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The Road Goes Ever On (book)

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The Road Goes Ever On (3rd edition)
The Road Goes Ever On (2002).gif
AuthorJ.R.R. Tolkien and Donald Swann

The Road Goes Ever On is a collection of sheet music by Donald Swann for poetry presented by Tolkien in his Middle-earth literature. It was first published in 1967.

Although the book can at first sight seem mostly useful by musicians (particularly piano and guitar players), it has been found to have a wider use than this, allowing readers to understand the cultures of the various mythological beings presented in Middle-earth better, and helping linguists analyse Tolkien's poetry. For example, it contains one of the longest samples of the language Quenya.





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The Road Goes Ever On was first published on October 31, 1967 by George Allen & Unwin.

  • ISBN 0047840099 (from the 3rd impression)
  • Hardback with dustwrapper
  • Illustrated by J.R.R. Tolkien and Samuel Hanks Bryant.
  • Includes music for seven poems: The Road Goes Ever On, Upon the Hearth the Fire is Red, In the Willow-meads of Tasarinan, In Western Lands, Namárië, I Sit Beside the Fire and Errantry.
  • Includes translations of Namárië and A Elbereth Gilthoniel with commentary.
  • Impressions
    • 1st - 1968
    • 2nd - 1969
    • 3rd - 1972
    • 4th - 1974
  • Published in the United States by Houghton Mifflin in 1967.


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The 2nd edition was published in 1978 by George Allen and Unwin.


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The 3rd edition was published in 1993 by HarperCollins.

  • ISBN 0007136552
  • Hardback in dustwrapper.
  • Includes all the poems from the first edition, as well as Lúthien Tinúviel (first published in The Songs of Donald Swann: Volume I)
  • Includes a CD with The Road Goes Ever On song cycle performed by Donald Swann, William Elvin and Clive McCrombie.
  • Reprinted in 2002 as a hardcover by HarperCollins
  • Canadian version issued with titling and style similar to the 1st and 2nd editions.