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Molly Malone

Published: 22.04.2010, Updated: 17.07.2013
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Pre-reading
Have you heard the song of Molly Malone?
Who was Molly?

If you walk the streets of Dublin you may come across a statue of a young girl pushing a wheel barrow. In 1988, Dublin celebrated its official millennium anniversary and the statue was erected to Molly Malone’s memory. Since then the Irish celebrate 13 June as Molly Malone’s Day. Who was the real Molly? According to a popular legend Molly is identified as Mary Malone who died of typhoid fever on 13 June 1699. She was a beautiful girl who worked as a fishmonger selling cockles and mussels from Dublin Bay by day. In the dark nights, however, she replaced the shells and fish with her body, offering it to male clients.

Molly MaloneMolly Malone

The song “Molly Malone” or “Cockles and Mussles” was composed to commemorate Molly and the hardships of young women in 17th century Dublin.  It was not published, though, before 1883.  This song has, more or less, become the unofficial anthem of “fair” Dublin and Molly’s name has become familiar all over the world thanks to the popularity of Irish folk music. Hundreds of pubs around the world carry her name.


cockles and mussels= hjerteskjell og blåskjell/hjarteskjel og blåskjell
fishmonger= fiskehandler/fiskehandlar

 

 

Molly Malone - the Song

Listen to the song performed by the Dubliners, an Irish folk group that was formed in 1962, study the lyrics and then try your hand at the interactive tasks.

Molly Malone by the Dubliners 

 

Lyrics

In Dublin's Fair City
Where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
As she wheel'd her wheel barrow
Through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive, alive o!
Chorus
Alive, alive o!, alive, alive o!
Crying cockles and mussels alive, alive o!
She was a fishmonger
But sure 'twas no wonder
For so were her father and mother before
And they each wheel'd their barrow
Through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive, alive o!

Chorus
She died of a fever
And no one could save her
And that was the end of sweet Molly Malone
But her ghost wheels her barrow
Through streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels alive, alive o!
Chorus

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