Meaning of “Galway Girl” by Ed Sheeran

Galway Girl is a song performed by Ed Sheeran from his 2017 album ÷ (divide). The song basically talks about the narrator falling in love with an Irish girl. Speaking with The Irish Times, Sheeran said the opening line of Galway Girl is about the Irish musician Niamh Dunne, who is known for her role as the fiddle player for the Irish folk band Beoga. Just like the opening line of the song, Niamh actually played the fiddle in an Irish band and got married to an English man. Acccording to Sheeran, the rest of the song’s lyrics are about anyone else that you can think of.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Ed Sheeran's Galway Girl at

Facts about “Galway Girl”

  • Sheeran wrote and recorded the song with all members of Beoga, including Niamh Dunne, whom the first line of the song is about. All in all, nine people, including Sheeran and members of Beoga (Damian McKee, Liam Bradley, Niamh Dunne, Eamon Murray and Seán Óg Graham) wrote this song. The other songwriters that complete the nine songwriters that wrote this song are: Amy Wadge, Foy Vance and Johnny McDaid.
  • The song was produced by Sheeran and American musician and record producer Mike Elizondo who is best known for his frequent collaboration with Eminem and legendary hip hop producer Dr. Dre.
  • Galway Girl almost never made it on Sheeran’s ÷ (divide). According to Sheeran, he fought furiously with his record label, who weren’t interested in keeping the song on the album, until they finally yielded and let him keep the song on the album. Sheeran stated that the reason his record label was against the song was simply because it is folk music and they felt folk music wouldn’t perform very well on the charts. However, the song went on to become a great success, reaching the 1st position in a number of countries, including Scotland and Ireland. In the United Kingdom, it entered the UK Singles Chart at number 2.
  • The music video of Galway Girl was shot and filmed by Sheeran himself. The video stars popular Irish actress Saoirse Ronan.
  • The song shares the same title with singer-songwriter Steve Earle’s 2000 song Galway Girl. Interestingly, Earle’s Galway Girl also falls in the category of folk music just like Sheeran’s. According to Sheeran, he was aware of Earle’s Galway Girl when working on his own and tried to change the lyrics but to no avail.
  • The song played an instrumental role in increasing the popularity of the members of the Irish band Beoga, especially Niamh Dunne, whom the first line of the song is about.

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