The Road Goes Ever On: A Song Cycle.

First edition, first printing of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Road Goes Ever On: A Song Cycle; with music by Donald Swann

The Road Goes Ever On: A Song Cycle.

TOLKIEN, J.R.R. Music by Donald Swann.


Item Number: 119260

Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1967.

First edition, first printing of the first appearance in sheet music form of the classic song cycles that appeared throughout The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Quarto, original boards with gilt titles and gilt tooling to the spine and front panel. Poems and by J.R.R. Tolkien. Music by Donald Swann. With decorations by J.R.R. Tolkien and Samuel Hanks Bryant. The songs from the book were sold simultaneously in a record album entitled Poems of the Middle Earth with verse performed by Tolkien and piano accompaniment performed by William Elvin. Fine in a near fine dust jacket. Jacket photographs by Roger Hill and Brian Shuel.

The Road Goes Ever On, also known as A Walking Song, was fictionally composed by Bilbo Baggins and first appeared in The Hobbit and later thrice in slightly differing versions throughout The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Both Tolkien's academic career and his literary production are inseparable from his love of language and philology. He specialized in English philology at university and in 1915 graduated with Old Norse as his special subject. Parallel to Tolkien's professional work as a philologist, and sometimes overshadowing this work, to the effect that his academic output remained rather thin, was his affection for constructing languages. The most developed of these are Quenya and Sindarin, the etymological connection between which formed the core of much of Tolkien's legendarium. Language and grammar for Tolkien was a matter of esthetics and euphony, and Quenya in particular was designed from "phonaesthetic" considerations; it was intended as an "Elvenlatin", and was phonologically based on Latin, with ingredients from Finnish, Welsh, English, and Greek. J.R.R. Tolkien's fully realized fantasy world won over generations of children, and dazzled adults with its deft interweaving of medieval legend and made-up languages, maps, and creatures. Tolkien legitimized the modern fantasy genre, and provided the 1960's counterculture with antiwar, back-to-Eden icons." (NYPL Books of the Century 199).

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