The text of the song is a story of a robber who, having committed a robbery of a government official, turns out to be betrayed by a woman named Molly, or Jenny (it is impossible to answer unequivocally if she is his wife or lover). Different versions of the song refer to various cities in Ireland; such geographical diversity is caused by the folk roots of the text. The song also mentions the name of the robbed official: this is Captain Farrell or Colonel Pepper (as mentioned in the other version of the song). The song ends with a couplet in which the robber dreams of escaping from the place of detention for a subsequent return to the beautiful life. In 1998, the version of Metallica received a Grammy Award in the category "Best performance in the style of hard rock".
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The song gained popularity in the United States, due to its disrespectful attitude towards British officials. However, it should be noted that the text of the song in the American version has undergone quite significant changes. See more