Hear, Smith of the Heavens

Via Rod Dreher at The American Conservative, who posits that if the elves took the train to the Grey Havens, this is how they would have been sent off:

Icelandic group Arstidir performing medieval Icelandic hymn Heyr himna smidur at a German train station.

It is our express wish that oceans of just such public, impromptu harmonies — of every provenance — sweep over commuters everywhere. In my ideal city society, this kind of singing would be commonplace. Seriously, I have often daydreamed about being present for exactly this kind of experience; sadly, choral singing requires practice, and though I have racked my brain for a way to make practicing music a popular American pastime, I’m coming up dry so far.

It is also interesting to consider (as Dreher clearly has) how non-fictional Tolkein’s notion of “elvish” language and culture really is. This mythology is really just a reconstruction of the historical birthright that the Christian and pagan civilizations of the West have actually handed down to us. No matter how I think of this, I can’t seem to cast it in a way that seems somehow non-wonderful.