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 (1866-1902)
EARLIEST DATE: c.1798 (Zimmermann)
KEYWORDS: Ireland rebellion death execution
February 28, 1800 - Rody McCorley hanged in Toome. (source: Moylan citing John Moulden)
FOUND IN: Ireland
REFERENCES (5 citations):
OLochlainn-More 100, "Rody MacCorley" (1 text, 1 tune)
Zimmermann 17, "Rody Mac Corly" (1 text, 1 tune)
Moylan 123, "Rody MacCorley" (1 text, 1 tune)
Silber-FSWB, p. 324, "Roddy McCorley" (1 text)
The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, "Roddy McCorley" (on IRClancyMakem02)
cf. "Rody McCorley" (subject)
NOTES [278 words]: The Fiddler's Companion site says "McCurley was a County Antrim rebel leader in the rising of 1798."
The rebels [were] defeated at Antrim in June 1798. If any of [the details in the song "Rody McCorley are] accurate he might have been executed Good Friday, April 6, 1798 or, more likely, March 22, 1799.
Zimmermann: "Rody McCorley was hanged c.1798." [But see Moylan's note.]
A. T. Q. Stewart, The Summer Soldiers: The 1798 Rebellion in Antrim and Down, Blackstaff Press, 1995, p. 156, gives this account: "Of the Toome rebels are remembered at all, it is because of Roddy McCorley. A young Presbyterian from Duneane whose family had been evicted from their farm after the death of his father, he was in hiding for nearly a year after the rebellion before being betrayed, tried by court martial at Ballymena, and hanged 'near the Bridge of Toome' on Good Friday, 1799." In the footnote to this paragraph, Stewart adds, "Though hardly mentioned in Presbyterian annals, Roddy McCorley is a major figure in nationalist martyrology because he became the subject of a famous song." Guess which one.
Moylan: .". by Ethna Carberry (Anna [Johnson] MacManus b. 1866), was written in the 1890s and may have been based on ["Rody McCorley"]. - BS
According to Hoagland, 1000 Years of Irish Poetry, p. 775, the name was spelled "Carbery" (a spelling supported by Granger's Index to Poetry, though Robert Gogan, 130 Great Irish Ballads [third edition, Music Ireland, 2004], p. 112, has the spelling "Ethna Carbury"); her collected poems were published posthumously in The Four Winds of Erin. Granger's cites six of her poems; this, interestingly, is not among them. - RBW..
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