If you’re going on the quest, best make sure you have the right quest music. Tolkien songs are always reliable for any quest involving lots of walking.
“The Road Goes Ever On” from The Hobbit
by J.R.R. Tolkien
- Roads go ever ever on,
- Over rock and under tree,
- By caves where never sun has shone,
- By streams that never find the sea;
- Over snow by winter sown,
- And through the merry flowers of June,
- Over grass and over stone,
- And under mountains in the moon.
- Roads go ever ever on
- Under cloud and under star,
- Yet feet that wandering have gone
- Turn at last to home afar.
- Eyes that fire and sword have seen
- And horror in the halls of stone
- Look at last on meadows green
- And trees and hills they long have known.
Or if you prefer, the version from The Lord of the Rings:
- The Road goes ever on and on
- Down from the door where it began.
- Now far ahead the Road has gone,
- And I must follow, if I can,
- Pursuing it with eager feet,
- Until it joins some larger way
- Where many paths and errands meet.
- And whither then? I cannot say.
Just one problem: what does the song actually sound like (and where can I download it?)
Option 1: Drinking song
This version is very similar to the one sung briefly by Gandalf and Bilbo in the Fellowship of the Ring movie. It’s also probably very close to what Tolkien had in mind when he wrote the lyrics. It’s easy to imagine some hobbits singing this as they drink ale and smoke pipe-weed. Personally, I don’t like it, and not just because the singers in this video mumble their way through the lyrics. It’s too laid back, too relaxed, there’s no sense of adventure to it.
Option 2: Lullaby
This might qualify as good music to listen to as you collate your LoTR fan-art, but questing music it ain’t.
Option 3: Celtic folk music
Produced by Starlit Jewel, a collection of fantasy authors, nerds, and music lovers. This comes closer to the ideal quest music, but to be honest, I don’t particularly care for Celtic singing unless it’s accompanied by whiskey.
Option 4: American folk music by the unabashedly hammy Glenn Yarbrough
This version comes from the 1977 animated movie based upon The Hobbit. And it is THE SHIT. This is music for fighting orcs, stealing from dragons, and learning some valuable lesson about friendship. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go a questing.