This is one of my favourite hymn-tune combinations – when I played it through for the first time I could barely sing, such was the effect on me.
I am a confirmed Tolkien geek – I have been reading The Lord of the Rings almost constantly for twenty years now, quote it as ‘my apochrypha’, and am constantly discovering new depths in Tolkien’s creation.
The marriage of William William’s fabulously vivid lyrics with Howard Shore’s Fellowship Theme feels predestined: to me, Frodo is singing as he walks to Mount Doom.
‘this barren land’ – Middle Earth to Mordor
‘bread of Heaven’ – Lembas
‘the Crystal Fountain’ – a future in Valinor
‘fire and cloudy pillar’ – Mt Doom
‘the verge of Jordan’ – crossing Anduin
‘death of death’/’hell’s destruction’ – Sauron defeated
And just to spoil the mood: