To hear a discussion of this topic, check out the podcast episode here.
Part of an occasional series on the women of Ulysses.
Mother Grogan pops up a couple times throughout Ulysses. She is a reference to an anonymous folk song called Ned Grogan. I couldn’t find a recording of it, so I suppose it’s fallen out of popularity, but if you’re curious about the lyrics, you can find them here.
—When I makes tea I makes tea, as old mother Grogan said. And when I makes water I makes water.
In Harry Blamires’ Bloomsday Book, he says that this line establishes a connection between making tea and urinating, which is a symbol of fertility and creativity.