Rody Mac Corly' and the additional stanzas are:

They called upon an armed band, an armed band came soon
To guard this clever tall young man down to the Bridge of Toome
Since it's upon Good Friday he'll executed be
Convenient to the Bridge of Toome upon the gallows tree

He called upon Priest Devlin and his reverence came with speed
Here is one of Christ's shepherds now one of his flock to feed
He gave him the Heavenly Food that nourished his soul
That it might live eternally when his body is in moul'

Young Rody he stepped forward then, the scaffold he ascends
He looked east, he looked west, to view his loving friends
And turning round unto the north, he cries, 'O cruel Sam
It was you that proved my overthrow, you brought me as I am'

He then looked up unto the Lord and cries, 'O Lord receive
Here is a soul, I do bestow my body to the grave
That it may lie in peace and rest without the least surprise
Till Michael's trumpet sounds loud and says, 'The dead all rise'


--Stewie.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Big Tim
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 12:44 PM

Jimmy C: how do you know that Roddy was a Presbyterian? ATQ Stewart states it in The Summer Soldiers but with no backing evidence. The original ballad (not Carbery) states that he received the last rites from a Father Devlin. It was also a father Devlin (prob the same) who denounced him from the pulpit and convinced the Catholic community that he should be turned in. Also, McCorley is a very Catholic name. I'd be happy to be proved wrong but I'd need evidence.

Fiolar: yea same in my copy of Biog Dict but a mistake, prob a misprint, definitely 1902. "Erin" was pubd postumously in 1904. I think that EC's Roddy is one of the finest ballads in the nationalist canon, just exuding rebel spirit and sentiment, though it's probably based on, let's be charitable, a selective reading of the the historical reality. For Seamus MacManus's 1918 brief biog of EC check: http://digital.library.upenn.edu/women/carbery/carbery.html. It's headed "A Celebration of Women Writers". Please post if successful.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: old head
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 01:25 PM

My mother told me about this, back in the 1940's, her maiden name was Liddy and McErlane had married into her family.I was led to believe, that Roddy was a protestant and was hung as an example to both protestants and catholics


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Frank McGrath
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 06:50 PM

"Rody McCorley was a Presbyterian from Duneane who took part in the rising in Antrim (1798). After over a year in hiding he was betrayed, tried in Ballymena and hanged in Toome on 28th of Feb 1800. (This has been established by John Moulden from contemporary newspaper accounts.) The first of these songs is the older ballad, probably composed in or soon after 1800.
The second ballad, by Ethna Carbery (Anna MacManus b. 1866), was written in the 1890's and may have been based on the older one."

This is a quote from the excellent new book "The Age of Revolution in the Irish Song Tradition - 1776 to 1815", compiled and edited by Terry Moylan, published by Lilliput Press (www.lilliputpress.ie), ISBN 1-901866-49-1.
This book is a must buy for anyone interested in Irish songs of that period.

Frank McGrath


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Big Mick
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 06:59 PM

Frank, does Moylan source his assertion that McCorley was a Presbyterian. That is what I had always heard, as well, but Tim's two posts on the issue intrigue me.

All the best,

Mick


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Frank McGrath
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 08:08 PM

Howya Big Mick,
John Moulden should be the expert on this subject. I hope he'll contribute.
I have very little information but I picked up this interesting little snippet - "he was originally a presbterian from a small townland called Duneane, and his memorial stands beside the new bridge in Toome. He was buried on the bridge so that everyone passing from Derry to Belfast would have to walk over his remains, as this was the only way to cross the river Bann. This would also serve as a reminder to any one in the rebellion the price they would pay. His remains were later removed buried in a small graveyard near the village. He is commorated every Easter Tuesday by a march through Toomebridge and a service beside the memorial."
This seems to imply that he changed religion somewhere along the line. I'll do a little digging and see what I can find.
Very best regards.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Amos
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 08:18 PM

I have sung and loved this song for thirty-five years, compelled by the images -- however fictional - of the hurrying hosts of men coming to save a blonde hero with a rope around his neck. I am grateful to all of you who have finally added the depth of reality to my shallow vision. I still love the song, and will sing it anyway just as written, but I am really grateful for your labors and erudition. Many thanks.

