If you look up “Joking Jesus” on YouTube today, this is what comes up first.
With all of the talk about Hamlet and Gogarty and Irish history and Dublin, etc. etc., it’s easy to lose track of the power that this blasphemous little verse can have. As we were saying about Mulligan’s parody of the mass at the beginnng of this episode, the blasphemy here would have been fairly shocking to pious people.
Does the song make sense to you so far? If you haven’t had a lot of churchin’, it might not. On the last page, for instance, when Mulligan sings “My mother’s a jew, my father’s a bird,” he’s referring to the story of the Annunciation