Ever since I saw The Fellowship of the Ring film adaptation when it came out in 2000, I’ve hummed the first two lines of Bilbo’s walking song: “The road goes ever, ever on / Down from the door where it began.” Hearing a song got me in a way reading those in Lord of the Rings never did.
While it seems the full version of the walking song, if such a thing exists, never made it to a soundtrack album, I’ve turned up some other versions. There’s an out of print album by the Danish Tolkien Ensemble called An Evening in Rivendell that includes a number called The Old Walking Song, the Road.
In print, I found The Starlit Jewel, a set of songs performed by a group called Broceliande. The main claim to fame seems to be some of the music was set by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I took a plunge on it just because I liked the sample of the Hobbit Walking Song and wanted to feel good about supporting non-mainstream music.
After a listen and a half — I let the walking song loop a couple times before moving on in the second play through — I like it. It’s very Celtic, which really doesn’t fit Middle-earth, quite frankly, as the whole history was supposed to be an Anglo-Saxon mythology, but I do like the sound of the music.
Listening to this music, off though it is, makes me wish I could visit Middle-earth more than reading the books ever did. It makes me want to rove and ramble.