Molly Malone Statue

Molly Malone Statue
Saint Andrew’s Church Tourist Office
submitted by UrbanDragon (Scott)

Scott recently sent a few photos from one of his trips to Ireland. He has been a fantastic contributor to RoadsideWonders. Click here to see his finds.

Molly Malone is the subject of Dublin’s most famous folk song. The song tells of a young woman who sold cockles and mussels as she wheeled her barrow along the streets of Dublin in the 17th century and later succumbed to a fever from which “no one could save her”. There doesn’t appear to be any evidence that she was a real person; but many people over the years have been obsessed with proving her existence. The statue, created by Jeanne Rynhart, was originally placed in Grafton Street in 1988. It was moved to Suffolk Street in 2014 due to a construction project at the Grafton location.

This statue is one among many in the world that are famous for visitors “burnishing” them in particular spots for good luck. You can tell from Scott’s photos which parts of Molly are considered “good luck”. 🙂 My favorite aspect of this sculpture is her boot peeking out from underneath her skit. It really gives a feeling of movement to her.

Scott was traveling with Gerald the Giraffe – seen here making friends with Molly.

Lyrics to the Molly Malone song are below. My personal favorite rendition is Bono singing it during a U2 concert in 2001.

Molly Malone Lyrics

In Dublin’s fair city,
Where the girls are so pretty,
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,
As she wheeled her wheel-barrow,
Through streets broad and narrow,
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!”
“Alive, alive, oh,
Alive, alive, oh,”
Crying “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh”.
She was a fishmonger,
But sure ’twas no wonder,
For so were her father and mother before,
And they wheeled their barrows,
Through the streets broad and narrow,
Crying, “Cockles and mussels, alive, alive, oh!”
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, oh!”

A more traditional version by The Dubliners

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3 Responses to “Molly Malone Statue”

  1. Chris says:

    It fascinating how a fairly innocuous legend gained some much steam and spin-offs. Molly, if she existed, was just an ordinary person trying to get through life. She didn’t save Dublin or talk with elves or marry a king. She was just Molly. But Molly has lived forever, which is cool.

    • wendyvee says:

      Yep, it would be hard to imagine someone singing about a cashier at Target 300 years from now.
      That said, singers with Irish accents could sing the tax code and I would listen to them.


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