When Ed Sheeran invited the Northern Irish Trad-folk band Beoga to his home recording studio for a week, ‘Galway Girl’ was the result. In in interview with The Irish Times, Sheeran said: “It was based on the fiddle player in Beoga, Niamh.. She’s married to an Irishman, a friend of mine. I had the band in my house for an extra day so I was like, ‘what can I write about? She plays the fiddle in an Irish band.. right, cool, let’s write a song about that.’ She inspired the first line but the rest of the song isn’t about anyone, I just made up a story.” Sheeran was pranked by Irish actress Saoirse Ronan who starred in the music video. He had ‘Galway Girl’ inked to his arm, he realized later that it was misspelled. Sheeran told the story while speaking at a show in Glasgow, he said: “When we were filming it, I meant to get a tattoo of her handwriting saying ‘Galway Girl,'” he said. “It actually says Galway Grill. Like, full on, she really took the piss out of me with this one. It actually says Galway Grill. GRILL.. I’m actually kind of proud of her. It’s the kind of thing that I would do.” But in another interview with Capitol north East he said otherwise: “It’s not actually what I said it was, It was planned for the ‘Galway Girl’ video, she didn’t play the prank on me. She was meant to write ‘Galway Girl,’ and then I was like, ‘It’s gonna be funny if you write something different.’ She came up with ‘Galway Grill’ and then we had it done. I think it’s just funnier to say that she fucked the tattoo up, but that isn’t actually the story.” Sheeran had to fight his record company to include this song on the album, in an interview with The Guardian he said: “They were really, really against ‘Galway Girl,’ because apparently folk music isn’t cool. But there’s 400 million people in the world that say they’re Irish, even if they’re not Irish. You meet them in America all the time: ‘I’m a quarter Irish and I’m from Donegal.’ And those type of people are going to fucking love it. My argument was always: well, the Corrs sold 20 million records. The label would say, ‘Oh the Corrs, that was years ago,’ but who’s tried it since the Corrs? There’s a huge gap in the market, and I promise you that in two years’ time there will be a big folk band that comes up that’s pop, and that will happen as a result of labels being like: ‘Oh shit, if he can put a fiddle and uilleann pipe on it, then we can try it as well.'”
Release Date: March 17, 2017
Songwriter/s: Ed Sheeran – Amy Wadge – Damian McKee – Eamon Murray – Johnny McDaid – Liam Bradley – Niamh Dunne – Sean Graham – Foy Vance
Label: Asylum – Atlantic
Chart Rankings: In the US, the song peaked at number 53 on the Billboard Hot 100. The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) certified it gold for sales over half a million copies. In the UK, it reached number 2 on the Official Charts Company. The British Phonographic Industry (BPi) certified it Platinum for sales over 600, 000 copies. ‘Galway Girl’ reached the top 10 charts in several countries around the world including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hungary, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland. In Iceland, Scotland and Ireland it topped the charts.
‘Galway Girl’ was certified Platinum in Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, New Zealand and Switzerland. In Sweden it was certified Triple Platinum and in Australia it was Double Platinum.
Artist’s age on Release Date: Edward Christopher Sheeran was 26 years old when he released this song.
Cover Versions: Jose Audisio – Samantha Harvey – Madilyn Bailey – Mike Tompkins – Twin Melody – Jasmine Clarke – Bethan Horton – Continuum – Joseph Vincent – New Hope Club – Andrew Foy – other amateur artists covered this song on Youtube.