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Old 08-11-2011, 09:48 PM   #1
Estelyn Telcontar
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Silmaril Full-length LotR Parody Movies

One of the things we did at Finlandmoot was to watch a trilogy of parody LotR movies. These were done by a group of Russian fans who had no budget but lots of witty ideas. I don't know whether to mention a few or whether it's best to just let you watch and enjoy the fun. Perhaps one of the main elements may entice you: the Nazgûl (and all other riders) ride bicycles! And also: Glorfindel and Arwen fight over who gets to take Asfaloth and rescue Frodo...

There are several astonishingly good actors in the amateur cast - since the young ladies of the fan group outnumber the amount of female roles, the Hobbits and some other characters are female actors. My favourite is the one who plays Frodo - she does every bit as well as Elijah Wood! Some of the film sites are amazing, and the echoes of Peter Jackson's visuals are easy to spot.

For the majority of us who understand no Russian, there are subtitles in English (and also in German). Fortunately, you don't even have to buy the DVD set, but can watch them online. Here are the links:

LotR 1
LotR 2
LotR 3
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:45 AM   #2
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Esty....that has a remarkable amount of similarities to The Lord of the Grins....
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Old 08-12-2011, 12:59 PM   #3
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I'm halfway through FOTR, and it's hilarious! Esty, thank you very much for the links!

Edit: just finished it. My, I like it more than the actal film!!!
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Old 08-12-2011, 02:46 PM   #4
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Oh, these are gold.
Thank you so much for sharing!
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Old 08-12-2011, 03:25 PM   #5
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Oh, these are gold.
Seconded! These are definitely worth their weight, erm, length, in gold!

ETA: the question of wings&Balrogs finally solved! - them no need wings. Them has elevator.
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Old 08-13-2011, 06:04 AM   #6
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Thumbs up

Apart from Frodo, Legolas is also priceless.

Thanks for showing us these and now posting this, Esty!
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Old 08-13-2011, 07:51 PM   #7
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If I do go to see The Hobbit movies--which I probably will--I will be taking notes to consider how we can parody them here. Thank you, Estelyn, for the idea.
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Old 06-22-2020, 03:31 PM   #8
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Finrod: The Rock Opera

Another piece of Russian Tolkienism to add to this thread: Finrod-Zong, aka Finrod: The Rock Opera. I was recently introduced to it and was absolutely blown away, it was so well done. I would watch it again and again, it is absolutely worth it. I highly recommend taking a look if you have just a tiny bit of time on your hands. It has an option for English subtitles, so you'd be able to follow along. And enjoy!

The opera follows the events of Beren and Luthien saga that involve Finrod, with reference to many other points in the Silmarillion and even some ideas from LOTR (delivered via Galadriel). As a teaser, some of the events they cover are the Oath of Feanor and Finrod's relationship with Amarie. However, the character who absolutely steals the show is - you'll never guess - Sauron! In general, the opera is pretty faithful to the source material as it is meant to be, filling in the gaps of the dry Sil text with more elaborate expressions very nicely. Finrod gets a lot of moral conflict and philosophy, Beren is well presented, Sauron - don't get me started on that! - and Melian and Galadriel hint at the doom to come, even though the opera does not go that far. The only character who got shafted a bit is Luthien, because all her arguments and power come down to love, which I find shallow; yes, love gives her the extra strength and courage, but she's a pretty powerful being in her own right, and I think the script didn't do her justice. The script takes some artistic liberties (*cough*Thingol*cough*) but you get the sense that the people who made this really know and love what they are talking about.

I saw two different versions, both about an hour and a half long. Version 1 has a slightly more homemade feel to it, with the singing sometimes a bit off tune etc. However, to compensate for it, most actors/singers were absolutely perfect. Sauron is absolutely brilliant; the acting, the singing, the music, the appearance - I would not change one thing. I never had a good image in my head of what he looked like back when he could choose his shape, and I feel that this "fallen angel" image will stick with me. His acting is filled with a powerful arrogance, disdain, a confidence that crushes everything around him, and the music is very suitable for that as well. Finrod, of course, is another brilliant actor. Beren played very well too. I always struggled to relate to Beren after he meets Luthien, but this actor makes is believable and true and worth rooting for. I believe in this Beren. On the other hand, Luthien is a bit disappointing; it seems that the male cast got the longer end of the stick. This version also makes use of several visuals that they superimpose on the stage view; I particularly liked the farewell with Amarie. The main shortcoming of this version, in my opinion, is that the subtitles are mediocre and often lose the poignancy of the text. So watch it for the earnest adaptation and excellent acting. This is overall my favourite version.

