<%BANNER%>

Bloom's old sweet song

HIDE
 Half Title
 Title Page
 Dedication
 Table of Contents
 Foreword
 Acknowledgement
 Introduction
 1. Libretto for Bloomusalem in...
 2. The Bronzegold Sirensong: A...
 3. The new Bloomusalem: Transformations...
 4. Stephen's villanelle: Antecedents,...
 5. Joyce and the modern coales...
 6. And the music goes round and...
 7. Music and ritual in Ulysses
 8. Music as comedy in Ulysses
 Coda
 Notes
 Index
University Press of Florida
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00100398/00001

Material Information

Title: Bloom's old sweet song essays on Joyce and music
Series Title: Florida James Joyce series
Physical Description: 151 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Bowen, Zack R
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Gainesville

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Music and literature -- History -- 20th century   ( lcsh )
Music -- History and criticism -- Ireland -- 20th century   ( lcsh )
Muziek   ( gtt )
Ulysses (Joyce)   ( gtt )
Musik   ( swd )
In literature -- Ireland   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 139-146) and index.
Statement of Responsibility: Zack Bowen.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 30811634
lccn - 94027517
isbn - 0813013275 (alk. paper)
Classification: lcc - PR6019.O9 Z52615 1995
ddc - 823/.912
bcl - 18.05
System ID: UF00100398:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00100398/00001

Material Information

Title: Bloom's old sweet song essays on Joyce and music
Series Title: Florida James Joyce series
Physical Description: 151 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Bowen, Zack R
Publisher: University Press of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville
Gainesville

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Music and literature -- History -- 20th century   ( lcsh )
Music -- History and criticism -- Ireland -- 20th century   ( lcsh )
Muziek   ( gtt )
Ulysses (Joyce)   ( gtt )
Musik   ( swd )
In literature -- Ireland   ( lcsh )
Genre: government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
bibliography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references (p. 139-146) and index.
Statement of Responsibility: Zack Bowen.

Record Information

Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 30811634
lccn - 94027517
isbn - 0813013275 (alk. paper)
Classification: lcc - PR6019.O9 Z52615 1995
ddc - 823/.912
bcl - 18.05
System ID: UF00100398:00001

Table of Contents
    Half Title
        Half Title 1
        Half Title 2
    Title Page
        Title Page 1
        Title Page 2
    Dedication
        Dedication 1
        Dedication 2
    Table of Contents
        Table of Contents 1
        Table of Contents 2
    Foreword
        Foreword 1
        Foreword 2
    Acknowledgement
        Acknowledgement 1
        Acknowledgement 2
    Introduction
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
    1. Libretto for Bloomusalem in song: The music of Joyce's Ulysses
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
    2. The Bronzegold Sirensong: A musical analysis of the Sirens episode in Joyce's Ulysses
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
    3. The new Bloomusalem: Transformations in Epiphany Land
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
    4. Stephen's villanelle: Antecedents, manifestations, and aftermath
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
        Page 89
        Page 90
    5. Joyce and the modern coalescence
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
    6. And the music goes round and round: A couple of new approaches to Joyce's uses of music in Ulysses
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
    7. Music and ritual in Ulysses
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
    8. Music as comedy in Ulysses
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
    Coda
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
    Notes
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
    Index
        Page 147
        Page 148
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
Full Text

























BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG



The Florida James Joyce Series


























THE FLORIDA JAMES JOYCE SERIES
Edited by Bernard Benstock

The Autobiographical Novel of Co-Consciousness: Goncharov,
Woolf, andJoyce, by Galya Diment (1994).
Shaw andJoyce: "The Last Word in Stolentelling,"
by Martha Fodaski Black (1995).
Bloom's Old Sweet Song: Essays on Joyce and Music,
by Zack Bowen (1995).





I ZACKBOWEN


Q~r( _U-/


UNIVERSITY PRESS OF FLORIDA
Gainesville / Tallahassee / Tampa / Boca Raton
Pensacola / Orlando / Miami / Jacksonville


ESSAYS ONJ
JOYCE^^^
AND MUSICJ






Copyright 1995 by the Board of Regents of the State of Florida
Printed in the United States of America on acid-free paper oo
All rights reserved

oo 99 98 97 96 95 6 5 4 3 2 I

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Bowen, Zack R.
Bloom's old sweet song: essays on Joyce and music/Zack Bowen.
p. c. (Florida James Joyce series)
Includes index.
ISBN 0-8130-1327-5 (alk. paper)
i. Joyce, James, 1882-1941-Knowledge-Music. 2. Music and literature-
History-20th century. 3. Music-Ireland-History-2oth century.
4. Ireland-In literature. I. Title. II. Series.
PR6oI9.o9Z526I5 1995
823'.912-dc2o 94-27517

Original Publication of Essays
"Libretto for Bloomusalem in Song: The Music of Joyce's Ulysses." In New Light on Joyce
From the Dublin Symposium, edited by Fritz Senn (Bloomington: Indiana University
Press, 1972), 149-66.
"The Bronzegold Sirensong: A Critical Analysis of the Sirens Episode in Joyce's Ulysses."
As "The Bronzegold Sirensong: A Critical Analysis of the Music in the Sirens Chapter
of Joyce's Ulysses" in Literary Monographs, vol. I, edited by Eric Rothstein and Thomas
Dunseath (Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1967), 245-98.
"The New Bloomusalem: Transformations in Epiphany Land." Modern British Literature
3, no. I (Spring 1978): 48-55.
"Stephen's Villanelle: Antecedents, Manifestations, and Aftermath." Modern British
Literature Monograph Series 2 (1980): 63-67.
"Joyce and the Modern Coalescence." In Light Rays: James Joyce and Modernism, edited by
Heyward Ehrlich (New York: New Horizon Press, 1985), 39-55.
"And the Music Goes Round and Round: A Couple of New Approaches to Joyce's Use of
Music in Ulysses." In Coping with Joyce: Essays from the Copenhagen Symposium, edited by
Morris Beja and Shari Benstock (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1989), 137-44.
"Music and Ritual in Ulysses." In Irish Literature and Culture. Irish Literature Studies 35,
edited by Michael Kenneally (Gerrards Cross: Colin Smythe, 1992), 63-71.
"Music as Comedy in Ulysses." In Picking Up Airs: Hearing the Music inJoyce's Text, edited
by Ruth Bauerle (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1992), 431-52.

The University Press of Florida is the scholarly publishing agency for the State University
System of Florida, comprised of Florida A & M University, Florida Atlantic University,
Florida International University, Florida State University, University of Central Florida,
University of Florida, University of North Florida, University of South Florida, and
University of West Florida.

University Press of Florida
15 Northwest 15th Street
Gainesville, FL 32611





























For

MARY UPTON BOWEN

and

LINDSEY SALE TUCKER BOWEN



















Contents


Foreword, by Bernard Benstock ix
Acknowledgments xi
Introduction i
i Libretto for Bloomusalem in Song: The Music of Joyce's Ulysses io
2 The Bronzegold Sirensong: A Musical Analysis of the Sirens
Episode in Joyce's Ulysses 25

3 The New Bloomusalem: Transformations in Epiphany Land 77
4 Stephen's Villanelle: Antecedents, Manifestations, and
Aftermath 85

5 Joyce and the Modern Coalescence 9I
6 And the Music Goes Round and Round: A Couple of New
Approaches to Joyce's Uses of Music in Ulysses 0o7

7 Music and Ritual in Ulysses I15
8 Music as Comedy in Ulysses 124
Coda 135
Notes 139
Index 147


I





















Foreword


ZACK BOWEN and James Joyce and music have fine-tuned a relationship
over the years that rivals that of Marion Bloom and J. C. Doyle and Don
Giovanni. Years ago, Bowen recorded whole chapters of Ulysses at a time
when most readers were tone-deaf to the idea that Ulysses was meant to
be sung. Uncovering the tunes that reverberated through Joyce's cerebel-
lum while he was composing the Wake as well as the Portrait, Dubliners
as well as Exiles, had become a pleasurable obsession for Bowen, usually
with guitar cradled in his arms or a piano playing accompaniment, and
he translated them into critical concepts-as well as exploited them for
entertainment value as outrageously as Joyce had done. Musical Allusions
in the Works of James Joyce, published in 1974, has become a classic, a
standard reference work that makes for delightful reading-but was only
one milestone along the way for Zack Bowen. His articles on Joyce and
music have continued to sustain and supplement what he collected in that
volume, and it is those articles (fine-tuned once more, with grace notes
added) that are collected here on stage for the first time. Readers of Bloom's
Old Sweet Song are cordially invited to sing along.
Bernard Benstock


I I


















Acknowledgments


I HAVE already acknowledged elsewhere the enormous debt of gratitude
I owe to the many colleagues and research assistants who have worked on
my various projects over the years, and fond memories of their collabora-
tions are associated with every page. For the present volume I owe special
thanks to Mary Donnelly for her diligent transcription of previous texts,
and for her Joycean acumen in detecting long-buried errors.
I have one principal concern after reading over the complete manuscript
for this book: that nowhere is the fine work currently being done by my
colleagues in the study of Joyce and music acknowledged. The enormous
advances contributed every year by such colleagues as Ruth Bauerle,
Timothy Martin, Michael Gillespie, Kathleen McGrory, Ulrich Schneider,
Henriette Power, Myra Russel, Margaret Rogers, Sebastian Knowles, and
many more have given our little piece of the Joyce puzzle an ever changing
and increasingly interesting shape.
References to Dubliners are from the 1967 edition published by Viking.
References to Finnegans Wake are from the 1957 edition published by
Viking. References to A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man are from the
1968 edition published by Viking. References to Ulysses in chapters 7
and 8 are from Ulysses: The Corrected Text, edited by Hans Walter Gabler
with Wolfhard Steppe and Claus Melchior (New York: Random House,
1986). Citations refer to episode and line number. References to Ulysses
in all other essays are from the 1961 edition published by Random House.


I

















Introduction


SOME PEOPLE seem destined from childhood to become athletes, or
warriors, or religious leaders, but, since I clearly have few of the requisite
talents and even fewer inclinations for these pursuits, I think I must have
been destined to explicate musical allusions in the works of James Joyce.
I don't see how I could have avoided it. During World War II, when I
was a schoolboy, my mother, a professional soprano, incessantly practiced
her perennial concert favorites at home while I was doing my homework,
and in the rehearsal process subliminally burned their lyrics and tunes
into my cerebral cortex, leaving scars of memory that would never heal.
This hyperbole is meant to suggest that I never wanted all those piano,
voice, organ, composition, and dancing lessons my mother made me take
throughout my school years. Until I was fifteen, I did not even know I
liked music, so accustomed was I to rebel against it. When parental hopes
for a child prodigy flickered ever more faintly into an acceptance of my
adult musical mediocrity and the pressure to take lessons eased, I emerged
into a musical world I was no longer compelled to resist, and one that,
in spite of myself, I actually knew something about. When I began to
read Joyce's works, the familiar chords and phrases emerging from the
fiction had resonance in my experience because they were a part of the
recital music my mother endlessly practiced at home. I found myself
continually supplying the tunes for the lyrics embedded in Joyce's texts,
particularly of Ulysses and Finnegans Wake. My mother died in 1960,
between my M.A. and Ph.D studies, and left me a legacy of sheet music


I





INTRODUCTION


that marked the beginning of what would evolve over the years as a
substantial library of Joyce's music.
As providence would have it, in graduate school I first seriously studied
Joyce with Mabel Worthington, who at the time (1958) was working
on the page proofs for her groundbreaking collaboration with Matthew
Hodgart, Song in the Works ofJamesJoyce.1 In it Hodgart and Worthington
had identified song titles alluded to in Joyce's works and listed references
to the page and line number for every occurrence of what they believed
to be a musical allusion in all of Joyce's texts. Theirs was a signal accom-
plishment that opened the way for the rest of us to find the music itself
and see how and if the cited titles really worked in the text. It was
inevitable that among the thousands of allusions listed in their work,
there were many that had no relationship, or only a coincidental one, to
the texts, especially Finnegans Wake. Then, of course, there were hundreds
more that Hodgart and Worthington missed. Even now, after a small
army of scholars has spent another thirty-five years working in Joyce's
musical vineyard, many allusions still remain undiscovered.
While I was at Temple studying with Mabel Worthington I was making
singing commercials at night for a Philadelphia advertising firm. It af-
forded me access to professional actors and a recording studio, and so I
asked Mabel if in lieu of a term paper I might make a recording of the
Lestrygonians chapter, with actors reading the parts of Joyce's characters
and narrator and with the music allusions actually played or sung where
they were a part of the text. The project eventually led to five record
albums, each a chapter of Ulysses, released by Folkways Records.2 Of
importance to the present discussion is that the enterprise had the effect
of impressing on me the absolute necessity of music per se to an understand-
ing of Joyce's textual strategies, the characters' minds, and the thematic
patterns of his books. It forced me to consider both the music as well as
the lyrics of the works, and the process of making decisions for assigning
each word of the recorded chapters to an individual speaker and/or singer
necessitated a detailed analysis and interpretation of every word of the texts
we used. That exercise, augmented by training and personal preference that
rooted my work in close readings of the text, shaped the method and
substance of the essays in this book.
During my first year of postgraduate education I began what has turned
out to be a lifelong study of Joyce and music by augmenting my mother's
collection with songs from the Hodgart and Worthington list. My research
on the recordings was subsumed into my dissertation on music and the





Introduction


Bloom chapters of Ulysses, all as a part of the larger project that eventually
became Musical Allusions in the Works of James Joyce: Early Poetry through
"Ulysses".3 Work begun in the music collection of the Philadelphia Public
Library continued in Buffalo's Grosvenor Library, the New York Public
Library, the Library of Congress, the National Library of Ireland, the
Bodley Head, the British Museum, and the Sorbonne, but still did not
afford all of the lyrics and music I suspected were referred to in the texts.
However, by that time dozens ofJoycean scholars had joined in the search
and kept sending me material, clues, suspicions, and possibilities. In turn
I have tried to return their favors by donating my Joyce music collection
to the University of Miami Special Collections Library, for unrestricted
use by Joyce scholars.
Of course, contrary to what the present selection of essays would seem
to imply, I have not restricted my scholarship simply to music and Joyce,
but I do think that a significant part of what I did have to offer, was, in
one way or another, connected with or influenced by either Joyce or music
or some combination of the two. I naively tried during my adolescent,
early-adult, and midlife crises to compensate for assorted feelings of inferi-
ority by attempting to know more than anyone else-to be the authority-
on one small thing, one aspect of one book, but, of course, failed in that
worthless gesture. But when I hear, at Joyce symposia, ideas that I
published twenty years ago presented as startling new revelations, it only
confirms the legitimacy of those ideas in the first place. I am happy to
know that people are still having such ideas, and that I am still working
on others. I could kid myself into thinking that much of what follows
in this collection has simply passed into common currency because it was
an accurate reflection of Joyce's technique and underlying meaning. But
ideas, like people and language, do evolve, metamorphose, assume new
significance with each successive interpreter, and often even with the same
person over time.
Reading this collection, I am struck with how often I have gone back
to a segment of the text previously glossed and have added an entire
overlay of meaning I had not even considered in the first place. For
instance, the ballad of "Little Harry Hughes" glossed in my Allusions book
later became the subject of an entirely different thesis concerning Stephen's
Portrait villanelle; and the music sung during the Ormond songfest by
Simon and the boys yielded a second interpretation, this time involving
the interaction of trained musicians and singers as a buried subtext. The
wonderful fiction of Joyce, of course, offers new interpretive rewards each





INTRODUCTION


time we go back to it, its precision of description becoming the heart of
ambiguous meanings we are free to redefine with every rereading.
I am grateful to the University Press of Florida, then, for the opportunity
to say once again what I have already said, hoping that during the interval
of a quarter century my observations might even have gained some validity
or at least renewal by the developments of Joyce scholarship. And, in
addition, this retrospective collection gives me the selfish pleasure of
establishing the fact that often I got there first.
All selections for this volume have been drawn from publications inde-
pendent of Musical Allusions in the Works of James Joyce, although many
derive from the same methodology and cover the same passages of Ulysses
as does my book. In attempting in the Allusions volume to gloss every
passage containing an identifiable musical reference, I proceeded seriatim
through the text, quoting the passage and offering as much of the song
alluded to as was necessary to define how the music operated in or influenced
the meaning of the Ulysses text. Sometimes in order to ensure comprehen-
siveness I had to say what seemed to be obvious. Thus, nuggets of compli-
cated-one might be tempted often to call them ingenious-interpretation
were buried among my sometimes very ordinary glosses, and, like Dante,
the reader would have to wade through all the mundane to get to the
sublime. One deleterious effect was that if the reader did not already
suspect there was a musical allusion in a given passage, without reading
my entire book that reader would likely remain unaware that the passage
contained such an allusion. It was a little like a dictionary, in which one
can only verify any word's existence either by reading the whole book or by
already knowing, at least approximately, how to spell the word. Whatever
prompted me to the folly that anyone would read, let alone absorb, every
word in a book that was in large part intended as a reference guide was
soon dissipated by all the "new" critical discoveries and interpretations
that displayed their authors' ignorance of the fact that they were really
song references previously glossed in Musical Allusions.
I tried to alleviate the difficulties my book presented by providing
introductions covering in general terms the structural and thematic use
of music in each of Joyce's books through Ulysses.4 But there was still a
lot more I wanted to say. The book allowed little space for more detailed
explications of individual references, and very little for speculating on the
implications of many of the allusions. Some of these omissions were
rectified in several of the subsequently published essays included in this
collection.





Introduction


The first two essays in this book are out of chronological order of
publication, but their sequence here more accurately reflects my purposes
and what was then the direction my work was taking. "Libretto for
Bloomusalem in Song" was originally a sort of summary report on twelve
years of musical research on my Joyce and music project to the International
James Joyce Symposium held in Dublin in June 1969. I had already
published "The Bronzegold Sirensong," a monograph later adapted to
become the major chapter of Musical Allusions; but, frustrated by the
fourteen-year effort it took to complete the research for the longer work,
I had taken a year or two off to write a book on Joyce's friend Padraic
Colum and be promoted at SUNY-Binghamton. The Symposium gave
me the opportunity to inform anyone who cared in the Joyce community
that I hadn't given up the music project, and to present my ideas about
Joyce's overall use of music in the narration, structure, characterization,
and themes of Ulysses. As such, "Libretto" makes, in brief terms, a good
introduction to the essays in the present volume, while at the same time
providing a summary of my intentions in the longer project.
Perhaps my most important essay is "The Bronzegold Sirensong," pre-
sented here in its original form rather than in the later and far more
restrictive book format of Musical Allusions. During the course of writing
the essay Mabel Worthington discovered Charles Jeffreys' translation of
"M'appari, the version Joyce used in the Sirens episode, and allowed me
to print it for the first time. Her discovery alone was worth the price of
the monograph. It was Mabel who made the initial contact that set Joseph
Hickerson and Wayne D. Shirley, the Joyce-enthusiast librarians at the
Library of Congress Music Division, on a six-month search that finally
uncovered, in an abandoned unmarked box, the music and text of "Seaside
Girls." While that discovery was made after the publication of "The
Bronzegold Sirensong," it was published for the first time in Musical
Allusions, and is included here in a note to the Sirens essay. I owed a
great deal to a number of people with regard to the Sirens publication
and the allusion book it represents. Just when I thought I was finally at
an end of what seemed like endless expressions of gratitude, Berni Benstock
in 1988 (fourteen years after the fact) called my attention to my Bloom-
like confusion of Meyerbeer, a Jew, with Mercadante as the composer of
The Seven Last Words of Christ.5 I have silently, and with thanks to Berni,
corrected my mistake in the current edition of "The Bronzegold Sirensong."
I had a three- or four-year bout with epiphanyitis, an affliction that
seems to grip all Joyceans at some stage of their careers. The result





INTRODUCTION


was a hemorrhage of four articles on the subject, including "The New
Bloomusalem," the only one based on musical allusion, and so the only
selection from my convalescence. The essay, coauthored with Paul Butera,
deals with "The Holy City," a song I consider to be of such prime
importance to Ulysses that I made up my own words to it, and I regularly
make all the Joyceans who attend my symposia sing-alongs join in the
chorus of this musical celebration of Bloom's "Nova Hibernia of the
future."
By some process of association stemming from the above essay, I became
so engrossed in the relevance of Stephen's villanelle to the later Stephen
of Ulysses that I could not leave the matter alone, and, taking my clue
from a villanelle paragraph in "The New Bloomusalem," reworked the
subject of Stephen's poem in conjunction with the ballad of "Little Harry
Hughes," since I had never been satisfied that my previous interpretation
of the Hughes passage in Ithaca was either definitive or correct. After
stewing about the matter for a couple of years, I had my own epiphany
about the relationship of villanelle and song as metaphors of their author/
performer's composition process.
"Joyce and the Modern Coalescence," perhaps my most ambitious effort
to explain the totality of Joyce's vision, is really three separate essays
rolled into one theme: that Joyce's continual combining of high and low,
ridiculous and sublime, old and new, and, finally, the substance of his
entire oeuvre into one glorious transformation embracing the whole of
human life constitutes an art that represents the diverse ambiguity we
call modernism. The implication is that modernism itself is an aspect of
the past, all of which was once modern, always attempting to identify
itself as an organic whole. What I did not realize at the time I wrote the
three sections of the essay was that I was moving toward a combination
of incongruities yoked together into one all-inclusive comedic vision.
In retrospect the three subessays, each detailing one of Joyce's methods
of transformation, separately are now more convincing and interesting,
at least to me, than the overarching thesis that ties them together. The
first, treating a series of widely diverse musical characters such as the
Shan Van Vocht and the prostitutes of sixteenth-century canting songs,
primarily deals with the juxtaposition of "My Girl's a Yorkshire Girl"
and Wagner's Ring Cycle in a musical parody of the relationship between
Irish nationalism and British colonialism. The second example details
Joyce's combination of Bloom and Murphy in Eumaeus with such counter-
parts as Ulysses, the two Sinbads, Turko the Terrible, Antonio, Shem/





