Friday, December 31, 2010

Dublin's Sweet Molly Malone - 'The Dish with the Fish'


“In Dublin's fair city, where girls are so pretty

I first set my eyes on sweet Molly Malone,

She wheeled a wheelbarrow, through streets broad and narrow

Crying cockles and mussels al-live, a-live oh.”

To visit Dublin and not see its statues would be for more than one reason, a regrettable mistake. The Irish in their inimitable witty and irreverent way have given nicknames to just about every statue and memorial in the city.

Replacing O'Connell Street's 'Nelson's Pillar' that was blown up by the IRA in 1966, is a tall needle-like structure that attracts huge attention. Waxing lyrical as only an Irishman can, its epithets include 'The Spike', 'The Stiletto in the Ghetto', 'The Stiffey at the Liffey', 'The Erection in the Intersection', 'The Nail in the Pale' and the 'Binge Syringe'.

A jaunty James Joyce wielding a cane as he stands cross-legged on a plinth in Dublin is a well-known Irish writer.  His statue on North Earl Street, is known as 'The Prick with a Stick'.

On Grafton Street visitors can make the aquaintance of Molly Malone, a comely young fishmonger whose story is told in Dublin's famous anthem of the same name. Molly, like the 'The Spire of Dublin', enjoys a litany of appelations: the 'Tart with the Cart', the 'Trollop with the Scallops', 'Flirt in the Skirt', the 'Dish with the Fish' and the 'Dolly with the Trolley'.

Queen Victoria's statue that now stands in pride of place outside the Queen Victoria Building in Sydney, Australia, was named 'Auld Bitch' by none other than James Joyce who now has his own nickname as mentioned earlier.

When crossing Dublin's famous Ha'penny Bridge, there is a statue of two women chatting with their shopping at their feet. They're known as the 'Hags with the Bags'.

Photo copyright Anne Gordon

Posted by Anne Gordon on Friday, 31st December, 2010


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