In a discussion at TheOneRing.net's
forums, BallyWhoooo asked about similarities between the Christian
hymn, This is My Father's World, and the
Shire A Theme. I found a
sample, listened and heard a clear similarity. Since then, I
discovered that this has been commented on frequently in many
places, but BallyWhoooo still gets the thanks for bringing it to
my attention. (addendum: TORn's first source was Aunt Dora
It's the first line of both pieces that
we can compare.
These examples are hymn-like.
||This is My
Father's World, version 1 - unknown choir
version 1 - 3:30 - 3:44 FOTR, Track 18, May It Be
These examples are livelier.
||This is My
Father's World, version 2 - harpist
version 2 - 0:05 - 0:13 FOTR, Track 2, Concerning
This is My Father's World
Text: Maltbie D. Babcock
English melody, "Terra Beata" (Blessed Earth); adapt. by Franklin L.
How Can We Name a Love
Music: Trad. English melody, "Terra
Beata" (Blessed Earth); adapt. by Franklin L. Sheppard
Jeff Barnes wrote to me suggesting that
How Can You Name a Love provides an even better comparison. It
uses the same tune as This is My Father's World
but it is hymn 111 (Eleventy-one) in the United Methodist Hymnal. He
writes, "If you think
about it, he is quite clever really. Bilbo's is at the heart of the
Shire. It is through Bilbo that we are first introduced to the
Shire. And he is about to celebrate his 111th birthday." It
can't be deliberate if there was no deliberate homage to the hymn in
the first place. But it does make for some great serendipity. Thanks
to Jeff for sending me this information.