THIS MONTH’S PARODY (Mar 2014) Cockles & Mussels

COCKLES AND MUSSELS
Irish trad.
The origins of Cockles and Mussels are obscure and the legend of Molly Malone is disputed, though there is no doubting the song’s still-popular appeal in Dublin where it is almost the city anthem. Indeed, a statue of Molly hawking here wares was unveiled in Grafton Street in 1988. That said, there is no record of the song existing before 1880. No one knows for sure who wrote the words or lyrics.
Allan Sherman (1924-1973), on the other hand, was a hugely successful Jewish American comedian and writer. He frequently got into trouble for writing parodies of songs by writers who did not permit parodies of their work, among them Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Lerner and Loewe, and others. This one was no problem – author / composer unknown, and out of copyright.


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-O!
Alive, alive-O! alive, alive-O!
Crying cockles and mussels, alive, alive-O!

She was a fish-monger, but sure 'twas no wonder
For so were her father and mother before,
And they each wheeled their barrow
Through 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 streets broad and narrow
Crying cockles and mussels, alive, alive-O!
Alive, alive-O! alive, alive-O!
Crying cockles and mussels, alive, alive-O!

 

 

MOLLY MALONE    –  Alan Sherman

She wheels her wheelbarrow

Through streets broad and narrow.

Her barrow is narrow, her hips are too wide.

So wherever she wheels it

The neighbourhood feels it.

Her girdle keeps scraping the homes on each side.

 

In Dublin’s fair city

Where the girls are so pretty

My Molly stands out ‘cos she weighs eighteen stone.

I don’t mind her fat, but

It’s not only that but

She’s cockeyed and muscle-bound – Molly Malone.

 

 

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