Molly Malone Lyrics:  Singing Cockles and Mussels Alive Alive 'O!

Molly Malone lyrics tell the story of a woman name Molly who sells fish in the streets of Dublin but dies of fever at a young age.  It is an unofficial anthem for the city of Dublin and a wildly popular Irish song. 

Irish Expressions - Molly Malone Statue photocredit Marcial Bernabeau via Flickr

It has been recorded by countless artists, and it is even a sports anthem for many teams.

Things to Know About the Song

Here are some fun facts about Molly Malone lyrics.  Hopefully they will entice you to sing along next time you hear it!

  • Oddly enough, the song might not have been written in Ireland. Some evidence points to it first being written in England, and others claim the original songwriter was Scottish.
  • Molly Malone was a very popular name in Dublin in the 17th century, so it is hard to know if the song was about one woman in particular. The Dublin Millennium Commission, however, endorses the theory that the song is about a Mary Malone who died on the 13th of June in 1699.
  • The song is often referred to by other names, including Cockles and Mussels and In Dublin's Fair City. Overseas, it's even translated into foreign languages. In Holland, the song is called Kokkels en Mossels, and the Russian version can be translated as Molly, My Soul.
  • On Dublin's Grafton Street, there's a statue of Molly. It's a popular spot for tourists to stop and take pictures, and there's almost always someone humming the tune nearby.
  • A staggering number of singers and bands have recorded this song. The most famous version is sung by The Dubliners, but others artists who have released versions include Bing Crosby, U2, Burl Ives and The Saturdays, among many others.

Molly Malone Lyrics

Irish expressions is about having an Irish experience, on demand, wherever you happen to be.  What better way, than to sing along? 

To help you do just that, here are the 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 the streets broad and narrow,

Crying cockles and mussels,

Alive alive o!

Alive alive o!

Alive alive o!

Crying cockles and mussels,

Alive alive o!

She was a fish monger,

And sure it was no wonder,

For so were her

Father and Mother before,

And they both wheeled their barrow,

Through the streets broad and narrow,

Crying cockles and mussels,

Alive alive o!

Alive alive o!

Alive alive o!

Crying cockles and mussels,

Alive alive o!

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 the streets broad and narrow,

Crying cockles and mussels,

Alive alive o!

License:  Standard YouTube License

Music:  "Molly Malone" by The Ferrymen 

Our Favorite Performance

We love this classic live recording ...

Another Version - Which Do You Like Better?

We also enjoy this version from Sinead O'Connor...

Want More Irish Song Lyrics?

It is probably obvious - at Irish Expressions, we love Irish songs!  The music of the Emerald Isle brings people together, telling stories that touch every human emotion.

Learning the lyrics and singing these songs gives us a deeper sense of connection with Ireland, wherever in the world we happen to be!

We have captured 10 of our favorite Irish songs in an e-book we call "An Illustrated Irish Songbook."

This fun, free guide is available to you to download.  Answer two quick questions below to get instant access!

What's Next?

Folk songs like this one are an essential part of Irish culture and heritage. Even if you're not really into folk music, these Irish melodies tell fascinating stories that take you back to special times in Ireland's long and proud history. 

Sing them, listen to them, dance to them, to celebrate Irish culture and share your personal Irish side!

For more information of this type, you may want to pay a visit to our main section on Irish Song Lyrics.

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