Fancy bread

The smells wafting out of Rourke's bakery elicit three clichés, and a stuffy gloss on the first one, from the narrator of Eumaeus: "our daily bread, of all commodities of the public the primary and most indispensable. Bread, the staff of life, earn your bread." Then, drawing even closer to the consciousness of Bloom––perhaps even entering his interior monologue for a moment––the narrative spins out a jaunty little ditty reminisicent of nursery rhymes and advertising jingles: "O tell me where is fancy bread, at Rourke's the baker's it is said." Not the least of this sentence's delights is a terrible pun produced by misreading Shakespeare.

John Hunt 2023

Cover for sheet music of Eric Coates' 1912 setting of Shakespeare's song.

First page of sheet music of Thomas Arne's setting of the song.