Version 2 you can tell is made more professionally. It has the better singing voices, hands down, except maybe for Sauron (I am too in love with the Version 1 villain). However, it has a very odd aesthetic. Beren looks thuggish, and I don't think the actor really gets Beren. Finrod looks like he got teleported from some decade since before I was born. Thingol looks like a Christmas elf in a military uniform from the 1800s (but that might have been intentional ). Funnily, I initially mistook Galadriel for Luthien; they should have switched costumes (btw, does Luthien really wear blue in The Sil or do fan artists just always draw her that way?). This version also features some songs that are not present in Version 1; I didn't personally liked Amarie's songs, but I loved the extra dialogue between Beren and Finrod, and the expanded Feanorians' scene. Most importantly for non-Russian watchers, the captions on this version actually translate the text very very well. So watch it for the music and the better text.

If you don't feel like watching the whole thing, please please please just watch this part, which equates to He chanted a song of wizardry etc. I swear you will not regret it. I also love the scene right before it, featuring Sauron in his tower - as you know, I am in raptures about that guy (34:35 in Version 1). ++recommend. It is the single most impressive Tolkien adaptation I have seen in years.



Edit: I found a Version 3, which is partly made up of the cast of Version 1. I will watch it tomorrow.
Edit 2: I watched Version 3. It's an open-air production, which is meant to be a trial run of a new development on Version 1, where they experiment with "heavier" metal for accompaniment. In the end they also mention they are working on adding some of the scenes that are in Version 2 but not in 2. It's a much more relaxed and informal performance, and the actors goof around a lot (ever seen an air guitar Sauron?), but it's only funny if you've seen Version 1 previously. Also, no subtitles.
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Old 06-23-2020, 09:01 PM   #9
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Ha! If there was any doubt that the above post is connected to the original purpose of the thread, I just discovered that the actor who plays one of the Feanorians in Version 1 is the same guy who plays Gandalf in the parody films that Esty posted. Evidently the world of Russian Tolkien fan actors is a small world.
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Old 06-26-2020, 12:57 PM   #10
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I have finally gotten round to watching one of the Finrod Operas. Specifically I picked Version 2 for the sake of the subtitles, and jotted down my thoughts as I watched.

I did... quite a lot of jotting. So rather than drop over 600 words here, I've left them on my notes document:

"Finrod-Zong" 2014 - Huinesoron's commentary

Overall, I think the writing is spot on, with the sole exception of That Thingol Moment (perhaps we can rationalise it as a fantasy sequence by Cel'n'Cur?); the other omissions are more about the practicality of staging the show. The singing/acting in this version is also generally good - the only ones I didn't particularly like are Beren and Amarie. (It's quite amusing that Finrod has an actual line about his beloved's golden hair, and then Brunette Amarie shows up... )

The music is great - I've already caught myself humming some chunks of it. I intend to watch the Version 1 copy now I've got a feel for it, though I'm not sure when that'll happen.

In the grand tradition of opera, I'm not sure it's possible to follow the story if you don't already know it, but that's fine. I'm almost tempted to put it on without subtitles at some point and see how well the acting conveys the story; not sure which version, though.

G55 - yes, Luthien wears blue in at least one source text (a blue gown with silver stars, I believe). Galadriel was 100% dressed as Luthien there. It's stage-acting, we make allowances.

Thank you so very much for posting about this! It's great. ^_^ (I wonder if the music is available anywhere...)

hS
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Old 06-26-2020, 02:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
I did... quite a lot of jotting. So rather than drop over 600 words here, I've left them on my notes document:

"Finrod-Zong" 2014 - Huinesoron's commentary
That's amazing! :-D I agree with a lot of what you say there. I love the Feanorians in Version 2, and I like their Luthien as well. Actually, I really like the scene where the Feanorians try to seduce Luthien in this version. I also absolutely agree with you about both Amarie songs. Thingol is... well, Thingol is. Yeah. I really like Melian's lines - they do follow the gist of what she tells Thingol in the text, but with more expansion, and they ring so true because you know what actually happens later in The Sil. And Finrod cosplaying Jareth the Goblin King - that is PERFECT! At least now we know what decade he dropped from.

Two main things I didn't see the same way. I liked the parting duet between Beren and Finrod here, even though Beren is really too fierce and brooding and dark for Beren, for its Finrod component. This piece isn't present in Version 1, and I really liked the addition of Finrod trying to make sense of his life. The idea of how he would justify himself, or even figure out what he stands for, what his life meant - "a mesmerized witness of other people's oaths", and later repeated as "other people's doom" - I think that is a perfect fit for Finrod, following Feanor, following Beren, trying to do best and always just caught up in another's fate.

