The Hobbit: If I desire company (Beorn’s Song)

(Scene: Gandalf has introduced Bilbo and the Dwarves to the mysterious Beorn, who takes a moment to explain his theories about hospitality….)

Beorn: If I desire company, for when my mood is light,
I’ve got a little list, I’ve got a little list
Of all my close acquaintance whom I never will invite,
And who never will be missed, who never will be missed,
Like the pestilential woodsman who gets fat on eating deer;
I’d break his legs a hundred times before he got in here.
Those musical anomalies, the singing wand’ring Elves–
I think I would prefer it if they kept it to themselves.
And traders who by trading skins of animals subsist–
They never would be missed, they never would be missed.

Dwarves: He’s got them on the list, he’s got them on the list,
And they’ll none of them be missed, they’ll none of them be missed.

Beorn: There’s the quack who says he’s able to turn iron into gold:
The roving alchemist–I’ve got him on the list.
And those thieves I caught extracting dairy cattle from my fold–
I’ll scratch them off the list: They haven’t yet been missed.
And the unexpected visitors who take the begging line;
They say they’re “at your service,” but they’re really wanting mine.
And the ones who take advantages and make themselves too free
With all the great abundance of my hospitality.
And trav’lers who on telling their adventures do insist–
They never would be missed, they never would be missed.

Dwarves: He’s got them on the list, he’s got them on the list;
And they’ll none of them be missed, they’ll none of them be missed.

Beorn: Then there’s Elrond the Half-Elven who’s a most colossal bore:
I’ve got him on the list:  he drives me round the twist!
Since he’s always showing off his superannuated lore–
He simply can’t desist–I’m sure he’d not be missed.
And then all creepy-crawlies that from Mirkwood might escape,
The Wargs and wolves and other pests who come in doggy shape.
The same applies to goblins–call them orcs, if you prefer;
I might include all hobbits, if I knew just what they were.
And though I come across as a complete misanthropist,
You all are on the list; you never would be missed.

Dwarves: Yes, we’ve kind of got the gist that we might be on the list:
And we never would be missed, we never would be missed.
Copyright 2013

(For those unfamiliar with the original Gilbert and Sullivan song, here’s a link to one version….)

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