Tolkien Gateway

A Walking Song

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"They began to hum softly, as hobbits have a way of doing as they walk along, especially when they are drawing near to home at night. With most hobbits it is a supper-song or a bed-song; but these hobbits hummed a walking-song (though not, of course, without any mention of supper and bed)."
― "Three is Company", The Fellowship of the Ring

A Walking Song was a song Frodo, Pippin, and Sam sang as they hiked through the Woody End on 24 September T.A. 3018.[1] Bilbo Baggins had written the words to this song and he put it to a tune that was "as old as the hills."[2] On 22 September T.A. 3021[3] Frodo sang part of an altered version of the song as he was leaving for the Undying Lands.[4]

Text

Upon the hearth the fire is red,
Beneath the roof there is a bed;
But not yet weary are our feet,
Still round the corner we may meet
A sudden tree or standing stone
That none have seen but we alone.

Tree and flower and leaf and grass,
Let them pass! Let them pass!
Hill and water under sky,
Pass them by! Pass them by!

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate,
And though we pass them by today,
Tomorrow we may come this way
And take the hidden paths that run
Towards the Moon or to the Sun.

Apple, thorn, and nut and sloe,
Let them go! Let them go!
Sand and stone and pool and dell,
Fare you well! Fare you well!

Home is behind, the world ahead,
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadows to the edge of night,
Until the stars are all alight.
Then world behind and home ahead,
We'll wander back to home and bed.

Mist and twilight, cloud and shade,
Away shall fade! Away shall fade!
Fire and lamp, and meat and bread,
And then to bed! And then to bed!

Portrayal in Adaptations

2003: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King:

Part of the lyrics are used for "The Edge of Night", a song sung by Pippin Took for Denethor.

References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Three is Company"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "Later Events Concerning the Members of the Fellowship of the Ring"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens"