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Into the West

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Single cover

"Into the West" is a song written by Fran Walsh, Howard Shore and Annie Lennox, performed by Annie Lennox during the closing credits of Peter Jackson's The Return of the King.

The song was conceived as a bittersweet Elven lament for those who have sailed across the Sundering Seas.

In the commentaries and documentaries accompanying the extended DVD edition of the movie, director Peter Jackson explained that the song was partially inspired by the premature death from cancer of 17-year old New Zealand filmmaker named Cameron Duncan whose work had impressed Jackson and his team. The first public performance of the song was at Duncan's funeral.

The song won the Academy Award for Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song) at the 76th Academy Awards, one of the movie's eleven Oscars.

Lyrics

Lay down
Your sweet and weary head
Night is falling
You have come to journey's end

Sleep now
Dream — of the ones who came before
They are calling
From across the distant shore

Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see
All of your fears will pass away

Safe in my arms
You're only sleeping

What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?

Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come
To carry you home

And all will turn to silver glass
A light on the water
All souls pass

Hope fades
Into the world of night
Through shadows falling
Out of memory and time

Don't say
We have come now to the end
White shores are calling
You and I will meet again

And you'll be here in my arms
Just sleeping

What can you see
On the horizon?
Why do the white gulls call?

Across the sea
A pale moon rises
The ships have come
To carry you home

And all will turn to silver glass
A light on the water
Grey ships pass
Into the West