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The Never-ending Cycle of Life

July 17, 2009 3 Comments »

“Finnegan’s Wake” is a ballad from around 1850 and is in the style. It is most famous for being the foundation of ’s masterpiece of the same name, in which the humorous resurrection of is symbolic of the never-ending cycle of life (a typical Celtic theme).

One important ingredient in the song is whiskey, which is the cause of both Finnegan’s death and rebirth. The name of this drink comes from the Gaelic uisce beatha (which sounds something like “ish-ke-baha” and means “the water of life.” The song tells the story of Tim Finnegan, a Dublin construction worker, who “fell from a ladder and broke his skull.” Friends and family host his wake, in which there is plenty of the “water of life,” fights and dance. After lots of drinking and in the midst of a fight, one of the mourners throws a bucket of whiskey at another. The whiskey misses its target and lands on the deceased Finnegan, drenching him. This is when Finnegan “wakes” up and curses them, asking if they thought he was dead.

The universal cycle of life is represented in a great number of (the pictures show a ring with a Celtic design with no beginning or end. The ring itself is another symbol, as the circumference of the item goes on infinitely and is the reason couples exchange rings at marriage as a symbol of eternal love). This topic comes up again in Joyce’s work, who removes the apostrophe at the end of the song title and turns it into “Finnegans Wake,” as in the awaking of many Finnegans (members of the human race) who fall, wake and arise.


3 Responses to “The Never-ending Cycle of Life”

  • Commented on July 17, 2009 at 6:33 pm

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  • Commented on July 20, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    Спасибо за информацию.
    У меня подобный блог тоже был

  • Commented on July 20, 2009 at 9:38 am

    Спасибо за информацию.
    У меня подобный блог тоже был