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Topic: 'The Road Goes Ever on'

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Samwise Gamgee - rank 9
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Date: Jun 22, 2007
'The Road Goes Ever on'

I am not sure if anyone has this book, its quite an unusual one about the songs of Tolkien. The Songs are composed by Donald Swann, the poems by Tolkien. I am not sure if it can be purchased anymore.

In it there is a Poem called 'Errantry'. Now we know that JK Rowling seemingly copied many names from Tolkien's work but reading through it I found quite a gob smacker - In the poem it says about - 'Dumbledors'. Surely this is the biggest copy-name issue yet?

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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Date: Jun 23, 2007
I have the book. These Dumbledors appear in The Tolkien Reader as well, for example, or in The History of Middle-Earth.

In any case, according to Webster a dumbledor is a bumblebee; also, a cockchafer [Prov. Eng.]

-- Edited by Galin at 05:19, 2007-06-23

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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Haven't heard of the book myself. And neither have I heard of Dumbledors. Is this a Middle-earth name for a type of bee or is it an real one?

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Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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Date: Jun 23, 2007
It's a real-world (archaic) name for a bumblebee, and JKR said she picked it because Dumbledore liked chamber music and she could see him wandering around humming to himself (paraphrase from memory).

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Fundin, Lord of Moria - Rank 5
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And of course Errantry is an older version of what was to become Bilbo's poem in Rivendell (Earendillinwe). There were actual older versions in the external sense (Tolkien had published Errantry in 1933 for example)

Internally the version in The Tolkien Reader (no. 3) is said to be something likely made by Bilbo, in origin a 'nonsense rhyme', transformed and somewhat applied to Earendil later -- the earlier form is said to belong to the early days after Bilbo's return from his journey.

He battled with the Dumbledors,
the Hummerhorns, and Honeybees,


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Anarion, Son of Elendil - rank 8
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Are Hummerhorns real as well?

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Utúlie'n  aurë!  Aiya  Eldalië  ar  Atanatári,  utúlie'n  aurë! 
Auta  i  lómë! 
Aurë entuluva!

Elf of Rivendell - Rank 2
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No, I've only seen "Hummerhorn" used by Tolkien in Errantry.

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Thorin Oakenshield - Rank 6
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I wonder why he would use two real words as descriptions for bees and then give a false one? confused.gif

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Tom Bombadil
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Nope, don't have the book. The only book that I have that comes close is The Lost Road and Other Writings.

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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It is probably silly to ask if the music is any good (matter of taste)... but is it, if anybody has an opinion? Also, what kind of voice is it written for (or each song for a different kind)? As to the song "The road goes ever on", which variant of the words is used, from The LoTR or The Hobbit, and is the verse "Still round the corner there might wait..." (hope I remember it close enough) also included - set to music I mean? Is it the same tune as in The Hobbit cartoon?

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Lórellinë

Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Date: Oct 7, 2013

"The Road Goes Ever On" ~ is a title that encompasses several walking songs that J. R. R. Tolkien wrote for his Middle-earth legendarium. Within the stories, the original song was composed by Bilbo Baggins and recorded in The Hobbit. Different versions of it also appear in The Lord of the Rings, along with some similar walking songs.

The words of these songs have been set to music several times:

    * This song and several others were set to music by Donald Swann as part of the book and recording The Road Goes Ever On, named for this song.
    * A musical version of some sections of this song can be heard in the 1977 animated movie version of The Hobbit.
    * The song can be heard in the 1981 BBC radio version, sung by Bilbo(Ian Holm) to a tune by Stephen Oliver.
    * A musical version of some sections of this song can be heard in the movie The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, composed by Howard Shore. It is sung by Gandalf in the opening scene, and also by Bilbo (Ian Holm) as he leaves Bag End.
    * The Tolkien Ensemble has set music the song as part of the now completed project of setting all poems in The Lord of the Rings to music.
    * The stage musical based on the novel includes a song, "The Road Goes On" - the lyrics of which are loosely based on this poem.
    * Parts were used in the lyrics of the song "Into the West" as performed by Annie Lennox on the soundtrack for the movie "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"



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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Thanks, Bear - so do you have the book and can look inside at the musical score? It would be interesting to know if
(1) all the four stanzas (if they are all there, and if not, then the two at least) are set on the same melody, and (2) if
"Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate..."
is treated as part of that song (I am not sure, I just like them together but looks like they are different songs), and (3) if yes, then whether the tune for that part is different from "The road goes ever on and on" - supposedly it should be?

