Clap! Snap! The black crack!

From Tolkien Gateway

Clap! Snap! The black crack! is the song sung by the goblins as they descend into Goblin-town after capturing Thorin, the dwarves, and Bilbo Baggins (but not Gandalf). The goblins kept time by the flap of their flat feet upon the stone floor of the passage. As they sang they brought out whips to force the dwarves and the hobbit to run as fast as they could.[1]

The first stanza refers to the capture of Thorin's company in their "Front Porch", the seemingly small cave the company had taken shelter in while traversing the mountains. The second and third stanzas indicate that the captives will be turned into hard-working slaves of the goblins far within the mountains.


Clap! Snap! the black crack!
Grip, grab! Pinch, nab!
And down down to Goblin-town
    You go, my lad!

Clash, crash! Crush, smash!
Hammer and tongs! Knocker and gongs!
Pound, pound, far underground!
     Ho, ho! my lad!

Swish, smack! Whip crack!
Batter and beat! Yammer and bleat!
Work, work! Nor dare to shirk,
While Goblins quaff, and Goblins laugh,
Round and round far underground
     Below, my lad!

Portrayal in adaptations

2012: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey:

In the Extended Edition, the Great Goblin is introduced singing the song with the rest of his subjects as the Dwarves arrive, just before he interrogates them. Once he finishes, he asks the Dwarves what they think of his composition. Balin retorts that it isn't a song, but an "abomination".

Clap! Snap! The black crack!
Grip, grab, pinch, and nab!
Batter and beat! Make ‘em stammer and squeak!
Pound pound, far underground
Down, down, down in Goblin Town
(Down, down, down in Goblin Town)

With a swish and smack
And a whip and a crack
Everybody talks when they’re on my rack
Pound pound, far underground
Down, down, down in Goblin Town
(Down, down, down in Goblin Town)

Hammer and tongs, get out your knockers and gongs
You won't last long on the end of my prongs
Clash, crash, crush and smash!
Bang, break, shiver and shake!
You can yammer and yelp, but there ain't no help!
Pound pound, far underground
Down, down, down in Goblin Town

The Great Goblin later sings a brief variation of the song while his guards search through the Dwarves' inventory, ending just as they discover Orcrist in Thorin's possession.

Bones will be shattered, necks will be wrung!
You'll be beaten and battered, from racks you'll be hung!
You will die down here and never be found!
Down in the deep of Goblin-town!

See also