Moria, I’m lost in a mine named Moria

by Kieran Healy on March 14, 2004

News today that a musical version of The Lord of the Rings is in the works. Suggest songs and plot-points here. Potential titles include: ‘I’m gonna wash that orc right out of my hair’ (Legolas), ‘You’re the One Ring that I want’ (Sauron in Act I, then Gollum in Act II, and Frodo, Gollum and Sauron in Act III), ‘People will say we’re in love’ (Frodo/Sam duet, Act II, theme echoed by Gimli and Legolas during Battle of Pelennor Fields), ‘City with the Tree on Top’ (Gandalf’s arrival at Minas Tirith), ‘How do I solve this problem, my dear Grima?’ (Theoden introduction), and Gollum’s Act III showstopper, ‘Memorieses’.

Update: I’m way behind. John Holbo has had the libretto up for ages—including not only “Moria” but also “These are a few of my favorite Rings.”



Tom Runnacles 03.14.04 at 9:00 pm

The Goblin and the Hobbit Should be Friends, maybe?

I alwasys thought the whole pipe-smoking thing in ‘The Hobbit’ was well, pretty spaced, dude. ‘Purple Haze’, with one of the irritating minor hobbits taking centre stage for some blistering axe work?

Sam and Frodo can clearly spin themselves off as a nightclub duo covering all the great ballads: ‘Embraceable You’, ‘My Funny Valentine’ etc. Or maybe something modelled on Elton John and Kiki Dee, but with hairier feet.


EricinTX 03.14.04 at 9:22 pm

Oh Christ thats funny.


Patrick Nielsen Hayden 03.14.04 at 9:37 pm

I’m down in a mine called Moria…


Jolyon 03.14.04 at 9:55 pm

“And they call the wind Moria” (from “Paint your Hobbit”).


jam 03.14.04 at 10:44 pm

“Elton John and Kiki Dee”? Kiki and Herb, surely.


Jacob T. Levy 03.14.04 at 10:54 pm

More absurd yet:

“Once More With Hobbits: A Lord of the Rings/ Buffy the Vampire Slayer [musical] Adventure”


mjones 03.14.04 at 11:53 pm

Frodo to Gollum: “I don’t know how to club him”?


Doctor Slack 03.15.04 at 1:14 am

Well, I guess the whole LOTR thing ties in pretty well with a certain Andrew Lloyd Webber musical for me. A few humble suggestions:

Sheer Habit, sung by Bilbo and the Hobbits of Hobbiton during the opening sequence (to the tune of “Tradition” from Fiddler on the Roof).

Nine Evil Wraiths from Mordor Are We, sung by the Nazgul at their first appearance in the Shire (to the tune of “Three Little Maids from School Are We” from the Mikado).

Song of the Ranger General, sung by Strider / Aragorn on his appearance in Bree (to the tune of “Song of the Major General” from Pirates of Penzance). Theme reprised during his later coronation.

Rings, sung by the Witch-King of the Nazgul after losing Frodo again at Weathertop (to the tune of “Stars” from Les Miserables).

Ane Dream Will Do / Give Me My Coloured Robe, sung by Saruman (to the tune of “Give Me My Colored Coat” from Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat).

The Confrontation, duet by Gandalf and the Balrog of Moria (to the tune of Javert and Valjean’s song of the same name from Les Miserables).

Crumpled Hats and Wistful Fables, sung by the Fellowship of the Ring after losing Gandalf in Moria (to the tune of “Empty Chairs at Empty Tables” from Les Miserables).

I Know Your Fate Well, sung by Galadriel on her first meeting with Frodo (to the tune of “I Know Him So Well” from Chess).

A Band of Orcs in Motion, sung by Aragon, Gimli and Legolas as they track Merry and Pippen (to tune of “A Lotta Locomotion” from Starlight Express).

Master of the Hall, duet by Grima Wormtongue and Eowyn on his first appearance (to the tune of “Master of the House” from Les Miserables).

Waltz of the Istari, duet by Saruman and Gandalf during their final confrontation at Orthanc (to the tune of “Waltz for Eva and Che” from Evita).

One Night in Gondor, sung by Peregrine Took (to the tune of “One Night in Bangkok” from Chess).

I’ll Be Horrendously Bad For You, duet by Denethor and Sauron (to the tune of “I’d be surprisingly good for you” from Evita).

