A version of the British group Brocelïande on a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien

'In Durin's Day': A magnificent and nostalgic dwarven song from 'The Lord of the Rings'

About the work of J.R.R. Tolkien has made many songs, although there are few that talk about one of the most peculiar races in his work: the dwarfs.

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In 1996, a few years before the first of the "Lord of the Rings" movie versions directed by Peter Jackson, was released, a British traditional music group called Brocelïande published an excellent album entitled "The Starlit Jewel", in which he set music to 13 songs written by Tolkien in "The Hobbit" and in "The Lord of the Rings".

One of the most accomplished songs on that album was "In Durin's Day", the song that the British writer put into Gimli's mouth in "The Fellowship of the Ring", during the dark journey through Moria, the once glorious dwarven kingdom of Khazad-dûm, founded by Durin I the Deathless. The song begins as a slow ballad, to gain strength as Gimli recalls the best times of that kingdom under the mountain, to return to a calm rhythm before contemplating the silence and the shadows of Moria.

These days it's hard to get hold of that dics. I've been collecting Tolkien-related records for years and I never got hold of the original "The Starlit Jewel" record. However, you can listen to that song on Youtube:

You can read here the original lyrics in English written by Tolkien and literally sung by Brocelïande:

The world was young, the mountains green,
No stain yet on the Moon was seen,
No words were laid on stream or stone
When Durin woke and walked alone.
He named the nameless hills and dells;
He drank from yet untasted wells;
He stooped and looked in Mirrormere,
And saw a crown of stars appear,
As gems upon a silver thread,
Above the shadow of his head.

The world was fair, the mountains tall,
In Elder Days before the fall
Of mighty kings in Nargothrond
And Gondolin, who now beyond
The Western Seas have passed away:
The world was fair in Durin's Day.

A king he was on carven throne
In many-pillared halls of stone
With golden roof and silver floor,
And runes of power upon the door.

The light of sun and star and moon
In shining lamps of crystal hewn
Undimmed by cloud or shade of night
There shone for ever fair and bright.

There hammer on the anvil smote,
There chisel clove, and graver wrote;
There forged was blade, and bound was hilt;
The delver mined, the mason built.

There beryl, pearl, and opal pale,
And metal wrought like fishes' mail,
Buckler and corslet, axe and sword,
And shining spears were laid in hoard.

Unwearied then were Durin's folk
Beneath the mountains music woke:
The harpers harped, the minstrels sang,
And at the gates the trumpets rang.

The world is grey, the mountains old,
The forge's fire is ashen-cold
No harp is wrung, no hammer falls:
The darkness dwells in Durin's halls
The shadow lies upon his tomb
In Moria, in Khazad-dûm.

But still the sunken stars appear
In dark and windless Mirrormere;
There lies his crown in water deep,
Till Durin wakes again from sleep.


Image: Epic Games, Return to Moria.

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