Song: Granuaile, Queen of the Atlantic Sea

Title: Granuaile, Queen of the Atlantic Sea

  • original song, written and arranged in 2017, by: Dottie B. Moore

I was inspired to write this song from the legend of Granuaile, the Irish ‘Pirate Queen,’ better known as Grace O’Malley of the O’Malley clan.

The O’Malley’s lived along the West coast of Ireland in the 15th and 16th centuries.

When she was a teenager, Granuaile dressed like a sailor so she could learn how to sail without her father finding out about it. Women were not allowed to crew on ships because sailors believed women on ships brought bad luck!

Granuaile overcame all obstacles and grew up to become an accomplished sailor who gained the respect of her father’s men. Her father was very proud of her and put her in charge of a fleet of O’Malley ships transporting Irish goods to other countries along the coast of the Atlantic Sea.

The 16th century was the reign of the Tudor Queen, Elizabeth I. The British were once again trying to conquer Ireland, killing Granuaile’s kinsmen and plundering her country.

She and her men defiantly ‘pirated’ British ships, taking their cargo as they sailed into Galway Bay. They then sold the cargo to help feed their starving families and countrymen. Because she was the “admiral” of her fleet, the British called Granuaile “Ireland’s Pirate Queen.”

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  • as long as you credit me by name: “original song by: Dottie B. Moore, at”

  • Please email me if you wish to use for commercial purposes.

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Lyrics: “Granuaile, Queen of the Atlantic Sea“ by Dottie B. Moore, © 2017

In 1533, an Irish lass Granuaile, Granuaile.

Captain of Galley ships in Clew Bay, Clew Bay.

With cargo from trade or piracy,

To feed her men and their families.

  • For she was the Queen of the Atlantic Sea.

Her short hair, like a sailor with a pistol and a sword.

Giving birth to her son only two days before.

Yelling orders to her men, “stand firm to fight

For this stout English ship, will be ours tonight.”

“Ahoy,” she cried, “what makes you hurry so?”

I am a merchant ship bound for Galway Bay, Galway Bay,

Let me pass by, and I’ll be on my way.

I can not and it never will be.

England has ravaged and plundered our land.

So, I plan to rob thee all on the blue sea, the blue sea.

  • For I am the Queen of the Atlantic Sea.

The cannon balls flew, they did fly.

Her ship fired the final death shot, death shot

Sinking the English ship, to its grave that night.

No more will you pillaged and kill our Kinsmen.

‘Cause we will fight you on ‘land and sea.’

To save our beloved Ireland.

  • ‘Cause I am the Queen of the Atlantic Sea.