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Be Careful What You Touch

In Dublin’s Fair City – where the girls are so pretty ….

Does that line ring a bell?  Did you find yourself singing along the words of Sweet Molly Malone.  Perhaps you have seen her statue in Dublin.

dublin statue blog

Well Molly has a bit of a problem.  As you can see from the sculpture her outfit is a bit revealing and it has now become a “thing” to go and rub her boobs and get a photo. 

In fact if you look through the hundreds of photos posted by tourists with Molly you can see how her boobs are actually being shined.  This has happened to a number of famous bronze statues and as one expert stated –   “When people rub a particular area of the statue on a regular basis, they’re effectively polishing it and rubbing off the oxide that’s slowly forming. Because the oxide doesn’t have time to build up, that area is the color of the underlying metal.”

The local council however is getting fed up of this because they say it is disrespectful of Molly Malone and her history.  Although not much is known of her history.  She was a poor girl working in the fish market selling shell fish and died of a fever.  The locals have another name for her – The Tart with the Cart”.  Poor Molly Malone.

It’s a relatively new statue – dating back to 1988 – but clearly it is a destination for Instagram people.

dublin statue 2 blog

Local people have got so fed up with this ….

dublin statue 3 blog

Although the Dublin City Council refers to this green writing as vandalism.  What do you think?\

Eventually the Council may move the statue to a safer place – and poor Molly can relax for a while.

The lyrics of the song are quite sad –

In Dublin’s fair city
Where the girls are so pretty
I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone
As she wheeled her wheelbarrow
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
And sure ’twas no wonder
For so were her father and mother before
And they both wheeled their barrows
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 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

No wonder they say that her ghost still haunts the place.

So if you are ever in Dublin and Molly is still on display – spare a thought for who she represented and try not to rub her boobs. 

It’s what they call “inappropriate touching” in today’s world 😊


6 Responses

  1. When we were visiting in Ireland in 2019 our day tour guides frequently told us to meet at the statue of Molly Malone as it was a great place for buses to park temporarily. Therefore we saw Molly quite a few times that trip. Interesting that we never saw anyone actually touching her boobs. Perhaps it is a post-pandemic thing? We certainly did notice that she was very well endowed… you simple can’t miss that. LOL

    1. Yes I had to wonder if they really dressed like that. I googled some old pictures of the fish market and it seemed that the women were quite bundled up. But then…. if you are selling cockles maybe that is required (sorry!!)

  2. Oh Lesley …. loved this one. My mother was Irish and could play the piano well (by ear). I was a young girl and remember her playing this song at parties my dad and her would host ….. and everyone standing around the piano singing away. Thank you for all the words to the song …… I had no idea who Sweet Molly Malone was ….. but I do now! And yes, she was soo pretty!

    1. Aw….. that’s so heartwarming. My mom was Irish too and I am going to visit my cousins in Dublin in May. I will have to go and say hello to Molly xxxx

  3. Thanks for sharing this story. I have heard the song and appreciate the story you shared. I am going to Ireland in August and hope to see the statue.

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The Travel Lady

Lesley Keyter is the face of travel in the fast growing city of Calgary. Every week since 1997 she has has featured live on the Morning News Global TV.

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