Suffolk StreetPUBLIC WRITING COMPETITION WINNER
animated by: Maria Doyle Kennedy
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”.