This is a list of songs that have been or might potentially be thought to be Tolkien-inspired, but in fact are not, and so have been excluded from our discography.
ADVENT (Italy) - black metal
From A Distant Landscape (demo 2001) [self-released]
Return to Mithril Hall
The lyrics to this song suggest "mithril" is being referred to as an artifact of generic fantasy roleplaying games, rather than specifically to Tolkien's mythology.
AMON GOETH (Czech Republic) - black metal [formerly AMON]
Amon Goeth was the name of a Nazi officer. No relation to the Sindarin word amon.
AS WE FIGHT (Denmark) - death metal
Midnight Tornado (CD 2006) [Dockyard1/Good Life Recordings]
The Path of the Dead
Song appears to be about zombies.
DAVE BALLOU (USA) - jazz
On This Day (CD 2001) [Steplechase]
Robin and Treebeard
"In the case of the tune on my CD it refers to my neighbor whose landscaping company is called Treebeard."
ROLAND BARRETT (USA) - classical
Of Dark Lords and Ancient Kings
"I don't remember thinking of any specific literary work or message at the time I composed this piece. However, I had read all of Tolkien's works by that time, so.....they may have had an indirect influence. It's pretty hard to read his stuff and not conjure up some pretty vivid imagery (even before the movies came along)."
BLURRING THE EDGES (USA) - jazz
Blurring the Edges (CD 2001)
"We merge an African six-eight groove with long, spacious melodies. Dedicated to bassist Bob Magnusson's ocean-going dog Bilbo who passed away a few years back."
CLOVER (?) - ?
New Grand Silver (CD 1998)
Return of the King
Reviewer Comment: "Seems to be about a triumphant second coming of Elvis."
CORONA FERREA (Italy) - white power
This band's name could refer to an ancient lombard artifact (now in the Cathedral of Monza, Italy), a crown used for all the Middle Age to crown the King of Italy, that was nicknamed "ferrea" ("of iron") because the interior of the circlet was binded by an iron band that was believed forged from one of the nails of the Holy Cross.
THE GARVIN DEAN PROJECT (USA) – rhythm & blues
In Time (CD 1999) [Hindsight's Right Publishing]
Lorien is the name of one of the artist's sons.
DIMMU BORGIR (Norway) – black metal
Stormblåst (CD 1995) [Cacophonous Records]
Long believed to be a Tolkien-inspired song because the possible translation of the title from Norwegian could be "Fellowship's Ring." The lyrics, however, are about an entirely different Ring. (Sons of Satan gathering in a circle.)
FRANCIS DOUGHTY (USA) – acoustic guitar
Among Trees (CD 2000) [self-released]
Gandalf's Guitar Garden
Gandalf is the name of the musician's cat. The song is simply dedicated tio it.
DRAGONTEARS (Denmark) - psychedelic
2000 Micrograms From Home (LP 2007) [Bad Afro Records]
"Hobitten" is the alias of this band's guitarist, Henrik Klitstrøm.
ELBERETH (USA) - electronic: trance
"Yes, Elbereth Is My Real Name."
ENSLAVED (Norway) – pure Viking metal
Vikingligr Veldi (CD 1994) [Voices of Wonder/DSP]
Not that anyone who is familiar with this band would contemplate them writing a Middle-earth song, but the title might deceive the ignorant. Eldar is not, in fact, Quenya ("Elves"), but Old Icelandic ("Fires"). Midgard does, of course, mean Middle-earth, but Tolkien didn't make that up.
MATT FREEL (USA) - pop
Evermind (1999) [self-released]
The artist has no recollection of having titled this song with Tolkien's Evermind in mind.
GARI TA OTOITZ GURE ALDE (Spain) - ?
Zuzenean (CD 2002) [?]
This song is about the city of Bilbao in Spain.
GENESIS (UK) - prog
Tresspass (LP 1970) [Charisma Records]
Although the song is dedicated "To Thomas S. Eiselberg, a very rich man, who was wise enough to spend all his fortunes in burying himself many miles beneath the ground. As the only surviving member of the human race, he inherited the whole world," this has not prevented listeners from hearing a reference to Gollum's cave in the lines, "And Will I wait for ever, beside the silent mirror / And fish for bitter minnows amongst the weeds and slimy water."
