Cockles and Mussels
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Barry Taylor


Information
Lyrics
This is also known as Molly Malone.

The earliest known version of Cockles and Mussles was published in London in 1884 by Francis Brothers and Day. The song is there described as "a comic song" written and composed by James Yorkston (of Scotland) and arranged by Edmund Forman. Because it is noted as printed with permission of an Edinburgh firm, there was clearly an earlier version. Although the song is the unofficial anthem of Dublin and generally regarded as Irish, it was, in fact, written by a Scotsman.

Although much speculation has arisen as to the "true" identity of Molly Malone and her vocation, she is not traceable to a source and most legends are fake.

In Dublin's fair city
Where girls are so pretty
Twas there that I first met
Sweet Molly Malone
As she wheeled her wheelbarrow
Through streets broad and narrow
Mussels,
Cockles and mussels, alive, alive oh
Alive, alive oh, alive, alive oh,
Crying,
Cockles and mussels, alive, alive oh

Now she was a fishmonger
And sure twas no wonder
For so were her mother
Ad father before
And they each
Wheeled their barrows
Through 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
Now her ghost
Wheels her barrow
Through streets
Broad and narrow
Crying,
Cockles and mussels, alive, alive oh
From
The Fireside Book of Folk Songs
See Bibliography for full information.