On the Fields of the Pelennor

lyrics source poem








The Pyre of Denethor

Drive them to the river!

(CR-ROTK Disc Three - Track 3)



Adapted by Philippa Boyens

Music by Howard Shore

Translated into Sindarin by David Salo

Text by J.R.R. Tolkien

ROTK, Book 5, Chapter 6

The Battle of the Pelennor Fields

Title, English Original and Sindarin Translation found in AS-ROTK.


The AS-ROTK indicates that this source text is used for the scene, 'Minas Tirith is overrun'. It is not. The phonetic lyrics for the choir indicate that the source text for that scene is "The Nazgul".


The full chorus sings as the Rohirrim engage in full battle with the Army of Mordor (just before the Mûmakil make their appearance.) Lyrics, as sung, have not been determined for either scene at this point.


Sung by The London Voices


Original English


Text in blue indicates language used

Text in green indicates lyrics used

Text in black indicates English translation and, for the Sindarin lyrics, that what is sung is undetermined.

Edrochant e Forth he rode
na nagor, In to battle.
Ed nan gurth. Forth in to death.
A e gladhant And he laughed.
An e naun ad neth For he was young again.
A naun aran And he was King.
Hir gwaith beleg. The Lord of a great people.
Elo! And lo!
Sui orthant vegil ín Even as raised his sword
Vi ‘las beleg In great joy,
Ortholl gurth. Death came on.
Anann si lostar Long now they sleep
Nu lae vi Ngondor Under grass in Gondor.
Sí lostar na hír veleg Sleep now by the great river,
Mithren sui nîr, thiliol celebren Grey as tears, gleaming silver,
Ta geliant caran, Red then it rolled,
Púrinnen na hereg Dyed with their blood.
Lachant ned annûn Flamed at sunset;
Úrianner i eryd The mountains burned;
Sui ros garan dannant As red dew fell
Or pheli Pelennor On the fields of Pelennor.

ROTK, Book 5, Chapter 5, The Ride of the Rohirrim

I can't find a good word by word reference for the first part of this source text. But the description of Théoden and the Rohirrim riding into battle is so wonderfully moving, and so well depicted on the screen, that I will quote it here anyhow.

(Théoden) seized a great horn ... and he blew such a blast upon it that it burst asunder. And straightway all the horns in the host were lifted up in music, and the blowing of the horns of Rohan in that hour was like a storm upon the plain and a thunder in the mountains.

Ride now, ride now! Ride to Gondor!

Suddenly the king cried to Snowmane and the horse sprang away. Behind him his banner blew in the wind, white horse upon a field of green, but he outpaced it. After him thundered the knights of his house, but he was ever before them. Éomer rode there, the white horsetail on his helm floating in his speed, and the front of the first éored roared like a breaker foaming to the shore, but Théoden could not be overtaken. Fey he seemed, or the battle-fury of his fathers ran like new tire in his veins, and he was borne up on Snowmane like a god of old, even as Oromë the Great in the battle of the Valar when the world was young. His golden shield was uncovered, and lo! it shone like an image of the Sun, and the grass flamed into green about the white feet of his steed. For morning came, morning and a wind from the sea; and the darkness was removed, and the hosts of Mordor wailed, and terror took them, and they fled, and died, and the hoofs of wrath rode over them. And then all the host of Rohan burst into song, and they sang as they slew, for the joy of battle was on them, and the sound of their singing that was fair and terrible came even to the City.


ROTK, Book 5, Chapter 6, The Battle of the Pelennor Fields

That last part is taken from a song sung, after the battle, back in Rohan of the Mound of Mundburg, the burial mound of the Rohirrim killed on the Fields of the Pelennor.

Death in the morning and at day's ending
lords took and lowly. Long now they sleep
under grass in Gondor by the Great River.

Grey now as tears, gleaming silver,
red then it rolled
, roaring water:
foam dyed with blood flamed at sunset;
as beacons mountains burned at evening;
red fell the dew in Rammas Echor.

Rammas Echor : The great and ancient wall that surrounded Minas Tirith and enclosed the Fields of the Pelennor. Encyclopedia of Arda


I think it's interesting, in light of the context of the lyrics, that they chose Sindarin as the language and not Rohirric/Old English.