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Bilbo Baggins.jpg

The Road Goes Ever On, also known as The Old Walking Song, is a song by Bilbo Baggins while he would be on the road; verses of it are sung at various places in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

In The Hobbit

The original version of the song is recited by Bilbo during his return journey to the Shire.[1]

Roads go ever ever on,
Over rock and under tree,
By caves where never sun has shone,
By streams that never find the sea;
Over snow by winter sown,
And through the merry flowers of June,
Over grass and over stone,
And under mountains in the moon.

Roads go ever ever on
Under cloud and under star,
Yet feet that wandering have gone
Turn at last to home afar.
Eyes that fire and sword have seen
And horror in the halls of stone
Look at last on meadows green
And trees and hills they long have known.

In The Lord of the Rings

Bilbo recites another version of this song when he leaves the Shire for Rivendell.[2]

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with eager feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

Frodo recites a slightly different version of the previous verse (with only the word "eager" changed to "weary" in the fifth line) while on the way to Crickhollow with Sam and Pippin.[3]

The Road goes ever on and on
Down from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
And I must follow, if I can,
Pursuing it with weary feet,
Until it joins some larger way,
Where many paths and errands meet.
And whither then? I cannot say.

The last version of the song is recited by Bilbo in Rivendell after Frodo and the others have returned from their journey.[4]

The Road goes ever on and on
Out from the door where it began.
Now far ahead the Road has gone,
Let others follow it who can!
Let them a journey new begin,
But I at last with weary feet
Will turn towards the lighted inn,
My evening-rest and sleep to meet.

In adaptations

The Road Goes Ever On, taking its name from the above, is the title of a collection of sheet music by Donald Swann for poetry presented by J.R.R. Tolkien in his Middle-earth literature. It was first published in 1967.

Although the book can at first sight seem mostly useful by musicians (particularly piano and guitar players), it has been found to have a wider use than this, allowing readers to understand the cultures of the various mythological beings presented in Middle-earth better, and helping linguists analyse Tolkien's poetry. For example, it contains one of the longest samples of the language Quenya.

The second edition of The Road Goes Ever On, published in 1978, included the poem "Bilbo's Last Song". The third edition, published in 1993 and likely the last, comes with additional poetry and also a CD with recordings for the entire song cycle.

Peter Jackson's films

Bilbo's second rendition of "The Road Goes Ever One" is sung by Gandalf the Grey and Bilbo in two different scenes of Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Only the first two lines are clearly heard (put to a melody by Howard Shore) before their singing trails off or ends.

"The Last Goodbye"

The song "The Last Goodbye" by actor Billy Boyd, the end credits song for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, seems to be inspired by the version of this song found in The Hobbit. The songs have a similar theme of returning home. Though some of the lyrics have been changed, of particular note are the lyrics:

“Over hill and under tree Through lands where never light has shone By silver streams that run down to the sea: Which seems directly inspired by: “Over rock and under tree, By caves where never sun has shone, By streams that never find the sea;”

Additionally the lyric “Under cloud and under star” is changed to “Under cloud, beneath the stars”


Sections of the poem are sung in the 1977 animated movie version of The Hobbit.

The song can be heard in the 1981 BBC radio version, sung by Bilbo (John Le Mesurier) to a tune by Stephen Oliver.