GREAT VAST FOREST (Brazil) - nazi black metal
Battletales and Songs of Steel (CD 1995) [Evil Horde Records]
The Rings of Power...
Despite its title, the lyrics of this into suggest no connection to Tolkien.
HELLOWEEN (Germany) - metal
Master of the Rings (CD 1994) [Raw Power/Castle Communications]
Despite its suggestive title and cover art, the content of this album has nothing discernable to do with a master of any rings, much less The Lord of the Rings
STEEV HISE (USA) - electronic
Original (CD 2000) [Illegal Art]
Return of the King
Reviewer Comment: "'Return of the King' is a composition that quotes a few lines of an Elvis Presley movie (I think). Presley blurts a few hesitating sentences and then some kind of looping quotes of Elvis music sounds."
ILDFROST (Norway) - new age/atmospheric
Autumn Departure (CD 1995) [Cold Meat Industry]
Elegy of the Elf-maid
This is an instrumental track on an album without any other obvious Tolkienian references. Since Tolkien did not invent the idea of Elves, I think it is a safe bet that Ildfrost didn't have Tolkien in mind while they were composing this piece. That, however, should not stop you from buying it—it's an awesome album!
ISENGARD (Sweden) - power metal
Crownless Majesty (CD 2001) [Loud & Proud Records]
The Crownless Majesty
In spite of the fact that Isengard has written other songs that clearly are Tolkien-inspired, and although they have a song about a "crownless majesty" on their previous album that is Aragorn, the lyrics of this title track bear no definite connection to Tolkien.
KEPA JUNKERA (Spain) - folk rock
Kalejira Al-Buk (CD 1994) [Elkar]
"Bilbo" is the Euskera (Basque) spelling for Bilbao, capital of the province of the same name. The artist has confirmed that the song is about this city, not the character "Bilbo Baggins."
LED ZEPPELIN (UK) – hard rock
Led Zeppelin IV (LP 1971) [Atlantic Records]
Stairway to Heaven
No song has been the object of more attempts by Tolkien fans to wrench Middle-earth allusions than "Stairway to Heaven"—after all, "Stairway" is arguably Zeppelin's greatest song, and Tolkien is the greatest fantasy author of all time, so there must be a connection between them! Or must there? The usual tactic is to read "the lady we all know" as a thinly disguised Galadriel. There are, however, no elements in the song that necessitate this reading. In his biography of the band, Stephen Davis writes that the lady "is a paradigm of Spencer's Faerie Queen, Robert Graves' White Goddess, and every other Celtic heroine—the Lady of the Lake, Morgana La Fay, Diana of the Fields Greene, Rhiannon the Nightmare. Robert [Plant] had been poring through the works of the British antiquitarian Lewis Spence. He later cited Spence's "Magic Arts in Celtic Britain" as one of the sources for the lyrics to "Stairway."" (Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga New York: Ballantine Books, 1985 p. 132) Plant may well have imagined Tolkien's heroine as fitting within this larger mythological tradition, but there is nothing about the story he tells that is unique to Galadriel. If "Stairway" is Tolkien-inspired, it can only be thought of as such in the broadest of terms. Robert Plant obviously had no qualms about alluding to The Lord of the Rings when he wanted to, as is seen from the famous reference to Ringwraiths in "The Battle of Evermore." The fact that he didn't make any clear Tolkien reference in "Stairway" suggests rather strongly that he never intended to do so. I rest my case.
VISITOR COMMENT: The line in Stairway to Heaven, "There's a lady who's sure / All that glitters is gold" might be an allusion to Tolkien's poem that was in Gandalf's letter to Frodo at the Prancing Pony ("All that is gold does not glitter").
Houses Of The Holy (LP 1973) [Atlantic Records]
Over The Hills And Far Away
A Tolkienian connection was posited for this song by Scott Selisker on his Led Zeppelin and JRR Tolkien Relations webpage, claiming that the title (and, by implication, the lyrics) refer to the Misty Mountains. Maybe…but it is a terribly far-fetched hypothesis, and one that can only be maintained by rejecting at every turn the obvious import of the lyrics (which have to do with the singer's infatuation with a woman). But such a strained interpretation would not have arisen in the first place unless one assumed from the outset that the song has to be about Middle-earth. Take away that presupposition and Selisker's argument crumbles.
