Click to view the track list for CD #2
James Joyce at the Piano in Paris, 1939 James Joyce: Music in the Novels and Poems
CD #2 Song List
Artwork for CD #2 cover

James Joyce Quote
Come to disdoon blarmey and walk our groves so charming and see again the sweet rockelose...
James Joyce Unquote

[ Finnegans Wake ]

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The Groves of Blarney

Words by Richard Alfred Millikin;
air: Castle Hyde

Song Lyrics

The Groves of Blarney they look so charming,
All by the murmuring of sweet silent streams,
Being banked with posies that spontaneous grow there,
Planted in order by the sweet Rockclose.
'Tis there's the daisy and sweet carnation,
The blooming pink, and the rose so fair;
The daffydowndilly, likewise the jilly-flowers
That scent the sweet fragrant air.
Oh! Oh! Och hone!

'Tis lady Jeffris that owns this station
Like Alexander or Queen Helen fair;
There's no commander through the nation,
For emulation can with her compare.
She has castles around her that no nine pounder
Should dare to plunder her place of strength;
But Oliver Cromwell he did her pummel,
And made a breach in her battlement.
Oh! Oh! Och hone!

"Tis there's the kitchen hangs many a flitch in,
With the maids a stitching upon the stair;
The bread and biskey, the beer and whiskey
Would make us frisky if we were there.
'Tis there you'd see Peg Murphy's daughter
A-washing pratees forenent the door
With Roger Cleary and Father Healy
All blood relations to Lord Donoughmore.
Oh! Oh! Och hone!

There's statues gracing this noble place in
Of heathen goddesses so fair:
Bold Neptune, Plutarch, and Nicodemus,
All standing naked in the open air.
So now to finish this brave narration
Which my poor geni could not entwine,
But were I Homer, or Nebuchadnezzar,
'Tis in every feature I would make it shine.
Oh! Oh! Och hone!

Notes on the Song

Blarney Castle

"Father Prout" was the pseudonym of Francis Sylvester Mahony, an Irish humorist (as well a Corkonian and an alumnus of Joyce's own Clongoweswood College), and possibly the greatest champion of the Blarney Stone. A friend of Dickens and Thackeray, Mahony had a great sense of mischief, and much of that was reflected in his publication, Reliques of Father Prout, wherein he evangelized fulsomely on the benefits of kissing the stone. He added these humorous lines to Milliken's "The Groves of Blarney":

There is a stone there, that whoever kisses,
Oh! he never misses to grow eloquent.
'Tis he may clamber, to a lady's chamber,
Or become a member of Parliament.
A clever spouter he'll sure turn out, or
An out-and-outer to be let alone.
Don't hope to hinder him, or to bewilder him.
Sure he's a pilgrim from the Blarney Stone.

The Blarney Castle website has an extensive history that may elucidate some of the references in "The Groves of Blarney." The links below will open pages with images of a few of the landmarks of Blarney Castle mentioned in the song:

The Reliques of Father Prout

[View source]

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