MOLLY MALONE

Posted on Posted in Breedloves's Folk Songs

MOLLY MALONE

Molly Malone” (also known as “Cockles and Mussels” or “In Dublin’s Fair City”) is a
popular song, set in Dublin, Ireland, which has become the unofficial anthem of Dublin
City. It has also in Ireland acquired the status of an Irish anthem. The song tells the tale of
a beautiful fishmonger who plied her trade on the streets of Dublin, but who died young,
of a fever. Recently a legend has grown up that there was a historical Molly, representing
her variously as a hawker by day and part-time prostitute by night, or – in contrast – as
one of the few chaste female street-hawkers of her day. However, there is no evidence
that the song is based on a real woman who lived in the 17th century, or at any other time,
despite claims that records of her birth and death have been located. The name Molly
originated as a familiar version of the names Mary and Margaret. While many such
“Molly” Malones were born in Dublin over the centuries, no evidence connects any of
them to the events in the song.
In Dublin’s fair city, where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
As she wheeled her wheelbarrow through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!
A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O!
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!
She was a fishmonger and sure it was no wonder
For so were her father and mother before
And they both wheeled their barrows through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!
A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O!
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!
She died of a fever and no one could save her
And that was the end of sweet Molly Malone
Now her ghost wheels her barrow through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!
A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O!
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O!
A-live a-live O! A-live a-live O!
Crying cockles and mussels alive a-live O