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When There's Good Cheer Among the Guests

Title: When There's Good Cheer Among the Guests
Theme: songs/ poetry; November
Elements:"When There's Good Cheer Among the Guests" (Bilbo’s Song, Fellowship of the Ring, At the Sign of the Prancing Pony)
Author's Notes:( my credits to original work.) Frodo’s notations of work pending. #borrowed from Evendim/ Eambur/ Ivrinel, almost intact from The Wizard’s Apprentice.

Dedicated to Nargil, Elena Tiriel, and Dwimordene from Henneth Annun, for unbelievable help in chasing the Evendim quote from just the first line; they took me an a tour of several wonderful Rohirric writers; and just kept digging with me

Summary:Rough copy of chapter found in notes for Red Book, a chapter not in The Red Book.
Word Count:1852


When There's Good Cheer Among the Guests" (Bilbo’s Song, Fellowship of the Ring, At the Sign of the Prancing Pony)


Shortly after the meal was eaten and before we had all settled in to the various camp fires to spend the evening telling tales and reliving days of old, there was a commotion near the center most of the Rohirrim fire. Eight of the Rohirrim paced to the edges of the camp at spots about equal distance from one and other. When they turned to face the camp, we heard a short blast from a horn, and in unison they chanted:

#“Come with me to the Tale Fires,

Where we speak of our fore sires;

To hear the tales of bygone days,

Of warriors bold, and of bygone ways.

Rohan’s glorious dead recall,

Who rode to war on steeds stood tall.

With armour bright, and weapons strong,

They slew the enemy’s craven throng.” #


Invite to the tale fire: (sent to Faramir to get exact version from Eowyn in Rohirrim.)

They bowed deeply, and returned to their fireplace. Of course this was just the kind of evening that we had enjoyed in Rivendell on many evenings, so I was unsurprised at the numbers of elves moving toward the fire.

Eomer turned to his right and looking the Lady of the Woods in the eye, said “My Lady, through the years there have been mistaken beliefs among my people about yours, but on this I believe I am accurate; it would honor us that you as the oldest and highest ranking female in our company, would tell the first tale. Now Gimli, let go of you axe handle this is not to hurt her feelings it is just the truth, she has more time to recount than any of us. Also, in this culture, as any many that I know of, Wise Women are placed higher in society then soldiers, no matter their rank or birthright.”

Galadriel tossed her head a little as she tinkled the softest of laughs, “Yes, young Eomer, I do have just a few years more to tell about then many. Come, Gimli let us have peace among ourselves.” And we settled back to wait for the group to relax.

                “After Ungoliant had poisoned the Two Trees, and before the Valar had lit the Sun and Moon, we had set up an area off to one side of the hill the Two Trees rested upon and lighted a fire that we kept burning continuously. This is the first hint of the Halls of Fire that every Elfen community has since maintained.  This is one of the reason we were so amazed the first time we heard the call to your tale-fires. The fires are to be kept burning year round and only allowed to die back at the passing of the year when they bring in a large log to be placed at the turning of the year. The hardest part of course is to choose the last piece of wood carefully, it must be big enough to burn until the large log is added, without adding more once the company has gathered, but it should be burnt very, very low as to reflect the dying of the old year. And this is how we welcomed the New Year:

Lift up your voices, O Pipers of the Shores, and ye Elves of Kor sing aloud; and all ye Noldoli and hidden fairies of the world dance and sing, sing and dance O little children of Men that the House of Memory resound with your voices…” (Book of lost tales pt I p. 260)

“And then tell a favored song. Now I happen to favor a song that Lord Glorfindel sings so well; Lord Glorfindel would you sing to us “Mar Vanwa Tyalieva”?”

                And a wonderfully full baritone voice sounded out of the dark somewhere behind me.

                                (Waiting for Quenya text from Erestor.)He told me later that he gave us the first verse in its entirety just because many people were so enthralled. Then he rendered it in Common Tongue:

“We knew that land once, You and I,

                And once we wandered there

In the long days now long gone by,

                A dark child and a fair.

