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Things of Middle-earth

Tom Bombadil's songs

Type: Songs & Stories

Description:In the Index to first lines of Poems and Songs in RotK, Tolkien's footnote says "All Tom Bombadil's songs are treated, for index purposes, as continuations of this one." I have treated them similarly, and all his songs are in this one entry in the same order as presented in the book.

As Frodo hears Tom approaching for the first time:

Hey dol! merry dol! ring a dong dillo!
Ring a dong! hop along! fal lal the willow!
Tom Bom, jolly Tom, Tom Bombadillo!
On the hobbit's first meeting Tom:
Hey! Come merry dol! derry dol! My darling!
Light goes the weather-wind and the feathered starling.
Down along under Hill, shining in the sunlight,
Waiting on the doorstep for the cold starlight,
There my pretty lady is. River-woman's daughter,
Slender as the willow-wand, clearer than the water.
Old Tom Bombadil water-lilies bringing
Comes hopping home again. Can you hear him singing?
Hey! Come merry dol! derry dol! and merry-o,
Goldberry, Goldberry, merry yellow berry-o!
Poor old Willow-man, you tuck your roots away!
Tom's in a hurry now. Evening will follow day.
Tom's going home again water-lilies bringing.
Hey! Come derry dol! Can you hear me singing?
On the way back to his house:
Hop along, my little friends, up the Withywindle!
Tom's going on ahead candles for to kindle.
Down west sinks the Sun: soon you will be groping.
When the night-shadows fall, then the door will open,
Out of the window-panes light will twinkle yellow.
Fear no alder black! Heed no hoary willow!
Fear neither root nor bough! Tom goes on before you.
Hey now! merry dol! We'll be waiting for you!
On arriving at Tom's house:
Hey! Come derry dol! Hop along, my hearties!
Hobbits! Ponies all! We are fond of parties.
Now let the fun begin! Let us sing together!
From Goldberry:
Now let the song begin! Let us sing together
Of sun, stars, moon and mist, rain and cloudy weather,
Light on the budding leaf, dew on the feather,
Wind on the open hill, bells on the heather,
Reeds by the shady pool, lilies on the water:
Old Tom Bombadil and the River-daughter!
All of the above are from FotR, Book I, Ch 6, 'The Old Forest'


In Tom's house:
Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow;
Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow.

I had an errand there: gathering water-lilies,
green leaves and lilies white to please my pretty lady,
the last ere the year's end to keep them from the winter,
to flower by her pretty feet tilt the snows are melted.
Each year at summer's end I go to find them for her,
in a wide pool, deep and clear, far down Withywindle;
there they open first in spring and there they linger latest.
By that pool long ago I found the River-daughter,
fair young Goldberry sitting in the rushes.
Sweet was her singing then, and her heart was beating!

And that proved well for you ' for now I shall no longer
go down deep again along the forest-water,
not while the year is old. Nor shall I be passing
Old Man Willow's house this side of spring-time,
not till the merry spring, when the River-daughter
dances down the withy-path to bathe in the water.
At leave-taking "...he taught them a rhyme to sing, if they should by ill-luck fall into any danger or difficulty the next day."
Ho! Tom Bombadil, Tom Bombadillo!
By water, wood and hill, by the reed and willow,
By fire, sun and moon, harken now and hear us!
Come, Tom Bombadil, for our need is near us!
FotR, Book I, Ch 7, 'In the House of Tom Bombadil'


When captured by the Barrow-wight, Frodo sang that summons.
Tom's reply:
Old Tom Bombadil is a merry fellow,
Bright blue his jacket is, and his boots are yellow.
None has ever caught him yet, for Tom, he is the master:
His songs are stronger songs, and his feet are faster.
In the Barrow-wight's chamber:
Get out, you old Wight! Vanish in the sunlight!
Shrivel like the cold mist, like the winds go wailing,
Out into the barren lands far beyond the mountains!
Come never here again! Leave your barrow empty!
Lost and forgotten be, darker than the darkness,
Where gates stand for ever shut, till the world is mended.
Waking the hobbits:
Wake now my merry lads! Wake and hear me calling!
Warm now be heart and limb! The cold stone is fallen;
Dark door is standing wide; dead hand is broken.
Night under Night is flown, and the Gate is open!
Summoning the horses:
Hey! now! Come hoy now! Whither do you wander'
Up, down, near or far, here, there or yonder?
Sharp-ears, Wise-nose, Swish-tail and Bumpkin,
White-socks my little lad, and old Fatty Lumpkin!
FotR, Book I, Ch 8, 'Fog on the Barrow-Downs'

Contributors: Lyllyn 9.18.03

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