A


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Frank McGrath
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 08:57 PM

Here are the lyrics from Terry Moylan's book which are almost identical to Tim's.

Rody McCorley

Come tender hearted 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 yellow hair.

In sweet Duneane this youth was born and reared up tenderly,

His parents 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 grey 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 ne'er had been betrayed,

The gallows tree I'd ne'er have 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 came soon,

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 is 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 rise"


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Frank McGrath
Date: 30 Mar 01 - 09:06 PM

Sorry about the formatting - let's try again.

RODY MCCORLEY

Come tender hearted 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 yellow hair.

In sweet Duneane this youth was born and reared up tenderly,
His parents 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 grey 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 ne'er had been betrayed,
The gallows tree I'd ne'er have 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 came soon,
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 is 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 rise"


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Jimmy C
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 12:20 AM

Big Tim, I have no definite proof one way or the other that McCorley was a presbyterian. I was always told that he was by old neighbours of ours in Newbridge, about a mile from Toome. Their families have been there for generations while I was only there for 6 years and was really young at the time. I have however been back in Toome dozens of times since and as I hope to be in Toomebridge this coming May I will see if I can find out anything more about this subject. I am sure the local historical society will have some information.
It is interesting to read the responses about him, everything from a convert to catholicism, a rebel turned outlaw etc.

I have just finished a wonderful little book " Episodes and Anecodes - Ulster in 1798". by Robert Young. This book contains details of an interview (given verbatim) between Reverend Classen Porter of Larne who interviewwd a James Burns in 1863. James burns (a weaver) participated in the battle of Antrim and Randalstown. He was also present with McCracken and others after the battle when they had retreated to Slemish, just before McCracken was arrested on his way to escape. His accounts about the battle of Antrim and Randalstown are very detailed but nowhere in the whole interview does he mention McCorley. Which leads me to believe that Rody may have been just a follower and possibly a highwayman later. The McCorley name is considered a catholic one but so is McCracken and Henry Joy was definitely a presbyterian. I will let you know if I find out anything more about him, The little book by the way was published by Davidson Books, Broomhill Road, Spa, Ballynahinch, Co. Down,


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Jimmy C
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 02:16 AM

Big Tim

I meant to add this to my previous response. This is taken from the Linenhall Library Web Site devoted to the 1798 rebellion. You can get to this site by going to the Belfast Telegraph site and selecting "United Irishmen". Lots of great stuff there.

But it still does not settle the question of his religion ?

In 1792 (and again in 1793) the government undermined Catholic support for the United Irish through the enactment of catholic relief acts. This, together with the overwhelming numbers of Presbyterians in Mid-Antrim, meant that those who rebelled at Antrim in 1798 were almost exclusively of the Presbyterian religion.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Big Tim
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 03:15 AM

