In Chapter 8 (?) of _The Fellowship of the Ring_, where the hobbits are in The Prancing Pony Inn in Bree, Frodo sings an absolutely wonderful drinking song (see below).
Now, I know that there's a recording or two out there where Tolkien himself reads and sings from his work. Does anyone have them? Did he ever sing this song? (I have an MP3 of him *reading* the song, but not singing it.) Is there a tune that really belongs to it, according to JRR?
If not, can anyone suggest a good tune for it? One that matches the meter? (Or whatever you call it. I just sing. I don't *know* anything about it. :)
The Man in the Moon
J. R. R. Tolkien
The Fellowship of the Ring
There is an inn, a merry old inn
Beneath an old grey hill,
And there they brew a beer so brown
That the Man in the Moon himself came down
One night to drink his fill.
The ostler has a tipsy cat
That plays a five-string fiddle
And up and down he runs his bow,
Now squeeking high, now blurring low,
Now sawing in the middle.
The landlord keeps a little dog
That's mighty fond of jokes.
When there's good cheer among the guests
He cocks an ear at all the jests
And laughs until he chokes.
They also keep a horn'ed cow
As proud as any queen.
The music turns her head like ale,
And makes her wave her tufted tail,
And dance upon the green.
And all the rows of silver dishes
Are stored with silver spoons.
For Sunday there's a special pair,
And these they polish up with care
On Saturday afternoon.
The Man in the Moon was drinking deep,
And the cat began to wail.
A dish and a spoon on the table danced.
The cow in the garden madly pranced,
And the little dog chased his tail.
The Man in the Moon took another mug
And then rolled beneath his chair,
And there he dozed and dreamed of ale
'Til in the sky the stars were pale
And dawn was in the air.
And the ostler said to his tipsy cat,
"The white horses of the moon
They neigh and champ their silver bits
Their master's been and drowned his wits
And the sun'll be rising soon."
So the cat and his fiddle played hey-diddle-diddle
As if he could wake the dead
He squeeked and sawed and fiddled a tune
While the landlord shook the Man in the Moon
"It's after three," he said.
They rolled the Man slowly up the hill
And bundled him into the moon
While his horses galloped up in rear
The cow came capering like a deer
And the dish ran up with the spoon
Now quick as a fiddle went deedle-dum-diddle,
The dog began to roar.
The cow and horses stood on their heads.
The guests all bounded from their beds
And danced upon the floor.
With a ping and a pong the fiddle strings broke.
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed to see such fun,
And the Saturday dish went off at a run
With the silver Sunday spoon.
The round moon rolled behind the hills
As the Sun raised up Her head.
She could hardly believe Her fiery eyes:
Although it was day, to Her surprise,
They all went back to bed.
P.S. I may have gotten a few of the words wrong. I didn't copy it from the book, but transcribed it from the MP3 recording I mentioned above.