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Lórellinë

Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Lorelline,

I have seen and heard from the sheet music on Donald Swanns version of  The Road Goes Ever On.  And I have read the different versions of the same and while it is not orthodox I should warn you that walking songs often have modified lyrics and melodies to fit the group or situation it is sung in.  This one is no different there are different scores it is as if they were different songs different melodies, harmonies, and lyrics change by the creators whim.
By book if you mean The Adventures of Tom Bombadil Yes. I have it.  If you mean the musical score no I do not.
I personally do not like setting this particular poem to music because I havent heard any music (stage, screen, or audio) that does the poem justice.  I have often thought this was Bilbos stream of conscious as he leaves his home for errands or adventures and because it is something I often recite as I leave my home to travel on my daily chores or my own adventures Where many paths and errands meet. Whither then I cannot say
I do have the 3 CDs I believe as a Christmas present and do enjoy the classical orchestration the Annie Lennox Into The West is the best vocal

The stage version of the song leaves you no doubt of the poem but it is almost a march and yet I have seen stage productions that turn it into a lament.

As for your 1, 2 and 3 there are so many versions (some illegal copywrite infringement) that I cant give an accurate answer I have seen several sheet music scores with 2,3, or 4 stanzas

Your entitled to create what ever version you would like ... just don't publish it ...



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Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
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Donald Swan's version sound too much like a hymnal to be Bilbo's Country Bumpkin style, which I always imagined was Provincial and Jaunty. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dmRwj6QFIA


"The Starlit Jewel". The singers are Ernest Kinsolving and Kristoph Klover, have all the lyrics practically word for word and sound a little more like what Bilbo might sing, although this version sounds pretty trumped up with Celtic harmonies and complex chord structures. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dE-vX9eU7hw

Glenn Yarbrough sings the version in the Rankin/Bass feature of The Hobbit. This has pretty accurate lyrics but the writer of the song cut out a good deal of the second half of each stanza lyrically. It has a western-world  "Rocky Mountain High" feel to it and it sounds like Yarbrough took a couple of shots of Helium before recording it. It's one step deeper than Alvin and the Chipmunks. I remember this version leaving something to be desired even when I was a kid, seeing it for the first time! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxw1kX-yDjw

The 1981 BBC version comes off as a very sweeping epic song, far too grandiose for the humility of the Author (Bilbo). It's beautifully sung by (what sounds like) Monks but not my favorite for the authentic feel of the Shire and a Hobbits meek lifestyle. I'm no expert but I think this song should not show the range of a symphony or the majesty of a well rehearsed choir but should reflect the parameters of the Small Shire setting where it originated. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifgAXihflhA

The Musical Version just takes the "Road Goes Ever On" and spins it into a entirely different entity, tailor made for Stage I suppose.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HReha7SsnZw

The Tolkien Ensemble makes a lament as Bear has stated. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tbz9EYtzDEo

So that leaves only one. In this humble Yayhoo's opinion, it doesn't get any better than Howard Shore's version. Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and Bilbo (Ian Holm) singing. It sounds very Euro-rustic with the time signatures of a Dirge but in this instance a pleasant one!  
http://www.artistdirect.com/nad/window/media/page/0,,3488266-8554549,00.html













-- Edited by Jaidoprism7 on Wednesday 9th of October 2013 05:03:11 AM



-- Edited by Jaidoprism7 on Wednesday 9th of October 2013 05:05:03 AM

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Lord Elrond of Rivendell - Rank 9
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Jaido,

Thank you!



