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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Movie Discussion: The Lord of the Rings:
Stories in the soundtrack


Feb 28 2013, 8:14pm

Post #1 of 8 (273 views)
Stories in the soundtrack Can't Post

Hey all.

Even though i've been a massive fan of Howard Shore's music, i've only just found out that the music is telling us little stories in certain scenes aswell.

Some examples of what i'm talking about:

--Opening scene in TTT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diPQPM0U2dA
When Gandalf falls and starts fighting the Balrog, the choir is basically chanting about how Gandalf has to fight the Balrog untill the very end, or bad things will happen. Most of the choir is a bit hard to understand, but the part at 3:02 should be something like this:

Mettanna - To the end
Nárendur - Servant of Fire
An Mauya Mahtie - For you must fight
Mettanna - To the end

--Aragorn's charge at the Black Gate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dvwcjDrm0OY
When Aragorn says "For Frodo" and starts charging, the choir is singing the lines Aragorn said to Frodo during his "You have my sword" moment at the Council of Elrond. This coupled with the fact that it's a choir version of the Fellowship theme (and if i remember right, the first time we hear this theme again since the breaking of the fellowship) makes this scene even more powerful in my opinion.

Ae na guil nín egor na ngurth nín - If by my life or death
Gerin le beriad - I can protect you,
Le beriathon - I will
Le annon vegil nín - I give you my sword
Cyll e-Gorv - Ringbearer,
Le annon beth nín - I give you my word
Ú-erir aen han risto - It cannot be broken
Ú-erir aen han presto - Nor turned aside,
Rúvo i rym - Let the horns sound,
I aur hen ú bant! - This day is not done!
Isto Mordor han - Let Mordor know this:
Elessar! Elessar! - Elessar! Elessar!
Tellin i Chîr Gondor! - The Lords of Gondor have come!

--Boromir's death scene: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqjfq5gsfYk
During Boromir's fight with Lurtz and his death, according to Philippa Boyens and Fran Marsh, the vocals translate into a quote from Faramir: "I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness, nor the arrow for its swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend" wich might fit with the fact that Boromir was defending Merry and Pippin.

Details like these made me appreciate Howard Shore's soundtrack even more, because it's not only just some pretty music, it actually has some meaning behind it aswell.

Obviously i did not find out these lyrics/translations myself, as i used the internet to find them, so if any of the lyrics/translations are wrong, feel free to correct. I'm also aware that most of the song lyrics are written by Fran Walsh.

Are there any other scenes in the movies that you know of that are telling us a story relevant to the scene aswell? I find things like this really interesting.

Thanks for reading.


Feb 28 2013, 9:15pm

Post #2 of 8 (167 views)
For me the music is something more special [In reply to] Can't Post

It sings in it's own language even when there's no lyrics.

Some songs i can remember now are Arwen's fate and The House of healing

I don't know the lyrics of Arwen's fate, but i'm sure they tell a story. House of healing is really short (the elvish part)

immen duath caeda
sui tollech gwanna tach omen
boe naid bain gwannathar
boe cuil ban firitha

shadow lies between us
as you came, so you shall leave from us
all things must pass away
all life is doomed to fade

Whether this resembles the feelings of Eomer, or Eowyn's towards Theoden i do not know... Might even be something else. Tongue

Pessimists have no disappointments.


Feb 28 2013, 9:22pm

Post #3 of 8 (177 views)
Yes, I too love what the choral text is saying [In reply to] Can't Post

at various points in the score. I think there are many examples throughout the films. I don't have details to hand but, for example, in FOTR in Moria, much of the text is telling how the dwarves delved too deep and awakened Durins Bane. In Lothlorien, as they enter the forest, the text tells of Galadriels concern at the evil being brought there and whether she can resist the lure of the Ring. In TTT, in the Rivendell flashback sequence, the text echoes what Arwen is telling Aragorn about his path being laid at his feet.
I could go on and on really since I think all of this is great. I am a choral singer myself and would LOVe to be able to sing in these pieces. Just for reference, Doug Adams book on the music of the LOTR film gives a lot of detail about the various texts.

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


Mar 1 2013, 12:13am

Post #4 of 8 (153 views)
you can find all the lyrics as sung on my website [In reply to] Can't Post

follow the link in my footer

enter the site

look left for this link: LYRICS : MASTER LISTS

click on any of these:
FOTR Master Lyrics Page
TTT Master Lyrics Page
ROTK Master Lyrics Page

When I reference 'Source Text' it will lead to a page on the full poem, song, or text that was referenced for any particular instance of singing. Those pages will have more information on the text.

For example, the English text you quote for Boromir are actually line spoken by Faramir in the books.

I don't think Fran wrote most of the lyrics. Phillipa wrote a lot and so did Tolkien. That is, a lot were taken directly (or almost so) from Tolkien's writing.

You might be interested in looking at some old discussion threads led by hobbitlove and Ordinary Hobbit on the lyrics. You can find links to them here:

LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Mar 1 2013, 2:56am

Post #5 of 8 (150 views)
Great Site Magpie [In reply to] Can't Post

I stumbled across it a few weeks ago I had a sneaking suspicion you made it though cause of the name, I've been really listening to the music lately especially the songs they sing in the movies, I could talk all day about them I find myself singing them every once in a while, they sound like they are actual old songs we've forgotten I would really love to learn the entire song of Luthien in elvish so I could sing it. the music is just as much a character in the films as New Zealand is they go hand in hand. Big sweeping scores to small quiet motifs just darn near perfect..ok I'll shut up now lol


Mar 1 2013, 10:07am

Post #6 of 8 (122 views)
Wow, this looks great! [In reply to] Can't Post

Thanks for signposting your links. Can't wait to explore further!

"Beneath the roof of sleeping leaves the dreams of trees unfold"


Mar 1 2013, 3:58pm

Post #7 of 8 (115 views)
if you see Magpie in connection with the LOTR soundtrack... [In reply to] Can't Post

and, for a lot of Tolkien in general... you can pretty much assume it's me although I use a 'variety' of names.

I have accounts for

...since for most forums, Magpie is already taken. But I've been Magpie for almost as long as I've been studying the soundtrack. I think I adopted the online name within a few months of starting to 'write down' the lyrics and sharing them with friends in 2002.

It was the singing and lyrics that first hooked me into studying the soundtrack. That is, I set out trying to research and document the lyrics and then got intrigued by the themes.

LOTR soundtrack website ~ magpie avatar gallery
TORn History Mathom-house ~ Torn Image Posting Guide


Mar 1 2013, 8:54pm

Post #8 of 8 (124 views)
Yup, completely agree // [In reply to] Can't Post



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