Thanks friends for you most helpful ideas. I am a member of the United Irishmen website referred to and have copies of all the books, Zimmerman, O'Lochlainn, etc. Jimmy C; re Roddy's religion: there is a tradition that after Roddy's father disappeared (hung or transported) that his mother retreated to Bellaghy across the Bann (her native area, and home of Seaumus Heaney) but later returned to Milltown (Duneane) and remarried, to a man called Orr, thought to be a Presby but definitely not William Orr, executed in 1797, also a native of Milltown. Orr was almost certainly a Presby so maybe this is where the religious difficilty originated. Roddy may have been a Defender (exclusively Catholic) and it is established that Defenders participated in the Battle of Antrim, the rest were almost exclusively Presby plus some Episcopalians, for example Henry Monro. Roddy's mother's maiden name was McErlean so possibly it was a relative who finally turned him in. It is also a "Catholic" name. The McCracken name is of Scottish origin and usually regarded as Prot, I know many folk of that name here in Glasgow and they all support Rangers!!!! Here is the text of the Belfast Newletter report of Roddy's execution, which I got from Queen's Uni in Belfast: "Extract of a letter from Ballymena, Sunday, 2nd March. [1800] Upon Friday last, a most awful procession took place here, namely the execution of Roger[sic]McCorley who was lately convicted at a court-martial, to the place of execution, Toome Bridge, the unfortunate man having been born in that neighbourhood. As a warning to others, it is proper to observe that the whole of his life was devoted to disorderly proceedings of every kind, for many years past, scarcely a Quarter-sessions occurred but what the name of ROGER McCORLEY [sic} appeared in a variety of criminal cases. His body was given up to dissection and afterwards buried under the gallows...thus of late we have got rid of six of those nefarious wretches who have kept this neighbourhood in the greatest misery for some time past, namely, Stewart, Dunn, Ryan,McCorley, Caskey and the notorious Dr. Linn..the noted ARCHER[sic[ will soon be in our Guard-room". {The gang murdered an innocent farmer while robbing his home].There is also a contemporary ballad about Archer, a Ballymena shoemaker who deserted from the Gov Militia and joined the United men and fought bravely at the Battle of Antrim after which he "went to the bad". "Archer the bold mileshyman[militia], turned out in'98, not a sodger o' the king, but his yeo's to bate[beat], Hunted by the bloody Fencibles in places remote, Betrayed was he to die a slave on Ballymena's Moat [Harryville motte in Ballymena, where Ethna C was born]. I have a bit more on Roddy but can't post it all just now. My main source for much of this is a little booklet by a local history teacher[in nearby Portglenone] pubd about 20 years ago called "Roddy McCorley: A Study of Evidence", it is no longer available but I have photocoped much of it, wish now that I had copied the lot. It can though be borrowed thru Northern Ireland public libraries. I have the McCorley family gravestone inscriptions from Duneane Parish Church which disappeared (to vandals?) in 1907, not particularly helpful but very interesting and atmospheric. I have no particular theory to expound or agenda to advance, I am only interested in the historical realty as far as it can be traced. All the best guys.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Fiolar
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 04:59 AM

The fact that Ethna Carbery died young could have been due to a number of items, but one which springs to mind is Tuberculosis or as it was once known "Consumption." It was a curse at one time and many thousands succumbed to it before the days of the discovery of the drugs which controlled it. For those interested the poem "The Dying Girl" by Richard Dalton Williams (1821 - 1862) gives a poignant description of the death of one young person. Williams himself was born in Dublin, trained as a doctor and emigrated to the USA where he practised medicine in New Orleans where he died by a dreadful irony of Tuberculosis. Below is verse one of seven.

From a Munster vale they brought her,
From the pure and balmy air;
An Ormond peasant's daughter,
With blue eyes and golden hair -
They brought her to the city,
And she faded slowly there.
Consumption has no pity
For blue eyes and golden hair.

Regarding Ethna Carbery, MacManus himself wrote beautifully about her and what better way to end than in his words - "And thus, when she was elatedly congratulating herself that her work for Ireland was begun in earnest, she suddenly found the Noiseless One, leaning on her shoulder, take the pen from her eager hand and across the well-begun page write - FINIS."


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Jimmy C
Date: 31 Mar 01 - 11:19 AM

Tim.

That's great, thanks for the info.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Big Tim
Date: 01 Apr 01 - 07:55 AM

Here are the inscriptions mentioned above, this just about completes all that I have on Roddy, hope my rather negative postings haven't shattered too many ilusions. I haave also investaigated Kelly,Father John Murphy, Thomas Russell, McCracken , Monro, Samuel Neilson, Tone, Thomas Davis, Devoy, Myles Byrne, etc and they are all sound!! First inscription "This stone belongs to John McCorley, Here lieth the body of Felix McCorley, Who died the 13th April 1768 aged eleven months, And Ann McCorley who died June he 1st 1769 aged 4 years" Second inscription: " I.H.S., This to the memory of Roger McCorley, Who departed this life May 12th 1772 aged 61 years". The woman who wrote the pamphlet implies but does not categorically state that this is the Roddy family grave tho no attempt is made to establish any possible relationship with any of those named. Also she draws no conclusions about Roddy as a rebel or a criminal as the purpose of her pamphlet was as a teaching aid for students, stressing the necessity of assessing all available evidence before arriving at conclusions especially in the NI context. She also quotes a 1907 newspaper article on Roddy by Francis Joseph Bigger, which isn't really very helpful but does show that back then also Roddy's reputation as a rebel hero was well established. Bigger was a friend of Ethna Carbery. Ironically,sadly and downright insanely, his own grave was blown up by "loyalists" in the 1970s.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Apr 01 - 07:20 PM

