playing the organ

The priest was rinsing out the chalice: then he tossed off the dregs smartly. Wine. Makes it more aristocratic than for example if he drank what they are used to Guinness’s porter or some temperance beverage Wheatley’s Dublin hop bitters or Cantrell and Cochrane’s ginger ale (aromatic). Doesn’t give them any of it: shew wine: only the other. Cold comfort. Pious fraud but quite right: otherwise they’d have one old booser worse than another coming along, cadging for a drink. Queer the whole atmosphere of the. Quite right. Perfectly right that is.

Mr Bloom looked back towards the choir. Not going to be any music. Pity. Who has the organ here I wonder? Old Glynn he knew how to make that instrument talk, the vibrato: fifty pounds a year they say he had in Gardiner street. Molly was in fine voice that day, the Stabat Mater of Rossini. Father Bernard Vaughan’s sermon first. Christ or Pilate? Christ, but don’t keep us all night over it. Music they wanted. Footdrill stopped. Could hear a pin drop. I told her to pitch her voice against that corner. I could feel the thrill in the air, the full, the people looking up:

Quis est homo.


Bloom once again refers to “Cantrell and Cochrane’s ginger ale (aromatic)”. Whenever I see something repeated like this I always assume there is some kind of deeper meaning. In his book Joyce’s Iritis and the Irritated Text: The Dis-lexic Ulysses, Roy K. Gottfried points out that Joyce was well aware his story would be appearing in a serial publication and would be seen next to ads. Thus, you might read about ginger ale in the text and see and ad for it right across the page. ( source )

I really appreciate Bloom’s thoughts on Father Bernard’s sermon. Joyce writes it so well we can pretty much assume the subject matter of his sermon and we can also assume the dryness of the tone, and Bloom’s excitement at the time about hearing Molly sing. 

Here’s a live version of the song,