Department/School of the Primary Author

Music and Worship


Lord of the Rings, music, literature, the road goes ever on, jrr tolkien, donald swann




Often referred to as “the Father of Modern Fantasy,” J.R.R. Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings trilogy between 1937 and 1949. Selling millions of copies each year, the Lord of the Rings is one of the bestselling books to date, and between the four books, six movies have been produced in an effort to relay the story of Middle Earth. However, movies do not stand alone as the only other art based off the trilogy. Throughout the novels, Tolkien includes poems that his characters sing, and in 1967, Donald Swann, after collaborating with the author, published a song cycle called The Road Goes Ever On. Based on the songs within the Lord of the Rings trilogy, this song cycle provides what could be considered the “official” music behind the words. The Road Goes Ever On provides a deeper look into the musical culture of Tolkien’s world through connections between the literature and the music as well as connections to “real-world” music, all while recombining the poetry of the novels to narrate the story of a traveler.

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© 2017 Emily Sulka. All rights reserved



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