The Dead Marshes

lyrics source text







The Passage of the Marshes

The Dead Marshes

(TTT - Track 4)

The Dead Marshes

The Dead Marshes

(CR-TTT Disc One - Track 11)


Music by Howard Shore

Words by Philippa Boyens

Translated into Sindarin by David Salo

The lyrics are from The Annotated Score of the Two Towers.


These lyrics were used in the Dead Marshes. The vocals in this scene are unusual. Doug Adams uses the terms 'portamento' and Sprechstimme to describe them. Portamento is an ornamentation where the sound slides up or down in frequency in the manner that a slide whistle or trombone might be able to. Everytime we hear a portamento, the visual on screen is of the dead bodies in the marsh. Sprechstimme utilizes vocals that are half speaking - half singing. These would have been heard while Frodo was underwater after having fallen in. The music was removed from the movie but can be heard on the CR-TTT and the TTT-OST.


Original English


Text in blue indicates language used

Text in green indicates lyrics used

Text in brown indicates lyrics not used

Text in black indicates English translation

I ngyrth s -lostar The dead do not sleep here
-chiriar dh They have found no rest
Hiriar harch ring a nd Only a cold, dank grave
Tano i ner To mark what they gave,
Io na ndagor veleg To a great battle long ago;
Na dr ben-galu, na naeth arvethed To a fruitless victory to endless woe.
Mn galad a chuil ban. One light for each life.
Mn sarch a ngurth ban. One grave for every death.