"The Ring Goes South" was written July 20th, 2001
at Smokey Mirror Studios - Milltown, New Jersey

From The 'Rings Project CD :
Recorded July 22nd, 2001 at Smokey Mirror Studios in Milltown, New Jersey.
Alan Horvath: Vocal | Oscar Schmidt Custom Autoharp
Overdubs by Horvath: McSpadden Baritone Dulcimer, Digital Congas (BOSS DR-770)

Track 5 from the Lord of the Rings CD ... this song was written in the midst of recording this project.   I was reading the books (again) when suddenly, right there, nearly at the last paragraph of The Council of Elrond, Frodo's statement ... "'I will take the Ring,' he said, 'though I do not know the way'" ... jumped right off the page at me, shouting, "Song!"   I picked up my autoharp (recently setup in a diatonic tuning with special chordbars - see my Autoharp Conversion for details) and ten minutes later this song was written.   Musically speaking, anyway - the only lyrics I wrote that day were for the first verse and part of the second verse.   I knew I captured the idea though, and left it sitting for over a month while I recorded some of the other 'Rings songs.   Later, I rewrote the first two verses, discovered the lyrics for the "bridge" ("bad dreams wake me in the night"), and wrote the last verse - all while recording the song -- I've never done that before.

Of all the songs in this project, I tend to favor The Nine Riders because of the fun harmonica-dulcimer interplay that goes on ... but I think this song and The Ballad of Tom Bombadil are my absolute favorites.   They effect me in a unique way, compared to the others ... somehow they take me deeper into the reality of the story ... and of my own life ... at the same time.   From Frodo's point of view, going to Rivendell and seeing Bilbo again ... I feel like I'm getting the chance to go to the Kingdom and see my Dad again ... the idea tears me to pieces every time I perform this song.

I'll take the Ring, though I don't know the way ... to me, this speaks of everyone who has ever pursued a special dream or vision in their life ... you don't know the way; you just follow the calling.

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