Many years ago, I got to read The Lord of the Rings aloud to my son
over the course of many bedtimes, and I composed tunes for many of the songs in the books
so I could really sing them when they came up.
I've been posting videos of myself singing these songs to YouTube, and now I'm collecting
them all on this one page. As I write this (1/12/2010) I'm only about halfway through them.
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The Road Goes Ever On And On
The song Bilbo sings after he lets go of the Ring and is about
to leave the Shire forever.
The Walking Song
I love the version Billy Boyd sings in the movie, but his version
is not a walking song. This one is. In general, all my
LOTR songs are less musically advanced than others I've heard, and
less pleasing as music you might passively listen to for entertainment,
but I feel that they are more like what the actual characters would have sung
in the "real" world.
The Drinking Song
From the start, I heard this as a round. What could be more natural
for a drinking song? So I recorded an audio file of myself singing it
and piped the playback through my stereo so I could accompany myself.
The Bath Song
The song the hobbits sing in the bath when they reach the house at Crickhollow.
The Songs of Tom Bombadil
The melody I used for all of Bombadil's singing was the least satisfactory of the tunes
I created, because his "songs" aren't structured in neat stanzas. I only cover
two scenes in this video: the first appearance of Bombadil, where you can hear
the entire melody and see how it needed to be rearranged at times, and
its later use by Frodo upon meeting Goldberry.
There Was An Inn
The song Frodo sings at the Prancing Pony. I love it that Tolkien got the idea
to create this earlier version of the well known children's rhyme. It's an example
of how Middle Earth isn't just built on a meticulously imagined Past,
but is itself an imagined past to our current world.
Aragorn's translation of part of the Lay of Luthien. This is the first
of the Human songs I set to music, and as you'll see, it's quite different from the
Hobbit songs or the singing of Bombadil. I tried to develop a distinct musical style for
each of the races of Middle Earth, and generally found it easiest to bang out the
simple Hobbit songs, harder to do justice to the Numenorean and Dwarven chants, and almost impossible
to evoke the Elvish.
Some other creative ventures:
My attempt to write one new haiku every day
What do you do if King Elessar refuses to destroy the Ring? You occupy Mordor!