I'm keen to catch The Hobbit soon. If nothing else, the Seventh Doctor apparently goes full-on wizard battle against the Witch-King in it, and I would have paid just to see that scene alone. The rest of it looks cool too, though.
In the meantime, I have to wait for an overnight babysitter to free up so I can catch the three-hour flick. I'm tiding myself over replaying the PS2 Hobbit game and listening to Hobbit songs.
You might think that there hasn't been much said in song about Hobbits since Leonard Nimoy and Charles Randolph Grean's "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" gave us arguably the greatest music video of all time, but you'd be wrong. There's been plenty of Hobbit love in pop music... though I really should have gone with another turn of phrase there.
"Frodo of the Nine Fingers," from The Lord of the Rings You've probably scene the 1977 Rankin/Bass version of The Hobbit, but the rather pointless 1980 follow-up Return of the King is slightly lesser-known. It's not that it's bad. It's just that they tried to sum up the entirety of The Lord of the Rings in one film, then market it as a sequel to the Ralph Bakshi film that never got the part 2 it deserved since United Artists' management was apparently made up of coked-up orangutans at the time.
It's still a good film. Same brilliant art. Maury Laws turned in some original tunes again, though they were a lot less Tolkien-esque this time around, but Glenn Yarbrough still sings the hell out of 'em. Here's a ballad meant to recap Bilbo's journey.
Blind Guardian, "Into the Storm" Blind Guardian more or less made an entire career out of being inspired by Tolkien, but their 1998 album Nightfall in Middle-Earth went all-out. It deals with much of The Silmarillion, a chronicle of the beginning of the world up until the Third Age we are all more familiar with. Basically, it's the poofy elvish Bible.
"Into the Storm" sums up the same themes of covetousness that make up a large part of The Hobbit (Gollum's desire for the ring, Thorin's quest to reclaim his stolen treasure) by following Sauron's old master Morgoth and Ungoliant, the mother of all the giant spiders, as they assault Valinor and steal the three Silmarils. Death and destruction abound, and as the song says in foreshadowing, "We are following the will of the One."
Marc Gunn, ""Don't Go Drinking With Hobbits" Texas's own Marc Gunn of the Brobdingnagian Bards is nothing less than a Renaissance success story. The Bards were even tapped to headline a The Return of the King Oscar party, and if you hang around ren-fests and sci fi conventions long enough you'll likely hear Gunn perform his ode to the Hobbits' famous appetite for beer, "Don't Go Drinking With Hobbits." It's a nice, light-hearted tune full of good cheer and good times, which is what we need after Blind Guardian.
Erwin Beekveld, "They're Taking the Hobbit to Isengard" In 2005 Dutch musician and photographer Erwin Beekveld made a murderously addictive earworm when he put together some electro dance music over samples from the Peter Jackson films called "They're Taking the Hobbit to Isengard." If you really like it, you can listen to it on a ten-hour loop.
Nightwish, "Elevenpath" Nightwish's "Elevenpath" is what would happen if a 16-year-old girl who had just read the Mists of Avalon dropped acid and started writing poetry. It's basically every single fantasy trope rolled into one over a Motley Crue guitar riff. In spite of the hokiness it's a lot of fun, though, and Bilbo Baggins gets a name-drop in it.
The Great Luke Ski, "Stealing Like a Hobbit" Ah the Great Luke Ski. I prefer MC Chris when it comes to geek-rap myself, but Luke is pretty cool. Of course the reason that Bilbo goes on the Quest of Erebor in the first place is as a thief. Though he isn't a criminal, all Hobbits are renowned for their stealth and ability to sneak. Ski links this to gangsta-rap shadings with an expertly done parody of Eminem's "Cleaning Out My Closet."
Led Zeppelin, "Ramble On" Tolkien references and themes turn up all the time in Led Zeppelin songs, which is neat because they were into it when a lot of the English thought The Lord of the Rings was crap. It took hippies in America falling in love with Tolkien to turn him into the juggernaut he eventually became.
Robert Plant dropped the most Hobbit love into 1969's "Ramble On." It's hard to tell exactly what scenes he's referring to, though, because, and this cannot be stressed enough, Robert Plant is awesome but he has absolutely no idea how he's doing it. Stuff like Tolkien and Crowley goes in one ear, and comes out brilliant through his pen, but it is all accident, my friends. Pure, wonderful accident. See you at the Cineplex.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.