This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Molly Malone... and a Birthday Wish

She wheels her wheelbarrow
Through streets that are narrow,
Her barrow is narrow, her hips are too wide...
So wherever she wheels it
The neighborhood feels it...
Her girdle keeps scraping the homes on each side!
In Dublin's fair city
Where girls are so pretty
My Molly stands out 'cause she weighs eighteen stone. (Spoken: That's 256 pounds.)
I don't mind her fat but...
It's not only that but...
She's cock-eyed and musclebound, Molly Malone!*

Ah, yes, that was Allan Sherman's version of the old Irish ballad.

There's a lot of controversy about dear Molly. Was she even a real person? Did she live in the late 1600s, or during the 1800s? Did she sell... umm... her "charms" as well as "cockles and mussels?" ("Alive, alive o," indeed!) Should her Dublin statue stand "at the end of Grafton Street, around the corner from St Andrew's Church" (where it stands today), or "in the Moore Street area," or even "somewhere in O'Connell Street or near the Halfpenny Bridge" instead?

But my two questions, after having taken a long & loving look at the statue pictured above, really cut to the heart of the matter:

1. With the lowly wages she doubtlessly earned, how'd she afford the boob job?
2. And where did she get it, since they weren't even experimenting with implants until the very end of the nineteenth century?

* * * * *

Today would have been my friend Patty's fiftieth birthday. Patty, whose parents had been planning to name her "Denise" until her March 17th arrival fifty years ago today.

Fifty years. It's very hard to imagine her being that old. (Let's put "old" in quotes there.)

Of course, it's kind of difficult, at times, to look in the mirror and realize that I'm a couple of years older than that.

My mother is 91. I often wonder how she feels at this point, knowing that most of her close friends and relatives are dead. I know that even at my age, I myself have lost enough friends, relatives, and even ex-lovers that it bothers me.

Ahhh... Too much food for thought.

Happy Birthday, Pats.

...and thanks for your time.

*The lyrics -- not the tune, of course -- are copyright 19?? by Allan Sherman, or his publishing company, or... You know something? I really wish all these lyrics sites on the internet would list the appropriate copyright information! This time, I was just too freakin' busy to search for it myself!


  1. Let's raise a glass to Patty!

    I asked my own grandmother when she was in her 60's why she always looked in the obit section first. She said "to see which ones of my friends died today." I told her that was sad and she should stop. She told me I would understand when I was her age.

    I have had my share of death. I still don't read the obits. I let others let me know when someone dies.

    Corsets do a wonder for a girls figure. It's amazing how the push them up and out. They never said how old she was or how many babes she had.

    Surprised you didn't mention her weight loss plan. Unless 250lbs looked a lot different back then.

  2. "Corsets do a wonder for a girls figure. It's amazing how they push them up and out."

    Well, although I'm quite familiar with the "up and out" effect that you mention, whether it's derived from corsets, push-up bras, etc., Molly's still look fake. And yes, I say that knowing that we're looking at a statue. Makes me wonder about the model.

    "They never said how old she was or how many babes she had."

    It's all conjecture. They can't even nail her down to one century. Personally, I doubt she ever really existed. Maybe just as a character who made an impression on the person who ended up writing the song. You know how it is, sometimes you see a face, or two people sharing a moment in public, and you build a whole story about him, her, or them in your mind.

    "Surprised you didn't mention her weight loss plan. Unless 250lbs looked a lot different back then."

    Well that part isn't in the official -- or unofficial -- mythos. It was a joke by parodist Allan Sherman. He totally ruined the song for me, btw... bless his little heart. I can never hear the "straight" version of the tune without thinking "cock-eyed and musclebound!"

  3. Here's to Patty!

    (with apologies for the brevity but today is a madhouse...tomorrow will be better for catching up on everything!)

  4. p.s.
    Years ago I was in an Irish choir...we did a wonderful version of Molly Malone.

    The silly ole Irish choir was meant to be today's Cake blog but I haven't had time...damn. Oh well, there's always next year.

  5. I turned 22 that day....and my life looked a hell of a lot more promising than it is looking now. lol


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