MOLLY MALONE

Suffolk Street

PUBLIC WRITING COMPETITION WINNER
MOLLY MALONE

MOLLY MALONE

Suffolk Street

PUBLIC WRITING COMPETITION WINNER
Unknown

animated by: Maria Doyle Kennedy

Michaela Mcmahon

competition winner: Michaela Mcmahon

Molly Malone" is a popular  folk song which has become the city’s  unofficial anthem . The  song has been recorded by everyone from  U2  to Sinéad O'Connor, to  folk legends The Dubliners. 

The lyrics tells the fictional  tale of a young fishmonger who plied her trade on  Dublin’s  streets . and  died tragically  of a fever.  There is no evidence that the song is based on a real woman Some elements of the lyrics do  have  historic links however.  During the 1800s, the expression "Dublin's fair city" was often used to describe the capital . And the phrase, "alive, alive O",  was   indeed shouted by street vendors selling oysters  and  mussels .   

Today Molly Malone is  part of the texture of Dublin life.  Her statue ,installed in  1988, is Dublin’s most photographed.  Moreover she has her own holiday: The  Dublin Millennium Commission  proclaimed  June 13  to be officially  "Molly Malone day" ,

What does the statue of Molly have to say for herself?   Molly Malone’s monologue  was  created through  a public writing competition held with the Abbey Theatre, Failte Ireland, Dublin City Council and Sing London.  The winning piece  was  written  by  Michaela Mcmahon, an  American   exchange student  studying English at  University College Cork .  

“I had to solve different challenges,” says Michaela “  How do you write from the perspective of a figure who is more of an amalgamation  than an actual  historic figure.  The song lyrics  tell us  a little bit about Molly Malone.  As a writer, my job was to try to  fill  in the blanks and  to give her a  new sense of  resonance”.