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Songs for the Philologists

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Songs for the Philologists
Songs for the Philologists.jpg
AuthorJ.R.R. Tolkien, E.V. Gordon
PublisherLondon: English Department, University College
Released1936
FormatBooklet
ISBNNone

Songs for the Philologists is a collection of poems by E.V. Gordon and J.R.R. Tolkien as well as traditional songs. It is the rarest and most difficult to find Tolkien related book. Originally a collection of typescripts compiled by Gordon in 19211926 for the students of Leeds University, it was given by A.H. Smith of University College London, a former student at Leeds, to a group of students to be printed privately in 1935 or 1936, and printed in 1936 with the impressuum "Printed by G. Tillotson, A.H. Smith, B. Pattison and other members of the English Department, University College, London.". The booklet was printed in hand-set type as an exercise on a reconstructed wooden hand-press.

Since Smith had not asked permission of either Gordon or Tolkien, the printed booklets were not distributed. Most copies were destroyed in the ensuing fire when the University College was bombed during the Second World War, and only a few, perhaps around 14, survived.

Contents

Of the 30 songs in the collection, 13 were contributed by Tolkien:

  1. From One to Five, to the tune of Three Wise Men of Gotham.
  2. Syx Mynet (Old English), to the tune of I Love Sixpence.
  3. Ruddoc Hana (Old English), to the tune of Who Killed Cock Robin'.
  4. Ides Ælfscýne (Old English), to the tune of Daddy Neptune. Reprinted, together with a Modern English translation ('Elf-fair Lady') in The Road to Middle-earth.
  5. Bagmē Blōma (Gothic language), to the tune of Lazy Sheep (by Mantle Childe, after an old French air). Reprinted, together with a Modern English translation ('Flower of the Trees') in The Road to Middle-earth.
  6. Éadig Béo þu!. (Old English), to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star. Reprinted, together with a Modern English translation ('Good Luck to You') in The Road to Middle-earth.
  7. Ofer Wídne Gársecg (Old English), to the tune of The Mermaid. Reprinted, together with a Modern English translation ('Across the Broad Ocean') in The Road to Middle-earth.
  8. La Húru, to the tune of O'Reilly.
  9. I Sat upon a Bench, to the tune of The Carrion Crow.
  10. Natura Apis: Morali Ricardi Eremite, also to the tune of O'Reilly.
  11. The Root of the Boot, to the tune of The Fox Went Out. Reprinted in Anderson's The Annotated Hobbit, and in a revised form in The Return of the Shadow. Also reprinted in The Tolkien Papers: Mankato Studies in English. Later revised and printed in The Lord of the Rings and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil as 'The Stone Troll'.
  12. Frenchmen Froth, to the tune of The Vicar of Bray.
  13. Lit' and Lang' , to the tune of Polly Put the Kettle On.
Contents

The other songs were:

  • Grace. (To be sung to the tune of The King of France.)
  • Fara Með Vikingum
  • Ja, Lattu Gamminn
  • Bring Us In Good Ale
  • Bjort Mey Og Hrein
  • Rokkvisa
  • Olafur Liljuros
  • Gaudeamus
  • Icelandic Song. (To be sung to the tune of O' Reilly.)
  • Su Klukka Heljar. (To be sung to the tune of The Bells of Hell.)
  • Gubben Noach
  • Bi, Bi Og Blaka
  • Guþ Let Vinper Vaxa. (To be sung to the tune of Laus Deo.)
  • Salve!
  • Hwan Ic Beo Dead [When I'm Dead]
  • Visur Islendinga
  • Gomul Kynni

See also