33 - Grace O'Malley

Words by Cathy Ryan, John Doyle
Tune by Cathie Ryan, John Doyle

A song about Grace O'Malley (Gráinne Ní Mháille in Irish, often anglicised to Granuaile), a 16th-century pirate who was lord of the Ó Máille dynasty in the west of Ireland. This is from Cathie Ryan's 2001 album, 'Somewhere Along the Road' - the youtube link is here.

Now in sailor’s clothes Granuaile did go
A bold sea captain from top to toe
Her clans and children were the greatest care of
Grace O’Malley
of Grace O’Malley who never did despair

Her trade was maintenanced by land and sea
200 loyal men were her army
No other captain was so skilled or brave as
Grace O’Malley
as Grace O’Malley who ruled the stormy waves

They had not sailed far from Clew Bay
When she spied a vessel bound for Galway
“Those are sea merchants!” Granua did cry and
And Granuaile will stop that ship or die

She stopped that ship and they took its store
She returned to old Erin’s shore
With Spanish brandy she walked along did
Did Granuaile, who sweetly sang a song

Queen Elizabeth did once suggest
That she would make Grace a countess
“Oh no” said Grace, “That would never do for
Grace O’Malley
For Grace O’Malley is as great a queen as you.”

A queen uncommon by land and sea
Her strength commanded fierce loyalty
Her wealth provided for many’s the clans of
Grace O’Malley
Grace O’Malley, sea woman of Ireland