The Edge of Night

lyrics source song







The Steward of Gondor

Pippin sings for Denethor

(ROTK - Track 5)

The Sacrifice of Faramir

Pippin sings for Denethor
(CR-ROTK Disc Two - Track 1)



Adapted by Philippa Boyens

Melody by Billy Boyd

Words by J.R.R. Tolkien

FOTR, Book 1, Chapter III, Three is Company

Movie title* and lyrics found on the ROTK Special Edition soundtrack DVD and in the AS-ROTK. This is one verse of a longer song from FOTR. The index for the books lists the song title as "A Walking Song" (different from "The Old Walking Song) and fans will often use the first line as the title "Upon the Hearth the Fire is Red". (It is perhaps unfortunate that "The Edge of Night" was the name of an old US soap opera. It evokes the quality of over-the-top melodrama.)


Sung by Billy Boyd.



Text in blue indicates language used

Text in green indicates lyrics used

Home is behind. The world ahead.
And there are many paths to tread.
Thru shadow to the edge of night.
Until the stars are all alight.
Mist and shadows, cloud and shade.
All shall fade. All shall fade.

FOTR, Book 1, Chapter III, Three is Company

These lyrics are from a song in FOTR with the first line "Upon the Hearth the Fire is Red." Bilbo had written the words to an old tune and taught it to Frodo. It speaks of the comforts of home that are enticing... but adventure more so. In the end, the traveler heads home and leaves behind the adventure.

Mist and twilight, cloud and shade,
Away shall fade! Away shall fade!
(FOTR, Book 1, Chapter III, Three is Company)

Meaning, to me, that mist, twilight, cloud and shade will be left behind for light, warmth, food, bed and home. And those elements of adventure: mist, twilight, cloud and shade... they are not bad per se... but they have the capability of being bothersome in the least, and more menacing in dark times.

But these lines have been changed in the movie to

Mist and shadow, cloud and shade.
All shall fade. All shall fade.

Perhaps twilight was changed to shadow for the sake of driving home the menace of the 'Shadow' of evil. But why the last lines of 'All shall fade'?

To me, it seems to suggest not the mere fading of the outdoor life for life at home... nor even the fading of darker elements of life outside of home. "All shall fade" makes me think that it is the world that is in danger of fading.. under the pall of 'mist and shadow, cloud and shade'.

So a comforting song has just become a whole lot less comforting. It has become foreboding. It's possible it was a simple memory slip on Billy's part... but I don't think so.