Grafton Street in 5 songs: A tribute, a wonderland, and a proposal

Listen to five songs about Dublin’s famous Grafton Street.   

Grafton Street is one of the main tourist attractions and shopping streets in Ireland’s capital of Dublin. It is famous for its buskers, who sing just a few tens of metres away from each other. The Grafton magic features also in a few pop songs.

 Dido – Grafton Street

British artist Dido wrote the song ‘Grafton Street’ for her third album Safe Trip Home, which was released in late 2008. Although the album was well received and nominated for a Grammy, there were no particular singles moving in the top positions of the charts. However, ‘Grafton Street’ is a beautiful song with a heart-melting recorder ending, which makes you reminisce of people who are no longer around you but are still dear to you. 

No more trips to Grafton Street, no more going there to see you lying still while we all come and go.

‘Grafton Street’ is a very personal song to Dido. She pays tribute to her deceased father, who was Irish and had a big influence on her music taste and career. “It celebrates his memory and is a testimony to the times we spent together at the end of his life,” Dido told the Daily Mail. She added it was an easy-to-write song but harder to talk about.    


The Script – Before the Worst

Irish band The Script recorded the song for their self-titled debut album. It was released in summer 2009. ‘Before the Worst’ is a well-written pop song reflecting on a man’s past relationship, which regrettably ended soon. 

“It was Grafton street, on a rainy night. I was down on one knee and you were mine for life.”   

The song’s verse may ignite an idea in people’s minds to propose to their partners indeed! There are no statistics on how often such a situation has happened, but visitors to the street will definitely find a number of buskers there.    


Ed Sheeran – Galway Girl

British hitmaker, and the UK’s artist of the decade, famously known for his ginger hair and a guitar in his hands, Ed Sheeran does not need a special introduction. His album Divide, put out in 2017, includes the hit ‘Galway Girl’, which topped the charts not only in Ireland, but also in Central Europe.

“I meet her on Grafton street right outside of the bar. She shared a cigarette with me while her brother played the guitar.” 

The third single off his album is a fun song with Irish music influences. The popular Irish actor Saoirse Ronan features in the video. Although the song mentions Galway, a city known for its Bohemian and full-of-arts vibes, the Grafton Street in the song is undoubtedly in Dublin.  


Noel Purcell – Dublin Saunter

Now, the next song by Irish actor Noel Purcell evokes rather a picture of Paris than Dublin for its harmonica or accordion melodies. The playful song ‘Dublin Saunter’ could be an unofficial anthem of the  Irish capital.   

“Grafton Street’s a wonderland. There’s magic in the air.”

If you do not believe what Purcell sings about Dublin, there is no better way to find out than to get on a plane and spend a weekend here. Purcell, however, recommends the summer. You can enjoy a walk in Dublin’s Stephen’s Green once you find yourself in Ireland’s biggest city.  


Bagatelle – Summer in Dublin

Irish band Bagatelle, formed in the late seventies, dropped ‘Summer in Dublin’ in 1980. It is an easy-going summer ballad that takes you on a trip to Dublin although a character, whoever they are, have left the city to be alone.

“I remember that summer in Dublin, and the Liffey as it stank like hell. And the young people walking on Grafton street, and everyone looking so well.”

So, do not forget to get on a 46a bus to Dún Laoghaire, a coastal town in the Dublin area. Even though the song is forty years old, the bus still drivers to the town. However, there is no guarantee if a drunk unveils to you how to become rich. 


Provided you love any of the songs, do not forget to add it to your playlist on one of the streaming services. And if you can sing, just come to Grafton Street and you may become one of buskers, or even a future star. Everything is possible, even in Dublin. 


Peter Dlhopolec
Peter Dlhopolec

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