Tolkien Gateway

Upon The Hearth The Fire Is Red

Upon the Hearth the Fire is Red is a song made by Bilbo Baggins, which he set to a tune "as old as the hills". On 24 September T.A. 3018,[1] as evening approached, Frodo, Sam, and Pippin sang this song while they were walking in the Woody End of the Shire:

[edit] Lyrics

Upon the hearth the fire is red,
Beneath the roof there is a bed;
But not yet weary are out feet,
Still round the corner we may meet
A sudden tree or standing stone
That none have seen but we alone.
Tree and flower and leaf and grass,
Let them pass! Let them pass!
Hill and water under sky,
Pass them by! Pass them by!
 
Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate,
And though we pass them by today,
Tomorrow we may come this way
And take the hidden paths that run
Towards the Moon or to the Sun.
Apple, thorn, and nut and sloe,
Let them go! Let them go!
Sand and stone and pool and dell,
Fare you well! Fare you well!
 
Home is behind, the world ahead,
And there are many paths to tread
Through shadows to the edge of night,
Until the stars are all alight.
Then world behind and home ahead,
We’ll wander back to home and bed.
Mist and twilight, cloud and shade,
Away shall fade! Away shall fade!
Fire and lamp, and meat and bread,
And then to bed! And then to bed!

As the song ended a tired Pippin re-sang the last line but changed it to match his desire for rest: "And now to bed! And now to bed!" Frodo hushed him since he heard the sound of hoofs approaching.[2]

On 22 September T.A. 3021[3] Sam heard a different version of this song softly sung by Frodo as they rode westward through the Shire just before they met Elrond, Galadriel, Gildor and other Elves heading for the Grey Havens:

Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate;
And though I oft have passed them by,
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.[4]

[edit] Legacy

Donald Swann wrote music for this song, which can be found in the book The Road Goes Ever On;[5] it is also found on the accompanying CD of the latest version.

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Great Years"
  2. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, "Three is Company"
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix B, "The Chief Days from the Fall of Barad-dûr to the End of the Third Age"
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King, "The Grey Havens"
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien, Donald Swann, The Road Goes Ever On, "Upon The Hearth The Fire Is Red"