Songs for the Philologists by J R R Tolkien, E. V. Gordon & Others.
Considered the holy grail of Tolkien book collecting, Songs for the Philologists, is a rare, rare volume. It is believed that only 13 copies exist.
In Leeds, Tolkien and Gordon founded a "Viking Club" for undergraduates devoted mainly to reading Old Norse sagas and drinking beer. It was for this club that Tolkien and Gordon originally wrote their Songs for the Philologists. It contained traditional songs and original verses translated into Old English, Old Norse and Gothic.
In 1935 or 1936 Dr A.H. Smith of University College London, former student at Leeds, gave a copy of one of the typescripts to a group of students to print at their private press as a printing exercise. He later realized that he had not asked for permission from Tolkien or Gordon, so the completed booklets were not distributed. Most of the copies were destroyed in a fire at the college where the press and copies of the book were stored, but evidently some copies survived, perhaps retained by the students who printed them.
There were 30 songs in the collection, J.R.R.Tolkien contributed 13. Further details can be found here.
'From One to Five'. To be sung to the tune of ‘Three Wise Men of Gotham’.
'Syx Mynet'. In Old English, to be sung to the tune of 'I Love Sixpence'.
'Ruddoc Hana'. In Old English, to be sung to the tune of 'Who Killed Cock Robin'.
'Ides Ælfscýne'. In Old English, to be sung to the tune of ‘Daddy Neptune’. Reprinted, together with a Modern English translation ('Elf-fair Lady') in The Road to Middle-earth.
'Bagm? Blom?'. In Gothic, to be sung to the tune of ‘O Lazy Sheep!’. Reprinted, together with a Modern English translation ('Flower of the Trees') in The Road to Middle-earth.
'Éadig Béo þu!'. In Old English, to be sung to the tune of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star’. Reprinted, together with a Modern English translation ('Good Luck to You') in The Road to Middle-earth.
'Ofer Wídne Gársecg'. In Old English, to be sung to the tune of ‘The Mermaid’. Reprinted, together with a Modern English translation ('Across the Broad Ocean') in The Road to Middle-earth.
'La Húru'. To be sung to the tune of ‘O’ Reilly’.
'I Sat upon a Bench'. To be sung to the tune of ‘The Carrion Crow’.
'Natura Apis: Morali Ricardi Eremite'. Also to be sung to the tune of ‘O’Reilly’.
'The Root of the Boot'. To be sung to the tune of ‘The Fox Went Out’. Reprinted in Anderson’s Annotated Hobbit, and in a revised form in The Return of the Shadow. Also reprinted in The Tolkien Papers: Mankato Studies in English. Later revised and printed in The Lord of the Rings and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil as 'The Stone Troll'.
'Frenchmen Froth'. To be sung to the tune of ‘The Vicar of Bray’.
'Lit' and Lang''. To be sung to the tune of ‘Polly Put the Kettle On’.
The above information is a summary of that given in Hammond's J R R Tolkien Descriptive Bibliography .
Songs for the philologists was privately printed in the Department of English at University College, London, in 1936.
It is the first and only edition, 8vo (214mm.), pp. iv, 30, ; orig. printed pale blue wrappers, saddle-stitched; with staples.
The text is in both English and Anglo-Saxon and is printed in both Roman and Anglo-Saxon types. On the verso of the title: "Printed by G. Tillotson, A.H. Smith, B. Pattison and other members of the English Department, University College, London." SUNY-Buffalo and Oxford University only in OCLC.
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