“Rodney’s Glory” is a barndance. It is also a set dance version of Turlough O’Carolan’s air “Princess Royal” (or “Miss MacDermott”). The title “Rodney’s Glory,” was derived from verses by the poet Eoghain Rua Ó Súilleabháin (1748-82) in 1782, set to O’Carolan’s tune. The song commemorates a 1782 naval battle in the American Revolutionary War in which George Rodney (d. 1792), then vice-admiral of Great Britain, encountered a French fleet under the brave Admiral Comte De Grasse. “The Battle of the Saints” or “Les Saintes” (named after Les Isles des Saintes, in the West Indies between Guadeloupe and Dominica), as the engagement was called, was one of the most important sea battles in wooden-ship history. Rodney’s thirty-three ships broke the French line-of-battle of thirty-seven ships in two places, when, after the fleets had nearly passed each other on opposite tacks, a change of wind favored the British. The result was the capture of the French admiral and flagship along with five other ships. It was to be the final battle of the War of the American Revolution. Although it did not negate Washington’s victory at Yorktown, it did preserve Britain’s West Indian territories. Rodney was rewarded with a peerage although he came in for criticism from arm-chair toffee-nosed Brits for not following up his initial victory with the destruction of the remainder of the French fleet. Ó Súilleabháin served on The Formidable, a ship which saw some of the severest fighting and thus the poem “Rodney’s Glory” is a first-hand account of the battle. This tune is also called “Praises on Limerick” in some tune books.
/ Am / G / C Am / G Dm / Am / G (Em) / Am G / Am 😐
/ Am / / G Em / G / Am C / Am / Am C / G / Am (G) Am / G Em / Am G / Am 😐