Originally appears as a bonus track on the digital download version of the album "The Bard of Lost Tales"
An LMB cover version of "The Wanderer" written by the legendary wandering minstrel Peter Pringle. This song has greatly inspired me as a songwriter since I wandered upon it on YouTube a few years ago. I was overjoyed when I realized the song was an adaptation of one of my favorite poems from the Old English world - which I had already been familiar with for many years through my study of Tolkien's works. It is well known that Tolkien's "Lament of Eorl The Young" was inspired by "The Wanderer" - and Tolkien directly incorporated the "ubi sunt" passages from "The Wanderer" for his Lament of Eorl - and the "ubi sunt" is a rhetorical poetic device originally from The Bible.
As Peter writes in the description of his video of the song;
"The words to this song are an adaptation of the 10th century Saxon poem called THE WANDERER. The original is in Old English which only scholars understand and the literal translation is awkward and unsingable. I have tried to take the essence of the poem and adapt it for modern ears."
As Peter alludes to - the original manuscript is from the 10th century, but we in fact have no idea how old the poem is, or its original author or origin date. And I would add that in this new LMB version, I have tried to further adapt the sound of the song for modern ears, while hopefully keeping the essence of Peter's version and it's "old world" feeling with Anglo-Saxon lyre still at the foundation of the song. The lyrics remain the same as Peter's adaptation. I wanted to record an LMB version of this song for many years, but it wasn't until my friend Peter Walker gifted me with an Anglo-Saxon Lyre that he made by hand, that I felt I had the proper tools for the quest. In this version you can hear the Anglo-Saxon lyre as the foundation of the music, surrounded by percussion, gjallarhorn, ram's horn, and a variety of traditional instruments that create a bed of music that almost sound otherworldly - and for the first time ever - I was able to incorporate a Bullroarer into one of my songs! My Anglo-Saxon Lyre is tune as follows: G - A - B - C - D - D#
LMB recorded this version as a gift to all those who supported our recent crowdfund for "The Bard of Lost Tales," and all contributors will receive a free download of the song. The song will also now be included as a free bonus track on future downloads of that same album at: www.MinstrelSongs.com
The crowdfund is still active in its post goal, "in-demand" phase, on IndieGoGo - and anyone interested in supporting the musical quest can still contribute and get the new album at pre-order price here: www.LonelyMountain.Band
The Video: I have often imagined the writer of "The Wanderer" to be one of Beowulf's last retainers. Long after the glory of Beowulf's realm and the age of heroes has passed, his last faithful warrior survives into very old age and wanders a faithless and withering Middle-earth, remembering the glory of the past, while hoping for an eternal glory in a future kingdom that shines above and beyond the deeds of mankind. A longtime fan of the animated short film "Beowulf" narrated by Derek Jacobi; I thought the imagery of the animations would fit perfectly with the lyrics and themes of the song. My only regret is that there doesn't seem to be a higher resolution version of the 1998 cartoon available anywhere. I tried to add some effects that would cloak the VHS era resolution of the animation. I highly recommend watching the whole video of the Beowulf animated epic, which is posted on various YouTube channels. My only criticism of that adaptation was that Grendel should have been more "troll-like" and less "shambling mound-like." A beautiful adaptation all the same.
And finally: EPIC thanks to Peter Pringle for his beautiful adaptation and for granting me permission to record this cover version. Peter's original version can be heard here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaJYclpNwUE
- I highly recommend all of his music and videos - he is a true wandering bard! Comment on his videos & tell him Lonely Mountain Band sent you!
Fair Travels Friends!
I hope you feel the words & music of "The Wanderer";
may it inspire you to epic deeds!-John of Lonely Mountain Band