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I was thrilled with just one minute of the preview for “Song of the Lonely Mountain” by Neil Finn, so you can imagine what I’m going through with a full four minutes.

You can listen to it here courtesy of Rolling Stone.  There is a six minute version on the Extended edition of the soundtrack.  Neil Finn was right.  Pop music does need more anvil. [Update: Just an FYI, those two extra minutes are instrumental only. Bummer.]

I’m not really emotional when it comes to music, but this one is digging through my defenses in a big way.  It is well-balanced between soaring and down to earth (the sound of hammer on anvil is practically a requirement for dwarven themed music, and they don’t scrimp on it here), and the whole song has a deep, slow moving determination to it.  But I’ll leave it to more musically inclined folk to explain why it’s awesome on a technical level.  I just know that if I heard it in a context unrelated to The Hobbit I would still enjoy it.

It seems Bilbo is going to have to wait to get his own theme song, because this one is 100% from the dwarf point of view.  I’m most enamored of the inclusion of a whole lot of bitterness in the lyrics.  It does not shy away from the theme of retribution (it just makes it sound strangely soothing).

You’ll notice the Arkenstone makes it in there.  Could I be any happier?

*Spoilers below*

Official lyrics from the CD booklet. Thanks to Talos63!

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Lyrics to “Song of the Lonely Mountain” by Neil Finn

Far over the Misty Mountains rise
Leave us standing upon the heights
What was before, we see once more
Our kingdom a distant light

Fiery mountain beneath the moon
The words unspoken, we’ll be there soon
For home a song that echoes on
And all who find us will know the tune

Some folk we never forget
Some kind we never forgive
Haven’t seen the back of us yet
We’ll fight as long as we live
All eyes on the hidden door
To the Lonely Mountain borne
We’ll ride in the gathering storm
Until we get our long-forgotten gold

We lay under the Misty Mountains cold
In slumbers deep and dreams of gold
We must awake, our lives to make
And in the darkness a torch we hold

From long ago when lanterns burned
Till this day our hearts have yearned
Her fate unknown the Arkenstone
What was stolen must be returned

We must awake and make the day
To find a song for heart and soul

Some folk we never forget
Some kind we never forgive
Haven’t seen the end of it yet
We’ll fight as long as we live
All eyes on the hidden door
To the Lonely Mountain borne
We’ll ride in the gathering storm
Until we get our long-forgotten gold
Far away from Misty Mountains cold.

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A new article with Neil Finn talks about the thinking behind the lyrics and tune: It’s a song that, like the dwarves’ quest, is about determinedly seeking retribution. “They are a solid, earnest, hard-working, loyal bunch, but they’re also very fixated on getting back what’s theirs,” Finn said of the band of dwarves. “There’s a great wound in their psyche, so it seemed appropriate to refer to that in the lyric.”

Update 12/28/12: Magpie of TORn found a place that sells a digital download of the sheet music for this song here.

Update 11/5/13:  Here are lyrics to the new theme song for The Desolation of Smaug, “I See Fire” by Ed Sheeran.