Spell it Macaulay and they'd say it was a Protestant name. Anyway, you can't tell religion from surnames, then or now. More chance from first names, if you have to. But a name like Roddy wouldn't tell you one way or the other.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Big Tim
Date: 02 Apr 01 - 04:26 AM

Yea, McG of H, I am well aware of that - there aren't many Catholics in NI with the first name of Samuel or Protestants called Shane or even, more innocuously, Paul. However I just used that line of thought as one of a few pieces of circumstancial "evidence" that Roddy may have been a Cath; the associations with Father Devlin, his mother's maiden name also being a Catholic one, in the old ballad "they swore me a Defender" (exclusively Cath secret society, forerunner of the Ribbonmen and of IRA). Also most McCorleys in NI today are Caths. Also the name is derived from the Gaelic" MacThoirdealbhaigh". As is Roddy from "Ruiadhri" - Rory. Roddy has trad been referred to as a Presby but I can only repeat what I said before, "where's the evidence". PS - I don't give a damn whether he was a Cath or a Presby. I'm only interested in the truth.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Art Thieme
Date: 02 Apr 01 - 09:59 PM

Grand thread people. I only came to this song through the Clancy's old records. I loved the tune and had fun with it on the banjo for years--G tuning--but I never learned all the words. Am gonna save this stuff for certain.

Thanks,

Art Thieme


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: GUEST,John Moulden in Galway
Date: 03 Apr 01 - 12:04 PM

From here I'm in no position to answer many of the questions posed by these postings. However, the Belfast Newsletter (at that stage an establishment paper) has, through late 1799 and early 1800, reports of a "lawless banditti" which was operating in the area around Kells, it was led by a man called [Thomas?] Archer and also included a man known as "Doctor" Lynn. All these were rounded up and executed at about the same time as Roddy/Rody - who is named in the papers as "Roger" McCorley - hence, since forenames often follow in families, this looks like a possible connection with the family mentioned above. The reports give the impression that McCorley was a Catholic - that may however be a part of the newspaper's political stance. There is no doubt in my mind that Francis J Bigger's attempts - even to having a stone placed near the Bridge commemorating Roddy McCorley who died on "Good Friday 1799" - are confusing rather than helpful.

When I get home I'll look again at this one. For anyone seeking information, the Local Studies Library at Library Headquarters in Ballymena has files on both Archer and McCorley.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Brendy
Date: 03 Apr 01 - 12:09 PM

Telephone and Fax

B.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: Big Tim
Date: 21 Apr 04 - 04:34 AM

A new bridge for Toome over the River Bann. Some people, both republican and loyalist, want to call it after Roddy McCorley. Hope this link works.

http://www.nuzhound.com/articles/irish news/arts 2004/apr15 bridge name.php


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: GUEST,paul
Date: 28 Nov 12 - 11:45 AM

hi
    regarding roddy mccorley being hanged as a common criminal . could i ask you were you read it .was it documented .im intrested inthis subject as well.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: GUEST,Lighter
Date: 28 Nov 12 - 12:22 PM

If the popular words were first published as poetry in 1904, where does the tune come from?

Did it have an earlier title or set of words attached to it?


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: GUEST,John Moulden
Date: 28 Nov 12 - 03:19 PM

The accounts of Archer, Lynn, McCorley and their associates are in the Belfast Newsletter in late 1799 and early 1800. The date of McCorley's execution was reported as 28th February in page 3 of the issue of 4th March.There is an Index of the Newsletter 1737-1800 at Louisiana University.

There are two distinct songs, the Ethna Carbery one and another which is roughly contemporary with the events. The latter is in G-D Zimmermann Songs of Irish Rebellion.


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Subject: RE: Roddy McCorley: date of origin ?
From: GUEST,Roger McGrath
Date: 24 Jan 18 - 07:57 PM

Hi
I am a descendent of Roddy McCorley. My grandfather was Felix McCorley, originally from Belfast. When I was growing up we were told that Roddy Mc Corley was our ggggg grandfather. If it is of any help to students of history, we are a catholic family. Regards Roger


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