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FROM CD #2:
In the Shade of the Palm
From the musical comedy Florodora:
Words and music by "Leslie Stuart" (Tom Barrett);
book by "Owen Hall" (James Davis)
In that most musical chapter of Ulysses, Sirens, Joyce uses this song repeatedly — although artfully misquoted: "O Idolores" and "fair maid of Egypt" are just two examples. Given the novel's Homeric subtext, the attraction of the piece for Joyce is neatly (although unwittingly) summarized by Ellwood Annaheim of the Musical Theater Research Project: "in one of the score's most beautiful melodies, he [the hero, Frank Abercoed] tells Dolores he must go but will return for her if she waits patiently." The song is from Florodora, one of the great hit musical comedies of the turn of the 20th century; premiering in London in November 1899, it also had successful runs in New York City and Paris.
One of the selling features of the show was a chorus line — beside their fleshy charms the girls sang in the show's other great hit, "Tell Me, Pretty Maiden, Are There Any More at Home Like You?" — and the Misses Douce and Kennedy may be seen as the "Florodora Girls" of Joyce's musical comedy.
[CD liner notes by Kevin McDermott]
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