Dec 18, 2020
Welcome Behind the Music on The Celtfather podcast. I’m gonna chat about my album of hobbit drinking songs called Don’t Go Drinking With Hobbits.
The show is generously brought to you by my Patrons in the Gunn Runners Club on Patreon. You can help me write new hobbit music. Join the Club for just $5 per month.
Then subscribe to my Pub Songs Podcast at Pubsong.net.
I love hobbits. It was the 1977 animated movie of The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien that started it all for me. Shortly after watching it, I started playing Dungeons & Dragons. My favorite characters were hobbits.
I finally gave my love of hobbits the attention they deserved in 2011 when I released Don’t Go Drinking with Hobbits.
What kind of songs might you have heard while walking thru the shire?
To help me create the songs for the album, I turned to my friend and lyricist, Rie Sheridan Rose. She wrote a song for me a decade earlier called “Soul of a Harper”. I loved it so much I asked her to write a Firefly song ("Browncoats Keep Flyin'") for a soundtrack project I hoped to be a part of. I loved that song too. So in 2010, I asked her to help me round out an album of hobbit songs.
What kind of songs should be on a hobbit album?
Well, hobbits are down to earth, practical people. So folk songs made sense.
I spent the prior 11 years singing Irish, Scottish and Renaissance festival folk songs. So I started with the idea of adapting certain styles to this hobbit project.
I wanted drinking songs. I wanted a gardening song. I wanted a song like “The Parting Glass” and a list song. I also wanted a song about food and pipe weed but neither of those made the final cut. I mixed those with new recordings of songs I had already written, including a couple from the 2004 Brobdingnagian Bards album, Memories of Middle Earth.
The next step was finding musicians for the album. This felt like a community project. So I posted on Facebook and reached out to my community. I asked for volunteers. I was swamped with singers and musicians of all types. Some like Sam Gillogly and Daniel Briggs became a regular part of my recording team to this day.
The result was 20 tracks of hobbit fun. It’s gone on to be one of my most-popular albums, and one that I’m super proud of. I even lead a 300 person sing along at Dragon Con every year.
And it all came to be because of the success of the title track. But that’s the subject of another podcast about the true story behind "Don't Go Drinking With Hobbits".
You can find out more me Marc Gunn and my hobbit albums by visiting HobbitSongs.com.