Introduction


Shawn/Stephen, and, of course, HCE. The last section adds structural
homogeneity to the theme and character development of the previous two
sections. Dealing with Joyce's recorso technique in his four major books,
I read the similarities of the increasingly cumulative endings as represent-
ing not only a recapitulation of each work itself, but in Finnegans Wake,
of all of Joyce's previous books drawn into one self-reflexive transformative
conclusion. Again the substance of my argument lies in close readings of
the conclusions to the several texts.
In "And the Music Goes Round and Round: A Couple of New Ap-
proaches to Joyce's Uses of Music in Ulysses" I cobbled together two more
short essay examples to make what was perhaps too obvious a point for
the Copenhagen International Joyce Symposium in 1986: that Joyce uses
music in ways that no author before or since has. The first example revisited
Ben and Simon's Sirens songfest in the Ormond bar, reiterating many of
the things I had said before, but now from the perspective of Father
Cowley, and treating all three performers as professional musicians, with
their own rigidly defined occupational customs that are hardly recognizable
to nonperformer readers. In his use of so many subcultural trivia of 1904
Dublin existence, Joyce never made concessions to readers regarding any
subtle nuances of custom. I tried to demonstrate in my example how
Joyce, a semiprofessional musician, incorporated the traditions of the
musical trade into the Sirens scene.
The second example involved Joyce's knowledge and use of harmonics,
Greek modes, and musicology to demonstrate harmonic transformations
and ultimately tie them in to Joyce's conflation of Bloom and Stephen as
Messiah figures. Among Western writers, I can think of only one, Aldous
Huxley in Point Counter Point, who has attempted to make a similar
demand on readers' detailed musical knowledge.
More and more concerned with comedy in literature, and particularly
in Joyce's work, I was in the process of writing Ulysses as a Comic Novel6
when I received two invitations; one was to give a talk and then introduce
the Joycean song concert at the Canadian Association for Irish Studies
conference in Montreal in 1988, and the other was to contribute an essay
to Ruth Bauerle's collection, Picking Up Airs: Hearing the Music in Joyce's
Text.7 By that time obsessed with the comedic spirit, I wrote "Music and
Ritual in Ulysses," a demonstration of how Joyce used music to demonstrate
the Irish propensity to replace their religious rituals with drinking rituals.
After a generally blasphemous introduction about the emotion-evoking
property of music to enhance the patriarchal aims of organized religion,





INTRODUCTION


I went on to compare its use in the two ecclesiastical services Bloom
attends and in the two comparable bar scenes in Barney Kiernan's and
the Ormond. It was to have been an uproariously funny and ingenious
paper. I am sure that Michael Kenneally, the coordinator of the Canadian
conference, must have told me that the paper and the musical program
were to open the conference, but in my exuberance I probably forgot.
The result was that on a cold and snowy evening in Montreal, upward of
six hundred people, most of whom had never read Joyce, were gathered for
the most formal set of conference opening activities I have ever undergone.
While I looked out at the audience, consisting primarily of Roman Catholic
clergy (including what seemed like every mother superior and president
of every Catholic college in the province) and a sea of nationalistic Irish
expatriates, I searched in vain for a familiar, friendly, inherently blasphe-
mous Joycean face. Kenneally, dressed in a somber black double-breasted
suit, introduced the Irish ambassador, who piously informed the gathering
of his pride in such gatherings that met to dispel with scholarship the
scurrilous popular stage image of the degraded Irishman, and replace it
with the truth.
There was no help for it. It was too late to sneak out the back door. I read
the paper to a thunderous silence, even stopping to remind the audience
that it was supposed to be funny as well as clever. The magnificent singers
I subsequently introduced managed to mitigate the damages, but, to put
it mildly, my reception seemed as cold as the Montreal snow to a now thin-
blooded Miamian. Not content with degrading myself, I had gotten Ken-
neally into God knows what excommunications. I pictured autos-da-f6 all
through my solitary walk in the blinding snow back to the hotel (I lost
my way there, too). The point of this tedious recital is that Kenneally had
promised to publish the paper in a volume of conference proceedings, but
it never occurred to me that he would have felt obliged by some impulse of
suicidal honor to have made good on his offer.
The next year, working on the larger theme of "Music as Comedy in
Ulysses" for Ruth Bauerle, I came across the abandoned essay on my
computer disk. In the warmth of the Florida Keys sun, it didn't seem so
bad, maybe even a little humorous for Joyceans, and it fit the topic as
part of what had come to be my normal multiple-example pattern. Since
I had blotted out anything regarding publications from the Montreal
conference, in an outburst of renewed confidence I integrated the essay
into my longer work for the Bauerle book. Picking Up Airs was already
in page proofs when I received a complimentary copy of Irish Literature







Introduction


and Culture,8 the volume of conference papers containing my essay and
compounding my tale of woeful ineptitude. While the whole enterprise
compromises my professional integrity by ostensibly "double dipping," I
still like what I have written and have taken this space to belabor readers
with my guilt and the circumstances of the essay's double and now triple
publication before my colleagues stumble across the information on their
own. I hope that Michael Kenneally and Ruth Bauerle, as the gracious
people they are, will accept this public apology.
I am happy to include a shortened and amended version of "Music as
Comedy in Ulysses" in this volume, because the essay combines my interest
in comedy with that of music, which has permeated my work for so long.
In its recapitulations of my earlier publications, and arriving at yet another
final conclusion, the essay acts like a comic version of a Joycean recorso
motif and an appropriate note on which to conclude this book. The three
parts that remain in the present essay treat the entire novel as a musical
comedy; Sirens as a variation on the musical comedy form; and Circe as
a particular model of musical comedy-the post-Christmas music hall
pantomime. If Joyce was the comic writer I think he was, and he loaded
his pages with musical allusion, it stands to reason that the combination
must have more than a minimal amount of correspondence to the hybrid
art we recognize as musical comedy. My final essay explores in depth how
closely Joyce followed the musical comedy form.
In shaping this book I see that I also have tried to end my scholarly concert
in the lighter vein of musical comedy. The traditionally serious and heavy
selections came at the beginning of my career and my book, the lighter
refrains of comic relief nearer the end. I can only hope that the final metaphor
of life's truth embodied in the artistic schlock of musical comedy is not
completely outrageous.
I suppose I should leave it at that, but as the descendant of a short line of
singers, I never could resist an encore whether or not the audience approved
of the original performance. So, to conclude the book I have seized on the
advice of manuscript reviewers and appended a coda of comments on the
evolution of my ideas regarding the place of musical allusion inJoyce scholar-
ship and popular culture, and to end where I began, with Bloom's old sweet
song.


9








/




Libretto for Bloomusalem in Song:

The Music of Joyce's Ulysses








EVEN THE casual reader of Ulysses must soon become aware of Joyce's
use of music in his novel. Since Hodgart and Worthington's pioneering
work,' we have begun to appreciate how many musical references Joyce
used. Still to be completely explored, however, are his methods of applying
them to his novel, and their significance in terms of style, structure, and
theme. I propose to outline briefly some of the musical references, motifs,
and techniques used in Ulysses and then to discuss a few examples.
In a great number of passages Joyce uses a musical reference as the
vehicle of association in the stream of consciousness of the protagonist,
sometimes through the actual words to the songs, sometimes through the
images and implications the songs produce, and sometimes for no apparent
reason.
Joyce employs music thematically throughout the book to represent
situations and dilemmas, particularly the Molly-Blazes liaison. After the
Telemachus chapters only the Wandering Rocks episode lacks musical
allusions to Molly's adultery. Once certain works such as "La ci darem,"
"Love's Old Sweet Song," and "M'appari" have been established as being
representative of Molly and Blazes's affair, recurrences of the songs serve
to remind us that the subject is never far from Bloom's thought or the
central action of the book.
Joyce's use of the Wagnerian leitmotif technique is part of this thematic
development. As Molly's adultery is developed through recurring musical





Libretto for Bloomusalem in Song


titles or analogies, so is Bloom's affair with Martha Clifford. Occasionally
Joyce employs the same musical motifs for both situations, as with Bloom's
shifting his role in the Don Giovanni theme from the Don (the lover) to
Masetto (the betrayed) to the Commendatore (the avenger).2 Bloom can
sing "La ci darem" as the lover of Martha Clifford and also mentally hear
Molly's responses to Blazes through the song. Leopold can be Lionel crying
out to his lost Molly-Martha in "M'appari" and at the same time be
importuning his reluctant Martha Clifford. Joyce makes heaviest use of
the leitmotif theme in the Sirens chapter with such references as Bloom's
theme, "When the Bloom is on the Rye," occurring at his entrances and
exits. At least 158 musical references crisscross in a welter of song, themes,
and leitmotifs during the Sirens episode alone. In the later recapitulatory
Circe episode many of the melodies of the earlier chapters haunt Bloom's
hallucinations, bringing with them their concurrent images of the hopes
and fears that have registered themselves on his subconscious throughout
the book.
Joyce makes wide general employment of music to underscore points
in the narrative and to add weight to the statements of the characters as
they use musical allusions in their thoughts or discussion. Like the allusions
of literary imagery, the broad concepts, histories, and connotations of the
songs alluded to, when seen in detail, lend their weight in explaining,
delineating, and emphasizing the points made by the characters in the
text, so that, for instance, when Bloom refers to an "Alice Ben Bolt topic"
(624) the reference immediately draws on the musical picture of a sailor's
return after a number of years to find his wife dead and things greatly
altered. This sort of example is constantly used throughout the novel to
reiterate and stress the topics under discussion.
Music often aids in drawing the scenes and characters with whom Bloom
deals, as in the use of the profusion of cliches from Irish patriotic songs
to characterize the citizen, and the abundance of sea songs used in connec-
tion with the old sailor in the cabman's shelter. Music is used most
obviously in setting the scene in the Hades chapter, where a number of
songs of death and burial attend Dignam's body through the streets and
into the grave. Finally, music becomes an intricate part of the plot as it
provides the means of helping to establish the consubstantiality of Bloom
and Stephen.
But Joyce's musical techniques can best be understood by listening to
them in action. In order to illustrate Joyce's use of music in augmenting
stream-of-conscious thought processes, I have chosen a passage from Lestry-


II





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


gonians.3 When Bloom crosses College Street in front of Thomas Moore's
statue, he contemplates the propriety of the statue's location:

They did right to put him up over a urinal: meeting of the waters. Ought
to be places for women. Running into cakeshops. Settle my hat straight.
There is not in this wide world a vallee. Great song of Julia Morkan's. Kept
her voice up to the very last. Pupil of Michael Balfe's wasn't she? (162.29-
34)

The meaning of Bloom's remarks can be arrived at only through his song
reference. It is proper that Moore's statue adorns the top of a urinal because
Moore wrote "The Meeting of the Waters." The song strikes Bloom as
appropriate men's room music.
After a brief tangent on the need for women's toilets, Bloom comes
back to the song, singing the first line to himself:






There is not in the wide world a val ley so sweet


Here Joyce pushes the joke a little further by making us think of the
lyrics of the song as well as the title. Only when the entire song is heard
as the description of a water closet can the full incongruity of the double
meaning be appreciated:

There is not in the wide world a valley so sweet,
As that vale in whose bosom the bright waters meet;
Oh! the last rays of feeling and life must depart,
Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart,
Ere the bloom of that valley shall fade from my heart.

Yet it was not that Nature had shed o'er the scene,
Her purest of crystal and brightest of green;
'Twas not her soft magic of streamlet or hill,
Oh! no it was something more exquisite still.
Oh! no it was something more exquisite still.

The other example I have chosen to indicate how Joyce lets the music
become the vehicle for much of the meaning of Bloom's stream of conscious-
ness involves Bloom's interpretation of Molly's musical coquettishness.





Libretto for Bloomusalem in Song


As he prices field glasses in a shop window, his thoughts turn to
inversion of lens images, parallax, sunspots, the activity of the spheres,
and, eventually, the moon and a walk that he, Molly, and a man, probably
Blazes Boylan, took:

The full moon was the night we were Sunday fortnight exactly there is a
new moon. Walking down by the Tolka. Not bad for a Fairview moon.
She was humming: The young May moon she's beaming, love. He other
side of her. Elbow, arm. He. Glowworm's la-amp is gleaming, love. Touch.
Fingers. Asking. Answer. Yes.
Stop. Stop. If it was it was. Must. (167.19-25)

The words to Molly's song, "The Young May Moon," are slightly mis-
quoted, but the melody she sings is not altered.
Bloom substitutes "she's" for "is" but accurately describes la-amp as
having a hyphen. The one-syllable word is sung on two notes, and Joyce
indicates with a hyphen the interval between the two notes:





The glow worm's lamp is gleam ing, love


Boylan is presumably the "he" on the other side of Molly attempting
intimacies even in the cuckolded spouse's presence. In this situation the
words, with which all three parties are undoubtedly familiar, take on a
double meaning.

The young May moon is beaming, love.
The glowworm's lamp is gleaming, love.
How sweet to rove thro' Morna's grove,
When the drowsy world is dreaming, love!
Then awake! the heav'ns look bright, my dear,
'Tis never too late for delight, my dear,
And the best of all ways to lengthen our days,
Is to steal a few hours from the night, my dear.

The implications of the gleaming "glowworm's lamp," the sweetness of
roaming through "Morna's grove, / When the drowsy world is dreaming,"
and the admonishment that it's "never too late for delight" could not
have escaped any of the three. Molly, by humming the song, is making


13





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


an affirmative response to Boylan's questioning fingers. Bloom, who also
knows the song and realizes its significance, guesses what is going on,
but in his fatalistic way feels that he could have done nothing to prevent
it. ("If it was it was. Must.")
Joyce makes structural use of musical references all through Ulysses,
linking together segments, episodes, and characters as well as themes.
One of the prime examples of that use is a song called "The Pauper's
Drive," which in Bloom's mind acts as a common denominator unifying
the community of the dead, as the funeral procession passes on its way
to Glasnevin.

Their carriage began to move, creaking and swaying. Other hoofs and
creaking wheels started behind. The blinds of the avenue passed and number
nine with its craped knocker, door ajar. At walking pace.
They waited still, their knees jogging, till they had turned and were
passing along the tramtracks. Tritonville road. Quicker. The wheels rattled
rolling over the cobbled causeway and the crazy glasses shook rattling in
the doorframes. (87.29-37)

Joyce describes the scene in terms that sound roughly analogous to the
chorus of a popular dirge, "The Pauper's Drive." Let us look at a stanza
and chorus of this song, which provides the background music for much
of the chapter.

There's a grim one-horse hearse in a jolly round trot,
To the churchyard a pauper is going, I wot.
The road it is rough, and the hearse has no springs,
And hark to the dirge which the sad driver sings:





Rat tie his bones o ver the stones: He's




on ly a pau per whom no bo dy owns!


During the chapter, the song, with its desolate chorus chant, will reappear
in Bloom's mind as the embodiment of the harsh truth of Dignam's death,





Libretto for Bloomusalem in Song


which is antithetical to the euphemisms and conventional platitudes of
the mourners.
As the carriage hearse of a small child comes galloping by and climbs
the hill of Rutland Square, again the hearse driver's cry from the song
"The Pauper's Drive" comes to Bloom's mind: "Rattle his bones. Over
the stones. Only a pauper. Nobody owns" (96. 12-13). Those lines from
the chorus are meant to sound like a crier's lament as the carriage winds
its way through the streets, much like the cries of the dead-cart carriers
during the London plagues. This time the song is not meant for Dignam
but the dead child. For Bloom, who sees no hope of a second life and
little ultimate reward in the first, the song has the effect of reducing the
dead to the common denominator of hopelessness. The conversation turns
to the evils of suicide, a sensitive topic for Bloom since his father poisoned
himself. He reads the sympathy in Martin Cunningham's eyes, as Cunning-
ham is the only one in the carriage who seems to know his story.
As Cunningham looks away, Bloom thinks, "He knows [about my own
father's death]. Rattle his bones" (97.1). This time the lament of "The
Pauper's Drive" is for Bloom's father. The line acts as an invocation to
the whole association of thoughts surrounding the father's death. The
passage ends on a desolate note: "No more pain. Wake no more. Nobody
owns" (97.9). The first two phrases are from Virag's last letter to his son.
The last phrase, also a part of the last phrase of the chorus of "The Pauper's
Drive," is Bloom's musical benediction for his dead father.
The next passage pulls together the entire community of the dead:
"The carriage rattled swiftly along Blessington street. Over the stones"
(97. I0-11 ).
The combination of the narrator's line describing the progress of the
carriage and the phrase from "The Pauper's Drive" in Bloom's stream of
consciousness serves to complete the circle of the dead. As Joyce reenforces
each aspect of Bloom's day with variations on a central theme in each
chapter, so Bloom relates various aspects of what he sees. The dead, who
form a major part of the cast of characters in the Hades chapter, are given
in Bloom's mind a kind of unity through background orchestration. As
Dignam's carriages begin their journey to the cemetery, we hear from the
narrator the first echoes of "The Pauper's Drive." The song occurs again,
this time in Bloom's stream of consciousness, when the child's body is
carried past. Again the song recurs to Bloom in connection with his father,
and then comes back full cycle to Dignam's hearse in the chorus reference,
"Over the stones."


I5





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


The death of the innocent child in the beginning of life, the suicide
of Virag with its concomitant shame, and the death of Dignam are all
equalized in Bloom's mind by the great leveler, symbolized by the recur-
ring, plaintive, unromantic, matter-of-fact strains of the dirge: "Rattle
his bones over the stones / He's only a pauper whom nobody owns."
It is, of course, in the Sirens chapter that Joyce puts music to its widest
structural and stylistic use. Stuart Gilbert has done scholarship some
disservice by describing the "Technic" in his schema for the Sirens chapter
as being "Fuga per canonem," or, in other words, a fugue with exact
repetitions of theme.4 I need not rehearse here the arguments I advance
elsewhere5 that the chapter nowhere supports such an interpretation. Nei-
ther of course does a canonical fugue have a leitmotif overture.
I will reserve until the next chapter my analysis of Joyce's extensive
use of the Wagnerian leitmotif as a structural device in Sirens in particular
and in Ulysses as a whole. For the present discussion, it is enough to say
that Joyce collects metonymical phrases and musical themes associated
with characters and situations from the Sirens episode, and links them
together with bits of third-person narration to comprise a page-and-a-half
introductory overture to the chapter.
In our Sirens album I have attempted to reproduce the sort of medley
overture Joyce suggested in the written word.6 Following is a brief excerpt
from the overture with appropriate music indicated as it appears in the
text. The text of Sirens, broken down into appropriate script form, appears
in the right-hand column and the musical references in the left.

Narrator:
"When the Bloom Is on the Rye" Blue Bloom is on the
Gold pinnacled hair
A jumping rose on satiny
breasts of satin,
"Rose of Castille" rose of Castille.
Trilling, trilling!
"The Shade of the Palm" Miss Douce: Idolores.
Tuning fork Lenehan: Peep! Who's in the ...
Narrator: peepofgold?
Tink cried to bronze in pity.
And a call, pure, long, and
throbbing.
Longindyingcall.
Decoy. Soft word. But look!





