Sing a song of sixpence

After perhaps recalling fragments of two nursery rhymes from Mother Goose early in Calypso—the echoes are tenuous, fragmentary—Bloom thinks quite specifically and repeatedly of another one later in the chapter and in Lotus Eaters: "Sing a song of sixpence." Like the children's lessons and stories of Finnegans Wake, the silly images in this song that parents sing to their children are made to convey some pressing adult concerns, especially the marital discord in the Bloom household.

JH 2017

Cover illustration for Randolph Caldecott's Sing a Song for Sixpence (Routledge and Sons, 1880). Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Sing a Song of Sixpence, sung by Paula Gayle with Ben Pollack's swing band (1938). Source: YouTube.

Illustration by Walter Crane from The Song of Sixpence. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Illustration by Walter Crane from The Song of Sixpence. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Illustration by Walter Crane from The Song of Sixpence (London: John Lane, 1864). Source: Wikimedia Commons.