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    • CommentAuthorUn-Dante'd
    • CommentTimeMar 25th 2010

    I began reading The Lord of the Rings when I was in fourth grade. I had read The Hobbit the year before, and it is upon these books that I hold the blame to for my wild imagination, love of fantasy, and the burning desire to write and read. I have recently come up with the hypothesis that Tolkien could take any song (remember “Hey, diddle-diddle, the cat and the fiddle…”?) and turn it into a ballad or folk tune of The Shire. For example: when Frodo and Co. are in The Prancing Pony, Frodo is prompted to sing a song. Name that Nursery Rhyme.

    “There is an inn, a merry old inn
    beneath an old grey hill,
    And there they brew a beer so brown
    That the Man in the Moon himself came down
    one night to drink his fill.

    The ostler has a tipsy cat
    that plays a five-stringed fiddle;
    And up and down he runs his bow,
    Now squeaking high, now purring low,
    now sawing in the middle.

    The landlord keeps a little dog
    that is mighty fond of jokes;
    When there’s good cheer among the guests,
    He cocks an ear at all the jests
    and laughs until he chokes.

    They also keep a hornéd cow
    as proud as any queen;
    But music turns her head like ale,
    And makes her wave her tufted tail
    and dance upon the green.

    And O! the rows of silver dishes
    and the store of silver spoons!
    For Sunday there’s a special pair,
    And these they polish up with care
    on Saturday afternoons.

    The Man in the Moon was drinking deep,
    and the cat began to wail;
    A dish and a spoon on the table danced,
    The cow in the garden madly pranced,
    and the little dog chased his tail.

    The Man in the Moon took another mug,
    and rolled beneath his chair;
    And there he dozed and dreamed of ale,
    Till in the sky the stars were pale,
    and dawn was in the air.

    Then the ostler said to his tipsy cat:
    “The white horses of the Moon,
    They neigh and champ their silver bits;
    But their master’s been and drowned his wits,
    and the Sun’ll be rising soon!”

    So the cat on his fiddle played hey-diddle-diddle,
    a jig that would wake the dead:
    He squeaked and sawed and quickened the tune,
    While the landlord shook the Man in the Moon:
    “It’s after three!” he said.

    They rolled the Man slowly up the hill
    and bundled him into the Moon,
    While his horses galloped up in rear,
    And the cow came capering like a deer,
    and a dish ran up with the spoon.

    Now quicker the fiddle went deedle-dum-diddle;
    the dog began to roar,
    The cow and the horses stood on their heads;
    The guests all bounded from their beds
    and danced upon the floor.

    With a ping and a pang the fiddle-strings broke!
    the cow jumped over the Moon,
    And the little dog laughed to see such fun,
    And the Saturday dish went off at a run
    with the silver Sunday spoon.

    The round Moon rolled behind the hill,
    as the Sun raised up her head.
    She hardly believed her fiery eyes;
    For though it was day, to her suprise
    they all went back to bed.”

    “Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle,
    The cow jumped over the moon,
    The little dog laughed to see such sport,
    And the dish ran away with the spoon. “

    Another example is Aragorn’s poem at Helm’s Deep. I’m not going to post the lyrics, but you can find it here) . This also contains the reference to an Old English poem, The Wanderer.


    Honestly? I had to struggle to get through The Hobbit.

    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2010

    I got through The Hobbit when I was 5, I remember reading through the entire Dwarves song (at the start) and trying to actually sing it.


    At least you’re higher up in the nerd heirarchy than I am. I tried to sing Kathryn Lasky’s Guardians of Ga’Hoole’s owl songs.

    • CommentAuthorUn-Dante'd
    • CommentTimeMar 26th 2010

    I try to sing every song I encounter. Then the dogs start barking, and it just makes a mess.


    You sound a lot like me, Tyler.

    The singing part, I mean. Not the dogs.


    I’m thinking Tolkien did that to give a familiar feeling to the Shire culture as an Old England.

    I HATED how the narrator for the LotR books on tape would sing all the songs--it was clear that he had made the melodies up himself. I tried singing them too--but I can never get the right meter/rhythm. I liked how they used the songs in the movies--the Elves' Passing song in the first movie is beautiful!

    All this talk of LotR makes me want to watch the movies/read the books again--no time, no time. So sad. :(