Poems and Songs of Middle Earth

Poems and Songs of Middle Earth is an album of songs and spoken-word poetry by J. R. R. Tolkien and Donald Swann with vocals by William Elvin.[1][2][3] The songs and poems are taken from Tolkien's collection The Adventures of Tom Bombadil (1962) and The Lord of the Rings (1954-55). Tolkien recorded his parts on 15 June 1967[4] The album was released as a vinyl LP in 1967.[1][2][5]

Poems and Songs of Middle Earth
Cover art for Poems and Songs of Middle Earth
Studio album by
Released1967
Recorded1967
GenreSpoken word, classical
LabelCaedmon Records
ProducerHoward Sackler (spoken word tracks); Donald Swann (musical tracks)

The illustration which appears on the sleeve's obverse was designed by Pauline Baynes.[2][5] Poet W. H. Auden contributed an introduction which was printed on the sleeve's reverse.[2]

As of 2019 the album is yet to be released on any other format.

Track listingEdit

Side A and the first track of Side B are made up of poetry recited by Tolkien,[2] while the remainder of Side B is a song-cycle sung by William Elvin;[2] the songs are poems by Tolkien set to piano by Donald Swann.[1]

All lyrics are written by J. R. R. Tolkien; all music is composed by Donald Swann, except where noted.

Side A
No.TitleLength
1."The Adventures of Tom Bombadil" (poem read by J. R. R. Tolkien)4:00
2."The Mewlips" (poem read by J. R. R. Tolkien)1:21
3."The Hoard" (poem read by J. R. R. Tolkien)3:25
4."Perry-the-Winkle" (poem read by J. R. R. Tolkien)4:26
5."The Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon" (poem read by J. R. R. Tolkien)5:16
6."The Sea-Bell" (poem read by J. R. R. Tolkien)5:25
Side B
No.TitleMusicLength
1."A Elbereth Gilthoniel" (poem read by J. R. R. Tolkien in the Sindarin language) 0:14
2."The Road Goes Ever On" (piano – Donald Swann; vocals – William Elvin) 1:00
3."Upon the Hearth the Fire Is Red" (piano – Donald Swann; vocals – William Elvin) 1:35
4."In the Willow-Meads of Tasarinan" (piano – Donald Swann; vocals – William Elvin) 2:35
5."In Western Lands" (piano – Donald Swann; vocals – William Elvin) 2:15
6."Namárië" (piano – Donald Swann; vocals – William Elvin in the Quenya language)Swann, Tolkien1:25
7."I Sit Beside the Fire" (piano – Donald Swann; vocals – William Elvin) 3:38
8."Errantry" (piano – Donald Swann; vocals – William Elvin) 3:43

PersonnelEdit

  • J. R. R. Tolkien: spoken-word
  • Donald Swann: piano
  • William Elvin: vocals

The poems and songsEdit

The poems and songs featured in The Lord of the Rings as follows:[6]

  • "A Elbereth Gilthoniel" – The Fellowship of the Ring, chapter "Many Meetings".
  • "The Road Goes Ever On" – The Fellowship of the Ring, chapter "A Long-expected Party"
  • "Upon the Hearth the Fire Is Red" – The Fellowship of the Ring, chapter "Three Is Company"
  • "The Willow-Meads of Tasarinan" – The Two Towers, chapter "Treebeard"
  • "In Western Lands" – The Return of the King, chapter "The Tower of Cirith Ungol"
  • "Namárië" – The Fellowship of the Ring, chapter "Farewell to Lórien"
  • "I Sit Beside the Fire" – The Fellowship of the Ring, chapters "The Ring Goes South" and "Many Meetings"

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c Jones, Josh (10 September 2012). "Listen to J.R.R. Tolkien Read Poems from The Fellowship of the Ring, in Elvish and English (1952)". Open Culture. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "J.R.R. Tolkien – Poems And Songs Of Middle Earth". Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  3. ^ S., J. R. (1968). "Recordings from Caedmon. The Comedy of Errors. King Richard III. Idylls of the King. Poems and Songs of Middle Earth. The Last of the Mohicans". The English Journal. 57 (3): 437–439. doi:10.2307/812256. JSTOR 812256.
  4. ^ Hammond, Wayne. G; Scull, Christina (6 October 2006). The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide. II: Reader's Guide. HarperCollins. p. 823.
  5. ^ a b "Artwork for J. R. R. Tolkien". Retrieved 7 August 2019. The cover and a close up of Pauline's art for the album Poems and Songs of Middle Earth, released by Caedmon in 1967.
  6. ^ Tolkien, J. R. R. (20 October 1955). The Lord of the Rings. HarperCollins. pp. 27–1198. ISBN 978-0-261-10238-5.