Molly Malone

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Melody - Seq. by Richard Kopp
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Traditional

In Dublin's fair city,
Where girls are so pretty,
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,
As she pushed her wheelbarrow
Through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive oh"!
Chorus:
Alive, alive oh! alive, alive oh!
Crying, "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive oh"!

2. Now she was a fishmonger,
And sure twas no wonder,
For so were her mother and father before,
And they each wheeled their barrow,
Through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, "Cockles and mussels, alive, alive oh"!
Chorus:

3. 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, alive oh"!
Chorus:


Emmanuel Kehoe writes:

"Cockles and Mussels" is a dirge for an 18th century fishmonger (almost certainly an historical figure) who died in one of the cholera epidemics that regularly swept the city of Dublin. Molly possibly was a part-time bawd and the song is alluded to with sexual innuendo by Leopold Bloom, the hero of James Joyce's Ulysses. The doleful ballad, invested with bizarre brio by football crowds, has become Dublin's anthem. A life-size bronze statue of Molly pushing a handcart and wearing a rather revealing dress stands across the road from Trinity College, Dublin. Dubliners, who have taken to giving their statues rhyming nick-names refer to it as "The Tart with The Cart".

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