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Far over the Misty Mountains Cold

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Far over the Misty Mountains Cold is a song sung by Thorin II Oakenshield and Company in J.R.R. Tolkien's novel The Hobbit. As Tolkien left no title for the song, "Far Over The Misty Mountains Cold" is sometimes referred to as The Dwarf Song, Thorin's Song or shortened to simply "The Misty Mountains".

The song explains the backstory of Thorin and Company, and foreshadows the adventure to come for the group. It also helps lead to the large development of Bilbo from his often quiet and calm "Baggins" nature, to the more adventurous and outgoing "Tookish" side of his heritage, an evolution that takes most of the novel.

The HobbitEdit

The song is first heard at the assembly in Bag End. Here it is sung accompanied by instruments; Fíli and Kíli on fiddles; Dori, Nori and Ori on flutes; Bombur on drum; Bifur and Bofur on clarinets; Dwalin and Balin on viols, and finally Thorin with his golden harp. While the dwarves sing, Tolkien describes how something Tookish and adventurous wakes up inside Bilbo.[1]

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gleaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword.

On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun.

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day,
To claim our long-forgotten gold.

Goblets they carved there for themselves
And harps of gold; where no man delves
There lay they long, and many a song
Was sung unheard by men or elves.

The pines were roaring on the height,
The winds were moaning in the night.
The fire was red, it flaming spread;
The trees like torches blazed with light.

The bells were ringing in the dale
And men they looked up with faces pale;
The dragon’s ire more fierce than fire
Laid low their towers and houses frail.

The mountain smoked beneath the moon;
The dwarves they heard the tramp of doom.
They fled their hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon.

Far over the misty mountains grim
To dungeons deep and caverns dim
We must away, ere break of day,
To win our harps and gold from him!

By the end of the same chapter, whilst laying in bed at night, Bilbo can hear Thorin humming this tune to himself, and the fifth verse from above is repeated, though with a slight difference in the last sentence, as claim here is changed to find:

Far over the misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away, ere break of day,
To find our long-forgotten gold.

Whilst residing with Beorn, Bilbo also hears the dwarves sing.[2] Though it is not mentioned here whether these verses are of the same song as heard before, it follows the same form, and mentions, though briefly, both the Lonely Mountain and "the dragon's lair" and thus it is widely considered to be so.

The wind was on the withered heath,
but in the forest stirred no leaf:
there shadows lay be night or day,
and dark things silent crept beneath.
The wind came down from mountains cold,
and like a tide it roared and rolled;
the branches groaned, the forest moaned,
and leaves were laid upon the mould.

The wind went on from West to East;
all movement in the forest ceased,
but shrill and harsh across the marsh
its whistling voices were released.

The grasses hissed, their tassels bent,
the reeds were rattling--on it went
o'er shaken pool under heavens cool
where racing clouds were torn and rent.

It passed the Lonely Mountain bare
and swept above the dragon's lair:
there black and dark lay boulders stark
and flying smoke was in the air.

It left the world and took its flight
over the wide seas of the night.
The moon set sail upon the gale,
and stars were fanned to leaping light.

After slaying Smaug and reclaiming the Lonely Mountain, yet another new form of the song is sung.[3]

Under the Mountain dark and tall
The King has come unto his hall!
His foe is dead, the Worm of Dread,
And ever so his foes shall fall.
The sword is sharp, the spear is long,
The arrow swift, the Gate is strong;
The heart is bold that looks on gold;
The dwarves no more shall suffer wrong.

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells,
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep, where dark things sleep,
In hollow halls beneath the fells.

On silver necklaces they strung
The light of stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, from twisted wire
The melody of harps they wrung.

The mountain throne once more is freed!
O! wandering folk, the summons heed!
Come haste! Come haste! across the waste!
The king of friend and kin has need.

Now call we over mountains cold,
‘Come back unto the caverns old’!
Here at the Gates the king awaits,
His hands are rich with gems and gold.

