In Western Lands beneath the Sun

From Tolkien Gateway
In Western Lands beneath the Sun by Matěj Čadil

In Western Lands beneath the Sun, possibly written by Bilbo Baggins, is a song sung by Sam Gamgee on 14 March T.A. 3019[1] in the Tower of Cirith Ungol. Sam had just climbed to the top of the stairs in the tower but could not find Frodo Baggins; he felt he was not actually at top of the tower but he was unable to discover any way that led upwards. Defeated, Sam bowed his head. Suddenly, to his surprise, he began to sing. At first he only recited childish tunes and rhymes, but then a new song arose in him:


In western lands beneath the Sun
the flowers may rise in Spring,
the trees may bud, the waters run,
the merry finches sing.
Or there maybe 'tis cloudless night
and swaying beeches bear
the Elven-stars as jewels white
amid their branching hair.
Though here at journey's end I lie
in darkness buried deep,
beyond all towers strong and high,
beyond all mountains steep,
above all shadows rides the Sun
and Stars for ever dwell:
I will not say the Day is done,
nor bid the Stars farewell.

Sam began to sing the line "Beyond all towers strong and high" again but stopped abruptly when he thought he could hear a faint answering voice. The voice stopped but then he heard the footsteps of Snaga approaching. Sam's voice, obviously not that of an Elf, had attracted the orc, who came to shut Frodo up. Snaga brought in a ladder which enabled him to reach the final chamber above, soon to be followed by Sam.[2]

Portrayal in adaptations

Donald Swann wrote music for this song, which can be found in the book The Road Goes Ever On;[3] it is also found on the accompanying CD of the latest version.

Stephen Oliver also wrote music for the song for the BBC Radio dramatisation. It was sung in the story by Bill Nighy (billed as William Nighy) and on the BBC Record by wine critic, Oz Clarke.

In Paul Corfield Godfrey's opera Beren and Lúthien, this poem is given to the titular characters, with Lúthien singing the first stanza and Beren the second as she discovers him in Sauron's lair[4].

See also