Namárië

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The first stanza of "Namárië" written in Tengwar script.

"Namárië" (pronounced [na.ˈmaː.ri.ɛ]) is a poem by J. R. R. Tolkien written in Quenya, a constructed language, and published in The Lord of the Rings.[1] It is subtitled "Galadriel's Lament in Lórien", which in Quenya is Altariello nainië Lóriendessë. The poem appears in one other book by Tolkien, The Road Goes Ever On.

The Quenya word namárië is a reduced form of á na márië, meaning literally "be well", an Elvish formula used for greeting and for farewell.[2]

"Namárië" is the longest Quenya text in The Lord of the Rings and also one of the longest continuous texts in Quenya that Tolkien ever wrote.[3] He rewrote it many times before it reached the form that was published, and he wrote many versions in his Tengwar script. An English translation is provided in the book.

Poem[edit]

The poem begins:

First stanza
Quenya: Namárië
Altariello nainië Lóriendessë
English: "Farewell"
"Galadriel's Lament in Lórien"
Ai! laurië lantar lassi súrinen,
yéni únótimë ve rámar aldaron!
Yéni ve lintë yuldar avánier
mi oromardi lisse-miruvóreva
Andúnë pella, Vardo tellumar
nu luini yassen tintilar i eleni
ómaryo airetári-lírinen.
Ah! like gold fall the leaves in the wind,
long years numberless as the wings of trees!
The years have passed like swift draughts
of the sweet mead in lofty halls beyond the West,
beneath the blue vaults of Varda
wherein the stars tremble
in the song of her voice, holy and queenly.

Early versions[edit]

The earliest version of "Namárië" was published posthumously in The Treason of Isengard.[4] The text is in Quenya, but Tolkien did not provide a translation and some of the words are unlike those used in the final poem. Many words can be found in the Etymologies.

Although there are words that can be recognized by consulting the appendices of The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and The Lost Road, the sentence structure and spellings mark this version as different from the Quenya Tolkien decided on. For example, there are many parts ending in the consonant n, while the Quenya in The Lord of the Rings and later works lack this ending, and there are many parts that are composed of several compound words, while the Quenya in later works tends toward more separate words.

Adaptations[edit]

Namárië was set to music by Donald Swann with Tolkien's help. The sheet music and an audio recording are in their book The Road Goes Ever On. In a separate recording, Tolkien sings the poem in the manner of a Gregorian chant, indicating his preferred melody to Swann.[5]

In 2008, the Spanish neoclassical dark wave band Narsilion published a studio album called Namárië. Among other Tolkien-inspired songs it features a track "Namárië: El Llanto de Galadriel [Namárië: Galadriel's Lament]".[6]

From 1997 to 2005 the Danish Tolkien Ensemble published four CDs featuring every poem from The Lord of the Rings, amongst them two versions of "Namárië", both composed by the ensemble leader Caspar Reiff: The first, sung by Signe Asmussen, sets the original Quenya text to music; the second version features the English translation spoken by the actor Christopher Lee (who played Saruman in the movies).[7]

The band Led Zeppelin adapted the first line of "Namárië" for the opening of their 1969 song "Ramble On", in the English line "Leaves are falling all around", representing "Ah! like gold fall the leaves in the wind". Further references to Tolkien's writing appear in the rest of the song, which mentions Gollum and Mordor.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Fellowship of the Ring, Book 2, Chapter "Farewell to Lórien"
  2. ^ J.R.R. Tolkien, "Parma Eldalamberon", 17, p. 162.
  3. ^ Pesch, Helmut W. (2003). Elbisch (in German). Bastei Lübbe. p. 25. ISBN 3-404-20476-X.
  4. ^ The Treason of Isengard pp. 284–285
  5. ^ Hargrove, Gene (January 1995). "Music in Middle-Earth".
  6. ^ "Narsilion – Namárië". Discogs. Retrieved 16 July 2012.
  7. ^ "List of tracks by the Tolkien Ensemble". Retrieved 7 December 2013.
  8. ^ Meyer, Stephen C.; Yri, Kirsten (2020). The Oxford Handbook of Music and Medievalism. Oxford University Press. p. 732. ISBN 978-0-19-065844-1.

External links[edit]