Where were you, Mr. Bombadil, in the early evening hours of September 25th?
Frodo asks Tom exactly what he was doing in the Old Forest when he came to the hobbits’ rescue. Did he hear Frodo’s cries for help? As it turns out, no. Tom was on an errand to fetch the waterlilies for Goldberry when Frodo and Sam ran up to him. He didn’t hear anything because of his singing. He had heard the the four hobbits were traveling in his direction, (Say what?) but didn’t expect to run into them. He sings this entire explanation to the hobbits sitting next to the fire, and adds that he wouldn’t have been in the forest any later, as the errand to pick waterlilies only happens once a year around this time. Then he doesn’t head back into the forest until spring. Frodo begins to ask about Old Man Willow, but Merry, Pippin, and Tom stop him. It’s time for bed.
It’s a bit of an interrogation, but we get these important and interesting details about Tom’s life. He goes once a year to pick these flowers for Goldberry, (aww…) and does so in the last few days before the cold of the later seasons sets in. The waterlilies are found in a place where Tom also apparently once found Goldberry, young and beautiful. Like any forest-man, he took her home to become his wife! It all boils down to the fact that the hobbits were extremely lucky. On any other day, Tom wouldn’t have been in the forest, and wouldn’t have been able to save them.
And wait, Tom knew about the hobbits traveling through the forest? Did a tree tell him? How does he know this, and why aren’t the hobbits concerned about how much other people know about their doings?
Tolkien Songs In Real Life:
Here is Tom’s story, in song form!
“I had an errand there: gathering water-lilies,
green leaves and lilies white to please my pretty lady,
the last ere the year’s end to keep them from the winter,
to flower by her pretty feet till the snows are melted.
Each year at summer’s end I go to find them for her,
in a wide pool, deep and clear, far down Withywindle;
there they open first in spring and there they linger latest.
By that pool long ago I found the River-daughter,
fair young Goldberry sitting in the rushes.
Sweet was her singing then, and her heart was beating!”
Tom, who has had his eyes closed, half alseep, suddenly opens them.
“And that proved well for you – for now I shall no longer
go down deep again along the forest-water,
not while the year is old. Nor shall I be passing
Old Man Willow’s house this side of spring-time,
not till the merry spring, when the River-daughter
dances down the withy-path to bathe in the water.”
What I hope is the last rap, (at least for a while) I present:
TomBombadillomus Vs. Hobbitoceros
(Hiphopopotamus Vs. Rhymenoceros – Flight of the Conchords)
Yup, Flight of the Conchords. This might be getting a little ridiculous. Maybe?
The song itself is more of a narrative story than a song, but it’s said that Tom is singing, so, this happened. Something about Tom Bombadil has to be comical, so I might as well use some comedy from New Zealand. Heck, doesn’t it make sense that I’m using the music of two guys from New Zealand? I mean, you know how Kiwi the entire movies are, right?
Nevertheless, the hobbits are heading to bed, and that’s what I need to do myself. Sweet dreams, Frodo.
“And with that he took down the lamp and blew it out, and grasping a candle in either hand he led them out of the room.”