Libretto for Bloomusalem in Song


[Piano notes coincide with lyrics where italicized]
"Goodbye, Sweetheart, Goodbye" The morn is breaking.
Jingle jingle jaunted jingling.
Coin rang. Clock clacked.
Avowal.
Lenehan: Sonnez.
Piano-Narrator:
"Goodbye, Sweetheart, Goodbye" I could. Rebound of garter.
Not leave thee. Smack.
Lenehan:
La cloche!
Piano-Narrator:
Thigh smack. Avowal. Warm.
"Goodbye, Sweetheart, Goodbye," Sweetheart, goodbye!
Jingle. Bloo. (256.6-20)

Joyce uses musical references and devices in the Sirens episode in three
ways. First the character of the third-person narration changes drastically
in the chapter: Joyce emphasizes such sound devices as phrase repetition,
alliteration, and onomatopoeia, which are more poetic and hence more
musical than they are prosaic.
Besides the stress on poetic devices there are in Sirens numerous instances
of duplication of musical intonation, such as staccato and sustained effects.
Though all of these devices are used throughout the book, the narration
of the Sirens chapter is constructed principally of these techniques, as
opposed to their occasional use in other chapters.
The second way Joyce introduces music into the chapter is through
Bloom's stream-of-conscious consideration of the following aspects of mu-
sic: origins (278), definition (278), effects (280, 281), the physiology of
perception (282), sounds and instruments (282, 284), and production
(278-85, 289). The chapter, in a sense, constitutes a relatively complete
catalog of Bloom's opinions on practically all aspects of music.
Third, and by no means least important, is the method Joyce uses of
orchestrating the chapter: the more than one hundred fifty musical refer-
ences themselves. Many of these are sung during the course of the chapter
and provide the themes about which the episode revolves. Others are
merely mentioned in the course of the narrative or in Bloom's stream of
consciousness, as they have been in preceding chapters. The sum of these
references serves to provide not only the greatest number of references in
any chapter, but also the background of almost continuous music from


17






BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


which the episode draws its meaning and existence. In this sense, then,
the chapter is a musical with its overture and its songs sung literally or
symbolically by the protagonists, Bloom and Molly; the chorus in the
back room; and the minor characters, Misses Douce and Kennedy, and
Blazes Boylan.
Finally, I would like to allude briefly to Joyce's use of music in a
thematic context in Ulysses. Most of the musical references touch at least
one of the many themes that appear in the novel. I have alluded earlier
to the prime thematic function of music in the father-son motif.
Bloom, who has taken charge of Stephen in the Circe episode, has been
unable, during the long and often embarrassing scene in the cabman's
shelter, to elicit anything other than the most perfunctory and cynical
remarks from the younger man, whose natural inclination is to avoid
contact with someone of Bloom's mundane intellect and tastes. When
the conversation turns to music, however (661), Stephen, his reticence
dissipated, enthusiastically launches out in praises of Shakespeare's songs;
the lutenist, Dowland, etc., in response to Bloom's own catalog of favorite
music, including most of the music (Martha, Don Giovanni, The Seven
Last Words of Christ) that has been central to Bloom's thought and actions
throughout the day. The ice has been broken and music has become the
means by which the father-son relationship, so longed for by Bloom, has
been initiated. By the end of the chapter they are completely engrossed
in their conversation, and it is conceivable that Bloom's hopes might
eventually be realized, as they go off together to the tune of "The Low-
Backed Car."
Music continues in the Ithaca chapter to play a dominant role in the
relations of Bloom and Stephen as they attempt to acquaint each other
with their views and backgrounds. After having been made consubstantial
through the image of Shakespeare in Bella Cohen's and having been
retransubstantiated with the ritual cocoa, Stephen and Bloom seek again
some common ground on a more mundane level, returning to music.
What fragments of verse from the ancient Hebrew and ancient Irish
languages were cited with modulations of voice and translation of texts by
guest to host and by host to guest?
By Stephen: suil, suil, suil arun, suil go siocair agus, suil go cuin (walk,
walk, walk your way, walk in safety, walk with care).
By Bloom: Kifeloch, harimon rakatejch m'baad I'zamatejch (thy temple amid
thy hair is as a slice of pomegranate). (687.36-688.7)






Libretto for Bloomusalem in Song


The fragment that Stephen sings is from the Irish ballad, "Shule Aroon,"
which dates at least from the eighteenth century. Bloom's song is a part
of the description of the bride's beauty in the Song of Solomon (4.3). The
reference is part of a series of Semitic references in the general description
of Bloom's background and the comparison of the backgrounds of Bloom
and Stephen.
Next the two write down and compare Gaelic and Hebrew characters
in what appears to be an effort to discover bonds of similarity between
the Irish and Hebrew languages. Then they move to a comparison of the
history of the Jews and the Irish, the indignities suffered by the two
peoples, and their chances of eventual independence. Bloom is stirred by
the conversation to chant a well-known Jewish song of hope:

What anthem did Bloom chant partially in anticipation of that multiple,
ethnically irreductible consummation?
Kolod balejwaw pnimah
Nefesch, jehudi, homijah.
Why was the chant arrested at the conclusion of this first distich?
In consequence of defective mnemotechnic. (689.3-9)

Bloom's lines are the first two of the song that is now the Israeli national
anthem, "Hatikvah" ("The Hope"). Following is a free translation of the
song:

While yet within the heart, inwardly
The soul of the Jew yearns,
And toward the vistas of the East, eastwards
An eye to Zion looks
'Tis not yet lost, our hope,
The hope of two thousand years,
To be a free people in our land
In the land of Zion and Jerusalem.

In combining the aspirations of the Irish with those of the Jews there
is to Bloom, hopefully, the prospect of combining his future and Stephen's.
As Bloom has constantly throughout the novel thought of the East as
being an escape from his problems, here he again, this time through
music, looks to the East for salvation. He sees himself united vicariously
with Stephen through their tentatively established similarities in back-
ground. The song becomes the expression of Bloom's hope of being the


19





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


father figure for whom the younger man has been searching. Stephen will
be Bloom's means to immortality, the salvation to his frustrating, futile
existence:

What was Stephen's auditive sensation?
He heard in a profound ancient male unfamiliar melody the accumulation
of the past.
What was Bloom's visual sensation?
He saw in a quick young male familiar form the predestination of a
future. (689.21-26)

Now that Bloom's Semitic background and identity have been estab-
lished both in prose and song and now that Bloom's hopes for the future
have been specifically recounted, Joyce has prepared us for one of the most
important musical references of the novel, Stephen's rendition of the ballad
"Little Harry Hughes":

Recite the first (major) part of this chanted legend?

Little Harry Hughes and his schoolfellows all
Went out for to play ball.
And the very first ball little Harry Hughes played
He drove it o'er the jew's garden wall.
And the very second ball little Harry Hughes played
He broke the jew's windows all.







Lit- tie Har ry Hughes and his school_ fel-lows all Went





out for to play ball went


ou __ o __ oAnh


play ball.


out for to


And the






Libretto for Bloomusalem in Song


_ I...


ver y first ball lit tie Har ry Hughes_ played He






drove it o'er the Jew's gar den wall He



Z- U

drove it o'er the Jew's gar den wall. And the





ver y sec-ond ball lit tie Har ry Hughes_ played He






broke the lew's win dows all He


broke the Jew's win


dows all


How did the son of Rudolph receive this first part?
With unmixed feeling. Smiling, a jew, he heard with pleasure and saw
the unbroken kitchen window.
Recite the second part (minor) of the legend.

Then out there came the jew's daughter
And she all dressed in green.
"Come back, come back, you pretty little boy,
And play your ball again."

"I can't come back and I won't come back
Without my schoolfellows all,


m


21





22


Then out there came the Jew's_ daugh ter and





she all dressed in green Come





boy_ come_ back you pret ty lit tie boy And






play your ball a gain And





play your ball a gain.


How did the father of Millicent receive his second part?
With mixed feelings. Unsmiling, he heard and saw with wonder a jew's
daughter, all dressed in green.


BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG

For if my master did hear
He'd make it a sorry ball."

She took him by the lilywhite hand
And led him along the hall
Until she led him to a room
Where none could hear him call.

She took a penknife out of her pocket
And cut off his little head,
And now he'll play his ball no more
For he lies among the dead.





Libretto for Bloomusalem in Song


Condense Stephen's commentary.
One of all, the least of all, is the victim predestined. Once by inadvertence,
twice by design he challenges his destiny. It comes when he is abandoned
and challenges him reluctant and, as an apparition of hope and youth holds
him unresisting. It leads him to a strange habitation, to a secret infidel
apartment, and there, implacable, immolates him, consenting. (690.16-
692.7)

The ballad is more than just an anti-Semitic ballad; the parallels are
too close to the present situation to be passed over so lightly. What
Stephen intends the song to imply in terms of its significance to the
present situation is not completely clear in his commentary. The victim
of Stephen's song is both himself, as he exposes himself to Bloom through
inadvertence at Bella Cohen's, and through design at the cabman's shelter
by consenting to return home with Bloom, and Leopold, who is misled
by Stephen, his "apparition of hope and youth."
But the more obvious parallels are to Stephen's present situation as
victim in a "strange ... secret infidel" habitation. In the complete version
of the ballad, collected by Cecil T. Sharp, we see how Little Harry, like
Stephen, is lured into the Jew's house with the promise of goodies:

Stanza 3:
The first that come out was a Jew's daughter,
Was dressed all in green:
Come in, come in, my little sir Hugh,
You shall have your ball again.

Stanza 4:
O no, O no, I dare not acome
Without my playmates too;
For if my mother should be at the door
She would cause my poor heart to rue.

Stanza 5:
The first she offered him was a fig,
The next a finer thing,
The third a cherry as red as blood,
And that enticed him in.

Stanza 6:
She set him up in a gilty chair,
She gave him sugar sweet
She laid him out on a dresser board
And stabb'd him like a sheep.


23






BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


Stephen, unlike Harry, will not be seduced with seeming kindness and
cocoa. What parallels may have been left to the imagination by the song,
Stephen tries to spell out in his commentary. Bloom understands eagerly
that he is somehow part of the action of the song when he glances at his
own kitchen window, though he wishes, as the last sentence in the
passage indicates, to be dissociated from the song. He is, however, doubly
implicated in the song, as the next few lines of the text prove:

Why was the host (victim predestined) sad?
He wished that a tale of a deed should be told of a deed not by him
should by him not be told.
Why was the host (reluctant, unresisting) still?
In accordance with the law of the conservation of energy.
Why was the host (secret infidel) silent?
He weighed the possible evidences for and against ritual murder. (692.8-
I5)
We see that Bloom, the host, becomes the "victim predestined." He is
further described as "reluctant, unresisting," and as being a "secret infidel."
Bloom's role as the murdering Jew in Stephen's ballad changes in the
"victim predestined" description. Bloom is predestined to be victimized
by Stephen, who accepts Bloom's good offices and is about to leave,
denying Bloom the fatherhood he longs for. We realize further that Bloom,
though "reluctant" to see Stephen leave, will be "unresisting" and not
press him to stay. But, victim or not, Bloom is still Stephen's "secret
infidel" host as the cycle is completed. Stephen's ballad, by alluding to
the victimization of both himself and Bloom, confirms his interchangeabil-
ity with Bloom, and emphasizes the real consubstantial bonds existing
between the two men.
Joyce's prose is meant to be heard as well as read. Not the least of its
purely auditory qualities is the extensive use of music with its connotations
of meaning as well as sound. Rather than providing Ulysses with any
radical departures in meaning or significance, music furnishes a new
perspective through which the already existing meanings may be reexam-
ined. Already identified by Joyceans are at least 731 musical allusions
that orchestrate the novel and that are as diverse as the spectrum of life
the book attempts to investigate. And the uses to which Joyce puts these
allusions and techniques are as widely divergent as any sets of characters,
symbols, or narrative techniques in this most ingenious of novels.


24














The Bronzegold Sirensong: A Musical Analysis of

the Sirens Episode in Joyce's Ulysses








THERE IS no dearth of criticism regarding the music in the Sirens chapter
ofJoyce's Ulysses. Most of the commentary deals with the musical structure
of the chapter and its relationship to one or two musical forms.
The natural tendency in the matter of correlating music and musical
structure to literature and literary forms is to become, in the exuberance
of one's position, too subjective. Lavish, unfounded statements such as
"this world that Joyce is creating emerges with a rhythmic sweep that
reminds us of nothing as much as a gigantic symphony,"' have a tendency
to creep into many discussions of one art form in terms of another.
This is not to say that similarities and correlations may not be drawn,
especially in a situation such as the Sirens chapter where the author's
apparent intent was to bring about a sort of blend of literature and music.
It is in Joyce's method of effecting this blend that the differences in critics'
opinions about the Sirens chapter seem to lie. Many musical analogies
have been made to the form and narrative devices of the chapter, the
predominant ones being the fugue2 and the leitmotif. The fugal idea was
given some impetus by Stuart Gilbert, when he described the "Technic"
in his schema for the Sirens chapter as being "Fuga per canonem."3 According
to Gilbert the chapter is not only a fugue but a fugue with invariable,
congruent repetitions of theme! A canon is "a polyphonic composition in
which all the parts have the same melody throughout, although starting
at different points. The canon is the strictest species of imitation."4 In


I





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


fact, though there are many musical and verbal repetitions in the chapter,
nothing is ever repeated in exactly the same manner. Gilbert describes
the fugal subject as "obviously the Sirens' song: the Answer, Mr. Bloom's
entry and monologue; Boylan . the countersubject"; and the episodes,
or divertimenti, the songs by Mr. Dedalus and Ben Dollard.5 Does Gilbert
mean to imply that they are all singing the same song, or that they strictly
imitate one another?
The first two pages of the episode, which clearly constitute an overture,
tend to discredit the fugal idea. If the chapter is fugal it would not be
likely to have an overture preceding it. Of all the commentators on the
music in Ulysses, few-notably Harry Levin and Horst Petri6-seem to
take issue with Gilbert on the fuga per canonem question.
A. Walton Litz, who agrees with Gilbert on the question of the fugal
arrangement of the Sirens chapter, also reiterates Gilbert's references to
the Wagnerian leitmotifs7 (that is, the representation of the acting person-
alities, of typical situations, and of recurrent ideas by musical motifs).
No one has ever explained the function of the leitmotif in Ulysses, though
the parallel is not difficult to see. This characteristic in the Sirens episode
is found in the repeated metonymical phrases such as "Bronze by Gold"
for Miss Douce's and Miss Kennedy's heads and "Jingle jingle jaunted
jingling" for Boylan's carriage and hence for Boylan. Another sort of
leitmotif in the Sirens, which no one seems yet to have discovered, is the
use of musical themes such as The Rose of Castille for Molly, "When the
Bloom Is on the Rye" for Bloom, and "The Last Rose of Summer,"
"M'appari," and "Goodbye, Sweetheart, Goodbye," for various aspects of
the relationship between Molly and Bloom. These will subsequently be
discussed in detail, but for the purpose of the present discussion it will
suffice to say that bits and snatches of the songs are used repeatedly to
suggest circumstances or characters as they will occur throughout the
episode. It is the piecing together of the main leitmotifs that composes
the overture to the chapter. These themes are linked with brief bits of
third-person narrative description gleaned from the body of the episode.
The contention of Stanley Sultan, that the overture is parallel to the
overture from the opera Martha, is, I feel, incorrect.8 There are several
types of overture. As I have indicated, the Sirens chapter begins with a
medley. The overture is composed of sixty-seven theme-and-description
motifs from the entire chapter, clearly different in form as well as content
from the overture to Flotow's Martha, which contains only two significant
motifs from the rest of the opera. Though abundant parallels between


26





The Bronzegold Sirensong


Ulysses and Martha are present-and will be discussed later in this analy-
sis-they are merely part of all the musical references in the overture and
the chapter. "The Last Rose of Summer" and "M'appari," the two songs
from Martha mentioned in Ulysses, are referred to four times in the Sirens'
overture, which contains twenty-one references to eleven songs; and they
are mentioned thirty-two times in the entire chapter, which contains 158
references to forty-seven songs.9 The opera, while its importance must
not be underrated, does not provide the model for the structure of the
overture or the entire chapter musically, numerically, or thematically.
Furthermore, there is no plot similarity between Martha and the Sirens
episode. Lionel in Martha has Lady Harriet begging for forgiveness-a
situation into which Bloom never manages to maneuver Molly in either
the chapter or the novel.
The main body of the chapter encompasses five principal songs. Three-
"Goodbye, Sweetheart, Goodbye," "All Is Lost Now," and "When First
I Saw That Form Endearing"-deal with the loss or leave-taking of a
lover. The song "Love and War" indicates a synthesis and transition from
the love songs that dominate the earlier parts of the chapter to the patriotic
ballads of the latter part. Mabel Worthington has suggested to me that
the entire chapter might be built around the principles of love and war;
however, music is the principal element in the structure of the episode,
and much music, especially Irish music, has one or the other of the two
topics for its dominant themes. Present in most of the chapter, however,
is a sense of the pathos of both lonely, betrayed Bloom, and, through the
song "The Croppy Boy," the betrayed country. The chapter does not
appear to be a light or comic opera, as its overture might suggest, for it
seems to have no happy resolution, or, for that matter, no resolution at
all, but rather combines in its conclusion the elements of physiology,
love, patriotism, and religion in their magnificently pathetic and humorous
naturalistic proportions.
If the chapter is not composed along fugal lines, neither is it an opera.
The fundamental operatic plot elements of the Sirens episode existed long
before the chapter started, and their resolution does not take place in this
chapter.' Just as the novel can never be tied exclusively to the rigorous
formula of the Odyssey, the signs of the zodiac, or the mass, neither can
the Sirens chapter be limited to one musical form exclusively. The number
and type of songs included in the chapter substantiate this contention.
The music ranges from the simplicity of "Home Sweet Home" to the
complexity of Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsodies," from the pious strains of


27





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


"Quis est homo?" to the bawdy lyrics of "O Mary Lost the Pin of Her
Drawers," and from the militancy of "The Boys of Wexford" to the
tranquility of "The Last Rose of Summer." If anything, the Sirens chapter
is a medley or chronicle of the musical themes of Ulysses, just as the
overture was a medley of themes for the chapter.
Joyce uses musical references and devices in the Sirens episode in three
ways. First, the character of the third-person narration changes drastically
in the chapter: the manner in which the activities are described acquires
an emphasis on sound devices that are more poetic and hence more musical
than they are prosaic. Following is a partial list of poetic-musical devices
with examples of each:
Assonance. "Mr Leopold Bloom envisaged candlestick melodeon oozing
maggoty blowbags" (290.9-11I).
Phrase repetition. "Bald Pat who is bothered mitred the napkins. Pat is
a waiter hard of his hearing. Pat is a waiter who waits while you wait.
Hee hee hee hee. He waits while you wait. Hee hee. A waiter is he. Hee
hee hee hee. He waits while you wait. While you wait if you wait he
will wait while you wait. Hee hee hee hee. Hoh. Wait while you wait"
(280.36-41).
Alliteration. "Corncrake croaker: belly like a poisoned pup" (277.28),
and "On the smooth jutting beerpull laid Lydia hand lightly, plumply
leave it to my hands" (286.18-19).
Onomatopoeia. "To pour o'er sluices pouring gushes. Flood, gush, flow,
joygush, tupthrop" (274.39-40).
In addition to the prosodic devices used above there are in the Sirens
many attempts at duplicating types of musical intonation, such as a
staccato or a sustained effect:
Staccato. "Miss Douce, Miss Lydia, did not believe. Miss Kennedy,
Mina, did not believe: George Lidwell, no: Miss Dou did not: the first,
the first: gent with the tank: believe, no, no: did not, Miss Kenn: Lidlydia-
well: the tank" (278.1-4).
Sustained. "Soaring all around about the all, the endlessnessnessness"
(276.4-5).
Though all of these devices are used throughout the book, the narration
of the Sirens chapter is constructed principally of these techniques, as
opposed to their occasional use in other chapters.
The second way Joyce introduces music into the chapter is through
Bloom's thoughts regarding the following aspects of music: origins (278),
definition (278), effects (280, 282), the physiology of perception (281),


28





The Bronzegold Sirensong


sounds and instruments (282, 283, 284), and production (278-86, 289).
The chapter, in a sense, is a tour de force of Bloom's opinions on nearly
all aspects of music.
Third, and perhaps most important, is Joyce's orchestration of the
chapter with 158 references to 47 different works of music. Many of these
are performed by the Ormond crowd during the episode and provide the
themes about which the chapter revolves. Others are merely alluded to
by the narrator or in Bloom's stream of consciousness, as they have been
in preceding chapters. The sum of these references represents the greatest
concentration of musical references in any chapter, providing a background
of continuous music from which the episode draws its meaning and exis-
tence. In this sense, then, the chapter is a musical-with its overture
and its songs performed literally or symbolically by the principal couple,
Bloom and Molly, against the male chorus in the back room; the minor
characters, Misses Douce and Kennedy; and Blazes Boylan. It is to the
music of all these characters that we must look for the ultimate significance
of the action in the episode, and it is to this analysis that the rest of the
present discussion will be devoted.
Before Bloom enters the Ormond Bar, Miss Douce begins a song, "The
Shade of the Palm," which is destined to become one of the main themes
of the chapter.
Gaily Miss Douce polished a tumbler, trilling:
-0, Idolores, queen of the eastern seas! (261.38-39)
This song from Florodora recurs throughout the chapter and is, in a sense,
both Bloom's and Boylan's song. The words of the song, part of which Miss
Douce misquotes, are extremely significant when taken in their entirety:
Stanza I:
There is a garden fair
Set in an Eastern sea,
There is a maid keeping her tryst with me
In the shade of the palm,
With a lover's delight,
Where 'tis ever the golden day,
Or a silvery night;
How can I leave her alone in this dream of sweet Arcadia-
How can I part from her for lands away?
In this valley of Eden,
Fairest isle of the sea,
Oh, my beloved, bid me to stay


29





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


In this fair land of Eden,
Bid me beloved to stay.

Stanza 2:
There is an island fair,
Girt by a Western sea;
Dearest, 'tis there
One day thou'lt go with me.
'Neath the glorious moon
Hand in hand we will roam,
Hear the nightingale song of June,
In the dear Land of Home!
There, dearest heart, will the past but seem an idle vision
Nought but a dream that fadeth fast away,
And the songs we were singing, in Elysian vales
Seem but a carol of yesterday.
Happy songs we were singing,
Songs of a bygone day.

Chorus:
Oh my Dolores Queen of the Eastern sea!
Fair one of Eden, look to the West for me!
My star will be shining, love, when you're in the moonlight calm,
So be waiting for me by the Eastern sea in the shade of the shelt'ring palm.

Molly is, of course, Dolores of the Eastern sea. She has, through Bloom's
many references to her Eastern features and complexion, and her Moorish
background, become synonymous with the East. The first stanza belongs
to Boylan with its assurances of a tryst, as he wanders afar while his
Dolores waits in the shade of the jingling bedstead.
Stanza 2, especially in the latter part, is more applicable to Bloom with
its echoes of former days of love and happier times. The "idle vision" of
former love that sustains Bloom so much through his present trial seems[]
but a carol of yesterday," and the "happy songs . / Songs of a bygone
day." This note of pathos on which the song closes is a dominant one in
the chapter. The musical reference here is, in some measure, purposefully
ambiguous and is intended to convey a mood rather than a plot synopsis
with exact correlations to the characters and situation. The song, which
occurs repeatedly throughout the chapter, represents its first musical varia-
tion on the issue of Molly's promiscuity, a major theme of the novel.
Bloom has not yet entered the Ormond Bar, and as he crosses the Essex





The Bronzegold Sirensong


Bridge, he is identified by the narrator with the song "When the Bloom
Is on the Rye":

Mr Bloom reached Essex bridge. Yes, Mr Bloom crossed bridge of Yessex.
To Martha I must write. Buy paper. Daly's. Girl there civil. Bloom. Old
Bloom. Blue Bloom is on the rye. (261.41-262.2)

Ironically this song speaks also of a coming meeting, though the one in
the song seems entirely honorable since it contains also a proposal of
marriage:

My pretty Jane, my pretty Jane!
Ah! never, never look so shy,
But meet me, meet me in the ev'ning,
When the bloom is on the rye.
The Spring is waning fast, my love,
The corn is in the ear,
The summer nights are coming, love,
The moon shines bright and clear;
Then pretty Jane, my dearest Jane,
Ah! never look so shy,
But meet me, meet me in the ev'ning,
When the bloom is on the rye.
But name the day, the wedding day,
And I will buy the ring,
The lads and maids in favors white,
And village bells shall ring.
The Spring is waning fast, my love ...

