American Old Time Song Lyrics: 16 Patrick Riley

Theater, Music-Hall, Nostalgic, Irish & Historic Old Songs, Volume 16

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

Alas! 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, McConnick was her name,
When she heard we were for parting, straightway to me she came,
Saying: Pat, can this be possible, you're going to prove unkind.
And leave me broken-hearted in sorrow here behind?

Dear Ann, I said, be not afraid, it's you I do adore,
My daily thoughts shall 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 I will make you my wife.

With this she seemed quite reconciled, and home straightway she went.
And early the next morning to Captain Pilot went;
She swore that I waylaid her and used her barbarously,
And robbed her of a purse of gold, which proved my destiny.

The police then soon surrounded me, as yon shall understand.
And marched me off to Liffy jail by the Magistrate's command:
It's there I lay in irons until my trial day,
Oh, little was my notion she'd swear my life away.

On the twenty-first of July last my trial it came on.
This maid being void of scripture before the judge did stand:
She swore that I waylaid her and robbed her of five pound.
And thought to force her to a pool where she would soon be drowned.

The judge then charged the jury with words that were severe.
Saying: This maid must now he rightified for all that she did swear;
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 the tears from my eyes did flow.
Thinking to leave my mother in sorrow, grief and woe;
And she being far advanced in years, having no child but me,
How will she stand to see her son upon the gallows tree.
As I am going to face my God all on this very day,
I never injured that false maid that swore my life away:
The time is fast approaching, I have no more to say.
May the Lord have mercy on my soul, good Christians for me pray.
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