Boxing Day in Australia is well known for its intense sales and deranged bargain hunters, its post-Christmas-induced food comas and picking at leftovers, and of course, all the new releases at the box office! One of the most anticipated films this holiday season was The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, the second instalment in the three-part film adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
The score for the film was produced by the award-winning Canadian composer Howard Shore, and is accompanied by an original song by English singer-songwriter, Ed Sheeran. According to director Peter Jackson, it is a tradition for the Tolkien films to have a song over the closing credits, with previous performances from Enya, Emiliana Torrini, Annie Lennox, and Neil Finn.
“It’s very important that the song feels right for the world of the movie – and also carries the emotional resonance of the end of that particular film. The Desolation of Smaug is no different. The ending of this film requires a voice and sensibility that will allow a viewer to process what they have just experienced,” Jackson said.
“I See Fire” was written and recorded in the space of one day. After Sheeran flew to New Zealand and watched the film, he immediately began writing and singing. The song is Sheeran’s direct emotional response to the film, and seems to encompass both the beauty and sorrow of Middle Earth, as well as the glory and honour of the dwarves’ quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain. Sheeran’s soulful, folk-like vocals are softly layered, and suit the film perfectly. Featuring a cello, guitar, and violin, the track conjures an image of dwarves gathered around the campfire, recounting the destruction of the city of Dale by the dragon, Smaug.
Whether or not you are a fan of Tolkien, Sheeran’s lyrics and performance will certainly evoke feeling and nostalgia. Have a listen below.
Hometown: Framlingham, Suffolk, England.
Latest album: +, released 9 September 2011.
Sounds like: Joshua Radin, José González, and The Fray.
Say what? Before recording this song, Sheeran had never touched a violin in his life. He learnt how to play the instrument on the same day he watched the film, and wrote and recorded the song.
Ciao ciao, Arianna