While the song contains a reference to a proposed rendezvous and is
appropriate to Bloom's thoughts of writing to Martha Clifford, its primary
function is to act as a theme or leitmotif to introduce the presence of
Bloom throughout the chapter.
Lenehan and Simon Dedalus make their appearance in the Ormond and
flirt with the barmaids, and Bloom stops to buy stationery for Martha
Clifford's letter in Daly's. He sees Boylan heading for the Ormond bar
and decides to follow him. As Bloom completes his purchase the first
note from the piano tuner's fork drifts out-the orchestra tuning to the
perfect A for the coming concert:

From the saloon a call came, long in dying. That was a tuningfork the
tuner had that he forgot that he now struck. A call again. That he now


31





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


poised that it now throbbed. You hear? It throbbed, pure, purer, softly
softlier, its buzzing prongs. Longer in dying call. (264.11-15)

As Boylan approaches the bar the opening strains of "Goodbye, Sweet-
heart, Goodbye" are heard. His stay in the Ormond will end with the
conclusion of this song, which is being played, presumably by Simon
Dedalus, during the entirety of Boylan's brief visit to the bar. Joyce
indicates the significance of the song by quoting the lyrics to both stanzas,
although the lyrics themselves are not being sung since the music is merely
being played on the piano:

-The bright stars fade ...
A voiceless song sang from within, singing:
-. . the morn is breaking.
A duodene of birdnotes chirruped bright treble answer under sensitive
hands. Brightly the keys, all twinkling, linked, all harpsichording, called
to a voice to sing the strain of dewy morn, of youth, of love's leavetaking,
life's, love's morn.
-The dewdrops pearl ... (264.18-26)

Four more lines from the song are quoted on the next two pages as Boylan
passes pleasantries with Miss Douce:

-And I from thee . (265.3)
-. . To Flora's lips did hie. (266.17)
-I could not leave thee . (266.23)
-. . Sweetheart, goodbye! (267.8)

The complete words to the song are as follows:

The bright stars fade, the morn is breaking,
The dewdrops pearl each bud and leaf,
And I from thee my leave am taking,
With bliss too brief, with bliss, with bliss too brief.
How sinks my heart with fond alarms,
The tear is hiding in mine eye,
For time doth tear me from thine arms,
Goodbye, sweetheart, goodbye,
Goodbye, sweetheart, goodbye,
For time doth tear me from thine arms,
Goodbye, sweetheart, goodbye.


32





The Bronzegold Sirensong


The sun is up, the lark is soaring,
Loud swells the song of chanticleer,
Yet I am here, yet I, yet I am here.
For since night's gems from heav'n do fade,
And morn to floral lips doth hie,
I could not leave thee though I said
Goodbye, sweetheart, goodbye,
Goodbye, sweetheart, goodbye,
I could not leave thee though I said
Goodbye, sweetheart, goodbye.
When the phrase "To Flora's lips did hie" appears in the text, we cannot
assume that the disparity between it and the correct phrase in stanza two,
"to floral lips doth hie," is due to Bloom's incorrect memory or his tendency
to misquote. The lyrics are printed in italics, and do not come to us
through Bloom's thoughts, for he is not even in earshot of the piano for
most of the song. Further, the lyrics are not being sung here; Joyce is
representing the notes with the lyrics that accompany them, and the
incorrect quotation is therefore the narrator's. This gives rise to some
speculation about how many other times this has happened, only to be
attributed to Bloom's poor memory.
While the song is being played, Bloom, now in front of the Ormond,
meets Richie Goulding, and they decide to have something to eat in the
dining room adjoining the bar, where Boylan and Lenehan are flirting
with Miss Douce as Simon Dedalus plays the piano. Though Bloom is
present in the dining room for most of the song and has undoubtedly
heard the rest from the street in front of the hotel, "Goodbye, Sweetheart,
Goodbye" starts with Boylan's entrance and concludes with his exit. There
is, however, more significance to the song than a mere leitmotif for Boylan,
such as "When the Bloom Is on the Rye" is for Bloom. "Goodbye,
Sweetheart, Goodbye" presents the typically Joycean comic irony of the
friendly natives in the Ormond bidding good-bye to assignation-bound
Boylan as the latter goes off for an afternoon of cuckoldry. Boylan seems
to have been waiting impatiently for the end of the song, to start on his
amorous adventure, for at its conclusion he immediately starts to leave:
-. . Sweetheart, goodbye!
-I'm off, said Boylan with impatience.
He slid his chalice brisk away, grasped his change. (267.8-Io)
While "Goodbye, Sweetheart, Goodbye" is the predominant theme for
the Boylan segment, several minor melodies play a contrapuntal back-


33





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


ground. As Lenehan banters with Miss Douce, Boylan enters and is greeted
with Lenehan's salutation, "See the conquering hero comes" (264.39).
The reference is to the stately chorus in Handel's Judas Maccabaeus. The
music furnishes a properly majestic tone for conqueror Boylan to make
his entrance:

See, the conquering hero comes,
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums:
Sports prepare, the laurels bring.
Songs of triumph to him sing,
See, the conqu'ring hero comes,
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums.

See the godlike youth advance,
Breathe the flute and lead the dance;
Myrtle wreaths and roses twine
To deck the hero's brow divine.
See, the conqu'ring hero comes,
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums.

Even if Boylan is the conquering hero we are told that Bloom is not the
vanquished:

Between the car and window, warily walking, went Bloom, unconquered
hero. (264.40-41)

There is in this the first hint that though Bloom may be cuckolded in
the afternoon, he still is not conquered in a far larger sense. Bloom accepts
the world, accepts life, and doesn't try to change it. While Boylan's theme
music here is triumphant and pompous, Bloom's ("When the Bloom Is
on the Rye"), in contrast, is sentimental and quiet.
Joyce musically interweaves another theme of the Boylan-Molly union
into the background while the men discuss the gold cup race and sip
their drinks. As the conversation proceeds, Miss Douce continues her now
muted rendition of "The Shade of the Palm":

Lenehan still drank and grinned at his tilted ale and at Miss Douce's lips
that all but hummed, not shut, the oceansong her lips had trilled. Idolores.
The eastern seas. (265.37-39)

As Miss Douce rings up Boylan's coin on the register her humming must
have reached stanza two of the song:


34





The Bronzegold Sirensong


Miss Douce took Boylan's coin, struck boldly the cashregister. It clanged.
Clock clacked. Fair one of Egypt teased and sorted in the till and hummed
and handed coins in change. Look to the west. A clack. For me. (266.1-
4)

Miss Douce's musical admonishment of Boylan to "Look to the west ..
for me" corresponds roughly to four lines in stanza 2 of "The Shade of
the Palm":

There is an island fair,
Girt by a western sea,
Dearest, 'tis there
One day thou'lt go with me.

Hodgart and Worthington cite not "The Shade of the Palm" as the musical
source for the passage but an Irish patriotic song, "The Men of the West."
They probably had in mind the similarity of the passage "Look to the
west," and a line from stanza one of the war song, "And looked for revenge
to the west." Clearly, if Joyce had this reference in mind, Miss Douce,
who is in the process of using all of her seductive charms on Boylan,
does not. Secondly, this interpretation of the passage does not take into
consideration the words, "For me," as the "Shade of the Palm" reference
does.
The last countertheme in the "Goodbye, Sweetheart, Goodbye" passage
is Bloom's leitmotif as he and Goulding find a table in the dining room:

The bag of Goulding, Collis, Ward led Bloom by ryebloom flowered tables.
(266.9-10)

The association of "rye" and "Bloom" is of course an ingenious, though
easily recognizable, variation of "When the Bloom Is on the Rye," and is
used, in the tradition of Wagner, to herald the entrance of the protagonist.
After Blazes leaves, Joyce gives us the conversation in the bar, which
Bloom, sitting in the dining room next door, cannot hear. Ben Dollard
is requested to sing the song "Love and War." After Simon Dedalus finds
his "lost chord pipe" the conversation turns to performances and Dollard's
recollection of borrowing a dress suit from Bloom for a performance.
Molly's Irish background is discussed, and she is referred to by Simon as
"My Irish Molly O," the title of a popular Irish song. Miss Douce, standing
thoughtfully near the maraschino behind the bar, is described as "Idolores,
a queen, Dolores," reenforcing also the association of Molly with "The


35





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


Shade of the Palm" by juxtaposing the reference and the discussion of
Molly's background.
Finally the music, which Bloom is able to hear, starts again as Ben
Dollard sings "Love and War":

Over their voices Dollard bassooned attack, booming over bombarding
chords:
-When love absorbs my ardent soul ...
Roll of Bensoulbenjamin rolled to the quivery loveshivery roofpanes.
-War! War! cried Father Cowley. You're the warrior.
-So I am, Ben Warrior laughed. I was thinking of your landlord. Love
or money. (270.3-10)

The song is a duet for tenor and bass. The tenor is the "lover" and the
bass the "warrior":

Lover (Tenor):
When Love absorbs my ardent soul,
I think not of the morrow;
Beneath his sway years swiftly roll,
True lovers banish sorrow,
By softest kisses, warm'd to blisses,
Lovers banish sorrow,
By softest kisses, warm'd to blisses,
Lovers banish sorrow.

Soldier (Bass):
While war absorbs my ardent soul,
I think not of the morrow;
Beneath his sway years swiftly roll,
True Soldiers banish sorrow,
By cannon's rattle, rous'd to battle,
Soldiers banish sorrow,
By cannon's rattle, rous'd to battle,
Soldiers banish sorrow.

Together:
Since Mars lov'd Venus, Venus Mars,
Let's blend love's wounds with battle's scars,
And call in Bacchus all divine,
To cure both pains with rosy wine,
To cure both pains with rosy, rosy wine.
And thus, beneath his social sway,
We'll sing and laugh the hours away.


36





The Bronzegold Sirensong


Dollard's singing "When Love absorbs my ardent soul," the tenor's part,
prompts Cowley's admonishment to sing about war, the bass's part, and
is probably the reason that causes Ben to stop singing. According to the
narrator, Ben's voice was booming on what should be a soft passage that
crescendos slightly up to the word "soul." The last few notes, however,
being in the upper tenor register, are pretty high, and Dollard provides
the usual bass answer to high notes, increased volume:






While love ab sorbs my ar dent soul
Ulysses:................ ............... my ar dent soul

A-
Ow~


r3 I I I I i I
think not of the mor row
care not for the mor row

Ben stops, and Father Cowley sits down at the piano to play the song
more "lovingly," while the lines drift out to the dining room:

-. .... my ardent soul
I care not foror the morrow. (270.29-30)

The second line is a variation of "I think not of the morrow." Here it is
not at all certain whether the lines are being sung, or whether Joyce
is just describing the musical accompaniment, as he did in "Goodbye,
Sweetheart, Goodbye," by means of the lyrics. Bloom, who knows Dol-
lard's voice well, does not know who is performing: "Love and war someone
is" (270.31-32). If Bloom hears the piano only, then the variation must
again be laid to Joyce. While the author's recollection of the lyrics may
not be too good, his musical phraseology is better. He indicates the three
eighth notes and the interval of a sixth between the last two, all on the
word for, by adding, instead of a dash this time, another syllable on the
word (see music above).
I have indicated earlier that love and war are possibly the dual themes
of the chapter. The preoccupations of the characters in the Sirens chapter
are certainly with love and war, and these are reflected in the songs that


37





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


provide the musical accompaniment. Like the lover and warrior in the
duet, the boys in the Ormond bar decide musically to "blend love's wounds
with battle's scars, / And call in Bacchus all divine / To cure both pains
with rosy wine /. .. [and] sing and laugh the hours away." With Dollard's
brief solo begins the barroom concert, which in song will relate the major
conflicts and themes of the chapter.
Bloom, having heard Ben sing the first line of"Love and War," begins
a reminiscence of his performance in the borrowed dress suit which had
just been a topic of conversation in the bar:

Ben Dollard's famous. Night he ran round to us to borrow a dress suit for
that concert. Trousers tight as a drum on him. Musical porkers. Molly did
laugh when he went out. Threw herself back across the bed, screaming,
kicking. With all his belongings on show. 0, saints above, I'm drenched!
0, the women in the front row! 0, I never laughed so many! Well, of
course, that's what gives him the base barreltone. For instance eunuchs.
Wonder who's playing. Nice touch. Must be Cowley. Musical. Knows
whatever note you play. Bad breath he has, poor chap. Stopped. (270.32-
41)

That Bloom is able to differentiate Cowley's touch from another is
rather remarkable, as is his later notice that the piano has been tuned:
"Piano again. Sounds better than last time I heard. Tuned probably"
(273.14-15). To differentiate various players by their touch alone, or to
tell that a piano has been tuned, unless it was badly out of tune, demon-
strates on Bloom's part an experienced musical ear.
As the piano resumes again, the music brings to Bloom's mind memories
of a particular performance and the female harpist who played in the
orchestra:

Piano again. Cowley it is. Way he sits into it, like one together, mutual
understanding. Tiresome shapers scraping fiddles, eye on the bowend,
sawing the 'cello, remind you of toothache. Her high long snore. Night
we were in the box. Trombone under blowing like a grampus, between
the acts, other brass chap unscrewing, emptying spittle. Conductor's legs
too, bagstrousers, jiggedy jiggedy. Do right to hide them.
Jiggedy jingle jaunty jaunty.
Only the harp. Lovely gold glowering light. Girl touched it. Poop of a
lovely. Gravy's rather good fit for a. Golden ship. Erin. The harp that once
or twice. Cool hands. Ben Howth, the rhododendrons. We are their harps.
I. He. Old. Young. (271. 10-21)


38





The Bronzegold Sirensong


Bloom's reverie is punctuated by the sound of Boylan's cart as he proceeds
toward Molly's. Thoughts of Molly's snore and the lovely harpist put
Bloom in a mood of nostalgic dejection. He associates the harp with the
song "The Harp That Once Through Tara's Halls" as he thinks, "The
harp that once or twice." The song is a combination of sentimentality
over the glories of former days and patriotic indignation:

The harp that once through Tara's halls
The soul of music shed,
Now hangs as mute on Tara's walls
As if that soul were fled,
So sleeps the pride of former days,
So glory's thrill is o'er,
And hearts that once beat high for praise,
Now feel that pulse no more.

"The pride of former days" and "glory's thrill," which the song refers to
and which occurred for Bloom in Ben Howth's rhododendrons, are indeed
gone for him. The song reference serves only to deepen Bloom's resignation
about his, Boylan's, or any man's ability to control the eternal surge of
woman's will. ("We are their harps. I. He. Old. Young.")
Meanwhile the boys are urging Simon Dedalus to sing "M'appari" from
Flotow's Martha. Cowley starts to sing the song in Italian. Simon, at first
heedless of the request, sings "A Last Farewell," the words of which are
described by the narrator in terms of the sea, ships, sails, and winds of
the painted backdrop behind the stage:

Down stage he strode some paces, grave, tall in affliction, his long arms
outheld. Hoarsely the apple of his throat hoarsed softly. Softly he sang to
dusty seascape there: A Last Farewell. A headland, a ship, a sail upon the
billows. Farewell. A lovely girl, her veil awave upon the wind upon the
headland, wind around her.
Cowley sang:

-M'appari tutt'amor:
1I mio sguardo l'incontr ..

She waved, unhearing Cowley, her veil to one departing, dear one, to wind,
love, speeding sail, return. (271.26-36)

"A Last Farewell" ("Epilogue" by Grieg) may well be a final Sirens' song
for the departed Boylan. Though the song is indeed one of parting, it


39





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


involves parting from this world to the next. A relatively brief segment
of the lyrics will demonstrate the tenor of the song:

Farewell, base world, thy sins oppress me,
With footsteps fleet I haste away,
Where foes or friends no more distress me;
My spirit's higher call obey.

If this song is to be sung for or by Boylan, the intention is purely ironic.
Simon, still reticent, replies to the requests for his rendition of "M'ap-
pari" with Simonesque, cliche-riddled modesty. "-Ah, sure my dancing
days are done, Ben . Well" (271.38).
The words are from the third stanza of the antiwar song "Johnny I
Hardly Knew Ye":

Where are the legs with which you run?
Hurroo! Hurroo!
Where are the legs with which you run?
Hurroo! Hurroo!
Where are the legs with which you run
When you went to carry a gun?
Indeed your dancing days are done!
Faith, Johnny I hardly knew ye. (italics mine)

Simon starts to play, and falters in his accompaniment, so that Cowley
admonishes him to play the song in the original key of one flat (F major).
Simon has started the song in a lower key as the next line indicates: "The
keys, obedient, rose higher, told, faltered, confessed, confused" (272.1-
2). The version of the song Simon will eventually sing ("Come Back,
Martha! Ah Return Love," words by Charles Jeffreys, arranged by Charles
W. Glover)" is in two sharps (D major), a minor third below the original
key. Finally Cowley sits down to play the accompaniment himself. Mean-
while, in the dining room, Richie Goulding is telling Bloom about Joe
Maas's rendition of "Tutto e Sciolto" from Bellini's La Sonnambula. Bloom,
unable to become ecstatic over Joe Maas's singing, reflects on Richie's
physical condition:

Backache he. Bright's bright eye. Next item on the programme. Paying
the piper. Pills, pounded bread, worth a guinea a box. Stave it off awhile.
Sings too. Down among the dead men. Appropriate. Kidney pie. Sweets to
the. Not making much hand of it. Best value in. Characteristic of him.
Power. Particular about his drink. (272.14-19)





The Bronzegold Sirensong


According to Bloom, Richie's singing "Down among the Dead Men" is
appropriate both to his state of poor health and the cause of the condition.
"Down among the Dead Men" is an old English drinking song that reminds
us that after death there is no more drinking:

Here's a health to the King, and a lasting peace,
To faction an end, to wealth increase.
Come, let's drink it while we have breath,
For there's no drinking after death.
And he that will this health deny,
Down among the dead men,
Down among the dead men,
Down, down, down, down,
Down among the dead men let him lie.

The drinking aspect of the song is the associative link leading to Bloom's
speculation on Richie's drinking habits. As Richie continues to wax ecstatic
over Maas's rendition of "Tutto e Sciolto," Bloom takes the whole story
with a grain of salt, but asks politely:

Which air is that? asked Leopold Bloom.
-All is lost now.
Richie cocked his lips apout. A low incipient note sweet banshee murmured
all. A thrush. A throstle. His breath, birdsweet, good teeth he's proud of,
fluted with plaintive woe. Is lost. Rich sound. Two notes in one there.
Blackkbird [sic] I heard in the hawthorn valley. Taking my motives he
twined and turned them. All most too new call is lost in all. Echo. How
sweet the answer. How is that done? All lost now. Mournful he whistled.
Fall, surrender, lost. (272.31-40)

"All is lost now" (tutto e sciolto) is a phrase of which Joyce was very fond,
having written a poem by that name. Elvino's aria, "Tutto e Sciolto," in
act 2 of La Sonnambula, is one of deepest despair:

All is lost now,
By all hope and joy am I forsaken.
Nevermore can love awaken
Past enchantment, no, nevermore.

Richie is, of course, whistling the air to Bloom. The third-person narration
in the passage is bound almost inextricably to Bloom's stream of conscious-
ness and the first line of the song. Richie's whistling is compared to a


41





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


bird's call. The first "low incipient note," murmuring the word all from
the song is the dotted half note of the first measure of the solo:






Tut to e sciol to
All is lost now

After the description of the tone of Richie's whistle and Bloom's specula-
tions on his teeth, the "Is lost" (1. 24) is Richie's continuation of the
musical phrase.
Bloom's thoughts are directed next to Richie's dual note tone production
and its similarity to that of a blackbird that once whistled a contrapuntal
duet with Bloom. As Leopold whistled, he fancied the bird took his
musical motifs and made variations on them. The blackbird's echo of
Bloom's melody brings to mind the word Echo, which is the subtitle of
a lovely Thomas Moore song, "How Sweet the Answer Echo Makes," the
words of which follow:
How sweet the answer Echo makes
To music at night,
When, rous'd by lute or horn, she wakes,
She starting wakes,
And far away, o'er lawns and lakes,
Goes answering light!
Yet Love hath echoes truer far,
And far more sweet,
Than e'er beneath the moonlight's star,
The moonlight's star,
Of horn, or lute, or soft guitar,
The songs repeat.
'Tis when the sigh, in youth sincere,
And only then-
The sigh that's breath'd for one to hear,
For one to hear,
Is by that one, that only Dear,
Breath'd back again!
"How sweet the answer" is a song of love that must be reciprocated and
sincere to have meaning. The love of Leopold and Molly, having lost its


42





The Bronzegold Sirensong


youth, sincerity, and reciprocity is lost; all is lost. The Moore song
combines, then, with "Tutto e Sciolto" to reiterate and reflect Bloom's
unhappy position and frame of mind.
Bloom turns his attention to the operatic context of "Tutto e Sciolto,"
trying to place it in the action of La Sonnambula. In the opera, Amina,
betrothed to Elvino, sleepwalks into another man's room at an inn, dream-
ing that she is coming to Elvino. Rodolfo, the other man, considerately
leaves the room with the girl asleep on his bed, but Lisa, who is also in
love with Elvino, brings him in to point out his fiancee sleeping on
Rodolfo's bed. Elvino denounces the sleepwalking Amina, and his subse-
quent misery prompts the aria "All Is Lost Now."
Leopold-Elvino, remembering the story, translates the situation to his
own:

Bloom bent leopold ear, turning a fringe of doyley down under the vase.
Order. Yes, I remember. Lovely air. In sleep she went to him. Innocence
in the moon. Still hold her back. Brave, don't know their danger. Call
name. Touch water. Jingle jaunty. Too late. She longed to go. That's why.
Woman. As easy stop the sea. Yes: all is lost. (272.41-273.4)

Bloom's recollection of the opera is fairly close to the original up to the
mention of the Boylan motif ("Jingle jaunty"). From there Amina's motives
become confused with Molly's and the resulting generalizations are about
womankind in general. Bloom, who feels that the drives of women are
as easily stopped as the motion of the sea, sees Boylan's assignation as
the inescapable outcome of the id. For Bloom-Elvino, "Yes: all is lost."
As the parallel between Bloom and Elvino is further underscored in the
next few lines by the reference to Bloom as "lost Leopold," the irony of
his following statement to Richie becomes increasingly apparent:

-A beautiful air, said Bloom lost Leopold. I know it well.
Never in all his life had Richie Goulding.
He knows it well too. Or he feels. Still harping on his daughter. Wise
child that knows her father, Dedalus said. Me?
Bloom askance over liverless saw. Face of the all is lost. Rollicking Richie
once. (273.5-Io)

Bloom's description of Richie's face as being the "Face of the all is lost"
and his speculation that Richie too, penniless and in poor health, knows
that all is lost provide ample evidence that Bloom thinks of his own
situation as being analogous to Elvino's.