JEFF LORBER (USA) - jazz
He Had a Hat (CD 2007) [Blue Note]
Requiem For Gandalf
Artist Comment: "'Requiem For Gandalf' was actually the first song that I wrote for the album. I had this wonderful cat for twenty years, and he finally passed away about a year ago, and it was very emotional. You get very attached to your pet. I just sat down and poured my heart into that song and I think you can really hear that in the melody."
MELYS (Wales) - pop
Baby Tornado (CD 1999) [Sylem Records]
Artist Comment: "Elenya is not from Tolkien. Its an old Welsh name, however, Tolkien seems to have used Welsh names. So maybe it is indirectly related!!! Our singer liked the name from a Welsh language film she once saw. It is also the middle name of one of our daughters."
MORGANA LEFAY (Sweden) – thrashy power metal
Past Present Future (CD 1995) [Black Mark Productions]
Battle of Evermore
In spite of its title, this is not a cover of Led Zeppelin's "Battle of Evermore"—much to my disappointment. Morgana Lefay's Tolkien-inspired songs are real powerhouses.
MANDALABAND (UK) - prog
The Eye of Wendor: Prophecies (LP 1978) [Chrysalis]
According to band biographer, Keith Domone, "The original album included an illustrated story sheet which has been omitted from the CD, as David [Rohl] feels that the music has stood the test of time better than the rather derivative, sub-Tolkien text." This statement appears to refer, however, not to any specifically Tolkien-content, but to the original fantasy scenario on which the album is based.
MITHRIL HALL (USA) - black metal
Band name comes from the Forgotten Realms book series
OPEN ROAD (France) - folk rock
Morrigan's Dream (CD 1996) [GOTO productions] Get It Here
No relation to the "Ravenhill" of The Hobbit.
PENTANGLE (UK) - folk rock
Think of Tomorrow (CD 1991) [Ariola/Hypertension]
O'er The Lonely Mountain
Actually I'm not sure what to do with this. If anyone has evidence this song is inspired by Tolkien, please let me know.
PETER, PAUL, & MARY (USA) – folk
Flowers and Stones (CD 1990) [Warner Brothers Records]
Listen, Mr. Bilbo (Mr. Bigot)
The liner notes to this cover album indicate that this song was actually composed by Bob and Adrienne Claireborn in 1946 (a year before the death of white supremacist US senator Theodore G. Bilbo). The song is a stinging critique of his racism, and (needless to say) does not allude in any way to our Mr. Baggins of Bag End. Andrew Tibbs also wrote a song about senator Bilbo.
QUIET WORLD (UK) - prog
The Visitor/Sam (7" single 1971) [Pye]
Rumored to be about a hobbit, but as the lyrics speak of him taking off his shoes, this seems unlikely
TONI RIOS (Germany) – rave/techno
Tune In (CD 1998?) [Del Mix]
Ents grooving to a rave beat? Not bloody likely! But there it was. This case of mistaken identity can be solved by comparing the track listing on the outer CD cover with that on the inside. Apparently, the former contained an unintentional elision. The correct title is "Les Gents."
DR. WILLIAM C. RUSSELL (USA) - prog
Mikroverse (CD ?) [self-released]
"Durin's Bane" is the name of the artist's former band. The song is a tribute to them, not a direct tribute to Tolkien.
CLAUDIO SANFILIPPO (Italy) - world/folk
Isole Nella Corrente (CD 1999) [Fridge/Kutmusic] Get It Here
Viaggiatori di frodo
"Frodo" is not a proper name, but Italian for "smuggling."
SANGTRAÏT (France) - metal
Els Senyors de Les Pedres (CD 1988) [Picat]
L'Enigma de l'Estel
Evidently, "Estel" means "Star" in Catalunyan.
TOM SHILLUE (?) - spoken word
Overconfident (CD 2007) [B Seen Media]
Lord Of The Rings
SOLID GOLD CADILLAC (UK) – rock
Brain Damage (LP 1973) [RCA Records]
An instrumental piece with "southern" style music. I'd say there's a very good chance this song alludes to senator Bilbo. (See Peter, Paul and Mary entry above.) There is also a track on this album entitled "Anna Marie." The two words were run together in the discography I first found this on, making it look like "A Namarië."
