Roddy McCorley lyrics and chords

The lyrics to this popular version of Roddy McCorley were written by Ethna Carbery in 1898 but were not published until 1904.

Roddy McCorley
Captured and Executed
Original Version
Belfast Newsletter
Videos

They tell the story of the execution of McCorley for his part in the 1798 Irish Rebellion.

The chords here are given in C Major – the key used by Shane MacGowan and The Popes.

The Clancy Brothers play it in the key of E Flat Major. If you want to play it in E flat then you can do so by putting a capo on the third fret of the guitar and using the chord shapes given below.

The Dubliners featuring Ciaran Bourke on vocals sing it in D Major. Place a capo on the second fret and use the chord shapes below to play in D Major.

Roddy McCorley – lyrics and chords in C Major

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Oh  
C 
see the host of  
Am 
fleet foot  
C 
men,
 
Who  
F 
march with faces  
C 
wan,
 
From farmstead and from  
F 
fishers’ 
 
 
C 
cot,
 
A  
Am 
long the  
F 
banks of  
G 
Ban;
 
They  
C 
come with vengeance  
F 
in their  
C 
eyes.
Am 
Too late!  
F 
Too late are  
G 
they,
 
For  
C 
young Roddy McCorley  
Am 
goes to die
 
On the  
F 
bridge of Toome  
C 
today.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Oh Ireland, Mother Ireland,
You love them still the best
The fearless brave who fighting fall
Upon your hapless breast,
But 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.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Up the narrow street he stepped,
So smiling, proud and young.
About the hemp-rope on his neck,
The golden ringlets clung;
There’s ne’er a tear in his blue eyes,
Fearless and brave are they,
As young Roddy McCorley goes to die
On the bridge of Toome today.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When last this narrow street he trod,

His shining pike in hand
Behind him marched, in grim array,
An earnest stalwart band.
To Antrim town! To Antrim town,
He led them to the fray,
But young Roddy McCorley goes to die
On the bridge of Toome today.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The grey coat and its sash of green

Were brave and stainless then,
A banner flashed beneath the sun
Over the marching men;
The coat hath many a rent this noon,
The sash is torn away,
And Roddy McCorley goes to die
On the bridge of Toome today.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Oh, how his pike flashed in the sun!

Then found a foeman’s heart,
Through furious fight, and heavy odds
He bore a true man’s part
And many a red-coat bit the dust
Before his keen pike-play,
But Roddy McCorley goes to die
On the bridge of Toome today.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There’s never a one of all your dead

More bravely died in fray
Than he who marches to his fate
In Toomebridge town today;
True to the last! True to the last,
He treads the upwards way,
And young Roddy McCorley goes to die
On the bridge of Toome today.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Roddy McCorley
Captured and Executed
Original Version
Belfast Newsletter
Videos
Lyrics and chords

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