43





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


Bloom's thoughts are turned by the piano, playing the introduction to
"M'appari." Simon, using another musical cliche, finally consents to sing
the tenor aria.

I have no money but if you will lend me your attention I shall endeavour
to sing to you of a heart bowed down. (273.23-24)

"The Heart Bowed Down," a very popular ballad from Balfe's Bohemian
Girl, is a song of despair and the weight of woe. The despondent heart
of the song can seek refuge only, as Bloom does, in memory, which is
"the only friend / That grief can call its own." The song reference provides
a final introduction to "M'appari" and an additional link between Flotow's
song and Bloom's dilemma.
The prelude ends, and Simon begins to sing. Much has been said about
the parallels between the opera Martha and Bloom's situation,12 and indeed
there is some similarity. It must be remembered, however, that the
resemblance between Lionel's situation in Martha and Bloom's in Ulysses
is marked only in their songs of despair.
Briefly, the context surrounding "M'appari" in Martha is that Lady
Harriet, a maid of honor to Queen Anne, for a lark assumes the name
Martha and goes to a fair where she hires herself out as a servant to Lionel
and Plunkett, two well-to-do farmers. Lionel falls in love with Martha
but is left alone and pining when she makes her escape from the farm.
His mood of dejection prompts the aria.
Like the circumstances of Elvino in La Sonnambula, who sings a Bloom-
like song of despair, the context of Lionel's situation is very different from
Bloom's. Elvino made a mistake regarding the innocence of his fiancee,
but there is no mistake on Bloom's part in this regard. Lionel has been
duped, but certainly not cuckolded, as Leopold has. Furthermore, both
Elvino's and Lionel's predicaments end with happy reconciliations, but
there is no happy ending in store for Bloom. It is, therefore, in the
passionate cries of outraged and despondent love of the three protagonists
that the correspondence of their situations chiefly lies.
The opera Martha was written originally in German, and the aria was
entitled "Ach! sofromm, ach so traut." Cowley's version (27 i) was in Italian,
and Simon Dedalus will sing the aria in English. The complete text of
Charles Jeffreys' English version, which Simon sings, is as follows:

When first I saw that form endearing;
Sorrow from me seem'd to depart:


44





The Bronzegold Sirensong


Each graceful look, each word so cheering
Charm'd my eye and won my heart.
Full of hope, and all delighted,
None could feel more blest than I;
All on Earth I then could wish for
Was near her to live and die:
But alas! 'twas idle dreaming,
And the dream too soon hath flown;
Not one ray of hope is gleaming;
I am lost, yes I am lost for she is gone.
When first I saw that form endearing
Sorrow from me seem'd to depart:
Each graceful look, each word so cheering
Charm'd my eye and won my heart.
Martha, Martha, I am sighing
I am weeping still; for thee;
Come thou lost one,
Come thou dear one,
Thou alone can't comfort me:
Ah Martha return! Come to me!

Bloom recognizes that the words Simon sings are not the ones that normally
go with Flotow's melody when he says, "singing wrong words" (274.24-
25).
The significance of the song in relating Lionel in the opera to Leopold
should not be understated. Bloom as Lionel, upon being forsaken by
Martha, enters to sing "M'appari," so that the song becomes Bloom's at
this, the hour of Molly and Blazes's assignation and Leopold's disconsola-
tion. His companion in misery, Richie (all is lost) Goulding, identifies
his brother-in-law's voice:

-When first I saw that form endearing.
Richie turned.
-Si Dedalus' voice, he said.
Braintipped, cheek touched with flame, they listened feeling that flow
endearing flow over skin limbs human heart soul spine. (273.30-35)

Here Joyce begins to use an unusual procedure in linking music with the
text and Bloom's dilemma. The textual material immediately following
each line Simon sings of "M'appari" relates thematically, symbolically, or
descriptively to that line. The technique parallels the headlines in the
Aeolus chapter, but the material here is far more meaningful in terms of the


45





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


overall action of the novel. The first line serves to awaken the sensibilities of
the listeners as they let that "form endearing" "endearing flow" over them.
Bloom signals Pat, the waiter, to open the door between the dining
room and the bar, so that they might catch all of the song as Simon
proceeds:

-Sorrow from me seemed to depart.
Through the hush of air a voice sang to them, low, not rain, not leaves
in murmur, like no voice of strings of reeds or whatdoyoucallthem dulcimers,
touching their still ears with words, still hearts of their each his remembered
lives. Good, good to hear: sorrow from them each seemed to from both
depart when first they heard. When first they saw, lost Richie, Poldy,
mercy of beauty, heard from a person wouldn't expect it in the least, her
first merciful lovesoft oftloved word. (273.39-274.5)

The music, beautiful in its commiseration, lifts momentarily the pall
of sorrow that hangs over the two diners. The sorrow that seemed to
depart from anguished Lionel in Martha appears also to depart from equally
troubled Leopold and Richie.
The song turns Bloom's thoughts to the first of six songs that provide
a background counterpoint to Simon's solo:

Love that is singing: love's old sweet song. Bloom unwound slowly the
elastic band of his packet. Love's old sweet sonnez la gold. (274.6-8)

That Bloom associates "M'appari" with himself becomes increasingly
apparent from the context of the words of "Love's Old Sweet Song," a
song of the nostalgia and permanence of love's memories.

Stanza I:
Once in the dear dead days beyond recall,
When on the world the mist began to fall,
Out of the dreams that rose in happy throng
Low in our hearts love sang an old sweet song;
And in the dusk where fell the firelight gleam,
Softly it wove itself into our dream.
Stanza 2:
Even today we hear Love's song of yore,
Deep in our hearts it dwells forever more;
Footsteps may falter, weary grow the way,
Still we can hear it at the close of day;
So till the end, when life's dim shadows fall,
Love will be found the sweetest song of all.


46





The Bronzegold Sirensong


Chorus:
Just a song at twilight, when the lights are low,
And the flick'ring shadows softly come and go,
Tho' the heart be weary, sad the day and long,
Still to us at twilight comes
Love's old song, comes Love's old, sweet song.

We have learned in the Calypso and Lotus Eaters episodes that the old
sweet song, once sung in the hearts of Molly and Leopold, has become
the new song of Molly and Blazes, for this is one of the songs Molly will
sing on their tour in Belfast. In the Lotus Eaters episode Bloom has made
the identification between the song and his wife's adultery with Boylan,
so that using the song title to describe "M'appari" merely extends the
connotations of "Love's Old Sweet Song" to Lionel's lament. Bloom has
broadened the overall implications of "Love's Old Sweet Song" by joining
its connotations of his and Molly's happy past with its connotations of
the adulterous present. In "Love's old sweet sonnez la gold," Bloom has
blended a parody of Lenehan's statement, "Sonnez la cloche," made as Miss
Douce snaps her garter, with both the song and the rubber band around
the writing paper and envelope for Martha Clifford's letter. By associating
the garter snapping and the rubber band Bloom is attempting to bury
the thoughts of Molly and Blazes behind thoughts of his own roguish
affair with Martha. The music can still be a song of love for Martha
and him. By this devious rationalization Bloom psychologically prepares
himself for the next line of "M'appari":

-Full of hope and all delighted ...
Tenors get women by the score. Increase their flow. Throw flower at his
feet when will we meet? My head it simply. Jingle all delighted. He can't
sing for tall hats. Your head it simply swurls. Perfumed for him. What
perfume does your wife? I want to know. Jing. Stop. Knock. Last look at
mirror always before she answers the door. The hall. There? How do you?
I do well. There? What? Or? Phila of cachous, kissing comfits, in her
satchel. Yes? Hands felt for the opulent. (274.11-19)

No matter how he tries to think of something else Bloom's thoughts
invariably return to Molly and Blazes. The line "Full of hope and all
delighted" leads to a reflection on the attraction of tenors for women,
who seem to lose their heads over them. This is immediately related by
Bloom to "My head it simply [swirls]" from "Those Lovely Seaside Girls,"
a song that has been alluded to a number of times in earlier chapters (62,


47





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


66, 67, I09, 180), and which is inextricably linked in Bloom's mind
with Boylan, Molly, and frail female temptress figures.13
The next words, "Jingle all delighted," combine the metonymical sound
of Boylan's cart with the line of "M'appari," which Simon has just sung,
directly associating Boylan and his delight with the song. This leads to
Bloom's speculation that Boylan can't sing for tall hats, and that Molly,
in liking him, shows that her head is swirling. The line again is from
the "Seaside Girls" song, which, of course, Bloom again links to Boylan.
Molly's being perfumed for Boylan momentarily leads Bloom back to
Martha's letter; but his thoughts return immediately to Blazes, Molly,
the afternoon meeting, and the inevitable seduction. In the end it is
Boylan's hands that are full, and he who is "all delighted."
As the next line of"M'appari" brings Lionel back to earth, so do Bloom's
thoughts return to the more commonplace speculations of Simon's glorious
tone, reduced circumstances, and intemperance:

-But alas, 'twas idle dreaming ...
Glorious tone he has still. Cork air softer also their brogue. Silly man!
Could have made oceans of money. Singing wrong words. Wore out his
wife: now sings. But hard to tell. Only the two themselves. If he doesn't
break down. Keep a trot for the avenue. His hands and feet sing too. Drink.
Nerves overstrung. Must be abstemious to sing. (274.22-28)

However, Bloom is aroused and unable to repress thoughts of Molly and
Blazes's lovemaking. As the music progresses, the sensual aspects of it
overwhelm Bloom, and it becomes no longer music, but the act of love
that Molly and Blazes are carrying out:

Tenderness it welled: slow, swelling. Full it throbbed. That's the chat.
Ha, give! Take! Throb, a throb, a pulsing proud erect.
Words? Music? No: it's what's behind.
Bloom looped, unlooped, noded, disnoded.
Bloom. Flood of warm jimjam lickitup secretness flowed to flow in music
out, in desire, dark to lick flow, invading. Tipping her tepping her tapping
her topping her. Tup. Pores to dilate dilating. Tup. The joy the feel the
warm the. Tup. To pour o'er sluices pouring gushes. Flood, gush, flow,
joygush, tupthrop. Now! Language of love. (274.30-40)

When Bloom asks himself if it is the music that is driving him to his
disquieting thoughts, his answer, "No: it's what's behind," indicates his
appreciation of the symbolism and irony underlying the song, and furnishes
additional evidence that he sees some of his own dilemma in the music.


48





The Bronzegold Sirensong


The sensual effect of the music does inflame his imagination, however,
as the next lines in the passage prove. The excited undercurrent of Bloom's
thoughts in the passage grows to orgastic proportions as the musical
background builds in intensity.
As Simon continues with the song, Martha Clifford comes to stage
center of Bloom's thought:

-. . ray of hope ..
Beaming. Lydia for Lidwell squeak scarcely hear so ladylike the muse
unsqueaked a ray of hope.
Martha it is. Coincidence. Just going to write. Lionel's song. Lovely
name you have. Can't write. Accept my little pres. Play on her heartstrings
pursestrings too. She's a. I called you naughty boy. Still the name: Martha.
How strange! Today. (274.41-275.6)

As Miss Douce offers a quiet ray of hope to solicitor George Lidwell,
Bloom makes the subconscious association between the words "ray of hope"
from the solo, and Martha Clifford, his "ray of hope." He then makes
the conscious association between Martha and the opera title, and identifies
Simon's solo as Lionel's aria. From this point on the song becomes Lionel's
song, and Bloom is frequently called "Lionel-Leopold." As the song goes
on the narrator describes the return of the opening section of "M'appari"
with its attending similarity in lyrics:

The voice of Lionel returned, weaker but unwearied. It sang again to
Richie Poldy Lydia Lidwell also sang to Pat open mouth ear waiting, to
wait. How first he saw that form endearing, how sorrow seemed to part,
how look, form, word charmed him Gould Lidwell, won Pat Bloom's heart.
(275.7-11)

As Simon-Lionel sadly remembers the graceful glances of Martha in
the song, Bloom remembers his first meeting with Molly, when first he
saw her "form endearing":

-Each graceful look ..
First night when first I saw her at Matt Dillon's in Terenure. Yellow,
black lace she wore. Musical chairs. We two the last. Fate. After her. Fate.
Round and round slow. Quick round. We two. All looked. Halt. Down
she sat. All ousted looked. Lips laughing. Yellow knees.
-Charmed my eye ...
Singing. Waiting she sang. I turned her music. Full voice of perfume of
what perfume does your lilactrees. Bosom I saw, both full, throat warbling.


49





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


First I saw. She thanked me. Why did she me? Fate. Spanishy eyes. Under
a peartree alone patio this hour in old Madrid one side in shadow Dolores
shedolores. At me. Luring. Ah, alluring. (275.16-28)

Here the parallels between the words of "M'appari" ("Each graceful look
. .charmed my eye") and Bloom's thoughts of his first look at Molly
and her Spanishy eyes are readily apparent. Some of the other musical
allusions in the passage are not quite so obvious, however. "Waiting,"
Molly's song of that first night, is, appropriately, the song of a maid
looking from her window "upon the dull street" and longing for her lover
to come and take her "to his wild mountain home":

I look from my window upon the dull street,
The wind and the rain on the marketplace beat;
I sigh from my heart for my love tarries long,
With his sheep, and his goats, and his cattle so strong.
My love in the mountains I'm waiting for thee,
O that from this bondage my poor heart were free!
My love to the market his cattle will bring,
And then neathh my window a song he will sing;
A song which will tell me the time has now come,
To go with my love to his wild mountain home.
I care not for guardian, nor sister, nor friend,
But by my love's side I my footsteps will wend.

The song reminds the reader of Bloom's reverie about his first intimacies
with Molly in Ben Howth's rhododendrons (176.1-2 ). Her role becomes
that of siren as she extends through "Waiting" a musical promise of good
things to come.
The paragraph containing the reference to "Waiting" is a very interesting
jumble of themes, songs, and memories in Bloom's mind. As he turned
Molly's pages that night, he could smell her perfume, the lilac-scented
bathwater that Martha asked about. ("Full voice of perfume of what
perfume does your lilactrees.") As Bloom remembers Molly's bosom,
Lionel's words ("When first I saw") blend in with his own thoughts.
("Bosom I saw, both full, throat warbling. First I saw.") Bloom wonders
why she thanked him for turning the pages and decides it must be fate.
("She thanked me. Why did she me? Fate.") Bloom's associative pattern
moves from fate, kismet, to the East and thence to Spain and Molly's
Spanishy eyes. He combines Dolores, the girl of the East, waiting in the
song "The Shade of the Palm" (now a pear tree), with the waiting girl





The Bronzegold Sirensong


with dark eyes in the song "In Old Madrid." ("Spanishy eyes. Under a
peartree alone patio in this hour in old Madrid one side in shadow Dolores
shedolores.") The song "In Old Madrid" is about a dark-eyed waiting
lover, as the following excerpts will show:
Stanza I:
Long years ago, in old Madrid,
Where softly sighs of love the light guitar,
Two sparkling eyes a lattice hid.
Two eyes as darkly bright as love's own star!
There on the casement ledge, when day was o'er,
A tiny hand was lightly laid;
A face look'd out, as from the river shore,
There stole a tender serenade! .
Stanza 2:
Far, far away from old Madrid,
Her lover fell, long years ago, for Spain;
A convent veil those sweet eyes hid;
And all the vows that love had sigh'd were vain!
But still, between the dusk and night, 'tis said,
Her white hand opes the lattice wide,
The faint sweet echo of that serenade
Floats weirdly o'er the misty tide!
Molly's eyes, the eyes of the waiting girl of "In Old Madrid" and the
waiting "Dolores" of "The Shade of the Palm," were that first night on
him-Bloom-alluring, luring him. ("At me. Luring. Ah, alluring.")
For the moment, in Bloom's thoughts it is he, not Blazes, who will have
the four o'clock rendezvous ("alone patio this hour . one side in shadow.
Dolores shedolores").
As the forsaken Bloom's thoughts build to a crescendo, so do the
forsaken Lionel's. The identification between Lionel and Leopold becomes
complete as they both call out for their loves:
-Martha! Ah, Martha!
Quitting all languor Lionel cried in grief, in cry of passion dominant to
love to return with deepening yet with rising chords of harmony. In cry
of lionel loneliness that she should know, must Martha feel. For only her
he waited. Where? Here there try there here all try where. Somewhere.
(275.29-34)
In the cries of the anguished Lionel, there are parallels to Bloom's relations
with both Molly and Martha Clifford. Joyce makes full use of the ambiguity


51






BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


inherent in these cross-references to the women to reflect the two issues
on Bloom's mind throughout the chapter. Molly, at this hour, is the lost
one to whom Lionel-Leopold addresses his plaintive notes, but Lionel's
song is sung to Martha, and it is Martha to whom Leopold appeals for
deliverance from the ignominy of cuckoldry. In the inclusion of both
themes in one song Joyce emphasizes the interdependent relationship
between them.
Lionel's final anguished entreaties, "Co-me, thou lost one! / Co-me thou
dear one!" (275.35-36) serve a double purpose: to increase Leopold's sense
of isolation from his wife, and concurrently to kindle his need for Martha's
affection. This becomes obvious in the next lines of Bloom's stream of
consciousness: "Alone. One love. One hope. One comfort me. Martha,
chestnote, return" (275.37-38). The two co-ome's in the above passage
from the song are meant to coincide with the third intervals in the music.





Come,_ thou lost one! Come,_ thou dear one!

Simon brings the solo to a dramatic culmination:

-Come!
It soared, a bird, it held its flight, a swift pure cry, soar silver orb it
leaped serene, speeding sustained, to come, don't spin it out too long long
breath he breath long life, soaring high, high resplendent, aflame, crowned,
high in the effulgence symbolistic, high, of the ethereal bosom, high, of
the high vast irradiation everywhere all soaring all around about the all,
the endlessnessnessness .
-To me! (275.39-276.6)

The note that Joyce pictures so enthusiastically is the high B6 climax of
the song:






Come To me!
Come! To me!






The Bronzegold Sirensong


The length and content of the description between "Come!" and "To me!"
indicate the duration of the pause as well as the quality of Simon's high Bb.
As if to reenforce the idea that the song is Bloom's, Joyce calls the
singer "Siopold" (275.7), a combination of Simon, Lionel, and Leopold,14
and, while the admiring listeners compliment "Lionel-Simon," we are
told, "But Bloom sang dumb" (276.35); that is, Bloom's love song has
provoked no applause, for it was sung unvoiced and unheard.
Richie Goulding, waxing ecstatic over Simon's voice, remembers the
tenor's renditions of 'Twas Rank and Fame" from The Rose of Castille:

Richie, admiring, descanted on that man's glorious voice. He remembered
one night long ago. Never forget that night. Si sang 'Twas rank and fame:
In Ned Lambert's 'twas. Good God he never heard in all his life a note
like that he never did then false one we had better part so clear so God he
never heard since love lives not a clinking voice ask Lambert he can tell you
too. (276.37-277.2)

Bloom's earlier skepticism of Richie's statements seems at least partially
justified here. When the song is examined closely, it appears that Richie
is exaggerating. He remembers the words of the song fairly accurately,
varying only line 4 of stanza i:

Stanza I:
'Twas rank and fame that tempted thee,
'Twas empire charm'd thy heart. ....
But love was wealth, the world to me,
Then, false one, let us part;
The prize I fondly deem'd my own,
Another's now may be;
For ah! with love, life's gladness flown,
Leaves grief to wed, to wed with me;
With love, life's gladness flown,
Leaves grief alone to me.

Stanza 2:
Tho' lowly bred, and humbly born,
No loftier heart than mine;
Unlov'd by thee my pride would scorn
To share the crown that's thine;
I sought no empire save the heart,
Which mine can never be;


53





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


Then false one, we had better part,
Since love lives not, lives not in thee;
Since love lives not in thee;
Yes! false one, better part,
Since love lives not in thee.

