THE SHIRE B is what I call (see note below)
the melody used for the chorus of the song, “In Dreams.”
(But in dreams, I still hear your name...) It is sometimes
used alone, and sometimes paired with the Shire A Theme. The
A phrase is the primary phrase and
used more frequently than the Shire B Theme.
A full overview of the Shire
music is found on The Shire
and the Hobbits page.
Below are some
and I had about this music.
Places this theme is heard in FOTR:
through town and we hear a Hobbit say, “It’s Gandalf”. The
wagon goes through a narrow cut in a hill and we see the Hobbit
holes and off in the distance, Bag End. (And just before they
see preparations for The long-expected party.)
EE: The same lush version - slightly longer - as Gandalf's cart
begins to climb up a gradual slope
towards Gandalf's destination. In a voice over, Bilbo says,
For things are made to
endure in the Shire, passing from one generation to the
next. There's always been a Baggins, living here under
the Hill in Bag
End. (Back in his study, Bilbo puts the finishing
touches to his opening chapter.) And there always will be. (see
(This early scene is
considerably different in the TE & EE.
The music follows a similar path
for each although the scenes might be different.)
perky variant just after Frodo says, “you’ve
been officially labeled a disturber of the peace.” to Gandalf as
they ride on the wagon.
The perky variant
moves into a lush variant as the
children spot Gandalf and start running
through the grass toward him.
A quick mention of the Shire B phrase can be
heard as Bilbo tells Frodo that he was "the one Baggins that
showed real spirit." (FOTR EE)
Frodo spots Bilbo in Rivendell, the
Shire A Theme plays. It moves into the
Shire B Theme after Bilbo says,
“Age, it seems, has finally caught up with me.” Frodo says, "I
miss the Shire. I spent all my childhood pretending I was off
somewhere else... off with you on one of your adventures." It moves back to the
Theme after Frodo says, “My own
adventure turned out to be quite different.”
reaches in the water to
grab Sam's hand.
During the chorus
Dreams". "But in dreams, I still hear your
Places this theme is heard in TTT:
After Sam speculates about the stories that will told about
their adventures and Frodo says, "Frodo wouldn't have gotten far
without Sam." Sam tells him not to tease, but Frodo is
serious. Sam considers this... "Samwise the Brave."
Places this theme is heard in ROTK:
always be a Baggins at Bag End."
phrase of the Shire theme* which plays in FOTR EE (Concerning
Hobbits scene), *exactly* as Bilbo says "For things are made to
endure in the Shire, passing from one generation to the next.
There's always been a Baggins living here under the Hill, in Bag
End, and there always will be", ALSO plays in ROTK (Homeward
Bound scene), *exactly* as we cut from the Green Dragon to Sam
and Rosie's wedding kiss. In fact, the rising "swell" in the
music, which underlies Bilbo's words "For things are made to
endure in the Shire" exactly matches the "swell" which is heard
as we see the wedding kiss.
There's also a kind of fade, or dwindling, at the end of the
phrase in each case (not an exact match, as the phrase is a
little longer in ROTK, but the fade is pretty darn similar). In
FOTR we hear it as Bilbo wistfully says "...and there always
will be.", and in the ROTK scene it is heard as the camera cuts
to Frodo (just before the fade to him wandering forlornly in an
empty Bag End).
This subliminal (for want of a better word) musical link between
these two scenes, whether it was deliberate or not, speaks to me
a) the hope, and promise of continuity, that Sam and Rosie
embody (life *will* endure in the Shire, passing to the next
generation etc), and
b) the bittersweet sadness of Frodo's passing, and the "ending"
it signifies (there *won't* always be a Baggins under the hill,
in Bag End).
For me this is just another example of the evocative power of
Howard Shore's score. I am even more grateful than ever for the
rich emotional subtext he has added to these films.
Then she added:
these two scenes together has brought home to me both how
"right" and how "wrong" Bilbo was. Things ARE made to endure in
the Shire, and Bag End will pass on to the next generation, but
it won't be a Baggins.
Bilbo's hesitation (or is it wistfulness?) at the end of his
statement suggests that he already realises this on some level;
that he already has some vague concern about Frodo's future. It
is the subtlest of foreshadowings of what is to come for his
dear, younger cousin. For us as the audience, seeing Frodo
adrift and alone at the end of ROTK almost seems like proof that
Bilbo's concern (however vague) was justified.
Sam and Rosie, on the other hand, are the living joyous proof
that Bilbo's confidence in the continuity of the Shire, and life
in it, was also justified. And that is an encouraging thought.
There is more
in this thread worth reading. Visit the links I've provided if you
wish to do so.
*This is a distinctive lush version of
the Shire B Melody. Although hints and snippets and variants of the
Shire B can be heard throughout the trilogy, these two iterations
are the only ones that 'complete' the melodic phrase "But in
dreams... I can hear you name. But in dreams... We will meet again."
This site started with small intentions and grew as time went by. It
was driven, to a large extent, by my obsessive tendency to organize.
And having a strong left brain, I organized the music by melody. I
suspect Howard Shore is more right brained and his 'organization' of
the music was governed by more artistic elements. For most of the
themes, our two ways of organizing didn't conflict. But that is not
the case with the Shire and Hobbit Music.
I identified the 'Shire Theme'
as being the melody of "In Dreams". Then I realized that "In Dreams"
had a verse and a chorus and that HS sometimes used both for his
Shire music, or sometimes one or the other by themselves. So I
separated the Shire Theme into Shire A (the verse) and Shire B (the
chorus). Then, through discussion, I started paying more attention
to a 'variant' of the Shire Theme which finally got it's own page as
the Shire B+... as it seemed to be a variant of the chorus melody.
plenty warning before the release of the
CR-FOTR that this was
not how Howard Shore looked at this music. The liner notes
provided us with the first comprehensive look at how he did
organize it. The Shire Theme seems to be a term used in general
and when used, seems to refer to the melody of "In Dreams". But
the music is organized by "Settings", which means (to me)
differences in orchestration that provide differences in mood. As it turns out, the Shire A
and the Shire B might have either a Pensive Setting or a Hymn
Setting. The Shire B+ was considered "developmental bridging
crossing portions of the Pensive, Folk, and Hymn Settings, but
complicating them with extended melodic lines and realigned
rhythms." (Doug Adams,
CR-FOTR liner notes, page 11-12)
If I were going to
align my organizations with the 'official' material, I would have to
deconstruct the theme pages, make new ones, and then go into all the
other pages digging out the old references and links and creating
new ones. And some information on those pages would be unnecessary,
meaning they should be erased altogether.
Not only do I not have the heart to do the work this would involve,
I think some of the information on those pages is interesting and
potentially useful. I will create new pages that organize the Shire
material by Settings and Accompaniments. But I will keep the
Shire A and
Shire B pages intact as a supplement to the newer information.
Therefore, the lists below will contain the Shire B phrase with
either a Pensive or