The Gradlife Diaries: I See Fire


Whether or not you enjoyed Peter Jackson's latest abomidation of The Hobbit, no one can deny that Sheeran's voice singing a soft, powerful ballad of fiery proportions (no ginger jokes intended) sends chills down the spine.

If you haven't listened to it ad nauseum, like me, then here is a little taste of what you're missing.





The Lyrics:

Oh, misty eye of the mountain below
Keep careful watch of my brothers' souls
And should the sky be filled with fire and smoke
Keep watching over Durin's sons.

If this is to end in fire
Then we should all burn together
Watch the flames climb high, into the night.

Calling out Father, oh,
Stand by and we will 
Watch the flames burn auburn on 
The mountain side high.

And if we should die tonight
Then we should all die together
Raise a glass of wine for the last time

Calling out Father, oh,
Prepare as we will
Watch the flames burn auburn on
The mountain side
Desolation comes upon the sky

Now I see fire
Inside the mountain
I see fire
Burning the trees
And I see fire
Hollowing souls
I see fire
Blood in the breeze
And I hope that you remember me

Oh should my people fall
Then surely I'll do the same
Confined in mountain halls
We got too close to the flame

Calling out Father, oh
Hold fast and we will
Watch the flames burn auburn on
The mountain side.
Desolation comes upon the sky

Now I see fire
Inside the mountain
I see fire
Burning the trees
I see fire
Hollowing souls
I see fire
Blood in the breeze
And I hope that you remember me.

And if the night is burning
I will cover my eyes
For if the dark returns
Then my brothers will die
And as the sky is falling down
It crashed into this lonely town
And with that shadow upon the ground
I hear my people screaming out

I see fire
Inside the mountains
I see fire
Burning the trees
I see fire
Hollowing souls
I see fire
Blood in the breeze

... And I see fire burn auburn on the mountain side.

Let's be honest.

Howard Shore hit the musical jackpot when he landed the role of composer for the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. Why? 

Because, despite the movies' overwhelming popularity, there is a truth about music and Middle Earth that one cannot deny. In fact, if you read Tolkien's Silmarillion, the creation myths at the beginning demonstrate a world which comes into being because of music. Evil, then, for Tolkien was because of dissonance in the harmonies. 

This is why, for much of LOTR and The Hobbit, histories are passed down through lyrical poetry, and songs such as "the song of the misty mountain": lyrics which appear in the original stories. 

Additionally, since music is the language of Illuvitar (the Middle Earthean God), it comes as no surprise that the harmonies of the elves, whose very existence was dependent on the songs of the earth, have such a deep connection with ballad, lyric, and song.

But, I think Tolkien was on to something. Because I think that we all have that connection to music, and what harmonies represent to the elves are resonant with us, as normal, non-fictitious human beings. Historically, of course, harmonies and ballads were synonymous with storytelling, and thus, identity. Ballads were a way of ensuring someone would remember the epic tale you told them. For this reason, much of Shakespeare's plays, and Romantic poetry has such a strong emphasis on rhyme - it is because it is mathematical, musical, and is easier committed to memory and imagination.

What is haunting, though (other than Sheeran's voice, of course), is that these tales of bravery, evil, destruction, and ultimately heroic prevailation, is how it resonates with our souls. We hear these songs and we are able to remember, to reach a point of empathy, and to push ourselves into narrative that isn't our own. Music, as a part of human myth, was a mode of worshipping gods. Music, further, was a way of entering a point of spirituality beyond the flesh. Music connects us to each other, to our identities, and to our soul-filled mythologies. Music tells our stories.

We also must recognize that music enables us to see the fire. It enables us to remember, to reminisce, to watch as souls are hollowed around us.

Read the lyrics again. And listen to the song a few more times. Let the melody, the myth, and the lyrics reverberate in your soul a little longer. 


No comments :

Post a Comment

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...