Richie's ecstasies about Simon's rendition of the song seem too enthusiastic
because the song itself is not a particularly difficult one to sing, and the
lines Richie quotes are relatively simple. The ninth line in stanza 2-
"Since love lives not in thee"-contains the highest note in the song, a
G natural, which is a minor third lower than the highest note in "M'appari."
The line, "Then false one," which Richie seems to connect with the note
about which he raves, has no outstanding notes in it at all. Through the
use of the song, Joyce confirms Bloom's opinion that Richie's statements
must be taken with the proverbial grain of salt. "'Twas Rank and Fame"
is also a song about a false lover and serves to reenforce further the betrayal
and false love motif in the chapter.
Richie Goulding's next remarks, about Simon Dedalus, cause Bloom
to think about the relationship between the two:

Brothers-in-law: relations. We never speak as we pass by. Rift in the lute
I think. Treats him with scorn. See. He admires him all the more. (277.9-
II)

Simon's disdain for his brother-in-law evokes an appropriate musical title
from Bloom: "We Never Speak As We Pass By." The song is a minstrel
ballad sung by a cuckolded husband about his fallen "Nell":

Stanza i:
The spell is past, the dream is o'er,
And tho' we meet, we love no more,
One heart is crush'd to droop and die,
And for relief must heav'nward fly,
The once bright smile has faded, gone,
And given way, to looks forlorn!
Despite her grandeur's wicked flame,
She stoops to blush beneath her shame.

Chorus:
We never speak as we pass by,
Altho' a tear bedims her eye;
I know she thinks of her past life,
When we were loving man and wife.





The Bronzegold Sirensong


Stanza 2:
In guileless youth, I sought her side,
And she became my virtuous bride,
Our lot was peace, so fair so bright,
One summer day, no gloomy night,
No life on earth more pure than ours
In that dear home midst field and flow'rs
Until the tempter came to Nell,
It dazzled her, alas! she fell.

Chorus:
We never speak as we pass by, etc.

Stanza 3:
In gilded hall, midst wealth she dwells,
How her heart aches, her sad face tells,
She fain would smile, seem bright and gay,
But conscience steals her peace away,
And when the flatt'rer cast aside,
My fallen and dishonor'd bride,
I'll close her eyes in death, forgive,
And in my heart her name shall live.

Chorus:
We never speak as we pass by, etc.

The irony of this song, which fits Bloom's situation more closely than
any other of the songs in which he symbolically has participated, is that
he uses it to describe the Richie-Simon relationship rather than his own
relationship with Molly. Bloom's next speculation, "Rift in the lute I
think," is part of the first line of stanza 2 of Vivien's song to Merlin in
Tennyson's Idylls of the King, as she tries to quell the fears of the suspicious
Merlin:

"In love, if love be love, if love be ours,
Faith and unfaith can ne'er be equal powers:
Unfaith in aught is want of faith in all.
"It is in the little rift within the lute,
That by and by will make the music mute,
And ever widening slowly silence all.

"The little rift within the lover's lute,
Or little pitted speck in garner'd fruit,
That rotting inward slowly moulders all.


55





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


"It is not worth the keeping; let it go:
But shall it? answer, darling, answer, no.
And trust me not at all or all in all." (italics mine)

Ostensibly Bloom uses the "rift in the lute," like the preceding reference
to "We never speak," to refer to the family division of Simon and Richie,
but, again like the preceding reference, the connotations of the entire
song are vastly more analogous to Bloom's own dilemma than to the one
to which Bloom refers. The deceitful Vivien sings this song to her lover-
master so that she may learn his secrets, after which she will leave him
unconscious, useless, lost, and alone, as Molly-Martha-Zerlina has duped
her Leopold-Lionel-Masetto.
Obviously the function of these last two songs is to provide additional
musical parallels to the main dilemma of the chapter and the book. The
question of whether they represent an unconscious effort of Bloom to see
his own situation of unrequited affection in the relationship of Richie and
Simon must remain only a tantalizing possibility.
Bloom's thoughts of Simon's voice broaden to include human voice
production in general. Then, as Father Cowley begins a nameless voluntary
on the piano, Leopold's thoughts return to Lionel's song, its application
to the world in general, and inevitably, its relation to Molly:

Thou lost one. All songs on that theme. Yet more Bloom stretched his
string. Cruel it seems. Let people get fond of each other: lure them on.
Then tear asunder. Death. Explos. Knock on the head. Outtohelloutofthat.
Human life. Dignam. Ugh, that rat's tail wriggling! Five bob I gave.
Corpus paradisum. Corncrake croaker: belly like a poisoned pup. Gone. They
sing. Forgotten. I too. And one day she with. Leave her: get tired. Suffer
then. Snivel. Big Spanishy eyes goggling at nothing. Her wavyavyeavyhea-
vyeavyevyevy hair un comb: 'd. (277.23-31)

Goulding, still talking about music, says, "Grandest number in the whole
opera" (278.14), leading Bloom to muse on numbers and the mathematical
basis of musical vibrations (278.16-24). Cowley's improvisations at the
piano prompt speculation on methods and style of piano playing, begin-
ners' techniques and "Blumenlied," a traditional second or third year piano
solo that Bloom bought for Milly (278.25-32).
As Bloom begins his letter to Martha Clifford, with the continued
improvisations of Father Cowley in the background, the words of Martha's
letter to Bloom recur again to him, and their "naughty" quality recalls
the naughty song, "O Mary Lost the Pin of Her Drawers," which Bloom





The Bronzegold Sirensong


has previously associated with Martha and the degrading, comic effect of
their affair.15

Why do you call me naught? You naughty too? 0, Mairy lost the pin of
her. Bye for today. Yes, yes, will tell you. Want to. To keep it up. Call
me that other. Other world she wrote. My patience are exhausted. To keep
it up. You must believe. Believe. The tank. It. Is. True.
Folly am I writing? (279.22-26)

Martha's subject-verb agreement error ("patience are") couples in Bloom's
mind with the pronoun-antecedent agreement error (it for drawers) in the
line "To keep it up" from "O Mary Lost the Pin of Her Drawers," on
which he had previously remarked. The ridiculous tenor of Martha's whole
letter combines with the cheap bawdiness of the song to bring Bloom
momentarily to consider the possible absurdity of his own position ("Folly
am I writing?").
Cowley's improvisations in the next room continue to creep into Bloom's
consciousness as he writes to Martha. The minor mode in which Cowley
plays helps to produce a further despondency in Bloom:

La la la ree. Trails off there sad in minor. Why minor sad? Sign H. They
like sad tail at end. P.P.S. La la la ree. I feel so sad today. La ree. So
lonely. Dee. (280.8-11)

Bloom links the sadness usually associated with the minor key in
Western music with his own lost, lonely position. His last statement in
the passage, every bit as despairing as Lionel's, is in part the result of
the minor musical mode of Cowley's improvisations as well as Bloom's
own circumstances.
Bloom finishes his letter and, looking through the door to the bar, sees
Miss Douce holding up to her ear a seashell she picked up during her
vacation. The sea and Miss Douce's sunburned skin turn Bloom's thoughts
again to the song "Those Lovely Seaside Girls":

Her ear too is a shell, the peeping lobe there. Been to the seaside. Lovely
seaside girls. Skin tanned raw. Should have put on coldcream first make it
brown. Buttered toast. O and that lotion mustn't forget. Fever near her
mouth. Your head it simply. Hair braided over: shell with seaweed. Why
do they hide their ears with seaweed hair? And Turks their mouth, why?
Her eyes over the sheet, a yashmak. Find the way in. A cave. No admittance
except on business. (281.21-28)


57





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


The line "Your head it simply [swirls]" starts a series of literal associa-
tions of swirling curls, shells, seaweed, and seaweed hair. The sea references
provide a background for some brief speculation on womanhood in general
before Bloom's thoughts return to Molly and her promiscuity ("Her eyes
. ."). Thus, the linking of the song with Boylan quite possibly enters
through the subconscious of Bloom as an additional association leading
to Molly's sensuality.
Cowley next begins the minuet from Don Giovanni amid the narrator's
description of the men and ladies of the court dancing:

Bob Cowley's twinkling fingers in the treble played again. The landlord
has the prior. A little time. Long John. Big Ben. Lightly he played a light
bright tinkling measure for tripping ladies, arch and smiling, and for their
gallants, gentlemen friends. One: one, one, one: two, one, three, four.
(282.3-5)

Frederick Sternfeld has an excellent rendition of Joyce's application of
"One: one, one, one: two, one, three, four," to the minuet from Don
Giovanni:16




hI I
One: one, one, one: two, one, three, four


Sternfeld's analysis of the passage has borne the brunt of some uncharitable
remarks from Marian Kaplun, who contends:

One could not even say aloud the 'one, three, four' in the rhythm of the
minuet as he reproduces it at the tempo at which it is usually performed:
It would be a verbal, much less a vocal, impossibility. What is more,
neither the numbers nor the punctuation correspond meaningfully to the
time values or natural stresses of the notes as any voice would sing them.17

Kaplun has probably confused the minuet with the twist, a much faster
dance. I have no difficulty in performing the "vocal impossibility" of
verbally putting the words to the music. Quarter notes and eighth notes
in a minuet are far from the sixty-fourth notes of progressive jazz. The
minuet is never performed quickly, and there is no reason to suppose that
it was in Don Giovanni. Further, what Sternfeld fails to mention and what
Kaplun does not realize is that the numbers and punctuation of the





The Bronzegold Sirensong


disputed passage describe the step and motions of the dancers rather than
harmonic variations, time values, or stresses in the dance. The narrator
is, after all, describing not the music itself so much as the image of
dancing couples, which the music calls forth.
Bloom recognizes the dance and conjures up his own image of a great
ball, which to him demonstrates the disparity in material wealth between
classes:

Minuet of Don Giovanni he's playing now. Court dresses of all descriptions
in castle chambers dancing. Misery. Peasants outside. Green starving faces
eating dockleaves. Nice that is. Look: look, look, look, look, look: You
look at us. (282.11-14)

The dancers displaying their pomp and wealth as they dance the minuet
seem to Bloom to be calling attention to themselves. Sternfeld again has
correlated the music of the minuet to Bloom's mental image:





look, look, look, look, look: You look at us


The effect of the light, tripping major strains of the minuet is to
turn Bloom from the melancholy that accompanied Cowley's minor key
improvisations:

That's joyful I can feel. Never have written it. Why? My joy is other joy.
But both are joys. Yes, joy it must be. Mere fact of music shows you are.
Often thought she was in the dumps till she began to lilt. Then know.
(282.15-18)

As Bloom consciously modulates from the sadness of the minor mode to
the happiness of the major mode he reflects on former times with Molly,
remembering that the music she sang was also a reflection of her mood.
Molly's singing causes Bloom to recall the conversation with M'Coy
about their wives' concerts:

M'Coy valise. My wife and your wife. Squealing cat. Like tearing silk.
When she talks like the clapper of a bellows. They can't manage men's
intervals. Gap in their voices too. Fill me. I'm warm, dark, open. Molly
in quis est homo: Mercadante. My ear against the wall to hear. Want a woman
who can deliver the goods. (282.19-24)


59





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


The several aspects of Mrs. M'Coy's voice suggest to Bloom an inability
of women to go from one vocal register to another. The lower register of
the voice with its sensual connotations ("warm, dark, open") Bloom associ-
ates with the lower register notes in "Quis est homo?" In the Lotus Eaters
episode when Bloom had been thinking of a series of religious works,
"Quis est homo?" from Rossini's Stabat Mater had produced an association
with Mercadante's Seven Last Words (82.15-17). In the passage currently
under consideration, Bloom, his memory inaccurately shaded by the previ-
ous association, connects "Quis est homo?" with Mercadante again.
As Boylan arrives at Eccles Street, Bloom, still thinking about Molly,
reflects on the music she makes at night with the chamber pot:

Jog jig jogged stopped. Dandy tan shoe of dandy Boylan socks skyblue
clocks came light to earth.
O, look we are so! Chamber music. Could make a kind of pun on that.
It is a kind of music I often thought when she. Acoustics that is. Tinkling.
Empty vessels make most noise. Because the acoustics, the resonance changes
according as the weight of the water is equal to the law of falling water.
Like those rhapsodies of Liszt's Hungarian, gipsyeyed. Pearls. Drops. Rain.
Diddle iddle addle addle oodle oodle. Hiss. Now. Maybe now. Before.
(282.25-34)

The dandy tan shoes of dandy Boylan suggest the lines of the nursery
rhyme "Handy Spandy":

Handy Spandy Jack o' dandy
Loves plum cake and sugar candy.

Boylan's light lines are meant to contrast with Bloom's references to the
dark, mysterious music of Liszt. Boylan's music provides a light, tripping,
airy prelude to an afternoon of pleasure, while Bloom's mood and music
are somber and dark, reflecting an underlying despondency.
In the bar, Father Cowley suggests that the song "Qui sdegno" be sung,
but his suggestion is vetoed in favor of "The Croppy Boy," which Tom
Kernan calls "Our native Doric" (282.40-4 1). This incident, which might
be easily passed over, assumes considerable significance when one examines
in detail the songs in question. "Qui sdegno" ("In diesen heil'gen Hallen") is
from Mozart's Magic Flute, and is a song of peace, and the banishment
of strife:

Within this hallowed dwelling
Revenge and sorrow cease,





The Bronzegold Sirensong


Here, troubled doubts dispelling,
The weary heart hath peace.

"The Croppy Boy," conversely, is about particularly Irish things: be-
trayal, religion, sentimentality, and war. This is the song the boys want
to hear and the things about which their lives revolve. "Qui sdegno," a
song of peace, is voted down in favor of the inherently militant, emotional
"Croppy Boy."
Both Sternfeld and Worthington have done excellent explications of
the relationship of "The Croppy Boy" to the text, though neither account
is complete. 18 The song is heard in the background for the next four pages
of Ulysses, though only once is the reader given the quoted words as they
are sung through the mouth of Ben Dollard. The rest of the song is
paraphrased by the narrator as it is heard and absorbed by Bloom, though
the description of the song is not Bloom's but the narrator's. As with the
"M'appari" passage, we get the words of the song and then, in most
passages, appropriate accompanying thoughts of Bloom following. Bloom
hears the initial chords of the introduction just as he is about to leave.
The music causes him to pause:

But wait. But hear. Chordsdark. Lugugugubrious. Low. In a cave of the
dark middle earth. Embedded ore. Lumpmusic. (283.14-15)

Following are the narrator's paraphrases of "The Croppy Boy" in the left-
hand column and the actual words of the stanzas on the right. These
quotations will be interspersed with Bloom's thoughts where relevant:

The voice of dark age, of unlove, Good men and true! in this
earth's fatigue made grave approach, house who dwell,
and painful, come from afar, from To a stranger bouchal I pray
hoary mountains, called on good men you tell
and true. The priest he sought, with Is the priest at home? or
him would he speak a word. may he be seen?
(283.16-19) I would speak a word with
Father Green.
(Stanza i)

As Bloom hears the first strains of the song, his thoughts go first to
Dollard's voice production and then to the singer's reduced circumstances:

Ben Dollard's voice barreltone. Doing his level best to say it. Croak of
vast manless moonless womoonless marsh. Other comedown. Big ships'
chandler's business he did once. Remember: rosiny ropes, ships' lanterns.


61





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


Failed to the tune of ten thousand pounds. Now in the Iveagh home.
Cubicle number so and so. Number one Bass did that for him. (283.2I-
26)


The priest's at home. A false
priest's servant bade him welcome.
Step in. The holy father.
Curlycues of chords. (283.27-28)


The Priest's at home, boy, and
may be seen;
'Tis easy speaking with Father
Green;
But you must wait, till I go
and see
If the holy father alone may
be. (Stanza 2)


Perhaps it is sentiment for the ensuing betrayal of the croppy boy that
prompts Bloom's thoughts, meantime, to turn to the society that betrays
people like Ben and reduces them to poverty. Bloom is moved to make
up a hasty, satiric little lullaby about the situation:
Ruin them. Wreck their lives. Then build them cubicles to end their days
in. Hushaby. Lullaby. Die, dog. Little dog, die. (283.29-30)


The voice of warning, solemn
warning, told them the youth had
entered a lonely hall, told them
how solemn fell his footstep there,
told them the gloomy chamber,
chill the vested priest sitting
to shrive. (283.31-34)


The youth has entered an empty
hall-
What a lonely sound has his
light foot-fall!
And the gloomy chamber's
still and bare.
With a vested Priest in a lonely
chair. (Stanza 3)


Bloom's thoughts are still, however, with Dollard, Ben's present pastime,
and his deep voice:
Decent soul. Bit addled now. Thinks he'll win in Answer poet's picture
puzzle. We hand you crisp five pound note. Bird sitting hatching in a nest.
Lay of the last minstrel he thought it was. See blank tee what domestic
animal? Tee dash ar most courageous mariner. Good voice he has still. No
eunuch yet with all his belongings. (283.35-40)


The voice of penance and of
his grief came slow, embellished
tremulous. Ben's contrite beard
begins: confessed: in nominee Domini,
in God's name. He knelt. He beat his
hand upon his breast, confessing:
mea culpa. (284.2-5)


The youth has knelt to tell
his sins;
"Nomine Dei," the youth
At "mea culpa" he beats
his breast,
And in broken murmurs he
speaks the rest. (Stanza 4)





The Bronzegold Sirensong


Here again we have a mistake on Joyce's part in the divergence between
the words of a song and the words in the text of Ulysses. The disparity
of nomineee Domini" (which doesn't fit the tune) in the text with "Nomine
Dei" in the song cannot be attributed to an error in Bloom's thinking.
Since the narrator is given the words, the error is clearly Joyce's.
Bloom's attention is now directed to the song, as the Latin reminds
him of the morning mass in All Hallows and the trip to the cemetery:

Latin again. That holds them like birdlime. Priest with the communion
corpus for those women. Chap in the mortuary, coffin or coffey, corpusnomine.
Wonder where that rat is by now. Scrape. (284.6-9)

At this point, Joyce rearranges stanzas 5 and 6 of the song: placing 6
next in the text:

The sighing voice of sorrow sang. I cursed three times since
His sins. Since easter he had cursed last Easter day-
three times. You bitch's bast. And At mass-time once I went to
once at masstime he had gone to play. play:
Once by the churchyard he had passed I passed the churchyard one
and for his mother's rest he had not day in haste,
prayed. A boy. A croppy boy. And forgot to pray for my
(284.13-17) mother's rest.
(Stanza 6)

In the passage above, the paraphrase of the song by the narrator is inter-
rupted by the phrase "You bitch's bast." The phrase has been used twice
previously, both times in connection with the blind piano tuner (250.19,
263.20). The tap of the tuner's cane as he returns to the Ormond bar for
his tuning fork is heard just before the passage above, so that Joyce blends
the blind man's oath with "The Croppy Boy" at the appropriate moment
to add a humorous example to the lyrics.
Though this study deals principally with Leopold Bloom, it is interest-
ing to note that in this passage we find one of the main points on which
Frederick Sternfeld bases his thesis that "The Croppy Boy" is Stephen
Dedalus in search of a real father. The croppy boy's failure to pray for his
mother's rest is equated to Stephen's refusal "to make his peace with his
mother and with organized religion, even at his dying mother's behest."19
Bloom's thoughts following stanza 6 of "The Croppy Boy" do not seem
to be linked thematically to the song. Staring at Miss Douce, he is
reminded of the low-cut dress Molly wore the evening the Blooms attended


63






BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


a concert in honor of the Shah of Persia. As Bloom comes to the end of
this speculation, the narrator goes back to stanza 5 of "The Croppy Boy":

All gone. All fallen. At the siege At the siege of Ross did
of Ross his father, at Gorey all his my father fall,
brothers fell. To Wexford, we are the And at Gorey my loving
boys of Wexford, he would. Last of his brothers all.
name and race. (285.1-3) I alone am left of my
name and race,
I will go to Wexford and
take their place."
(Stanza 5)

Here Joyce produces an interesting variant in the patriotic pattern as
he interjects "we are the boys of Wexford," the first line of the chorus of
the previously discussed popular Irish fight song, "The Boys of Wexford."
As with the line "You bitch's bast," there is no certainty whether the
Wexford reference comes from Bloom's thoughts, or is merely an elabora-
tion on the song text by the narrator. One explanation for the origin of
the name "Croppy Boy" was that it was a nickname given to the Wexford
rebels because of their close-cropped hair.20 This makes the croppy boy,
by definition, one of the "Boys of Wexford." In any event, the introduction
of "The Boys of Wexford" in the passage serves to add reenforcement to
the warlike atmosphere created by "The Croppy Boy."
The lines of stanza 5 are especially meaningful to Bloom, whose thoughts
of Molly have plunged him back into the gloom of isolation:

I too, last my race. Milly young student. Well, my fault perhaps. No son.
Rudy. Too late now. Or if not? If not? If still? (285.4-6)

His solitude, the death of Rudy, his only son, and his own failure as a
man and a husband come crushing down on Bloom, only to give way to
desperate hopes.

He bore no hate. (285.7) I bear no hate against living
thing. (Stanza 7, line I)

Bloom, tired of the emotional sentimentality of the song, and tired of
his own trials and maudlin thoughts, links the above line of the song to
himself: "Hate. Love. Those are names. Rudy. Soon I am old" (285.8).






