The Evening Star

lyrics source poem







Twilight and Shadow

Arwen's vision of Eldarion

(ROTK - Track 8)

The Grace of Undómiel

Arwen's vision of Eldarion

(CR-ROTK Disc One - Track 12)

Twilight and Shadow

The life blood of the Eldar leaves Arwen

(ROTK - Track 8)

The Grace of Undómiel

The life blood of the Eldar leaves Arwen

(CR-ROTK Disc One - Track 12)


The Days of the Ring

Closing Credits : Arwen's vision

(CR-ROTK Disc Four - Track 7)



Adapted by Philippa Boyens

Music by Howard Shore

Translated into Sindarin by David Salo

The text, name, and credits are from the AS-ROTK.


This piece is sung in two related scenes. First, it's heard during Arwen's vision of Eldarion, her future son, and Aragorn and then it's heard again when the book falls from Arwen's hand and the 'life blood of the Eldar' leaves her. (The credits feature a reprise of the vision scene.)


This vision song bumped a song sung by Arwen/Liv. Arwen's Song, now homeless was placed in the Houses of Healing extended scene... in turn bumping a song sung by Sissel. Sissel's song ended up in the ROTK Fan Credits.


Both solos by Renée Fleming


Original English


Text in blue indicates language used

Text in green indicates lyrics used

Text in brown indicates lyrics not used

Text in brown italics indicates lyrics not confirmed as used, but may be used in places where lyrics are unclear

Text in black indicates English translation

Ngîl cennin eriel vi I saw a star rise high in the
Menel aduial, Evening sky,
Glingant sui mîr It hung like a jewel,
Síliel mae. Softly shining.
Ngîl cennin firiel vi I saw a star fade in the
Menel aduial, Evening sky,
Dúr, dúr i fuin The dark was too deep and so light died,
Naenol mae. Softly pining.

An i ú nathant

For what might have been,
An i naun ului For what never was.
A chuil, anann cuiannen For a life, long lived
A meleth, perónen For a love half given

State of the Song, April 4, 2010

The lyrics from this piece seem to be mess and I have been fussing with them for over 6 years. We know the application of this music was constantly changing and I can only imagine that HS was constantly rewriting the music to accommodate those changes. Maybe everyone was really busy and in the act of transcribing the music and sending it out into public venues, the lyrics transcripts became garbled. Or perhaps information we had access to were from earlier drafts than the one finally used.


Up until the ROTK Live concerts, we had two sources for sheet music. One was (MN) and the other was page 68 in Music for the Movies, Issue 42 (MftM). For the soloist's lyrics, the two pieces didn't agree. MN's sheet music uses fragments of words which are used with no rhyme or reason, and words that don't seem to appear in a Sindarin translation of the English Poem. The MftM lyrics make more sense, they drop words but they don't contain random, fragmented syllables. The music notation for the first 4 bars is not the music that is heard in the movie or on the CD, however.  And those words don't sound like what the soloist is singing. I listened till my ears bled and discussed it with numerous people over those 6 years and then essentially 'made a decision' and published it as 'the best we could do'. I also said at that time:

I don't know if I'm right but I'm not fussing over them anymore. If you want to suggest something different, you're free to. But unless Howard PM's me the lyrics himself, I'm not going to revisit them again.

Well, Howard hasn't PM-ed me but we now have what may be just as good: the choirs' phonetic lyrics from the ROTK Live to Film concert. I can't say it's helped in the 'making sense' department. We have what the choirs were told to sing. We're told (in the AS-ROTK) that The Evening Star was used here. But I can't get much headway in trying to match the phonetic lyrics to the Sindarin words of the source text. I tried. But it just wasn't providing any information that I felt would be useful in any way. Even when I thought I might have something, (and there are some syllables that don't seem to have any match with a Sindarin syllable) the words were so broken that no sense could be made of them. For those that want to 'sing along' without needing the lyrics to make sense, the phonetic lyrics will do ya.

In a bold move, I'm tossing old discussions about these lyrics and all attempts by me to reconcile the phonetic syllables to the actual Sindarin text. Barring any unforeseen information being provided, I don't think we're ever going to effectively progress past these phonetic lyrics.



The sheet music provides the original English poem called "The Evening Star". The first part of the music, from the first two verses of the poem, is called "Twilight and Shadow Song" (on the sheet music) and is found on Twilight and Shadow: 0:00 - 1:24. The second part of the music, from the last verse, is called "The Grace of Undómiel Song" and is found on Twilight and Shadow: 2:36 - 3:25.