Was it on the paths of firelight thought

                In winter cold and white,

Or in the blue-spun twilight hours

Of little early tucked up beds

                In drowsy summer night,

That you and I in sleep went down

                To meet each other there,

Your dark hair on your white nightgown

                And mine was tangled fair?”   (The Book of Lost Tales part I, page 22)



From slightly to the right there was a lyrical bass reply, and an older Rohirrim stepped forward to nod at Glorfindel. He began with three or four lines in a strange and foreign dialect, and then quickly sang:


                (Also waiting for Faramir in hopes of Rohirrim version.)

“You and me---- we know that land

                And often have been there

In long old days, old nursery days,

                A dark child and a fair.

Was it down the paths of firelight dreams

                In winter cold and white,

Or in the blue-spun twilight hours

Of little early tucked up beds

                In drowsy summer night,

That you and I got lost in Sleep

                And met each other there—

Your dark hair on your white nightgown

                And mine was tangled fair?”   (You and Me and the Cottage of Lost Play”:blt1, p 20)

And they continued to trade off verses in Common Tongue with amazing similarities. Lord Glorfindel offered the other singer his hand, “It seems we have a bard or two in common in our lands. On that note I think you and I should challenge the others to find a commonality. What say you?”

“Better to find the things we share, now that we are allies. Who shall render the next tale?”

Gimli quipped:

“O the hoot! O the hoot!

How he trillups on his flute!

O the hoot of Tinfang Warble!


Dancing all alone,

Hopping on a stone,

Flitting like a fawn,

In the twilight on the lawn,

And his name is Tinfang Warble!


The first star has shown

And its light is blown

To a flame of flickering blue.

He pipes not to me,

He pipes not to thee,

He whistles for none of you.

His music is his own,

The tunes of Tinfang Warble.”   (“Tinfang Warble”: blt1, p115-6)


Legolas threw back his head and answered in a respectable tenor:

 “It was early and still in the night of June,

And few were the stars, and far was the moon,

The drowsy trees drooping, and silently creeping

Shadows woke under them while they were sleeping.


I stole to the window with stealthy tread

Leaving my white and unpressed bed;

And something alluring, aloof, and queer,

Like perfume of flowers from the shores of the mere

That in Elvenhome lies, and in starlight rains

Twinkles and flashes, come up to the panes

Of my high lattice-window. Or was it a sound?

I listened and marveled with eyes on the ground.

For there came from afar a filtered note

Enchanting sweet, now clear, now remote,

As clear as the star in a pool by the reeds,

As faint as the glimmer of dew on the weeds.


Then I left the window and followed the call

Down the creaking stairs and across the hall

Out through a door that swung tall and grey,

And over the lawn, and away, away!


It was Tinfang Warble, who was dancing there,

Fluting and tossing his old white hair,

Till it sparkled like frost in a winter moon;

And the stars were about him, and blinked to his tune

Shimmering blue like sparks in a haze,

As always they shimmer and shake when he plays.”   (“Over Old Hills and Far Away”: blt1, p116-7)

                Dropping a small bow to each other, they tapped their mugs and downed the contents in one swallow. “Well, that takes care of Lothlorien, Rivendell, Rohan, the Dwarfes, and Greenwood the Great; any willing bards from Gondor? Or Shire?”

                A young maid who was now part of Arwen’s ladies in waiting, stood, and started to chant:

“The Man in the Moon had silver shoon,

                And his beard was of silver thread;

He was girt with pale gold and inaureoled

                With gold about his head.

Clad in silken robe in his great white globe

                He opened an ivory door

With a crystal key, and in great secrecy

                He stole o’er a shadowy floor;


Down a filigree stair of spidery hair

                He slipped in gleaming haste,

And laughing with glee to be merry and free

                He swiftly earthward raced.

He was tired of his pearls and diamond twirls;

                Of his pallid minaret

Dizzy and white at its lunar height

In a world of silver set;


And adventured this peril for ruby and beryl

                And emerald and sapphire,

And all lustrous gems for new diadems,

                Or to blazon his pale attire.

He was lonely too with nothing to do

                But to stare at the golden world,

Or strain for the hum that would distantly come

                As it gaily past him whirled;


And at plenilune in his argent moon

                He had wearily longed for Fire—

Not the limpid lights of wan selenites,

                But a red terrestrial pyre

With impurpurate glows of crimson and rose

                And leaping orange tongue;

For great seas of blue and passionate hues

                When dancing dawn is young;


For the meadow ways like chyrsoprase

                By winding Yare and Nen.

How he longed for the mirth of populous Earth

And the sanguine blood of men;

And coveted song and laughter long

                And viands hot and wine,

Eating pearly flakes of light snowflakes               

                And drinking thin moonshine.


At about this time I noticed that Sam was holding Pippin down and stuffing a glove in his mouth, and Aragorn was feeding Merry apples as fast as he could chew. I think there may be trouble soon. Some of the crowd was starting to watch the side action, but we were most of us content to listen to the sweet alto of her young voice.

He twinkled his feet as he thought of the meat,

                Of the punch and the peppery brew,

 Till he tripped unaware on his slanting stair,

And fell like meteors do;

As the whickering sparks of splashing arc

Of stars blown down like rain

From his laddery path took a foaming bath

In the Ocean of Almain;


And began to thing, lest he melt and stink,

                What in the moon to do,

When a Yarmouth boat found him far afloat,

To the muzement of the crew

Caught in their nets all shimmering wet

In a phosphorescent sheen

Of bluey whites and opal lights

                And delicate liquid green. (Why the Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon, blt1, p. 230-231)


                Now there was nothing for it: Lord Glorfindel, Lord Erestor, Lord Elrond, and Queen Arwen were all laughing so hard they were in danger of falling off their logs; Aragorn was running out of apples and Pippin looked like he might have swallowed some of that glove. Everyone in the crowd was staring at them and waiting an explanation; they pointed at me and squealed, “Frodo’s turn!”



( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 18th, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC)
This is a great use of songs and poems! I especially liked the ones from BoLT, like "Tinfang Warble"!

Edited at 2008-11-18 11:45 pm (UTC)
Nov. 19th, 2008 12:12 am (UTC)
thank you it beat on my keyboard until i just had to release it.
Nov. 19th, 2008 12:38 am (UTC)
I like your touches of Frodo's notes in there! Makes it seem all so real! :)
Nov. 19th, 2008 01:54 am (UTC)
seemed an easy trick to add a layer of that magical illusion that christopher tolkien is blathering on and on about.
Nov. 19th, 2008 01:08 am (UTC)
Ah, that last one and the descriptions of the gloves and apples is delightful! Yes, now Frodo's turn--and this time no table to dance upon or ungrateful Rings intent on displaying themselves and unfortunately illuminating their bearers! Now, to see where this leads! Heh!
Nov. 19th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
i had typed "But there's no table...." and then decided it was just too obvious and that you all would go there on your own, thank you for validating me.
Nov. 19th, 2008 04:34 pm (UTC)
That's a great origin for the Hall of Fire tradition. What a fun sharing of songs by all these races, young and old, and your ending is terrific.

I'm currently working on a short story incorporating Frodo's "Man in the Moon" song; it's fun to read and think about Tolkien's delight in poetry.
Nov. 20th, 2008 04:24 am (UTC)
i don't think it really hit me until i opened tha lost tales book, just how much poetry the professor had written to back fill his story and all the editing and amending, wow. no wonder it soulc take so long to edit the books after his death.
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 20th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
i think most cultures have a sharing time for their oral traditions and i think that's one of the first losses in war. the small moments of peace.
Nov. 19th, 2008 11:15 pm (UTC)
This was a nice little read--a few things I especially liked:

Unexpected!Tinfang Warble--indeed, all of the BoLT poems which get so much short shrift now.

Using the First Person as obscure bits of canon dictate.

The notes to self about getting this or that original text. Very much like Frodo, I'd imagine.

And the end was clinched off perfectly. Poor Frodo, getting put in such a tight spot so quickly!
Nov. 20th, 2008 04:26 am (UTC)
yes i imagine frodo would be in heaven with postit notes.
Nov. 19th, 2008 11:32 pm (UTC)
Just delightful!
Nov. 20th, 2008 04:27 am (UTC)
thank you!
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )


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