One ring to rule them all...
It was in the mid/late-60s when The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings became required reading for the kids. Here was a fantastic world filled with elves and orcs, wizards and hobbits, fighting men and trees, and Mount Doom, overseen by the all-seeing eye. It was good vs evil in black and white. It was poetry and prose, some in a language wholly made from cloth. A metaphor for the world wars our world had just survived.

JRR Tolkien, Oxford professor, created that fanciful world, first as stories sent to his son from the trenches of France. In 1967, Donald Swann wrote music to accompany the poetry found in these books and recorded them with William Elvin singing the words. To complete the album, Tolkien read selections from The Adventures Of Tom Bombadil, and, in Elvish, A Elbereth Gilthoniel.

Poems And Songs Of Middle Earth
Caedmon TC-1231
Back Cover

Side One
The Adventures Of Tom Bombadil
The Adventures Of Tom Bombadil Tolkien 4:00
The Mewlips Tolkien 1:21
The Hoard Tolkien 3:25
Perry-The-Winkle Tolkien 4:26
The Man In The Moon Came Down Too Soon Tolkien 5:16
Side Two
A Elbereth Gilthoniel* Tolkien 0:14
The Road Goes Ever On
The Road Goes Ever On Swan-Tolkien 1:00
Upon The Hearth The Fire Is Red Swan-Tolkien 1:35
In The Willow-Meads Of Tasarinan Swan-Tolkien 2:35
In Western Lands Swan-Tolkien 2:15
Namárië Swan-Tolkien 1:25
I Sit Beside The Fire/Refrain: A Elbereth Gilthoniel Swan-Tolkien 3:38
Errantry Swan-Tolkien 3:43
JRR Tolkien-narrator (Side 1; Side 2-Cut 1) [*Elvish]
William Elvin-vocals (Side 2-Cuts 2-8)
Donald Swann-piano (Side 2-Cuts 2-8)
WH Auden-liner notes
Produced by:



In 1975, Caedmon released two albums of 1952 recordings done by Tolkien from The Lord Of The Rings:

Reads And Sings His The Hobbit And The Fellowship Of The Ring
Caedmon TC-1477
Side One
The Hobbit
Chapter V: Riddles In The Dark Tolkien 29:47
Side Two
The Fellowship Of The Ring
Book One, Ch II: The Shadow Of The Past Tolkien 0:51
Book One, Ch III: Three Is Company Tolkien 0:16
Book One, Ch III: Three Is Company Tolkien 1:00
Book One, Ch III: Three Is Company Tolkien 0:39
Book One, Ch V: A Conspiracy Unmasked Tolkien 0:41
Book One, Ch V: A Conspiracy Unmasked Tolkien 0:28
Book One, Ch VI: The Old Forest Tolkien 1:02
Book One, Ch IX: At The Sign Of The Prancing Pony Tolkien 1:53
Book One, Ch XI: A Knife In The Dark Tolkien 0:25
Book One, Ch XI: A Knife In The Dark Tolkien 3:06
Book One, Ch XII: Flight To The Ford Tolkien 2:40
Book Two, Ch I: Many Meetings Tolkien 0:30
Book Two, Ch IV: A Journey In The Dark Tolkien 1:42
Book Two, Ch VI: Lothlórien Tolkien 1:44
Book Two, Ch VII: The Mirror Of Galadriel Tolkien 1:00
Book Two, Ch VIII: Farewell To Lórien Tolkien 0:47
JRR Tolkien-narrator
Produced by:


Reads And Sings His 'The Lord Of The Rings': The Two Towers/Return Of The King
Caedmon TC-1478
Side One
The Two Towers Tolkien 20:14
Side Two
Return Of The King Tolkien 21:09
JRR Tolkien-narrator
Produced by:


Note: and then there were the movies...

The Tolkien Society web site
The One Ring fan web site

The Harvard Lampoon poked fun at all us "middle-earthers."
Bored of the Rings


In 1970, Swedish musician Bo Hansson created a musical trip through Middle Earth with this album (check out the link for the story of creating the music). The album was released in the US in October 1972, after a successful launch in England. The album was rereleased in 1977 with a new cover, and CDs were issued on 1988 (with "bonus tracks" from other, non-ME tracks) and 2002.

Bo Hansson: Music Inspired By Lord Of The Rings
Charisma CAS 1059
10/72 BB
Original Swedish Cover

1977 Reissue Cover

Side One
Leaving Shire Hansson 2:47
The Old Forest/Tom Bombadil Hansson 3:42
Fog On The Barrow Downs Hansson 2:28
The Black Riders/Flight To The Ford Hansson 3:48
At The House Of Elrond/The Ring Goes South Hansson 4:23
Side Two
A Journey In The Dark Hansson 1:07
Lothlorien Hansson 3:22
Shadowfax Hansson 0:50
The Horns Of Rohan/The Battle Of The Pelennor Fields Hansson 3:58
Dreams In The Houses Of Healing Hansson 1:50
Homeward Bound / The Scouring Of The Shire Hansson 2:11
The Grey Havens Hansson 4:56
Bo Hansson-organ, Moog synthesizer, bass, guitar
Gunnar Bergsten-saxophone
Sten Bergman-flute
Rune Carlsson-drums
Produced by: Anders Lind, Bo Hansson


Wiki page on Hansson recording


American musicians
Strangely, I couldn't find any bands in Tolkien's country of England that appropriated character names for their group. Ah, but we Americans...

The Hobbits and Gandalf both released albums in the late 60s, but they didn't do much to emphasize the connection.


A California group released a single in 1967:
The Hobbits
Frodo Lives / Jolly Good Fellow
ZAR 25, 8/67

Reissued as by The Magic Garden on Smash (S-2128), 11/67

Gandalf The Grey issued an album in 1972 and the original (limited) release sells in the thousands of dollars. Oh well, you can see what all this fuss is about here:


Gandalf The Grey

The Grey Wizard Am I
Grey Wizard GWR-007
Back Cover

Side One
The Grey Wizard Am I Gandalf The Grey 2:37
My Elven Home Gandalf The Grey 2:28
From The Grey Havens Gandalf The Grey 2:55
Here On Eighth Street Gandalf The Grey 7:42
Go And See Gandalf The Grey 2:31
Side Two
The Christmas Song Gandalf The Grey 2:50
Old Town Church Gandalf The Grey 3:13
The Home Coming (The Sun Is Down) Gandalf The Grey 2:20
I Don't Know Why The People Gandalf The Grey 3:04
Mr Joe's Gandalf The Grey 3:13
Sunshine Down The Line Gandalf The Grey 4:07
Recorded in Lothlorien by Elves
Words and music by Gandalf The Grey
Liner notes by Zacherley

Note: Gandalf The Grey is actually Chris Wilson, who now offers CD of his record on his web site: Wizard TV web site


Oh, and some pointy-earred hollywood actor released an album in 1968 that contained this hit single:
The Ballad Of Bilbo Baggins / Cotton Candy (On A Summer Day)
Grean (2:18) / Ralke (2:34)
Dot 45-17028, 7/67

Beam us up, Scottie


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