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Is ‘That’s What Bilbo Baggins Hates’ in Tolkien’s Book?


Is ‘That’s What Bilbo Baggins Hates’ in Tolkien’s Book?

Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy has been a point of contention in the JRR Tolkien fan base for quite some time. Some feel the movies are bloated with unnecessary plot and inconsistent tones, while others enjoy seeing the whimsical adventure supported by a great cast. But no matter the opinions fans have, all can agree on one thing: the Dwarven singing is great.

Author JRR Tolkien was a big fan of implementing songs and poems into his books, but few made it into Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies. “The Road Goes Ever On” was a piece written by Bilbo himself, and he sings it after leaving Bag End for the last time. Then perhaps the next most famous is Pippin’s song for Faramir, although the book version is far more cheery. But besides a couple of other tavern tunes, very little of Tolkien’s music made it into the films.

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However, The Hobbit was easily Tolkien’s most musical of the Middle-earth novels, so Jackson saw it fitting to include a few more songs. The tune “The Misty Mountains Cold” quickly became a fan favorite, with the brooding Dwarves setting the journey’s tone with their low harmonious singing. Yet, easily the most catchy of them all is “That’s What Bilbo Baggin’s Hates,” sung as Thorin’s company eccentrically clean up the mess they made in Bilbo’s house.

This tune indeed appears in The Hobbit novel, although it’s spoken much more like a poem than a fast-paced song. The lines are in a different order from the movies, as the poem starts, “Chip the glasses and crack the plates! Blunt the knives and bend the forks!” Whereas the movie song begins with, “Blunt the knives and bend the forks! Smash the bottles and burn the corks,” making it rhyme far better for the Dwarves to sing.

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And this isn’t the first time the poem has been adapted on screen. In the 1977 animated portrayal of The Hobbit, “That’s What Bilbo Baggin’s Hates” was sung with the Dwarves’ introduction. Again, the original lines were swapped for better lyrical flow, and this version resembled classic musical animations, such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. And so, with Peter Jackson claiming to have taken inspiration from the 1977 movie, it’s likely his version of the song was a blend of Tolkien’s work and the animation.

For all the things Peter Jackson chose to carry over from the book, the music is definitely a favorite for most. The Dwarves’ introduction into Bag End offers a wholesome and entertaining scene that stays faithful to the original. Still, there were many poems that did not make the cut, and the music, unfortunately, stopped after The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

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