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A Portrait of the Nation: Political Song in Joyce

Darina Gallagher and Sinead Murphy
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To celebrate 100 years since the publication of A Portrait of the Artist as a Young ManDarina Gallagher and Sinead Murphy return to the James Joyce Centre to present a new programme of songs that reflect the cultural life that surrounded the young James Joyce and helped inspire his first novel.

These songs question the concept of nationhood and reveal an intense merging of cultural energies. In A Portrait… and its surroundings, we find fusions of both Irish and English folk traditions, songs of the American Civil War, urban entertainments of music hall and opera, church music and children’s song. The collection reflects in particular the pervasive influence of the Irish Cultural Revival, WB Yeats and Thomas Moore’s romantic Irish nationalism of mythology, longing and exile. The young Joyce uses song to challenge, to entertain, to lament, to romance and to hope. Through these rich musical layers, Darina Gallagher and Sinead Murphy continue their exploration of music within the works of James Joyce and examine the political, religious and social tensions within them.

Sinead Murphy and Darina Gallagher have been performing songs from the works of James Joyce for the last 6 years. They have created 5 award-winning musical performances based on his writing from Dubliners to Finnegans Wake to critical acclaim. These shows have toured to Russia, America and throughout Europe, most recently to Madrid, Barcelona and San Sebastián, this year’s European Capital of Culture.

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A Portrait of the Nation: Political Song in Joyce
A Portrait of the Nation: Political Song in Joyce


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