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Recordings of Tolkien Songs

Related threads:
The Road Goes Ever On - Swann/Tolkien (11)
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JWB 29 Dec 03 - 10:25 PM
Clinton Hammond 29 Dec 03 - 11:00 PM
Chip2447 30 Dec 03 - 12:13 AM
The Fooles Troupe 30 Dec 03 - 12:25 AM
Clinton Hammond 30 Dec 03 - 01:00 AM
Cluin 30 Dec 03 - 02:11 AM
Acme 30 Dec 03 - 02:39 AM
Sorcha 30 Dec 03 - 03:33 AM
Leadfingers 30 Dec 03 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,Peter from Essex 30 Dec 03 - 09:59 AM
JWB 30 Dec 03 - 01:38 PM
GUEST,Julia 30 Dec 03 - 04:57 PM
JWB 30 Dec 03 - 05:43 PM
Malcolm Douglas 30 Dec 03 - 06:07 PM
GUEST,Julia 30 Dec 03 - 09:40 PM
Malcolm Douglas 30 Dec 03 - 09:52 PM
GUEST,Julia 30 Dec 03 - 11:11 PM
Stewart 13 Nov 12 - 07:30 PM
GUEST,Musket sans cookie 14 Nov 12 - 02:00 AM
Dave MacKenzie 14 Nov 12 - 03:57 AM
scouse 14 Nov 12 - 04:48 AM
Deckman 14 Nov 12 - 12:58 PM
Anne Lister 14 Nov 12 - 03:27 PM
GUEST,Julia L 14 Nov 12 - 10:11 PM
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Subject: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: JWB
Date: 29 Dec 03 - 10:25 PM

Over the years I've been able to match traditional tunes to some of Tolkien's lyrics in LOTR. I imagine others have done this, too, but I'm wondering if anyone has produced a recording of their efforts.

I'm aware of an old LP, done by a Mr. Swan (if I remember correctly). I know that Julia Lane from Maine was setting Tolkien lyrics to music 10 years ago. But I'm guessing that the copyright issue has kept most Middle Earth tunesmiths from publishing.

Does anyone know of any recordings out there, or material that could be on-line?

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 29 Dec 03 - 11:00 PM

I have somewhere a tape of that Swan travesty... and also a copy of JRR himself singing (And I use the term VERY loosely) the elvish poem Namarie...

Seeing as the Donald Swan album was one of the projects that JRR put his stamp of approval on, my opinion is that JRR knew little to nothing about music...

Blind Guardian does a bunch of music inspired by Tolkien...


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: Chip2447
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 12:13 AM

Music inspired by Tolkien,
Brobdingnagian Bards


Chip2447


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 12:25 AM

Buried somewhere, I've got a book I picked up in the 1970/80's of Tolkien's Songs - might be the Donald Swann one.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 01:00 AM

I seem to recall that there was a book that went with the Swan and Whosits album...

William Evan I think....


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: Cluin
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 02:11 AM

William Elvin, wasn't it? (sounded like a pseudonym, to me)

I had that book kicking around here a while ago. Got it in the bargain bin at Coles for a couple of bucks I seem to recall. I didn't much care for the melodies Swann attached to the songs either. Hardly the sort of tunes I'd expect hobbitfolk to come up with.

The scale went ever ever on...


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: Acme
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 02:39 AM

At this page you'll find information about "the songs and the poems in the Lord of the Rings." The site is maintained by Eugene Hargrove.

Here is some of the music put out by Hargrove, who is a philosophy professor I studied with at the University of North Texas.

This is a page with a long essay and at the bottom a whole bunch of links to Tolkien stuff by and related to Hargrove's interest in Tolkien. I haven't listened to any of this to give any opinion about it--I just knew of it's existence and looked for it to post here (so don't shoot the messenger if you don't like the music!).

SRS


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: Sorcha
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 03:33 AM

Does Lenord Nimoy singing "Down in a Hobbit Hole" count? I think I hve that one...


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: Leadfingers
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 08:36 AM

O K So Donald Swann didnt write folk songs - hardly surprising as he wasnt a folk performer, but a very talented cabaret artist, and with Michael Flanders a very good entertainer. I thought that actually learning Elvish so that he could sing the songs as written shows a degree of interest in the work of Tolkien, if nothing else.


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: GUEST,Peter from Essex
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 09:59 AM

The Tolkien Society would be a good place to start.


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: JWB
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 01:38 PM

I've not had time to visit all the links, but Chip2447's led me to recordings by The Tolkien Ensemble. They have 3 CDs out, all apparently their own Celtic-flavored settings of Tolkien's poetry. I'm curious to find out how they obtained permission to use the lyrics.

So thanks, Chip2447. I'll keep looking for additional stuff. Keep those replies coming in.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 04:57 PM

Hi there- Julia Lane here.Thanks for remembering, Jerry. I contacted the Tolkien estate years ago to get permission for use of the lyrics. They got back to me with a request for a tape/ transcription of the music. I chickened out. My (now) educated guess is that one only needs permission if one is receiving monetary compensation for the piece. I've been tempted to finally get back to the estate with all the required stuff, but I'm sure thay are currently inundated. On the other hand, I've heard an awful lot of (IMHO) crappy interpretations, so maybe they'd actually be open to mine.Spose I'll give it a try...
In the meantime, I have recorded an instrumental original piece called "Rivendell" (Celtic harp and low whistle) written as a reaction to the Iraq war last year. It's on my album "Cottage & Castle" and there is an MP3 tantalizer at
http://www.cdbaby.com/julialane6
Will keep you posted
cheers- Julia


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: JWB
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 05:43 PM

Julia,

Nice to hear from you! Thanks for the update on your efforts. Are you familiar with The Tolkien Ensemble's work? I've not heard of them before. They are a Danish group who's goal is to create the first comprehensive musical settings of all Tolkien's poetry.

