James Joyce wrote one of the most famous and complex novels in English: "Ullyses." Each year, on June 16, the single day the story is set in is celebrated worldwide and has become known as Bloomsday after the main character of the book, Leopold Bloom

Joyce was very musical. He had a fine tenor voice, played the piano, and loved to perform. Joyce wrote several songs and once shared a stage with the great Irish tenor John McCormack. It is said he even fancied himself as McCormack's equal. The pieces of his time, popular songs from England and America, those heard in music halls, Irish folk songs, and areas from light opera all featured in his books and stories.

In this segment, we explore those songs and talk with three experts on Joyce: Joe Nugent of Boston College, Kelly Matthews of Framingham State University, and Cahal Stephens of the theatre troupe, HCE Players. It creates a fascinating story that weaves thru the streets of the victorian Dublin Joyce loved. He left the city in 1904 when he was just 22. He rarely returned and lived the rest of his life in Trieste, Paris, and Zurich, where he completed the bulk of his writing.

Some interesting links to check out:

The James Joyce Center, Dublin
Bloomsday Festivals Around the World
The Here Comes Everybody (HCE) Players

The playlist below features full versions of the songs used. (A basic Spotify membership is required and is free.)