SOLITUDE AETURNUS (USA) – doom metal
Into the Depths of Sorrow (demo 1991) [Roadrunner Records]
According to Lyle Steadham's liner notes, this song was based not on Tolkien but on H.P. Lovecraft: "Based on a short story by the early 20th century author, H.P. Lovecraft. This song is also a vision given in a dream."
TRAMMELL STARKS (?) – celtic
A Trilogy of Fantasy: Part One (CD 2001) [St. Clair Entertainment Group]
Despite its cover design, which blatantly rips off the New Line Cinema LotR movie poster, this CD contains no discernible reference to Tolkien.
AL STEWART (UK) - guitar
The Elf/Turn to Earth (single 1966) [Decca]
For analysis visit the Page 27 Al Stewart Archives.
TEMPEST (USA) – celtic
A Turn Of The Wheel (CD 1996)
The liner notes to this album explicitly identify a Celtic legend—not The Lord of the Rings—as the source and referent of this song, and there are no obvious allusions to Middle-earth in the lyrics.
THARA MEMORY (USA) – jazz
Juke Music (CD 1992) [Flying Heart Records]
Stompin' at the Hobbit
The title of this live track refers merely to the name of the jazz club in Portland, Oregon where the song was recorded, not to the inspiration for the song itself.
ANDREW TIBBS (USA) – blues
Bilbo Is Dead (single 1947) [Aristocrat Records]
Bilbo Is Dead
Although composed a decade after the publication of The Hobbit, this song is not about Bilbo Baggins (who, in any event, does not die in Tolkien's story). The target of this controversial "dance on your grave" song is rather Theodore G. Bilbo, a US governor (and later senator) outspoken for his white supremacist views. This Bilbo is also the subject of the Peter, Paul and Mary song "Listen, Mr. Bilbo (Mr. Bigot)."
TRANSMISIA (Croatia) – hardcore
Dumbshow (CD 1994) [Invisible]
Crack of Doom
The possibility that this song's title might have been a word-play on "Crack of Dawn" didn't occur to me when I purchased it. The song is about all of the terrible things Croatia has been through in recent years.
UNHOLY (Finland) - avantgarde black/doom metal
The Second Ring of Power (CD 1994)
The Second Ring of Power
Despite its title, the lyrics of this song evince no connection to Tolkien's rings. It is the title of Carlos Castaneda's 5th book (and probably the book/man itself) that has inspired it.
URIAH HEEP (UK) - rock
Demons And Wizards (LP 1972) [Bronze Records]
This song appeared on the compilation Wizards and Demons: Music Inspired By The Writings of J.R.R. Tolkien (see discography). In the liner notes, it is claimed that this song is "clearly specific to Tolkien's tale." However, according to songwriter Ken Hensley, the song contains no intentional reference to Tolkien: "I have read all of Tolkien's work and there is probably some 'subliminal' influence at around the time of 'Salisbury' but the story of the inspiration and creation of 'The Wizard' is well known. It came from a persistent dream in which I saw what is described in the songs. I had this same dream for a week or so and it wouldn't go away until I sat down and wrote the song and eventually recorded it at home, which is where the famous 'kettle' moment came from!!" [personal communication via e-mail]
PETER VAN TOUR (Sweden) - choral
Moria (n/r 1999) [Sveriges Körförbunds Förlag]
BETO VÁZQUEZ INFINITY (Argentina) - metal
Existence (CD 2010) [?]
"This song is for my beloved daughter Arwen Nahiara Vazquez."
RICK WAKEMAN (UK) - prog keyboard music
Landscapes of Middle-earth (CD 2001) [Cromwell Productions Ltd]
The Old Forest
The Great River
The Misty Mountains
The Grey Havens
This CD was released with the UK edition of the DVD documentary "JRR Tolkien: Master of the Rings" and was subsequently reissued as an independent CD recording under the title "Songs of Middle Earth: Inspired by The Lord of the Rings" (2002, BMG Special Productions). The CD and song titles are, however, false advertising. The songs are all previously released pieces which Wakeman recorded for earlier albums. Their titles were changed in order to give the false impression that they were inspired by Tolkien.