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Rody McCorley Come, Tender hearted Christians, attention pay to me 'Til 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 'Til 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 wouldn't have 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 soeed, "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, 'Til Michael sounds his trumpet loud and says, "Ye dead, arise!" From More Irish Street Ballads, O Lochlainn note: This is the authentic 1798 ballad, given to me by my friend Benedict Kiely. LOC RG
Thanks to Mudcat for the Digital Tradition!