Click to view the track list for CD #1
James Joyce at the Piano in Paris, 1939 James Joyce: Music in the Novels and Poems
CD #1 Songs
Artwork for CD #1 cover
Click to play music clip of track 17

From CD #1:
Sweet Rosie O'Grady

Words and music by Maude Nugent

Liner Notes

At the very end of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Cranly uses this rollicking Irish-American music hall song, the great success of 1896, to probe Stephen's overly intellectual, symbolic approach to reality. Like Father Moran in Stephen Hero, he wonders if Stephen is even capable of love. True to form, Stephen somehow manages to connect a very real servant singing while sharpening knives with a completely abstract "figure of woman as she appears in the liturgy of the church." When push comes to shove, however, he shows he does have a practical side:

    — There's real poetry for you, he said. There's real love. He glanced sideways at Stephen with a strange smile and said:
    — Do you consider that poetry? Or do you know what the words mean?
    — I want to see Rosie first, said Stephen.

[from CD liner notes, contributed by Kevin McDermott]

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