The Bronzegold Sirensong


Now the narrator's paraphrase of the song becomes mixed with Bloom's
stream of consciousness as he anticipates the next line:

Ireland comes now. My country above But I love my country
the king. (285.I2) above my King.
(Stanza 7, line 2)

At this, Bloom glances about at Miss Douce and thinks of still another
Irish war song: "She listens. Who fears to speak of nineteen four?" (285. I2-
13). Through the song, Ben Dollard is, in effect, speaking of "'98" to
listening Miss Douce. "The Croppy Boy" is a ballad of the Rebellion of
1798, as is "The Memory of the Dead," the first line of which-"Who
fears to speak of Ninety-Eight?"-Bloom alters to make it humorously
contemporaneous with his own time. Further, the song, like "The Boys
of Wexford," serves to provide an additional warlike counterpoint to
Dollard's rendition of "The Croppy Boy." Having confessed, the croppy
boy petitions the priest to leave:

-Bless me, father, Dollard the Now, Father bless me, and
croppy cried. Bless me and let me let me go
go. To die, if God has ordained
(285.5-6) it so.
(Stanza 7, lines 3, 4)

The words in italics are theoretically a direct quotation, since they have
before them a dash, the mark Joyce uses to indicate quotations. Here
again the words are not only inexact, but do not fit the tune. Since Dollard
could not have sung the words in the text to "The Croppy Boy" tune,
the alteration must be laid to Joyce himself. As Bloom takes his cue from
the song and prepares to go, his eyes and thoughts return to Miss Douce
and girls in general:

Bloom looked, unblessed to go. Got up to kill: on eighteen bob a week.
Fellows shell out the dibs. Want to keep your weathereye open. Those
girls, those lovely. By the sad sea waves. Chorusgirl's romance. Letters read
out for breach of promise. From Chickabiddy's own Mumpsypum. Laughter
in court. Henry. I never signed it. The lovely name you. (285.18-23)

Thoughts of Miss Douce bring "Those Lovely Seaside Girls" again
to Bloom's mind. ("Those girls, those lovely.") This time the song is


65





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


accompanied by a second seaside song, "By the Sad Sea Waves," which
is a lament about vanished hope and pleasure:

By the sad sea waves I listen while they moan
A lament o'er graves of hope and pleasure gone;
I was young, I was fair,
I had once not a care,
From the rising of the morn to the setting of the sun;
Yet I pine like a slave, by the sad sea wave.
Come again, bright days of hope and pleasure gone,
Come again, bright days,
Come again, come again.

Bloom's loneliness, brought back into his unconscious by the Boylan
theme of the seaside girls, calls forth in his consciousness the image of
the second song with its wonderful days that are now memories. The
hope that those days will come again combines with the lovely seaside
girls, who have now become chorus girls, to produce thoughts of love
letters and finally Martha Clifford's letter. Thus Martha is identified with
one who will perhaps bring about once again those "bright days of hope
and pleasure" mentioned in "By the Sad Sea Waves."
As Bloom muses, "The Croppy Boy" continues:

Low sank the music, air and The Priest said nought, but a
words. Then hastened. The false rustling noise
priest rustling soldier from his Made the youth look above in
cassock. A yeoman captain, wild surprise;
(285.24-27) The robes were off, and in
scarlet there
Sat a yeoman captain with
fiery glare. (Stanza 8)

Bloom, watching the attentive Miss Douce, speculates on her expecta-
tion of the climax of the song. Then Miss Douce's anticipation becomes
sexual anticipation to Bloom as he digresses on sex and then the similarity
between women and musical instruments. As usual, his thoughts finally
return to Blazes and Molly:

They know it all by heart. The thrill they itch for. Yeoman cap.
Tap. Tap.
Thrilled, she listened, bending in sympathy to hear.
Blank face. Virgin should say: or fingered only. Write something on it:


66





The Bronzegold Sirensong


page. If not what becomes of them? Decline, despair. Keeps them young.
Even admire themselves. See. Play to her. Lip blow. Body of white woman,
a flute alive. Blow gentle. Loud. Three holes all women. Goddess I didn't
see. They want it: not too much polite. That's why he gets them. Gold in
your pocket, brass in your face. With look to look: songs without words.
Molly that hurdygurdy boy. (285.26-37)

The song again interrupts Bloom's reverie:

With hoarse rude fury the With fiery glare and with fury
yeoman cursed. Swelling in apoplectic hoarse,
bitch's bastard. A good thought, Instead of blessing, he
boy, to come. One hour is your breathed a curse:
time to live, your last. 'Twas a good thought, boy, to
Tap. Tap. (286.1-4) come here and shrive,
For one short hour is your time
to live." (Stanza 9)

The "Tap. Tap." of an earlier passage (285.28), the tapping of the
blind piano tuner's cane, is utilized in the narrator's lines describing stanza
9, as the blind man's curse ("bitch's bastard") becomes the curse of the
yeoman in the song.
Bloom's thoughts and eyes, however, are still on Miss Douce who, all
commiseration, is listening to the last verses of the song. His pity, as we
have seen in the Hades episode, extends more to the living than the dead,
and his thinking turns from the soon-to-die croppy boy to Mrs. Purefoy,
who is still in protracted labor:

Thrill now. Pity they feel. To wipe away a tear for martyrs. For all things
dying, want do, dying to, die. For that all things born. Poor Mrs Purefoy.
Hope she's over. Because their wombs. (286.5-7)

As Miss Douce gazes on, another snippet of the song is heard:

On yonder river. (286. io) Upon yon river three tenders
float. (Stanza o, line i)

But, as Miss Douce's bosom heaves, Bloom discovers that it is not Boylan
or the croppy boy, but George Lidwell, for whom she has been looking
so picturesque and acting so coquettishly:

But look. The bright stars fade. O rose! Castille. The morn. Ha. Lidwell.
For him then not for. Infatuated. I like that? (286.14-15)


67





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


Bloom's discovery of Miss Douce's fickleness brings musical associations
of love flown away, as lines from the plaintive "Goodbye, Sweetheart,
Goodbye" ("The bright stars fade. . The morn") and The Rose of Castille
("O rose! Castille") are recalled, both of which are associated with lost
love and Molly.
As Miss Douce stands transfixed at the tap, "All lost in pity for croppy"
(286. 19), the yeoman captain's full treacherous vehemence is unleashed:

I hold this house. Amen. He "The Priest's in one, if he isn't
gnashed in fury. Traitors shot-
swing. (286.27) We hold his house for our Lord
the King,
And, Amen, say I, may all
traitors swing!"
(Stanza io, lines 2, 3, 4)

Bloom, realizing the end of the song is approaching, hastens to leave-
"Get out before the end" (282.2). As he rises, we again hear echoes of
his leitmotif, "When the Bloom Is on the Rye": "O'er rye-high blue.
Bloom stood up" (282.6-7). He passes by Pat the waiter as Dollard begins
the last verse:

At Geneva barrack that young man At Geneva Barrack that young
died. At Passage was his body man died,
laid. (286.39-40) And at Passage they have his
body laid.
(Stanza 1i, lines I, 2)

"The Croppy Boy" becomes the yearning call of a lover to his Dolores to
wait for him, as the song merges with "The Shade of the Palm" for
Dolores-Douce:

Dolor! O, he dolores! The voice of the mournful chanter called to dolorous
prayer. (286.40-41)

It is not the croppy boy but Bloom who is leaving in the "Shade of the
Palm" analogy; and the girl for whom Bloom yearns and sorrows is not
Miss Douce but Molly:

By rose, by satiny bosom, by the fondling hand, by slops, by empties,
by popped corks, greeting in going, past eyes and maidenhair, bronze and
faint gold in deepseashadow, went Bloom, soft Bloom, I feel so lonely
Bloom. (287.1-4)


68





The Bronzegold Sirensong


Reaching the hallway, Bloom hears the last lines of the concluding
stanza of the ballad:21

Pray for him, prayed the bass of Good people who live in peace
Dollard. You who hear in peace. and joy,
Breathe a prayer, drop a tear, Breathe a prayer and a tear for
good men, good people. He was the the Croppy boy.
croppy boy. (287.6-8) (Stanza I1, lines 3, 4)

Part of the tears shed for the croppy boy in the last stanza should be
shed also for Bloom, who now, in his martyrdom, has become identified
with the croppy boy:

Scaring eavesdropping boots croppy bootsboy Bloom in the Ormond hallway
heard growls and roars of bravo. (287.9-10)

When the congratulations have been accorded Dollard and the glasses
lifted, Miss Kennedy expresses her admiration and talks of her favorite
song:

Yes, her lips said more loudly, Mr Dollard. He sang that song lovely,
murmured Mina. And The last rose of summer was a lovely song. Mina loved
that song. Tankard loved the song that Mina.
'Tis the last rose of summer dollar left Bloom felt wind wound round
inside. (288.4-9)

"The Last Rose of Summer," which will be heard twice more in the next
two pages, is the song Lady Harriet (Martha) sings to her love-smitten
Lionel in Flotow's Martha. Its theme runs throughout the opera as Martha's
leitmotif and the central melody of their love. The song serves the function
at this late point in the chapter of reemphasizing the plight of Bloom,
his loneliness, and sorrow, by reiterating the Martha parallels from earlier
sections of the chapter.
Bloom is linked once more to the opera Martha, as he is referred to as
"Lionelleopold" in a subsequent paragraph that attempts to bring together
several aspects of the story in a brief recapitulation:

Up the quay went Lionelleopold, naughty Henry with letter for Mady,
with sweets of sin with frillies for Raoul with met him pike hoses went
Poldy on. (288.17-19)

Bloom himself becomes preoccupied with the narrative powers of music
as he walks along the street:


69





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


All a kind of attempt to talk. Unpleasant when it stops because you
never know exac. Organ in Gardiner street. Old Glynn fifty quid a year.
Queer up there in the cockloft alone with stops and locks and keys. Seated
all day at the organ. Maunder on for hours, talking to himself or the other
fellow blowing the bellows. (288.28-33)

Bloom's speculations on "Old Glynn" lead to his slight variation of the
first line of "The Lost Chord" ("Seated all day" for "Seated one day"). The
picture of Glynn's solitary figure in the organ loft is identified by Bloom
with the organist who sits idly playing in the song:
Seated one day at the organ,
I was weary and ill at ease,
And my fingers wandered idly
Over the noisy keys.
I knew not what I was playing
Or what I was dreaming then;
But I struck one chord of music,
Like the sound of a great Amen,
Like the sound of a great Amen.

The organist's fingers wandering idly over the noisy keys are the basis
of a pun of Bloom. ("Maunder on for hours.") The word maunder is a
combination of wander, from the song, and meander. John Henry Maunder
was, of course, a contemporary organist and choir director during Bloom's
time who was very well known for his oratorios. The Oxford Companion to
Music sums up the quality of his works with characteristic succinctness:
"Of his compositions the apparently inextinguishable cantatas, Penitence,
Pardon, and Peace, and From Olivet to Calvary long enjoyed popularity and
still aid the devotions of undemanding congregations in less sophisticated
areas."22 In linking Maunder with Glynn's idling over the keyboard,
Bloom's musical taste and knowledge prove themselves here to be a bit
more sophisticated than some of his earlier remarks might have indicated.
The "Last Rose of Summer," which is "left blooming alone," crops up
again, as the last sardine left under the sandwich bell combines with the
forlorn Bloom in a double-meaning song reference:
-Very, Mr Dedalus said, staring hard at a headless sardine.
Under the sandwichbell lay on a bier of bread one last, one lonely, last
sardine of summer. Bloom alone. (289. 1-13)

The effect of the reference, besides its comic intent, is to allude musically
through a theme from Martha to Bloom's plight and position.





The Bronzegold Sirensong


As he passes the blind piano tuner in front of Daly's window, Bloom
begins a recapitulation of the major songs in the chapter, embellishing
them with references to several others. The last page and a half of the
chapter (289.31-29I.13), containing sixteen references to eleven songs,
constitutes a sort of musical finale to the episode. Bloom, who will conduct
the finale, contemplates first the range of various instruments:

Instruments. A blade of grass, shell of her hands, then blow. Even comb
and tissuepaper you can knock a tune out of. Molly in her shift in Lombard
Street west, hair down. I suppose each kind of trade made its own, don't
you see? Hunter with a horn. Haw. Have you the? Cloche. Sonnez la!
Shepherd his pipe. Policeman a whistle. Locks and keys! Sweep! (289.31-
36)

Next in Bloom's thought pattern comes the town crier calling the hour
of Molly and Boylan's assignation:

Four o'clock's all's well! Sleep! All is lost now. Drum? Pompedy. Wait,
I know. Towncrier, bumbailiff. Long John. Waken the dead. (289.36-39)

The lover's meeting is accompanied by the song "All Is Lost Now,"
the "Tutto e Sciolto" theme from Bellini, with all of the accompanying
connotations derived during the chapter. The plaintive aria gives way to
more spirited music, as the next part of the finale, orchestrated by drums,
takes on the overtones of a march ("Drum? Pompedy"). The martial motif
is enhanced by a reference to "John Peel," an old, rousing English hunting
song. The association of the crier's "all's well!" with Peel's "View Hal-
loo" produces the allusion to the song ("Long John, Waken the Dead").
When we consider the words to "John Peel," we see that, like Bloom's
lost love, the croppy boy, and Dignam, Peel is gone, never to return
again:

Stanza I:
D'ye ken John Peel, with his coat so gay
D'ye ken John Peel at the break o' the day
D'ye ken John Peel when he's far, far away,
With his hounds and his horn in the morning?
For the sound of his horn brought me from my bed,
And the cry of his hounds which he ofttimes led,
Peel's "View hal-loo" would awaken the dead,
Or the fox from his lair in the morning.


71





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


Stanza 4:
D'ye ken John Peel, with his coat so gay?
He lived at Troutbeck once on a day;
Now he has gone far, far away,
We shall ne'er hear his voice in the morning.
For the sound of his horn, etc.

With a little drumroll ("Pom") we march on past Dignam and the
croppy boy ("Poor little nominedomine. Pom"), right to the end of the
paragraph:

Pom. Dignam. Poor little nominedomine. Pom. It is music, I mean of course
it's all pom pom pom very much what they call da capo. Still you can hear.
As we march we march along, march along. Pom. (289.39-42)

Da capo, the term directing a musician to go back to the beginning
and start again, is probably used by Bloom to refer to the life cycle and
its connection with Dignam, the croppy boy, and, by extension, people
in general. Bloom seems to picture existence as a continual march. When
you come to the end you go back and start again. His statement above
represents a variation in musical terms on the metempsychosis theme,
which he has been thinking about throughout the book.
The tempo changes as Bloom breaks wind in the next line, but even
this is associated with the croppy boy ("Breathe a prayer drop a tear,"
from stanza I):

I must really. Fff. Now if I did that at a banquet. Just a question of
custom shah of Persia. Breathe a prayer, drop a tear. All the same he must
have been a bit of a natural not to see it was a yeoman cap. Muffled up.
Wonder who was that chap at the grave in the brown mackin. (290.1-5)

The credibility of the song worrying him, Bloom searches for an excuse
for the croppy boy's stupidity in not recognizing the yeoman captain.
Bloom's decision that the captain must have been muffled up reminds
him of the man muffled in the brown mackintosh.
Finally, the approach of the whore brings with it the narrator's analogy
to "M'appari":

A frowsy whore with black straw sailor hat askew came glazily in the
day along the quay towards Mr Bloom. When first he saw that form
endearing. Yes, it is. I feel so lonely. (290.7-9)


72





The Bronzegold Sirensong


Lionel's line about when he first saw "that form endearing" now becomes
Leopold's as he remembers the first time he saw the whore, and the
appointment they made but never kept:

Wet night in the lane. Horn. Who had the? Heehaw. Shesaw. Off her beat
here. What is she? Hope she. Psst! Any chance of your wash. Knew Molly.
Had me decked. Stout lady does be with you in the brown costume. Put
you off your stroke. That appointment we made. Knowing we'd never,
well hardly ever. Too dear too near to home sweet home. (289.1o-I 5)

Bloom uses references to two songs in describing why an assignation
he had planned was never completed. "Knowing we'd never, well hardly
ever" is from the Captain's song in HMS Pinafore:

Captain: I am never known to quail
At the fury of a gale,
And I'm never, never sick at sea.
Crew: What, never?
Captain: No, never!
Crew: What, never?
Captain: Hardly ever.

Bloom, indirectly through the song, compares his meeting with the
prostitute with whom he had made the appointment, to being seasick.
But their union was never consummated because the girl knew Molly,
and the meeting would have been "Too dear too near to home sweet
home." Here again the words to the song "Home Sweet Home" have a
humorous kind of irony to them when seen against the context of the
passage under consideration:

Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.

Bloom's "pleasures" in the "palace" of the frowsy prostitute strike the
reader as being as incongruous as the humbleness of Bloom's "home sweet
home."
As Bloom walks along the street, the last calls of the Sirens in the form
of three of the main songs in the episode pursue the fleeing Ulysses-
Leopold:

Near bronze from anear near gold from afar they chinked their clinking
glasses all, brighteyed and gallant, before bronze Lydia's tempting last rose
of summer, rose of Castille. First Lid, De, Cow, Ker, Doll, a fifth: Lidwell,


73





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


Si Dedalus, Bob Cowley, Kernan and Big Ben Dollard. Tap. A youth
entered a lonely Ormond hall. (290.7-12)

Miss Lydia Siren Douce is described as the "last rose of summer" and
the "rose of Castille," while the entrance of the blind piano tuner, who
is looking for his tuning fork, is referred to in terms of stanza three of
"The Croppy Boy."
The men in the bar raise their glasses in one final salute:

-True men like you men.
-Ay, ay, Ben.
Will lift your glass with us.
They lifted.
Tschink. Tschunk. (290.36-40)

The last "tschinking" and "tschunking" of the glasses in the bar accompan-
ies words quoted directly from stanza i of "The Memory of the Dead."
The song urges that the glories of Ireland's history be celebrated with
alcohol:

Who fears to speak of Ninety-Eight?
Who blushes at the name?
When cowards mock the patriot's fate,
Who hangs his head for shame?
He's all a knave, or half a slave,
Who slights his country thus;
But a true man, like you, man,
Will fill your glass with us.

The reference to "The Memory of the Dead" provides a fitting combination
of nostalgic militancy and strong drink as a last characterization of the
assembled music lovers in the Ormond bar.23
Bloom ends the chapter on an equally devastating mockery of Irish
history. As he looks at Robert Emmet's picture and stirring last words
in Lionel Marks's window, he is reminded of Mercandante's oratorio version
of the seven last words of Christ:

Bloom viewed a gallant hero pictured in Lionel Marks's window. Robert
Emmet's last words. Seven last words. Of Meyerbeer that is. (290.33-35)

Here we have one of the most obvious associative patterns in the novel,
as Bloom goes from Emmet's last words, to Christ's seven last words, to
Mercandante's (mistakenly called Meyerbeer's) oratorio. The nobility of


74





The Bronzegold Sirensong


the last words of Emmet-Christ, however, emerge slightly tarnished, since
Bloom, while reading them, breaks wind under cover of the sound of a
passing trolley. The attribution of "The Seven Last Words of Christ" to
a Jewish composer similarly reduces the spiritual uplift of the attending
music.
This last musical reference is part of the overall tendency of Joyce in
the chapter to build up a seemingly serious situation or state of mind,
and then ruthlessly but comically destroy the illusion. Emmet's last words,
preceded by the solitary figure of Ireland's martyred croppy boy and
associated with Christ's martyrdom, are, in the text, juxtaposed with the
present-day Irish heroes, Simon Dedalus and company, who are tipping
a few in memory of the dead, as Bloom provides the final degrading air
of accompaniment to Emmet's noble sentiments with a blast of burgundy-
generated gas.
Throughout the chapter Joyce uses musical as well as narrative analogies
to create an image of pathos approaching sentimentality, only to destroy
it again in a single stroke. Boylan's musical send-off with "Goodbye,
Sweetheart, Goodbye" as the timorous Leopold sees the lover off to his
rendezvous; the despondent strains of "All Is Lost Now" and "M'appari"
falling on the ears of their Elvino-Lionel counterpart, Leopold, who is
sawing away on liver and bacon; and the irony of "The Croppy Boy" being
sung to a bunch of unheroic Ormond barflies-all are a part of the
debunking process characteristic of Joyce's naturalism.
Yet, after seemingly the worst has been done to remove the sentiment
from Bloom's position, a real pathos has been created, and the music has
helped to do it. While no one song has a specific or vital role to play in
the unfolding of the plot, and no musical lover has a completely analogous
situation, there is a bit of Bloom in Masetto, Elvino, Lionel, and the
rest, and their passion is his. The very profusion of musical imagery
centering upon the love and war themes in the chapter gives those themes
an epic proportion. In the welter of situations ranging from slight similar-
ity to near congruence, we are touched by the enormity of the situation
and what it means to this apparently ineffectual man who is so deeply
and hopelessly involved.
And the profusion of the musical imagery and situations in the Sirens
chapter carries with it, in addition to a poignancy regarding Bloom's
particular situation, a universality that comprehends not only the many
and varied lovers who sing their songs in the Sirens chapter, but every
lover who has suffered the pain of hopeless love.


75






76 BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG

Acknowledgments

I am indebted to the Research Foundation of the State University of New
York for subsidizing the research on this project. I would like also to
acknowledge my indebtedness to Thomas Connolly for his counsel, and
to Mabel Worthington, J. Benjamin Townsend, Henry Lee Smith, Jr.,
Bernard Huppe, and William Neville for their aid in the preparation of
this study.














