Down in the Valley Reprise |The Hobbit| Lyrics & Behind the song

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English

The dragon is withered,
His bones are now crumbled;
His armour is shivered,
His splendour is humbled!
Though sword shall be rusted,
And throne and crown perish
With strength that men trusted
And wealth that they cherish,
Here grass is still growing,
And leaves are yet swinging,
The white water flowing,
And elves are yet singing
Come! Tra-la-la-lally!
Come back to the valley!

The stars are far brighter
Than gems without measure,
The moon is far whiter
Than silver in treasure:
The fire is more shining
On hearth in the gloaming
Than gold won by mining,
So why go a-roaming?
O! Tra-la-la-lally
Come back to the Valley.

O! Where are you going, 
So late in returning?
The river is flowing,
The stars are all burning!
O! Whither so laden,
So sad and so dreary?
Here elf and elf-maiden
Now welcome the weary
With Tra-la-la-lally
Come back to the Valley,
Tra-la-la-lally
Fa-la-la-lally
Fa-la!

Lyrics: J.R.R. Tolkien.

Behind the song

The elves sang this close to the end of the book, when the protagonist, Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit, was on his way back home after some months of adventures and after a great war was all over.
All of this seems at first to be only for the Dwarves’ treasure, but, as a spoiler from the appendix of The Lord of the Rings, it was also a plan to regain some peace in the northern parts of Middle Earth, by killing the dragon that could have easily been corrupted by the dark lord.

The song talks about how simple living, how watching the stars shining, or the river flowing or simply sitting next to a warm fire is better than fighting for “gold won by mining” or other gems, that are making people greedy, as we saw in the previous song.

The excerpt from the book also remembers us that this song is very similar to the one the elves sang at the beginning of the hobbit’s journey.

“It was on May the First that the two (-Bilbo and Gandalf-) came back at last to the brink of the valley of Rivendell, where stood the Last (or the First) Homely House. Again it was evening, their ponies were tired especially the one that carried the baggage; and they all felt in need of rest. As they rode down the steep path, Bilbo heard the elves still singing in the trees, as if they had not stopped since he left; and as soon as their riders came down into the lower glades of the wood they burst into a song of much the same kind as before…”

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