Click to view the track list for CD #2
James Joyce at the Piano in Paris, 1939 James Joyce: Music in the Novels and Poems
CD #2 Song List
Artwork for CD #2 cover

James Joyce Quote
When the modern critic writes that 'these songs, although pleasing enough and suitable for an Irish Tenor, seem to justify their comparative neglect' is it not possible that he is both insulting the author who had every reason to love the qualities of the 'Irish tenor' and also doing injury to an early work by using standards that developed later in a decade of the twentieth century very different from the one in which the poems were written?
James Joyce Unquote

[ Ross Lee Finney ]

Click to play music clips

Suite from Chamber Music

Musical settings by Ross Lee Finney;
words by James Joyce

Courtesy of C.F. Peters Corporation

Song Lyrics

From Chamber Music by James Joyce


Strings in the earth and air
Make music sweet;
Strings by the river where
The willows meet.

There's music along the river
For Love wanders there,
Pale flowers on his mantle,
Dark leaves on his hair.

All softly playing,
With head to the music bent,
And fingers straying
Upon an instrument.

• • • • •


The twilight turns from amethyst
To deep and deeper blue,
The lamp fills with a pale green glow
The trees of the avenue.

The old piano plays an air,
Sedate and slow and gay;
She bends upon the yellow keys,
Her head inclines this way.

Shy thoughts and grave wide eyes and hands
That wander as they list —
The twilight turns to darker blue
With lights of amethyst.

• • • • •


Bright cap and streamers,
He sings in the hollow:
Come follow, come follow,
All you that love.
Leave dreams to the dreamers
That will not after,
That song and laughter
Do nothing move.

With ribbons streaming
He sings the bolder;
In troop at his shoulder
The wild bees hum.
And the time of dreaming
Dreams is over —
As lover to lover,
Sweetheart, I come.

• • • • •


O, it was out by Donnycarney
When the bat flew from tree to tree
My love and I did walk together;
And sweet were the words she said to me.

Along with us the summer wind
Went murmuring — O, happily! —
But softer than the breath of summer
Was the kiss she gave to me.

• • • • •


Love came to us in time gone by
When one at twilight shyly played
And one in fear was standing nigh —
For Love at first is all afraid.

We were grave lovers. Love is past
That had his sweet hours — many a one.
Welcome to us now at the last
The ways that we shall go upon.

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