Songs from Middle Earth

Two days ago I began to memorize the song in the trailer for ‘The Hobbit’ (which comes out on December 14th), and then was told that it was only a portion of the song from the book. Having been all proud of memorizing a whole song, I was sad to realize that I only memorized a stanza and a half of the song, so I was determined to memorize the whole thing. So, at the start of yesterday I memorized this whole song from ‘The Hobbit’:

Far over the Misty Mountains cold,
To dungeons deep and caverns old,
We must away ere break of day
To seek the pale enchanted gold

The dwarves of yore made mighty spells
While hammers fell like ringing bells
In places deep where dark things sleep
In hollow halls beneath the fells

For ancient king and elvish lord
There many a gleaming golden hoard
They shaped and wrought, and light they caught
To hide in gems on hilt of sword

On silver necklaces they strung
The flowering stars, on crowns they hung
The dragon-fire, the twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun

Far over misty mountains cold
To dungeons deep and caverns old
We must away ere break of day
To claim our long forgotten gold

Goblets they carved there for themselves
And harps of gold where no man delves
There lay they long, and many a song
Was song unheard by men or elves

The pines were roaring on the heights,
The wind was moaning in the night,
The fire was red, it flaming spread,
The trees like torches blazed with light.

The bells were ringing in the dale
The men looked up their faces pale
Then the dragons ire more fierce than fire
Laid low their towers and houses frail

The mountain smoked beneath the moon
The dwarves they hear the tramp of doom
They fled their hall to dying fall
Beneath his feet, beneath the moon

Far over misty mountain grim
To dungeons deep and caverns dim
We must away ere break of day
To win our harps and gold from him!

It was quite an endeavor and I still can’t recite it without messing up here and there, but I was so excited that I memorized the whole of it, and that this morning I could write the whole thing down without any mistakes. This whole idea got me thinking about how we don’t memorize things much any more. Yes, we memorize some song lyrics and movie quotes, but this world is less of one that memorizes and more of one that looks stuff up. We memorize some songs, but we get so much music today its impossible to memorize it all. We don’t memorize phone numbers or addresses anymore because we just go to our ‘contacts’ list. We don’t memorize faces or places because we have them stored in pictures online. We don’t memorize how to get places because we have a GPS unit in our car. We don’t remember what people say because we just reread their comments on facebook.

This is disturbing to me. I remember when I used to memorize things quite well. I remember when I had to remember people’s phone numbers and addresses cause I didn’t have a cell phone or a computer. I remember when I had to drive places based on written directions. I remember when I had to remember what a person was saying because it was face to face. I remember when I only had a handful of CD’s (cause Napster was illegal and I felt bad for using it) and when I memorized all the lyrics not just some of them. I remember when I didn’t have a camera and remembered my adventures better. I remember when it was easier to remember.

In the process of memorizing this all I was sad and the state of who I have become. I wanted to live in Middle Earth and memorize songs and dances and conversations with the dwarves, hobbits, elves and men. I wanted adventures to be remembered, not captured. I wanted stories to tell, not stories contained in every possible way. So I started with this song that I’m deeming my ‘Adventure Song’ and I’m vowing to memorize more things, and live more full in what I remember not in what I can look up.


About Jeremiah Dowling

I write poetry and take crazy pictures in an Orange Chair all over the United States while reading amazing books.

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