A popular song set in Dublin, Ireland, which has become its unofficial anthem. It is also known as «Cockles and Mussels» and «In Dublin's Fair City».
The song tells the fictional tale of a fishwife who plied her trade on the streets of Dublin and died young, of a fever. In the late 20th century a legend grew up that there was a historical Molly, who lived in the 17th century. She is typically represented as a hawker by day and part-time sex-worker by night. In contrast she has also been portrayed as one of the few chaste female street-hawkers of her day.
There is no evidence that the song is based on a real woman, of the 17th century or any other time. The name «Molly» originated as a familiar version of the names Mary and Margaret. While many such «Molly» Malones were born in Dublin over the centuries, no evidence connects any of them to the events in the song. Nevertheless, the Dublin Millennium Commission in 1988 endorsed claims made for a Mary Malone who died on 13 June 1699, and proclaimed 13 June to be «Molly Malone Day».