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Roddy McCorley

Words by Ethna Carberry, Tune - traditional

1) O, see how the fleet-foot host of men speed with faces wan
From farmstead and from fisher's cot, along the banks of Bann.
They come with vengeance in their eyes, too late, too late are they,
For young Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today

2) Up the narrow street he steps smiling, proud and young.
About the hemp rope on his neck, the golden ringlets clung.
There is never a tear in his blue eyes, both glad and bright are they,
As young Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today

3) When he last stepped up that street, his shining pike in hand,
Behind him marched in grim array, a stalwart, earnest band,
For Antrim town, for Antrim town, he led them to the fray.
And young Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today

4) The gray coat and its sash of green were brave and stainless then,
A banner flashed beneath the sun o'er all the marching men;
The coat hath many a rent this noon; the sash is torn away.
As Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today.

5) There is never a one of all your dead more bravely fell in fray
Than he who marches to his fate on the bridge of Toome today.
True to the last, true to the last, he treads the upward way.
And young Roddy McCorley goes to die on the bridge of Toome today