“Roddy McCorley”


"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


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.]

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_); 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..

Historical references

  • February 28, 1800 - Rody McCorley hanged in Toome. (source: Moylan citing John Moulden)

Cross references


  • The Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem, "Roddy McCorley" (on IRClancyMakem02)


  1. OLochlainn-More 100, "Rody MacCorley" (1 text, 1 tune)
  2. Zimmermann 17, "Rody Mac Corly" (1 text, 1 tune)
  3. Moylan 123, "Rody MacCorley" (1 text, 1 tune)
  4. Silber-FSWB, p. 324, "Roddy McCorley" (1 text)
  6. BI, FSWB324


Author: Words: Ethna Carberry (1866-1902)
Earliest date: c.1798 (Zimmermann)
Found in: Ireland