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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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Thanks a lot to both of you.
So, in my opinion the best is the one from the Hobbit cartoon. The Yarbrough's one. In the cartoon itself there are no cuts to lyrics except that only the first stanza is sung (but in full). The other versions... how should I say it? The BBC's one reminds me of church music. Swan's didn't have to be written IMHO. The Starlit Jewel's one is sort of boring as is the Musical Version's one IMHO. The one from the LOTR (Howard Shore) - the music is fine but I only found an instrumental not a vocal version - still the cartoon's version is more likeable. The Tolkien Ensemble - I loved the voice! But not the song.
If I am not mistaken, none of these includes the stanzas from the other walking song ('Still round the corner...' - why do I have a feeling that I saw it combined with 'Roads go...' into one?). You are right, Bear, I indeed came up with my own version for that one. Publishing it has never come to mind of course.

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Lórellinë

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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I don't know how much value is in anyone's opinion on music. I am looking at the score and to me most songs are a bit simplistic. But the one with the main tune by Tolkien himself (called Namarie) is not. The introduction and interlude in it written by Swan are also pretty good. The song is quite tonal, if somewhat monotone (but indeed major stresses are often rendered in higher notes... Interesting). I honestly expected something 'Elven' in a sense that it would not be comprehensible/agreeable to human ears but no, it is very nice. Pity that Noldolante has never been composed, just mentioned.

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Lórellinë

Guard of Armenelos - Rank 4
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Was one of Tolkien's many fields of expertise in music? I had always assumed that he wrote many of Hobbit's songs and rhymes in a very rustic setting in mind, which is very simplistic, everything nice and tidy when it comes to rhyming, the lyrics in a very Mother Goose type fashion. I've never heard any of his Elvish lays or poems (Other than his Hobbit songs) put to song by him other than what popular artists of the day supposed them to be. If he (Tolkien) ever composed a melody for other races other than Hobbits I would sorely like to hear a sampling.....

Plus I always thought the timing Howard Shore gave to Merry and Pippins Song that they sang in the Green Dragon Inn was very other-worldly despite Pippin's (Billy Boyd) obvious Irish accent (which I thought made it sound even more sing-song). The melody repeated itself with on long note held right before the last line of the lyric. But what made it rustic was that it repeated and never hit a refrain or a bridge, just verses over and over. That was what I supposed Hobbit songs would be like. There was never a Hobbit Bach or Beethoven and if there was it was Bilbo....

Reference Ralph Bakeshi's version of the song sung by Frodo in the Inn of the Prancing Pony. www.youtube.com/watch

Very Renaissance Fair, Flute and Accordion (could've been a Pirate Jig). In Jackson's version of LOTR Hobbits keep the beat by stomping their feet and pounding their mugs of ale upon the tables pulled me into that world more effectively. www.youtube.com/watch

Wish it was real.....oh well....

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Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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I was trying to find the Tolkien's version of Namarie on YouTube and found one by Adrian Bury; just don't know how to copy the link on the mobil device. I must say that performed by a man (or this particular man) it sounds really monotone, and so does even the bridge. When I was humming it to myself it wasn't as boring! I am thinking that some chords may help - no chords are indicated in the original score though. I might try come up with something...

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Lórellinë

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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...and here it is; posted at Fan-Art forum as well, but that one is only viewable by registered members, and this one by all. Jaidoprism7 plays (he also made the video) and another forum member, a vocalist-in-training, sings.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlKb7sxQIDA



-- Edited by Lorelline on Sunday 5th of January 2014 01:35:37 AM



-- Edited by Lorelline on Sunday 5th of January 2014 02:09:01 PM

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Lórellinë

Being lies with Eru - Rank 1
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OKAY so I had my uncle in England get me "The Road Goes Ever On" a few years ago and I have fallen asleep listening to the songs on several occasions.

The book & accompanying CD contains a mix of good and average compositions, but my favourites include "In Western Lands", "In the Willow Meads of Tasarinan", "Bilbo's Last Song" (ah, my heart), "I Sit Beside the Fire", and "Luthien Tinuviel".

His Elvish songs are not entirely enticing, and are often sung in a monotone, and I feel lacks the musical lilt that I expect from, say, Galadriel's lament. The title song "The Road Goes Ever On" is mediocre at best, sounds melancholy more than anything. I prefer the film version of the song to Donald Swann's. Errantry did grow on me, and it is a nice little song.

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