"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.
The song tells the fictional tale of a beautiful
fishmonger who plied her trade on the streets of
Dublin, but who died young, of a fever. In the late
20th century a legend grew up that there was a
historical Molly, who lived in the 17th century. She is
typically represented as a hawker by day and part-time
prostitute by night. In contrast she has also been
portrayed 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, of the
17th century or at any other time. 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. Nevertheless, in 1988
the Dublin Millennium Commission endorsed claims about
a Mary Malone who died on 13 June 1699, and proclaimed
13 June to be "Molly Malone day".
The English 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!"
Although this work was originally written for Folk
Instruments, I created this arrangement for Flute &
Concert (Pedal) Harp.