Musical Similarities

This is My Father's World & The Shire A Theme

 

 

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 Baggins/Karen)

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
Shire A, 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 Carol McClure
Shire A, version 2 - 0:05 - 0:13 FOTR, Track 2, Concerning Hobbits

This is My Father's World

Text: Maltbie D. Babcock
Music: Trad. English melody, "Terra Beata" (Blessed Earth); adapt. by Franklin L. Sheppard

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.