Foreign Language Translated name
Afrikaans Die Pad Gaan Voort Eindeloos
Albanian Rruga vazhdon pafundësisht
Amharic መንገዱ ያለማቋረጥ ይጓዛል
Arabic الطريق يذهب من أي وقت مضى
Armenian Ճանապարհը շարունակվում է անվերջ
Azerbaijani Yol davamlı olaraq davam edir
Basque Bidea etengabe jarraitzen du
Belarusian Cyrillic Шлях працягваецца Бясконца
Bengali রাস্তা চলছে ক্রমাগত
Bosnian Put se nastavlja beskrajno
Bulgarian Cyrillic Пътят продължава безкрайно
Cambodian ផ្លូវនេះបន្តឥតឈប់ឈរ
Catalan El camí continua sense parar
Cebuano Ang Dalan Nagpadayon sa Walay Katapusan
Croatian Cesta se nastavlja beskonačno
Czech Silnice pokračuje donekonečna
Danish Vejen fortsætter uendeligt
Dutch De Weg Gaat Verder Eindeloos
Esperanto La vojo daŭras senfine
Estonian Tee jätkub lõputult
Fijian Tomani tiko vakabalavu na gaunisala
Filipino Ang kalsada ay patuloy na walang katapusan
Finnish Tie jatkuu loputtomasti
French La route se poursuit sans fin
Galician A estrada continúa sen parar
Georgian გზა წინ და წინ მიდის
German Die Straße gleitet fort und fort
Greek Ο δρόμος συνεχίζεται ασταμάτητα
Gujarati માર્ગ અવિરતપણે ચાલુ રહે છે
Hawaiian Ke hele nei ke alanui i ka hopena
Hebrew הדרך נמשכת ללא סוף
Hindi सड़क अंतहीन जारी है
Hungarian Az út végtelenül folytatódik
Icelandic Vegurinn heldur áfram endalaust
Indonesian Jalan terus tanpa henti
Irish Gaelic Téann an bóthar ar aghaidh gan stad
Italian La strada continua all'infinito
Japanese 道は延々と続く
Javanese Dalan tetep tanpa wates
Kannada ರೋಡ್ ಎಂಡ್ಲೆಸ್ಲಿ ಕಂಟಿನ್ಯೂಸ್
Kazakh Жол шексіз жалғасуда (Cyrillic) Jol şeksiz jalğaswda (Latin)
Korean 길은 계속 이어진다오
Kurdish Riya Berdewam berdewam dike (Kurmanji)
Kyrgyz Cyrillic Жол түбөлүккө жатат
Laotian ເສັ້ນທາງໄປສູ່ຕະຫຼອດເວລາ
Latvian Ceļš turpinās bezgalīgi
Lithuanian Kelias tęsiasi be galo
Luxembourgish D'Strooss Gitt ëmmer op
Macedonian Cyrillic Патот продолжува бескрајно
Malayalam റോഡ് അനന്തമായി തുടരുന്നു
Malaysian Jalan berjalan tanpa henti
Marathi रस्ता निरंतर चालू आहे
Mongolian Cyrillic Зам төгсгөлгүй байна
Nepalese सडक अनन्त रूपमा जारी छ
Norwegian Veien fortsetter uendelig
Pashto سړک په ناببره توګه روانه ده
Persian جاده بی وقفه ادامه دارد
Polish Droga trwa bez końca
Portuguese Estradas sempre avante vão
Punjabi ਸੜਕ ਨਿਰੰਤਰ ਜਾਰੀ ਹੈ
Romanian Drumul continuă fără încetare
Russian Дорога вдаль и вдаль идёт
Scottish Gaelic Tha an rathad a ’dol air adhart gun chrìch
Serbian Пут се наставља бесциљно (Cyrillic) Put se nastavlja besciljno (Latin)
Shona Mugwagwa unoenderera nekusingaperi
Sindhi روڊ مسلسل لڳاتار جاري آهي
Sinhalese මාර්ගය අඛණ්ඩව පවතිනවා
Slovak Cesta pokračuje donekonečna
Slovenian Cesta se nadaljuje neskončno
Spanish El Camino Continúa Sin Cesar
Swedish Vägen fortsätter oavbrutet
Tajik Cyrillic Роҳ ба таври доимӣ давом мекунад
Tamil இந்த சாலை முடிவில்லாமல் தொடர்கிறது
Telugu రహదారి అనంతంగా కొనసాగుతుంది
Thai ถนนยังคงไม่รู้จบ
Turkish Yol sonsuz devam ediyor
Ukrainian Cyrillic Дорога продовжується нескінченно (Latin)
Uzbek Йўл узлуксиз давом этмоқда (Cyrillic) Yo'l uzluksiz davom etmoqda
Vietnamese Con đường tiếp tục vô tận
Welsh Mae'r ffordd yn parhau'n ddiddiwedd
Xhosa Indlela iyaqhubeka ngokungapheliyo
Yiddish די וועג גייט ענדלאַסלי
J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth Legendarium


External links