The Road Goes Ever On, also known as The Old Walking Song, is a song by Bilbo Baggins while he would be on the road; verses of it are sung at various places in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

In The HobbitEdit

The original version of the song is recited by Bilbo during his return journey to the Shire.[1]

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.

In The Lord of the RingsEdit

Bilbo recites another version of this song when he leaves the Shire and is off for Rivendell.[2]

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.

The last version of the song is recited by Bilbo in Rivendell after Frodo and the others have returned to their journey.[3]

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Let others follow it who can!
Let them a journey new begin,
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

Other AdaptionsEdit

The Road Goes Ever On, taking its name from the above, is a collection of sheet music by Donald Swann for poetry presented by Tolkien in his Middle-earth literature. It was first published in 1967.

Although the book can at first sight seem mostly useful by musicians (particularly piano and guitar players), it has been found to have a wider use than this, allowing readers to understand the cultures of the various mythological beings presented in Middle-earth better, and helping linguists analyse Tolkien's poetry. For example, it contains one of the longest samples of the language Quenya.

The second edition of The Road Goes Ever On, published in 1978, included the poem Bilbo's Last Song.

The third edition, published in 1993 and likely the last, comes with additional poetry and also a CD with recordings for the entire song cycle.

The Last Goodbye by Billy Boyd, the end credits song for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies seems to be inspired by the version of this song found in the Hobbit novel. The songs have a similar theme of returning home. Though some of the lyrics have been changed, of particular note are the lyrics:

“Over hill and under tree Through lands where never light has shone By silver streams that run down to the sea:

Which seems directly inspired by: “Over rock and under tree, By caves where never sun has shone, By streams that never find the sea;”

Also the lyric “Under cloud and under star” is changed to “Under cloud, beneath the stars”

Small Wikipedia logo This page uses content from Wikipedia. The original article was at The Road Goes Ever On. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with The One Wiki to Rule Them All, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Commons Attribution-Share Alike license.

Translations around the WorldEdit

Foreign Language Translated name
Arabic الطريق يذهب من أي وقت مضى
French La route se poursuit sans fin
Georgian გზა წინ და წინ მიდის
German Die Straße gleitet fort und fort
Russian Дорога вдаль и вдаль идёт
J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium

Works published during his lifetime
The Hobbit | The Lord of the Rings | The Adventures of Tom Bombadil | The Road Goes Ever On

Posthumous publications
The Silmarillion | Unfinished Tales | The History of Middle-earth (12 volumes) | Bilbo's Last Song | The Children of Húrin

Lists of LOTR Wiki articles about Middle-earth
by category | name | writings | characters | peoples | rivers | realms | ages


  1. The Hobbit, Chapter XIX: "The Last Stage"
  2. The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, Book One, Chapter I: "A Long-expected Party"
  3. The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, Book Six, Chapter VI: "Many Partings"

External linkEdit

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