James Joyce's Playlist
Saturday 9 June
BBC RADIO 4
In this programme, recorded in James Joyce's Martello Tower near Dublin, we discover and recreate James Joyce's favourite songs. We also find, and hear, Joyce's own guitar (at one point in his life he had a plan to make a living travelling round Ireland playing it, as a wandering minstrel).
The songs include sentimental classics like 'Love's Old Sweet Song', which appears seven times in Ulysses; the bawdy music hall ballad 'Those Seaside Girls', one of Joyce's favourites (his most erotic scenes are set by the sea) and a hauntingly sad farewell he wrote to his wife Nora, 'Bid Adieu'. We end with the rollicking 'Finnegan's Wake', an Irish song about a drunken wake which gave its name to the novel.
There are three contributors: Declan Kiberd, eminent Irish scholar and author of 'Ulysses and Us: the Art of Everyday Living'; actor Barry McGovern; and Katherine O'Callaghan, who has spent several years researching Joyce's music.
The presenter is David Owen Norris, pianist and music Professor, who has also arranged the songs, which are sung by Thomas Guthrie and Gwyneth Herbert.
The setting is the Martello Tower near Dublin where Joyce lived as a young man, and which becomes the setting for the opening scenes of Ulysses.
Producer/Elizabeth Burke for Loftus Productions
BBC Radio 4 Publicity
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