Galway Girl (Steve Earle song)

"Galway Girl" is a song written by Steve Earle[1] and recorded with Irish musician Sharon Shannon originally as "The Galway Girl". It was featured on Earle's 2000 album Transcendental Blues.[2] "The Galway Girl" tells the semi-autobiographical story of the songwriter's reaction to a beautiful black-haired blue-eyed girl he meets in Galway, Ireland.[1] Local references include Salthill and The Long Walk.

"The Galway Girl"
Song by Steve Earle
from the album Transcendental Blues
Songwriter(s)Steve Earle
Producer(s)Jamie Bedford, Ray Kennedy

A cover version of the song by Mundy and Sharon Shannon reached number one and became the most downloaded song of 2008 in Ireland, and has gone on to become the eighth highest selling single in Irish chart history.[3] It has been subject of a great number of covers and live interpretations.


The song was written about Joyce Redmond; Redmond plays bodhrán on Steve Earle's version of the song. Earle met Redmond in Galway. Redmond is from Howth, County Dublin.[4]

Cover versions

Mundy version

"The Galway Girl"
Single by Mundy and Sharon Shannon
ReleasedApril 2008
FormatCompact disc/download
Songwriter(s)Steve Earle

Irish artist Mundy collaborated with Sharon Shannon on a cover of "Galway Girl", a track she had previously performed with Steve Earle. A studio version of the track reached number one on the Irish Singles Chart in April 2008 and remained there for five weeks.[5] It was the biggest-selling download in Ireland in 2008, and was a winning nominee at the 2008 Meteor Awards.[6] The song was the highest-selling single in Ireland in 2008.

Mundy also recorded an Irish language version of the track, entitled "Cailín na Gaillimhe", for Ceol '08, an Irish language compilation record which was released in 2008 to raise money for several Irish charities.

Other versions

(Year of release - artist / group - album)

The comedian Stewart Lee references and performs the song in his 2009 Edinburgh Fringe show and also on his live DVD If You Prefer a Milder Comedian Please Ask for One, released on 11 October 2010.

The song appears in the 2007 film P.S. I Love You, where Gerard Butler's character sings the song for Hilary Swank's character. This was also sung by Jeffrey Dean Morgan's character to Swank.

The song featured in the TV series Treme (in episode 9 of the second series, entitled "What Is New Orleans?"). It was performed by Steve Earle (in his role of Harley, a street musician) with Lucia Micarelli and Spider Stacy (of The Pogues) accompanying him on violin and pennywhistle.


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