The king is come unto his hall
Under the Mountain dark and tall.
The Worm of Dread is slain and dead,
And ever so our foes shall fall!

The Lord of the RingsEdit

In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, verses of this song is heard. During Frodo and company's brief stay at Crickhollow before leaving the Shire, a song sung by Merry and Pippin is described as "made on the model of the dwarf-song that started Bilbo on his adventure long ago, and went to the same tune."[4]

Farewell we call to hearth and hall!
Though wind may blow and rain may fall,
We must away ere break of day
Far over the wood and mountain tall.
To Rivendell, where Elves yet dwell
In glades beneath the misty fell,
Through moor and waste we ride in haste,
And whither then we cannot tell.

With foes ahead, behind us dread,
Beneath the sky shall be our bed,
Until at last our toil be passed,
Our journey done, our errand sped.

We must away! We must away!
We ride before the break of day!

Though begun by Merry and Pippin, also Frodo, and possibly Sam, joined in the singing, as Frodo himself makes up the last sentence.

Portrayals in adaptationsEdit

The Hobbit film trilogyEdit

The Hobbit Misty Mountains song scene01:35

The Hobbit Misty Mountains song scene

Theatrical version of the song

In Peter Jackson's film The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, there are several changes from Tolkien's novel. Only two verses are sung:

Far over the misty mountains cold,
To dungeons deep and caverns old,
We must away, ere break of day,
To find our long-forgotten gold.

The pines were roaring on the height,
The winds were moaning in the night,
The fire was red, it flaming spread,
The trees like torches blazed with light.

In the film, the song is sung without instrumental accompaniment, whereas in the book it was sung to music. The song is featured on the film's soundtrack, titled "Misty Mountains". The tune of the song is crafted into Thorin and Company's main musical theme. The song is composed and conducted by Plan 9 and David Long.

Neil Finn performed the original version named "Song of the Lonely Mountain". According to an interview with Rolling Stones, Neil Finn wrote the song and recorded it with his two sons, Elroy and Liam. Dave Fridmann did the mixing and "...[responded] well to my demands for 'more anvil!' Pop music needs more anvil!" The song was used as the credits song of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Song of the Lonely Mountain Performed by Neil Finn "The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey" Soundtrack04:12

Song of the Lonely Mountain Performed by Neil Finn "The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey" Soundtrack

The ending credits for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Neil Finn's version:

Far over the Misty Mountains rise
Leave us standing upon the heights
What was before, we see once more
Our kingdom a distant light

Fiery mountain beneath the moon
The words unspoken, we’ll be there soon
For home a song that echoes on
And all who find us will know the tune

Some folk we never forget
Some kind we never forgive
Haven’t seen the back of us yet
We’ll fight as long as we live

All eyes on the hidden door
To the Lonely Mountain borne
We’ll ride in the gathering storm
Until we get our long-forgotten gold

We lay under the Misty Mountains cold
In slumbers deep and dreams of gold
We must awake, our lives to make
And in the darkness a torch we hold

From long ago when lanterns burned
Till this day our hearts have yearned
Her fate unknown the Arkenstone
What was stolen must be returned

We must awake and make the day
To find a song for heart and soul

Some folk we never forget
Some kind we never forgive
Haven’t seen the end of it yet
We’ll fight as long as we live

All eyes on the hidden door
To the Lonely Mountain borne
We’ll ride in the gathering storm
Until we get our long-forgotten gold

Far away from Misty Mountains cold.

Rankin and Bass versionEdit

In the 1977 animated movie of The Hobbit, the first verse of the song was sung. After the verse, Gandalf speaks verses two to four, and then verses six to nine.

ReferencesEdit

  1. The Hobbit, Chapter I: "An Unexpected Party"
  2. The Hobbit, Chapter VII: "Queer Lodgings"
  3. The Hobbit, Chapter XV: "The Gathering of the Clouds"
  4. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, Chapter V: "A Conspiracy Unmasked"

External linksEdit

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