Sunday, October 25, 2015

Donald Swann's Lyrics

Most of class on Thursday was spent bashing Donald Swann and his disappointing musical representation of Tolkien's works in 'The Road Goes Ever On'. I participated fully and I think we were right in saying that today's music for the Lord of the Rings movies far surpasses Donald Swann's composition, but I wanted to look more closely at the lyrics. I found that his writing without the music behind it is extremely poetic and moving. My favorite stanza is:

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.
I will not say the Day is done,

Nor bid the Stars farewell.

This is from 'In Western Lands' and is sung by Sam. My favorite lyric is "in darkness buried deep" where Swann makes darkness like a material, possibly smothering Sam. 'Buried deep' sounds a lot like being buried alive, so it's as if Sam feels buried alive in the darkness. However, he is holding on to hope later on in the stanza saying "I will not say the Day is done, nor bid the Stars farewell." Swann's range here is wide and meaningful and I wish that the music had enhanced the poetic writing. Does else anyone have a favorite lyric from any of Swann's compositions?

1 comment:

Vairë said...

Definitely. I find the entire song Errantry to be my favorite of the bunch. It evokes exactly the feeling of travel and the need to move that drives many of Tolkien's characters. It also sounds fine, which is a change from the rest XD!