Two unidentified songs in the Penelope episode

U 18.29: ... trying to imagine he was dying on account of her to never see thy face again ...

This alludes to the song "The Last Watch" by Ciro Pinsuti (1829-88), words by Fred E. Weatherly (1848-1929), which was fairly popular in the 1880s. It was advertised as "Sung by Mr Maas" on the title page and was a favourite piece of Walter Bapty (also of Ulysses fame).

Watch with me, love, tonight!

This is the last time we meet,

For I must leave thee, O my sweet,

Our fate is fixed, our dream is o'er,

Our ways lie parted evermore!

The fault was mine, be mine the pain!

To never see thy face again,

To watch by wood and wild and shore

We two together nevermore!

My heart is torn, my brain is fire,

Thou art my life, my sole desire,

My queen, my crown, my prize, my goal,

Heart of my heart, sun of my soul,

Farewell! Farewell! It must be so,

But kiss me once before I go,

Only this once, dear love, good-bye,

But I shall love thee, till I die.

Dear heart, those days were bright!

But we have lost their light,

But, O beloved, watch with me tonight.

U 18.1290-2: "... always turning up half screwed singing the second verse first the old love is the new was one of his so sweetly sang the maiden on the hawthorn bough ..."

This is from "The Old Love And The New" by Frederic H. Cowen (1852-1935), words by R. E. Francillon (1841-1919):

So blithely sang the blackbird

On the hawthorn bough,

On the snowwhite hawthorn bough,

So sadly sat the maiden

'mid the flow'rs below,

'mid the newborn flow'rs below.

Oh! Never heed the lost love,

For when the year is cold,

The wing of Spring will waft us

A new love worth the old;

But she said: "I hold of all the flowers

That ever died or grew,

One teardrop of the old love worth

The snowdrops of the new

One teardrop of the old love worth

The snowdrops of the new."

So silent sat the blackbird

On the hawthorn bough,

On the barren hawthorn bough,

So blithely sang the maiden through the snow

As she wandered through the snow:

"He left me in the summer

When the fickle birds were gay,

But he's back again in winter

When their songs have died away;

For ah! there's but one love,

And the one love is the true,

And there ne'er can be new love,

For the old love is the new.

There ne'er can be new love,

For the old love is the new."

The reader has to decide whom he blames for the blundering quotation. It could be a failure of Molly's or even her creator's memory, but as singing maidens on hawthorn boughs are rare it would seem that Molly correctly remembers the mess a "half screwed" Simon Dedalus made of the real words of the song.

Harald Beck

I am grateful to Vincent Deane (Dublin) and Judith Harrington (San Francisco) for laying their hands on the full texts once the songs were identified.

Search by keyword (within this site): Songs