The New Bloomusalem:


Transformations in Epiphany Land



COAUTHOREDD WITH PAUL BUTERA)








LI K E MOST modern novels, James Joyce's Ulysses treats the characters'
discovery of a process by which they can make sense of and deal with the
world in which they live, a method of transforming Plato's world of
appearances into the forms or truths that underlie the surface events of
their lives. In the works of James Joyce, at least through Ulysses, this
process of transformation and truth making is manifested in different
ways: the epiphanies by which the characters in Dubliners come to terms
with what they suppose to be the truths of their own existences, the
artistic process by which Stephen Dedalus in A Portrait of the Artist as a
Young Man transforms (transmutes, transubstantiates) the events of his
own existence into manifestations of art and the uncreated conscience of
his race, and finally in Ulysses the formulation of a new perspective that
combines the practicality of Leopold Bloom with the artistic vision of
Stephen Dedalus. What truths these latter characters come to, how they
have reacted to the Bloomsday events, whether, in fact, anything has
happened either externally or in their perception is, of course, the major
point of debate among both casual and professional readers of Ulysses. As
has been demonstrated elsewhere,' epiphanies or insights of characters in
Joyce from Dubliners through Finnegans Wake are just as apt to be false


I





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


as true, and their validity rests only in the mind of the character experienc-
ing the epiphany and then only at the moment it is perceived.
Whether or not the transformation has actually taken place in Ulysses,
the possibilities of its existence are recognized in parody form by the key
metaphor of reconciliation and hope, the song "The Holy City," played
on the gramophone in Bella Cohen's to herald the coming of the New
Jerusalem and the great transformation to the new millennium. The
reconciliation process that ushers in the new era involves transforming
and blending the analogous though utterly dissimilar perspectives, sensi-
bilities, and goals of Stephen Dedalus and Leopold Bloom.
Stephen had been admonished by Father Moran in Stephen Hero that it
would be well for him to learn "The Holy City" by Adams, rather than
the more "severe music" to which he was addicted:

-There is a song now, beautiful, full of lovely melody and yet-religious.
It has the religious sentiment, a touching melody, power-soul, in fact.
(66)

This is of course essentially the same advice that Stephen's mother gives
him when she says she prays that he may learn "what the heart is and
what it feels" (Portrait, 252). Rather than attempt to discover this self-
knowledge directly, either because he is afraid of its implications to his
vulnerability or because it is of less importance to him than the creation
of eternal artistic verities, Stephen chooses to abstract and refine his
experience into a work of art through a process he describes in the villanelle
as analogous to the transubstantiation of the wine and wafer into the body
and blood of Christ. In his artistic-Eucharistic feast, Stephen's life is the
bread and wine, his art the transubstantiated body and blood, and he the
priest effecting the artistic transformation. Stephen's ultimate epiphany
or revelation of truth, then, is that of the process or means by which
artistic truths are manufactured and revealed. Thus the long description
of the aesthetic theory upon which the process is founded is given such
prominence in the last chapter, and its manifestation in practice contrasts
so vividly with the ethereal, theoretical refinements delineated by Stephen
to Lynch. The villanelle, which directly follows Stephen's aesthetic theory
conversation with Lynch in Portrait, draws its sounds, words, and images
from the entire book, but takes its initial impetus from a wet dream
Stephen has about E. C. and some additional memories of her flirtations
with himself and Father Moran. We do not mean to degrade the sentiments
of the poem by pointing out that it begins in the "foul rag-and-bone


78





The New Bloomusalem


shop" of Stephen's heart, but rather to indicate that the stanzas have come
a long way from their origins and, like Yeats's "The Circus Animals'
Desertion," are as much about the process of transformation of experience
or sensibility into a work of art as about the object of the person's love.
The villanelle represents the completed artistic epiphany of Stephen's
vision of the girl on the beach and his own role as artist. However, the
accuracy of Stephen's perception is of course up to the reader to decide.
By the time Stephen reaches June 16, 1904, his aesthetic theory has
been replaced with another, in which his idea of forging his own experiences
into works of art manifests itself in his theory of how Shakespeare had
transformed his own life and problems into the art of his drama, particularly
Hamlet. That Stephen has created this new fiction, of course, indicates
the way in which he is still projecting his own problems into the abstracts
of aesthetic theory and art forms. There is a subtle difference between the
theories in Portrait and Ulysses, however. In the latter, Stephen admits
that he does not believe his own theory (214), and we are led to anticipate
that the transformation in his mental attitude is not complete and that
his final epiphany is yet to come.
The concerns of Leopold Bloom in Ulysses are of a more mundane kind.
Rather than try to transform his life into art, Bloom dreams of transforming
Dublin and Ireland into the New Hibernia, and transforming his domestic
situation by asserting his dominance in the household and Molly's heart.
While both aims are made problematic by Bloom's equanimity and the
second by his masochism, Bloom nevertheless does have such grand politi-
cal and social schemes as the communal kitchen idea, the paying of stipends
to newborn infants, with interest compounded annually (161), and the
host of other things outlined in Circe (489-90). In order to bring about
this transformation, Bloom, like Stephen, is willing to offer himself
as the necessary ritual sacrifice. His peace-loving, Christ-like character,
discovered in Cyclops, is made manifest in Circe, where Bloom offers
himself up (498) to the scourges of Bella Cohen and the hallucinatory
group as he has to the earlier but more substantial crowd of mourners at
Dignam's funeral and the drinkers at Barney Kiernan's.
Bloom's political and social transformations are, however, predomi-
nantly focused on the city of Dublin, the city of men, and they deal, as
does Augustine's earthly city, with the practical or liberal arts as opposed
to the spiritual or useful arts of Augustine's City of God. Stephen's
analogous vision of transforming his race spiritually through his art is
complemented by Bloom's practical attempts to do something about the


79






BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


social plight of his people. It is the combination of the two visions, the
two transformations, the temporal and practical with the timeless and
spiritual, that will provide the millennium of the New Bloomusalem.
Stephen draws the distinction between such temporal and imaginative
or spiritual pursuits in the beginning of Nestor when in response to an
answer about Pyrrhus's defense of Tarentum he muses:

Fabled by the daughters of memory. And yet it was in some way if not as
memory fabled it. A phrase, then, of impatience, thud of Blake's wings of
excess. I hear the ruin of all space, shattered glass and toppling masonry,
and time one livid final flame. (24)

Thornton calls our attention to Blake's preference for Inspiration, which
Blake calls "a Representation of what Eternally Exists, Really & Unchange-
ably," over Memory, which he says is merely "the Vanities of Time and
Space."2 In a sense Blake's homage to Imagination is Stephen's own, and
his comment on Blake's excess is presumably that it "leads to the palace
of wisdom." But Stephen's view of the eternal city as linked with artistic
inspiration also forms part of his Blake allusion, for in Blake's words,

Imagination is Surrounded by the Daughters of Inspiration who in the
aggregate are called Jerusalem.3

Thus the city of Jerusalem, the eternal city, is arrived at simultaneously
by Bloom and Stephen. It is the practical city of man of Leopold Bloom:

BLOOM
My beloved subjects, a new era is about to dawn. I, Bloom, tell you verily
it is even now at hand. Yes, on the word of a Bloom, ye shall ere long
enter into the golden city which is to be, the new Bloomusalem in the
Nova Hibernia of the future.
(Thirtytwo workmen wearing rosettes, from all the counties of Ireland, under the
guidance of Derwan the builder, construct the new Bloomusalem. It is a colossal
edifice, with crystal roof, built in the shape of a huge pork kidney containing forty
thousand rooms.) (484)

The practical architectural details are Bloom's, but the millennium is also
the city of imagination, of eternal art, and "what eternally exists" for
Stephen Dedalus.4 The final reconciliation of the two visions of Jerusalem
occurs in the song "The Holy City" itself, which will be quoted here in
its entirety:






The New Bloomusalem


Last night I lay a-sleeping,
There came a dream so fair:
I stood in old Jerusalem,
Beside the temple there;
I heard the children singing,
And ever as they sang,
Me-thought the voice of Angels,
From Heav'n in answer rang;
Me-thought the voice of Angels
From Heav'n in answer rang
"Jerusalem! Jerusalem!
Lift up your gates and sing,
Hosanna in the highest,
Hosanna to your King."

And then methought my dream was changed,
The streets no longer rang,
Hushed were the glad Hosannas
The little children sang;
The sun grew dark with mystery,
The morn was cold and chill,
As the shadow of a cross arose
Upon a lonely hill,
As the shadow of a cross arose
Upon a lonely hill.
Jerusalem! Jerusalem!
Hark! how the Angels sing:
"Hosanna in the highest,
Hosanna to your King!"

And once again the scene was changed,
New earth there seem'd to be,
I saw the Holy City
Beside the tideless sea;
The light of God was on its streets,
The gates were open wide,
And all who would might enter,
And no one was denied.
No need of moon or stars by night,
Or sun to shine by day,
It was the new Jerusalem
That would not pass away,


8i





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


It was the new Jerusalem
That would not pass away.
Jerusalem! Jerusalem!
Sing for the night is o'er!
Hosanna in the highest,
Hosanna for evermore!
Hosanna in the highest,
Hosanna for evermore!5

"The Holy City" is a dream vision, a work of art, an epiphany, a product
of the imagination. The first stanza asserts the dream and identifies the
narrator as dreamer. Like the early Portrait, the first stanza deals with the
activities and perceptions of children who are able to call up in answer
the very voices of the heavenly host.
In stanza 2 the perception of the persona changes and as the children's
songs die out, they are replaced by the metaphor of sacrifice, the cleansing
transition from the childhood of stanza i to the beatific vision of stanza
3. The previous reference to both Bloom and Stephen as sacrificial figures
foreshadows one of their functions in the song. By being Christ figures
offering themselves up in atonement for unnamed sins, they prepare us
and the dreamer-persona for the final image of the new Jerusalem.
In the last stanza, the children's song is left out entirely and is replaced
by the persona's new vision of the communality of all people, a city where
"All who would might enter, / And no one was denied." This vision is,
of course, the hope and plan for the New Bloomusalem of Leopold Bloom,
not just a metaphoric golden city that is to be, but the Nova Hibernia
of the future, a new Dublin and a new Ireland. That the hope is not
merely a hallucinatory one on Bloom's part is underscored by his advancing
the same idea in Lestrygonians, and more particularly in Cyclops. Thus
in the song are blended the political, social nirvana of Bloom and the
Imagination/artistic creation/Jerusalem of Blake and, subsequently, Ste-
phen Dedalus. The dreamer creates the artistic vision, then the sacrifice,
and finally the reconciliation. The process of the transformation of the
city is also the process of transforming the imagination and experience
into the work of art, that is, the song and the epiphany it embodies.
The propitious moment arrives for the union of these two disparate
characters, the centers of whose beings and aspirations are so curiously
linked. Stephen has but to heed Father Moran's admonitions from Stephen
Hero regarding the song, as it begins to play on a gramophone outside
to herald Bloom's entrance into Bella Cohen's parlor (504). Stephen has





The New Bloomusalem


been talking about the reconciliation of opposites, placing it again in
musical terms of the two notes of a scale, with the greatest possible
interval, the dominant and fundamental. Stephen goes on to allude to
the fact that this anticipatory interval leads to a return to the octave,
which consists of two different notes but with mathematically similar
vibrations. It therefore represents a unification process and at the same
time produces a difference analogous to Stephen's ecclesiastical term,
consubstatiality, where two people or situations can be the same and at
the same time different. Stephen begins by referring obliquely to the
major themes that link him and Bloom throughout the day, the father-
son search, Shakespeare, and odyssey making:

(Abruptly.) What went forth to the ends of the world to traverse not itself.
God, the sun, Shakespeare, a commercial traveller, having itself traversed
in reality itself, becomes that self. Wait a moment. Wait a second. Damn
that fellow's noise in the street. Self which it itself was ineluctably precondi-
tioned to become. Ecco! (505)

On the very point of making the discovery about consubstantiality and
his relation to Bloom and the heart, and with the gramophone blaring
away the advent of the New Jerusalem and Bloom entering the door,
Stephen is still unable to read the significance of the portents. He rejects
the sign in the music almost in the same words he used in Nestor when
he defined God as a "shout in the street" (34). For Stephen this noise in
the streets heralds not the savior, Leopold Bloom, but the "Safe arrival
of Antichrist," as Stephen turns and sees Bloom (506). As the gramophone
plays on, Joyce alters the words to the first stanza slightly:

Jerusalem !
Open your gates and sing
Hosanna . (507)

The need for Stephen to realize the prospective epiphany at hand is
underscored by the use of the term open for the correct lift up. But as the
image suffers further degradation under Elijah's gospel message where
Stephen, Bloom, Lynch, and the three whores all become Christ in the
evangelical burlesque, so "The Holy City" becomes "Whorusalaminyour-
highhohhhh" (508).
As the dreamer-persona of the song transforms his city into a three-
part epiphany, so Stephen transforms the song and the image of Bloom
into a degraded epiphany specter. The references to Dowie in Elijah's


83







BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


speech come from the experiences of Bloom, and it might well be that
Bloom also envisions the parody of his own Messianic entrance. But Bloom
is, after all, in realistic terms the only one in Ulysses who would help
Stephen and offer friendship, assistance, and hospitality, in short offer to
show Stephen "what the heart is and what it feels."
When Stephen later breaks the chandelier with his ashplant, shouting
the name of the sword with which Siegfried broke Wotan's spear and the
old order of the universe, the stage directions recall again the words from
Blake associated with the new millennium.

STEPHEN
Nothung!
(He lifts his ashplant high with both hands and smashes the chandelier. Time's
livid final flame leaps and, in the following darkness, ruin of all space, shattered
glass, and toppling masonry.) (583)

Stephen's epiphany here is one of looking back at his agenbite of inwit
and his oedipal guilt rather than to the hope of the future. The question
remains, has Stephen learned enough from the song that his artistic
transformations might rival the dream of the persona of "The Holy City"?
The answer depends upon the readers who, like the characters of the novel,
must discover their own epiphanies as they see them. Whether Leopold
Bloom is the eventual hope for humanity, or a mere bumbling cuckold,
or whether Stephen could or would go forth to write a Ulysses on the basis
of the little he seems to have learned on June I6 is left to the reader to
supply. The possibilities for the great humanistic leap are there, however,
even if they are represented by "The Holy City." There has to be some
shred of validity in the burlesque for it to be successful.
The point is that Ulysses is everything to every person, confirming for
each her or his own epiphany of life's meaning, just as Bloom and Stephen
confirm their own already predisposed prejudices and expectations of what
events will bring through the insights or epiphanies they read into their
lives. By sharpening and clarifying the reconstructed world in which we
live, Ulysses acts for us in the acquisition of self-knowledge just as it does
for the characters of the novel, to bring us insights that are as widely
divergent as the poles of critical theory about what, if anything, happens
in Ulysses.














Stephen's Villanelle: Antecedents,

Manifestations, and Aftermath








LI K E THE novel of which it is a part, the villanelle is a portrait of the
artist, and like the book, the poem is a work of art about its own making.
It would take too long here to detail the list of models in fiction and
verse in which self-conscious works of art deal with their own creation.
Robert Alter and others have now made it a respectable literary occupa-
tion.1 The idea that A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man is about
its own creation is inherent in the title. The narrative consciousness,
approaching the mind of Stephen Dedalus, sifts through the experiences
and thoughts of the maturing young artist to retain only those things of
significance in developing the composite picture of the artist. That the
portrait Stephen paints for himself is largely a defense mechanism, a means
of rationalizing and coping with the world around him, of overcoming
inferiority and dealing with the demands made on him, is a principal
source of universality in the novel. That we all must find an analogous
means of coping does not render Stephen's or Joyce's portrait any less
unique. Stephen's final view of himself in the last pages as an artistic
Daedalus-Icarus figure is prepared for throughout the entire book, from
the Christ-Parnell-Satan self-images of the earlier chapters through the
portrait within a portrait of the villanelle, the microcosm and artistic
epiphany of the entire novel. Like the final portrait, the villanelle is an
amalgam of previous images, a rationalization for Stephen's inferiority,
and a vision of its own composition.


I






BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


Scholes, Rossman, Benstock, and others have already glossed many of
the earlier events and images, particularly of E. C. and the girl on the
beach, which appear in the poem.2 Benstock in particular has pointed out
the relationship of the immediate process of composition to the subject
matter of the poem.3 Stephen emerges from what seems suspiciously like
a wet dream to a world of seeming ecstasy with thoughts of the omniscient
power of the word. The morning sun's rays form the basis of the primary
rhyme sound. The censer of the priest, taken from Moynihan's allusion
to ellipsoidal balls during the physics lecture, provides the basis of fire,
smoke, and blaze that will later appear as the poetic sacrifice. Memories
of E. C. and Stephen's jealousy of the priest to whom she has been talking
call forth his earlier rationalizing image of himself as artist-priest, formed
after his invitation to holy orders from the director at Belvedere. When
he compares himself to Gherardino da Borgo San Donnino, he postulates
a similarity to the early church reformer as Stephen seeks to reform the
eucharist by substituting art, his poem, for the transubstantiated host.
Stephen has long thought of himself as a sacrificial Christ figure beginning
with the associations of the infirmary and the Dolan scene. The Parnell/
political-savior parallel had its origins also in the infirmary and the subse-
quent Christmas dinner scene, reenforced by Stephen's political triumphs
over Dolan and his supposed betrayal by Conmee. Thus, stung with his
memories and speculations on E. C.'s familiarity with Father Moran,
Stephen places himself in the analogous but superior role as priest of art:

To him [Moran] she would unveil her soul's shy nakedness, to one who
was but schooled in the discharging of a formal rite rather than to him
[Dedalus], a priest of eternal imagination, transmuting the daily bread of
experience into the radiant body of everliving life. (221)

As he retreats into his monklike cowl, Stephen mentally allows the tempt-
ress to succumb to him through his artistic incantation:

Her nakedness yielded to him, radiant, warm, odorous and lavish-limbed,
enfolded him like a shining cloud, enfolded him like water with a liquid
life: and like a cloud of vapour or like waters circumfluent in space the
liquid letters of speech, symbols of the element of mystery, flowed forth
over his brain. (223)

In the first stanza Stephen builds upon his own Satanic image when
he calls the temptress the "lure of the fallen seraphim." He has already






Stephen's Villanelle


fallen and like E. C. she attempts to lure him back to the fold and Ireland.
His blazing heart sends up the smoke of her praise as he becomes not
only priest but sacrifice, and his poem the means of extolling her hold
upon him. The "broken cries and mournful lays" of his villanelle are a
celebration not only of the temptress who immediately caused them, but
of his art as the means of transubstantiating his own experience into the
eucharist, producing not only the body and blood of Stephen-Christ, but
the poem about the process. Thus the poem celebrates not only love,
temptation, and sacrifice, but, as Scholes originally told us, the making
of the poem itself.4 The artist-priest's raising of the chalice of his poetry
flowing to the brim recalls the drops of water in the brimming bowl of
Stephen's youth from which the poem is made. But even as his artistic
priesthood becomes, at one and the same time, his vocation and his subject
matter, it also affords Stephen the necessary rationalization to come to
grips with his inferior situation in relation to the ever present female figure
representing an idealized but mundane exterior world, which intrudes in
the echoes of the beach scene in the lines, "And still you hold our longing
gaze / With languorous look and lavish limb!" The poem becomes the
culmination of Stephen's vision and A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
in a way which provides an explanation for the whole novel, a portrait of
the artist-narrator transubstantiating and distilling from the totality of
his youthful experience the novel as we have it.
Nor does the Stephen Dedalus of Ulysses abandon the villanelle and its
temptress figure any more than other Portrait experiences alluded to so
frequently in the later novel. Stephen's Portrait-generated epiphanies, by
Bloom's day recognized by their maker as rationalizations, undergo the
same delegation in Ulysses. The later novel begins with Mulligan's de-
bunking parody of Stephen's priestly posture. The brimming bowl of
Stephen's youth, transformed in the villanelle into the artist-priest's sacri-
ficial chalice, is now parodied, as Mulligan intones the beginning of the
mass under his elevated shaving bowl. The profanation of the sacrifice is
furthered in the ensuing scene by the association of the bowl with May's
bowl of bile and the snotgreen sea. Stephen's bird imagery, so painstakingly
constructed from his name and his vision of the girl on the beach as well
as its context in the creation of the villanelle are similarly mocked to near
destruction in Mulligan's "Ballad of Joking Jesus" in which the Christ
persona of the poem tells us, "my father's a bird' (19). The implications
of the line are not lost on Stephen, who later in Proteus ironically associates


87





BLOOM'S OLD SWEET SONG


the line with the wild geese, political liberation, and Kevin Egan. The
Parnellian artist who would forge the uncreated consciousness of his race
has matured a bit and modified his views.
Likewise, Stephen's aesthetic theory, the theoretical framework for the
villanelle, the new critical-intentional fallacy stance of the artist paring
his fingernails behind the scenes of a formerly superior "dramatic" work
of art completely removed from its creator, has changed to a lyric or epic
stance in which the artist, Shakespeare, vents his personal spleen in Hamlet
by putting his own story on the page. In Ulysses, however, Stephen freely
admits that the theory is a subterfuge in which he reposes no belief.
It is not until Ithaca, however, that Stephen feels himself once again
vulnerable to the temptations that beset him in the Portrait in the form
of E. C. and her admonishments to remain at home as a good, patriotic,
didactic artist who will further the cause of nationalism. By Ithaca Bloom
has already taken Stephen's arm, ingratiated himself with kindnesses, and
established a connection between his Jewishness and Stephen's Irishness.
The older man is about to invite Stephen to remain like a son in the Bloom
household, destroying the freedom and independence, the distancing so
necessary to the dramatic art of the winged and free Daedalus Stephen
envisioned in the Portrait. Stephen's metaphor of a sterile and degraded
Ireland in the milkwoman, later subsumed into his "Parable of the Plums,"
shows that his method of composition at least has not varied. He still
amalgamates his experiences into new images, new works of art that are
still rationalizations and defense mechanisms for his inadequacies of the
moment. Thus in Ithaca in response to Bloom's rendition of the "Hatikvah"
or hope, symbolizing his hope of the future with a new son to replace
Rudy, Stephen counters with the "Ballad of Little Harry Hughes," an
archetypal story of the murdered "delicate Jew/child," which had its most
prominent variant in the tale of Chaucer's delicately mannered Prioress.
Her tale transforms the sacrificial scapegoat, the suffering servant ofJudaic
lore, into an anti-Semitic morality story of the slaughter of Christian
innocents by the unbelievers.
The "Ballad of Little Harry Hughes" affords Stephen a similar opportu-
nity to transform his earlier poem into the present Semitic circumstances
of the scene and his proposed relationship with Bloom. The ballad is
about a little boy who twice drives a ball over the Jew's garden wall. He
refuses to do it a third time, but the Jew's daughter takes him into the
house and beheads him. The last lines tell us that "he'll play his ball no
more / For he lies among the dead" (691). Stephen's commentary on the


88