Tolkien Gateway

The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late

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'''The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late''' is the imagined original ditty that is dericed to 'our time' in the simplified nursery rhyme "Hey Diddle Diddle". The supposedly original was invented (by back formation) by [[J.R.R. Tolkien]]. The title of this version is given in ''[[The Adventures of Tom Bombadil]]''.
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'''The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late''' is a [[Hobbit]] poem composed by [[Bilbo Baggins]].
  
In the Inn at [[Bree]] ("[[The Prancing Pony|At the Sign of the Prancing Pony]]", ''[[The Fellowship of the Ring]]'' Chapter 9) [[Frodo Baggins|Frodo]] jumps on a table and recites "a ridiculous song" invented by [[Bilbo Baggins|Bilbo]]. "Here it is in full," said Tolkien. "Only a few words of it are now, as a rule, remembered."
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In ''[[The Prancing Pony]]'' at [[Bree]] [[Frodo Baggins|Frodo]] jumps on a table and recites "a ridiculous song" invented by [[Bilbo Baggins|Bilbo]].<ref>"[[At the Sign of the Prancing Pony]]", ''[[The Fellowship of the Ring]]'' Chapter 9</ref>
  
There follows the tale, in thirteen ballad-like five-line stanzas, introducing each element in turn: "the [[Man in the Moon]]" himself, the ostler's "tipsy cat/ that plays a five-stringed fiddle", the little dog, the "horn&eacute;d cow
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The poem is in thirteen ballad-like five-line stanzas, introducing each element in turn: "the [[Man in the Moon]]" himself, the ostler's "tipsy cat that plays a five-stringed fiddle", the little dog, the "horn&eacute;d cow"
  
:as proud as any queen.
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==Portrayals in adaptations==
:But music turns her head like ale,
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A musical version of this poem was recorded by the [[Tolkien Ensemble]] on their CD A Night in Rivendell.
:And makes her wave her tufted tail
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:And dance upon the green."
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and "O! the rows of silver dishes/ and the store of silver spoons."
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The title of this version is given in ''[[The Adventures of Tom Bombadil]]'
 
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==Inspiration==
At the climactic moment
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In the context of the legendarium, this song is the imagined original (by back formation) ditty that is derived to 'our time' in the simplified nursery rhyme "Hey Diddle Diddle". Part of Tolkien's brilliance in establishing the epic mood is his ability to introduce a version of a familiar saying and give the reader a sense of hearing the old proverb afresh, as if spoken for the first time, in the heat of the moment.
:"With a ping and a pang the fiddle-strings broke!
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:the cow jumped over the [[Moon]],
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:And the little dog laughed to see such fun
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:And the Saturday dish went off at a run
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:with the silver Sunday spoon."
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Note that the cow is able to jump over the Moon with ease because the Man in the Moon has temporarily brought it down to [[Arda|Earth]].
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Part of Tolkien's brilliance in establishing the epic mood is his ability to introduce a version of a familiar saying and give the reader a sense of hearing the old proverb afresh, as if spoken for the first time, in the heat of the moment.
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A musical version of this poem was recorded by the [[Tolkien Ensemble]] on their CD A Night in Rivendell.
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[[Category:Books|Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late]]
 
[[Category:Books|Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late]]

Revision as of 15:29, 18 January 2009

The Man in the Moon Stayed Up Too Late is a Hobbit poem composed by Bilbo Baggins.

In The Prancing Pony at Bree Frodo jumps on a table and recites "a ridiculous song" invented by Bilbo.[1]

The poem is in thirteen ballad-like five-line stanzas, introducing each element in turn: "the Man in the Moon" himself, the ostler's "tipsy cat that plays a five-stringed fiddle", the little dog, the "hornéd cow"

Portrayals in adaptations

A musical version of this poem was recorded by the Tolkien Ensemble on their CD A Night in Rivendell.

The title of this version is given in The Adventures of Tom Bombadil'

Inspiration

In the context of the legendarium, this song is the imagined original (by back formation) ditty that is derived to 'our time' in the simplified nursery rhyme "Hey Diddle Diddle". Part of Tolkien's brilliance in establishing the epic mood is his ability to introduce a version of a familiar saying and give the reader a sense of hearing the old proverb afresh, as if spoken for the first time, in the heat of the moment.


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