Skip to content

Finnegans Wake

One of Los’s ongoing projects is translating Finnegans Wake by James Joyce into rock music.


The Wake naturally lends itself to a musical translation with its jabberwocky prose of multilingual puns and portmanteau words. It’s a twilight book, so it’s gonna need a twilight soundtrack.

Here is the ‘thunderword’ from page 1.

Thunderword. Pg.1
This thunderword contains the word for thunder in a dozen different languages. The musical translation follows some of the letter cues. The bass riff begins with the notes “B A B A D A G A” as in “Bababadalgharagh”.

Listen to this bloke reading from the Wake.

Reading from the Wake.

Finally, here’s the “Ballad of Persse O’Reily” from Page 44.

finnegans wake

The Ballad of Persse O’Reilly

The Ballad has 14 Choruses and goes on for 3 pages. Above, is but one verse and chorus of this epic drinking song.