Reviewing the Situation, sung by Saruman at the beginning of his exile as “Sharky” in the Shire (to the tune of Fagin’s song of the same name from Oliver).


Glenn Hauman 03.15.04 at 1:18 am

As I posted over here,
“Don’t cry for me, Minas Tirith”.


humeidayer 03.15.04 at 2:09 am

Groan contribution:

Gollum sings “Hard Hobbit to Break.”


Mary Kay 03.15.04 at 2:13 am

As I commented in Eschaton, there’s actually alot of singing goes on in Middle Earth. Though you wouldn’t know that without you read the books. Tolkien himself set some of the songs to music. Marion Zimmer Bradley did too.



Tim 03.15.04 at 3:26 am

You’ve Got to Hit a Hobbit or Two.


Miriam 03.15.04 at 3:49 am

Great! Another excuse to avoid grading those last four papers!

“Into the Woods” (Pippin and Merry while being chased by Random Orc; Into the Woods)

“Aragorn Superstar” (“do you think you’re who they say you are?”; Jesus Christ Superstar)

“The Elves of Old Lothlorien” (1776)

“I’ve Grown Accustomed to Your Feet” (Frodo to Sam; My Fair Lady)

“Whatever Sauron Wants” (Sauron to Saruman; Damn Yankees)

“Me and My Ring” (Frodo; later reprised by Gollum; Me and My Girl)

“It’s Too Darn Hot” (Frodo, Sam and Gollum inside Mt. Doom; Kiss Me, Kate)

“Orcs Are Busting Out All Over” (Carousel)

“You Could Drive A Person Crazy” (Gollum to Ring, later reprised by Bilbo and Frodo; Company)

“Massacre Tonight” (random Orc attack; A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum)


jholbo 03.15.04 at 4:40 am


Don’t feel bad about being scooped on the whole Maria/Moria thing. It was too screamingly obvious to be missed by any serious parodist. In fact, I am completely certain – purely on a priori grounds – that “Mad” magazine has scooped us both somehow. They must have done a musical version of the Lord of the Rings at some point in the last couple years. (Anyone out there prepared to prove me right, thereby admitting that he still reads “Mad”, from which we will infer that he still lives in mom’s basement?)

“Memorieses” cracked me up. That’s a good one.


ben wolfson 03.15.04 at 5:57 am

I wouldn’t be surprised if MAD did a musical version of LOTR decades ago, actually (and some googling proves it). 1978, called “The Ring and I”, and for some reason I think I’ve seen part of it.

Not that I still read Mad or anything (though Mad About the 50s is pretty awesome). I mean, the last time I glanced its way they had accepted advertising!


Ray Radlein 03.15.04 at 8:56 am

The definitive LoTR parody song is, indeed, a “These are a few of my favorite rings” one, but it’s the one Kevin Wald wrote several years ago:

Seven Rings wrought for the deep-delving dwarrows,
Nine Rings for humans, awaiting their barrows,
Three for the elves (or, at least, for their kings);
These are a few of my favorite Rings.

One Ring to rule them, and one Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them, and in the dark bind them;
That, and the other nineteen of the things,
All are a few of my favorite Rings.

So when Sauron
Takes the Tow’r on,
And the Nazgul shriek,
I just toss a ring in the Fire of Doom,
And then things don’t seem so bleak.

That thing still pops unbidden into my head from time to time.


NelC 03.15.04 at 11:58 am

I think you’re missing the obvious: Springtime for Sauron (to the tune of Springtime for Hitler).


David W. 03.15.04 at 2:26 pm

Y’all read waaay too many Mad Magazine parodies when you were kids, I can tell… ;-)


Devin Gates 03.15.04 at 8:46 pm

I can think of a couple of other good LOTR songs in recent memory, notably Tom Smith’s “Return Of The King, uh-huh”, an Elvis(h) approach to the 3rd book, and the #1 song from The Dr Demento Show last year, Luke Ski’s Stealing Like A Hobbit, which plays off of several Eminem songs to cover the material of The Two Towers.


Dave Bell 03.15.04 at 10:24 pm

SF fans have been writing stuff for a long time Somewhere in the teetering stacks 0f zines lurking about the house I have something based on “My Fair Lady” from a Dutch group, and other samples of the genre.

Unfortunately, the people writing this musical won’t have the luxury of using such tried and tested tunes.


Alan K. Henderson 03.17.04 at 6:32 am

How about going the Gilbert and Sullivan route?

“I am the very model of a modern Rohan general…”

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