Jerry


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 06:07 PM

It's not a question of whether you derive financial benefit, but of whether you publish in any way (and technically that would include public performance, I suspect, though nobody is going to worry about small-scale amateur stuff). Tolkien's work will be in copyright for a good while yet. I'd guess that many of those settings out there (I agree, most are self-indulgent crap) are unauthorised and, frankly, I hope the estate chases the cheeky bastards. Screw up your courage and send them yours; they might like it.

It just goes to show how meaningless the term "celtic" has become, though, when you see how often it's applied to Tolkien's books. The man himself intended the Elvish songs to be something on the lines of Gregorian chant, which would explain Clinton's comment. Tolkien may well not have been much of a singer. I'm not a great fan of Donald Swann's settings (the book was The Road Goes Ever On) but they were intelligent and expertly made. From my point of view, the best settings I've heard were in the BBC radio adaptation of The Hobbit in the late '60s or early '70s; early-music style arrangements with harps, shawms and the like, and choruses sung in parallel fifths. Evocative stuff, and very English.


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 09:40 PM

Yes, he definitely has "racial" differences in mind. The use of language testifies to that- the Hobbit sound very rural English, (sing Ho! for the bath! The merry old inn, etc) the Elvish ballads are chantlike (Earendil was a Mariner) and the dwarf songs sound very Saxon or possibly Gaelic (Far over Misty Mountains cold) He delights in imagery, illiteration and double entendre in a very "traditional" way. I've tried to be true to this in my settings.
I have complained on another thread about the lack of music in the film- I mean as an extension of the characters' culture. Tolkien clearly meant music to be an integral part of their culture and experience and Jackson let us down on this score. (oops- no pun intended!)
There is a website that has chronicled the various settings - can't remember it just now, but will make you howl and cringe simultaneously. I'll find it when I get a minute- bookmarked it nce but that was at least one computer ago.


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: Malcolm Douglas
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 09:52 PM

Might be this one, perhaps: the Tolkien Music List


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: GUEST,Julia
Date: 30 Dec 03 - 11:11 PM

Yes, I was just looking at that. I think this may be an updated version of the site I saw a coupleof years ago. Unbelievable!


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: Stewart
Date: 13 Nov 12 - 07:30 PM

Forty years ago (1972) I sang the song cycle "The Road Goes Ever On" by Donald Swann/text by J.R.R. Tolkien) in the Carleton College Concert Hall, Northfield, MN, Feb. 6, 1972. It was recorded by the St. Olaf College radio station, played on air, and a reel-to-reel tape given to me. I probably listened to it once or twice and then put it away. Since I no longer have a working reel-to-reel recorder to play it on, I recently gave it to Bob (Deckman) Nelson to digitize. It's quite amazing to hear it again after all these years.

You can now listen to it on my website here.

I am thinking of producing a CD for this, but meed to get info on licensing (both the music and the graphic art). I've tried to find the copyright holders, with no success. If anyone can point me in the right direction I would appreciate that.

Cheers, S, in Seattle


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: GUEST,Musket sans cookie
Date: 14 Nov 12 - 02:00 AM

I sing The Song of the Ents occasionally. The tune and version was quite popular with singers in UK folk clubs many years ago. I got it from a friend at a local club and no idea where he got it from, the tune that is.


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: Dave MacKenzie
Date: 14 Nov 12 - 03:57 AM

I have an audiobook on cassette of Tolkien reading various extracts, which includes him singing "Troll sat alone" to a variant of the "Daddy Fox" tune. Harper/Collins published the tape, and I don't know if it ever came out on CD.


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: scouse
Date: 14 Nov 12 - 04:48 AM

Nick Keir of the McCalmans was working with the "Tolkien Ensemble." in Denmark. He played Bilbo I think. the Ensemble have a forty piece orchestra behind them and at one point in time Sir Christopher Lee played the Narrator and also sang. The songs and music that they used came from??????? There is loads of stuff about them on YouTube.. Hope this helps.

As Aye,

Phil.


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: Deckman
Date: 14 Nov 12 - 12:58 PM

This is a superb performance and a superb recording Stew. I really hope you can get a CD out. It's a real treasure. bob(deckman)nelson


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: Anne Lister
Date: 14 Nov 12 - 03:27 PM

I wanted to put my setting of a Tolkien song on my penultimate album and wrote to the Tolkien Estate to ask for permission. They refused. Flat refusal.
Whether they'd have found out if I had gone ahead anyway, who knows, but equally who needs that kind of legal problem, especially as they will undoubtedly have more money for legal fees than me.

Anne


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Subject: RE: Recordings of Tolkien Songs
From: GUEST,Julia L
Date: 14 Nov 12 - 10:11 PM

Finally catching up with this thread again.. Too bad, Anne- if anyone could do a great job of interpreting Tolkien's songs , it would be you! I have found other poets reticent to have their work set- Robert Frost, and most recently Mary Oliver. They would not even allow the poem to be read with accompanying music. But Tolkien's pieces are SONGS and are very singable... sigh. I do perform my versions periodically, and they seem to be well appreciated by audiences. I suppose that's really what matters in the oral tradition at least.
cheers- julia


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