The unicorn’s song

U 14.232-4: Whereat Crotthers of Alba Longa sang young Malachi's praise of that beast the unicorn how once in the millennium he cometh by his horn [...]

The publication of Gogarty's bawdy songs in the appendix of Jeffares' Poems and Plays of Oliver St John Gogarty provides a concrete source for this allusion. The third stanza of Gogarty's "Medical Students' Song" reads:

The Unicorn, it appears,

Can only get a horn in a thousand years;

But when he does, he makes up for arrears –

So here's to Copulation.1

In Telemachus (U 1.706), Joyce also quotes from the fourth stanza of the poem:2

High Church parsons fuck like stoats;

Red-headed women buck like goats;

And all Creation simply gloats

Over Copulation.

It seems a pity we do not know the tune of the song.

Harald Beck


1 The Poems and Plays of Oliver St John Gogarty, collected, edited and annotated by A. Norman Jeffares (2001), p. 825.

2 See John Noel Turner and Marc A. Mamigonian “Solar Patriot: Oliver St. John Gogarty in ‘Ulysses’", in James Joyce Quarterly (Summer, 2004), Vol. 41, No. 4, p. 643.

Search by keyword (within this site): Gogarty Sex Songs