Patrick Riley 1

Singer: 

Michael Cassius Dean

Recorder: 

Robert Winslow Gordon

Recording Date: 

Sep. 1924

Location of Recording: 

Canton, St. Lawrence County, New York, USA

Duration: 

0:34

Transcription: 

My name is Patrick Riley, the truth I will make known,
And I was born near Clonis, in the County of Tyronne,
My parents reared me tenderly, they had no child but me,
And with them I lived contented [till the age of twenty-] three.

Rights: 

Duplication of sound recordings may be governed by copyright and other restrictions.

Language: 

en-US

Type: 

Music Recording

Format: 

mp3

Publisher: 

Brian Miller, Emma Dowd, Diane Giebink-Skoglind

Original Format: 

Wax Cylinder

Is Part Of: 

AFS Preservation Reel: AFS 19011A
G83
Misc. 137

Notes: 

One of two fragments of this song recorded by Gordon from Dean.

Folk Song Index Numbers: 

Roud #5494

Alternative Titles: 

Pat O'Reilly

Song Summary: 

Patrick Riley intends to go to America, make a fortune, and return to the County Tyrone. He promises to marry Jane Wilson when he returns. She has him arrested and lies at the trial. He is sentenced to death.

Tags: 

First Line: 

My name is Patrick Riley, the truth I will make known

Full Song Text: 

My name is Patrick Riley, the truth I will make known,
And I was born near Clonis, in the County of Tyronne;
My parents reared me tenderly, they had no child but me,
And with them I lived contented till the age of twenty-three.

It was then I took a notion to cross the raging sea,
In search of some promotion unto America;
To seek employment in that land, a fortune to obtain,
And when I had secured it, to return straight home again.

Alas, I had a sweetheart, Jane Wilson was her name,
And when she heard I was going away, straightway to me she came,
And she said, “Can it be possible that you will prove so unkind,
As to go away and leave me broken-hearted here behind?”

“Dear Jane,” said I, “be not afraid; it’s you I do adore,
My daily thoughts will be of you while on Columbia’s shore,
And when I do return again, if God spares me my life,
Here is my hand in promise that I’ll make you my wife.”

With this she seemed quite reconciled and home straightway she went,
And down to Justice Harrington the very next day she went,
And she swore I had ill-used her, had treated her shamefully,
I had robbed her of her virgin bloom which proved her destiny.

I soon was apprehended, as you may understand,
And they marched me off to Liffy jail at the Magistrate’s command;
It’s there I lay in irons until my trial day,
Oh, little did I ever think she’d swear my life away.

On the twenty-first day of July my trial it came on,
This maid, being void of Scripture, before the judge did stand,
And she swore I had waylaid her and robbed her of five pound,
And tried to force her in a pool where she soon would have been drowned.

The judge then charged the jury with words that were severe,
Saying, “This maid must now be rightified for all she’s had to bear.”
The jury gave their verdict, aloud the judge did cry,
“For your cruelty unto this maid, young Riley, you must die.”

When I received my sentence my eyes with tears did flow,
The thoughts of leaving my mother in sorrow, grief and woe;
She being so far advanced in years and had no child but me,
How could she bear to see me hang upon the gallows tree?

And now as I’m about to meet my God, all on this very day,
I never injured that fair false one that swore my life away;
The time is fast approaching, I have no more to say,
May the Lord receive my soul with joy; good people, for me pray.

Full Song Text Source: