What you just heard was Treebeard’s Song, sung by Sir Christopher Lee.
A fierce fan of Tolkien, deeply knowledgeable about all things Tolkien, Sir Christopher has been so happy and so proud to become part of the two Middle-earth Trilogies created by Peter Jackson, first ‘The Lord of the Rings’, and now just over, ‘The Hobbit’. For ever now Saruman the White will have the face and body, the expressions and gestures and tremendous deep voice of Sir Christopher .
But in the video I have chosen today for my own tribute to him on this sad occasion of his passing, it is Sir Christopher as Treebeard, singing this Song I always Ioved, that I want my visitors to know too:
Treebeard’s Song performed by the Tolkien Ensemble alongside Christopher Lee.
Lyrics: (from Tolkien, Lord of the Rings, The Two Towers)
In the willow-meads of Tasarinan I walked in the Spring.
Ah! the sight and the smell of the Spring in Nan-tasarion!
And I said that was good.
I wandered in Summer in the elm-woods of Ossiriand.
Ah! the light and the music in the Summer by the
Seven Rivers of Ossir!
And I thought that was best.
To the beeches of Neldoreth I came in the Autumn.
Ah! the gold and the red and the sighing of leaves in the Autumn in Taur-na-neldor!
It was more than my desire.
To the pine-trees upon the highland of Dorthonion I climbed in the Winter.
Ah! the wind and the whiteness and the black branches
of Winter upon Orod-na-Thön!
My voice went up and sang in the sky.
And now all those lands lie under the wave,
And I walk in Ambaróna, in Tauremorna, in Aldalómë,
In my own land, in the country of Fangorn,
Where the roots are long,
And the years lie thicker than the leaves
What an orgy of beautiful sounds and earthy, fragrant names Tolkien has put in Treebeard’s heart and nostalgic memory… What sensual love for Nature in all the phases of its beauty, season after season, as expressed by trees, and trees again, and yet more trees, all Treebeard’s passionate favorites as he voices their cherished names and the names of those cherished lands that now are under the wave…
But the Future holds more magic to come, and the wonderful coming up again of those lost lands, and the revival of their beauty, as Treebeard in the end will hear from Galadriel when finally parting from her and Celeborn, who visited him on their way back home to Lothlorien after Aragorn and Arwen’s wedding:
‘I do not think we shall meet again’, he said.
And Celeborn said: ‘I do not know, Eldest.’ But Galadriel said: ‘Not in Middle-earth, nor until the lands that lie under the wave are lifted up again. Then in the willow-meads of Tasarinan we may meet in the Spring. Farewell!’
My own heart sings together with that of dear Treebeard, every time I read again this wonderful Promise by Galadriel, echoing the cherished names we too have come to love…
For it is the renewal and revival of our own cherished Earth that Galadriel is announcing in those ancient times Tolkien has recreated so beautifully in his books – to give us the ‘Estel’, the Hope of those future times to come too…