Bloomsday 2017

Joyce and music. Intergenerational, family friendly Bloomsday celebration.

Children are especially welcome! You are cordially invited to join Majella and the Museum of Childhood Ireland team for tea, cake and a chat from 11am on the morning of Friday 16th June. We have a gorgeous main display, and several mini displays, focusing on music that inspired the work of James Joyce. Pick up some music sheet handouts and relax and sing or hum along, as we play the songs of Joyce.

We’ll have baskets of tambourines, rattles, xylophones and some stylophones from the museum’s collections available for children and for all. If you play an instrument please feel free to bring it along, and if you sing…please do! We have a keyboard but unfortunately no piano…yet...

We’re inspired by:

”Given Joyce’s musical patrimony — his own fine voice and talents as a musician, his father’s considerable and near-professional skills as a singer, his encyclopedic knowledge of musical matters, and the rich musical milieu in which he grew up — the profound influence of music on the shaping of his works should come as no surprise.

Starting with Dubliners and in each successive prose work, Joyce makes increasingly subtle and demanding use of music to carry his tales forward, culminating in Ulysses, where it becomes absolutely integral to the storytelling, especially in the Sirens episode.

Finally, in Finnegans Wake, where the very name of the book is borrowed from the title of a popular broadside ballad, and in which thousands of musical allusions are woven into its tapestry of universal history, we come full circle. For, like Chamber Music, it really is less a piece of writing than a kind of music, an epic prose chorale. The book begs to be performed, the inert words on the page recited aloud in order to be brought to life and fully appreciated. In fact, that is exactly Joyce’s advice:

“It is all so simple. If anyone doesn’t understand a passage, all he need do is read it aloud.”

Good advice — and a timely reminder that Joyce was not simply writing books to keep scholars busy. He was writing to enlighten, and to entertain.”

‘Broadsides”, McAllister Collection, Museum of Childhood Ireland

Bid Adieu to Girlish Days

The Bloom is On the Rye

Blumenlied, or “The Flower Song”

Brigid’s Song or, “Dingdong! The Castle Bell!”

Dingdong! The castle bell!

Farewell, my mother!

Bury me in the old churchyard

Beside my eldest brother.

My coffin shall be black,

Six angels at my back,

Two to sing and two to pray

And two to carry my soul away.

The Croppy Boy

The Holy City

I Dreamt I Dwelt in Marble Halls, from The Bohemian Girl

I’ll sing Thee Songs of Araby, from Lalla Rookh

Love’s Old Sweet Song

The Low back’d Car

M’appari or, “Martha”

My Girl’s a Yorkshire Girl

Oft in the Stilly Night

Silent O’Moyle

Sweet Rosie O’Grady

Those Lovely Seaside Girls

The Groves of Blarney

The Lass that Loves a Sailor

In Old Madrid

In the Shade of the Palm, from Floradora

Killarney, from The Colleen Bawn

Lilly Dale

The Lost Chord

My Lady’s Bower


O Twine Me a Bower

 Oh! Ye Dead

 Shall I Wear a White Rose?

 Suite from Ross Lee Finney’s Chamber Music I, II, X, XXXI, XXX

Suite of Stephen’s Piano Improvisations

Loath to Depart

Agincourt Carol



Majella McAllister: