Coronation Day

"Coronation Day" is a drinking song that was sung in English streets in 1902, during the months of anticipation leading up to the coronation of King Edward VII. Mulligan sings it "out of tune with a cockney accent" in Telemachus, and in Circe King Edward himself intones it "with soft contentment."

Gifford notes that “coronation day” could also be “slang for payday because the pay could be reckoned in crowns (five-shilling pieces).” Just before this play on crowns, Mulligan has made a similar play on the name of the one-pound coins called sovereigns, celebrating the “Four omnipotent sovereigns” that Stephen will receive from his employer later in the morning. The power of these sovereigns, he figures, resides in their ability to procure alcoholic inebriation; hence his enthusiastic rendition of the drinking song.

JH 2011

Edward VII in his coronation regalia. Source: