Sing, Sang, Sung – “Gandalf’s Reflection” From “The Hobbit”

In my recent review of the first installment of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit,” subtitled “An Unexpected Journey,” I mentioned growing up with the Rankin Bass cartoon Hobbit movie. I also mentioned the fact that Jackson’s movie seemed too long and unable to find the happy medium between dramatic and light.

The one part of the movie that I thought came closest to finding that line was during the time the dwarves spent at Bag End, Bilbo’s house. And I definitely enjoyed the Misty Mountains Song, or whatever the official title may find itself to be.

However, the 1977 movie remains far superior in my mind, though I was a bit upset to find they had cut Beorn and the Arkenstone from the film. Still, a fantastic movie. And one of the reasons it was so great was its music. Whereas Jackson managed to drag things out through the entire movie, the cartoon managed to include music and brevity. The best example of this is the song “Gandalf’s Reflection.” In the song, the dwarves sing about the things “Bilbo Baggins hates,” then transition to the summary of their quest to Erebor and the history of their kingdom and its downfall, laid out by Gandalf (in the song) and Thorin (in the movie over the song). Had Jackson done something similar, the movie would’ve been 15 to 30 minutes shorter. And the audience would’ve seen Bilbo being told the history.

Anyway, since I linked Jackson’s version of the same song, essentially, I thought I should let you all listen to the “original” version, since there are likely many who have never seen the movie. Also, it’s good, in my ever so humble opinion.

“Gandalf’s Reflection” – “The Hobbit” (1977)

Chip the glasses, crack the plates
That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates
That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates
So carefully, carefully with the plates

Blunt the knives and bend the forks
Smash the bottles, burn the corks
That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates
So carefully, carefully with the plates

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

Gandalf (spoken):
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

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

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; in twisted wire
They meshed the light of moon and sun

The pines were roaring on the height
The winds were 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 with faces pale
The dragon’s ire more fierce than fire
Laid low their towers and houses frail

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

We must away ere break of day
To win our hearts and gold from him

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