The other things I would disagree on are related to the two Sauron duel with Finrod. I rewatched this version again and I actually didn't like it, but only in comparison to Version 1. They sing on pitch but without expression, it doesn't have the same feel. I guess this isn't as noticeable when you don't follow the exact words, but still. Version 1 duel wins. The more I go back and forth between them, the more I am convinced of that. If you think this Rock Sauron is brilliant, you should really see the Version 1 duel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
Overall, I think the writing is spot on, with the sole exception of That Thingol Moment (perhaps we can rationalise it as a fantasy sequence by Cel'n'Cur?)
That Moment. Yup.

In general, he seems to be the butt of the joke, almost the comic relief of the musical: "I am an immortal creation of Eru, don't equate me with a Man!" or "I sent him to do some quest or other - just to get a Silmarill [with that innocent tone of voice]". But I think that aspect of him grew on me. However, That Moment - yeah...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
The music is great - I've already caught myself humming some chunks of it. I intend to watch the Version 1 copy now I've got a feel for it, though I'm not sure when that'll happen.
I recommend it for the superior Beren and Sauron (and some excellent minions), as well as the non-Jarethian Finrod. And a less military and more Tralalaly Thingol. But be prepared for a let down in other areas. In particular I think the Beren-in-Nargothrond scene and the Duel scene are worth checking out. The Duel is just extremely well acted, and Beren is a much more believable and earnest guy with an open heart and a full range of emotional capability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
In the grand tradition of opera, I'm not sure it's possible to follow the story if you don't already know it, but that's fine. I'm almost tempted to put it on without subtitles at some point and see how well the acting conveys the story; not sure which version, though.
Oh, Version 1, hands down! Especially if you wanna try it without the subs, now having seen the text in the better translation.

But yes, you do need to know The Sil before watching, or it will make no sense. However, if you do know The Sil, you will find so many little references to so many things!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
G55 - yes, Luthien wears blue in at least one source text (a blue gown with silver stars, I believe). Galadriel was 100% dressed as Luthien there. It's stage-acting, we make allowances.
Ok, I was not imagining things and not the only one with the cognitive dissonance. That makes me feel better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
Thank you so very much for posting about this! It's great. ^_^ (I wonder if the music is available anywhere...)
I am very glad you liked it! Thanks for watching it and thanks for the comments! I did do a bit of digging around for more information about the show, and came across a link that supposedly has the soundtracks but unfortunately the link was broken. However, my various searchings also lead me to a Version 4, which I will probably watch in the next couple days and then add the comments. If I see the music anywhere I will let you know. (Unless you wanna just download the youtube video as an mp3 ¯\_(ツ)_/¯).

ETA: I've just re-watched the Oath, and I totally see what you mean about Cur being terrifying but Cel looking terrified! :-D


Edit: Version 4 seems to be the completed metal version for which Version 3 was a test-run. Higher budget, but not necessarily higher Tolkien quality. I don't like the metal. But I haven't watched the full thing, just episodes. I don't think I wanna listen to this much metal though.
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Old 07-06-2020, 02:53 AM   #12
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I've now watched Version 1, and added my commentary to the end of my notes doc. My overall impression is that the singers were great, but I really wish they'd spent less time on their early-oughts special effects. I would much rather have watched them actually sing than watch, say, Luthien look moodily across a candle. When we could see it, I think the staging had more flavour in this version.

The presence of an extra Son of Feanor amused me no end. Overall, I thought the other version had a better Melian, but this version did much better on Beren. The likes of Finrod, Sauron, and Luthien were pretty much equally good - though different - across the two versions. I think this version of Comedy Thingol takes the edge.

It's good stuff! Thank you again for sharing it.

EDIT: The Version 1 lyrics, with English translations that I think match the subtitles, are available online. The full Russian text of Version 2 - including the chords! - is also up.

EDIT2: And a partial translation of the final version, down to Finrod's lament.

hS

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Old 07-06-2020, 04:35 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
EDIT: The Version 1 lyrics, with English translations that I think match the subtitles, are available online.
I can confirm that these are Version 1 subtitles. I keep complaining that they are inaccurate, but considering they were done by a person who speaks no Russian who just sat for hours in front of Google Translate trying to decipher something... it's impressive.

Still, I recommend Version 2 subtitles if you wanna understand the lyrics, because so much is lost in 1, or changed into something completely different. For instance, there is one line that bugs me in particular, in the Duel: the subtitles credit Sauron to saying "the world is cursed by that warmonger whose name is - Fëanor!", as if Feanor doesn't already get enough shade in that musical. What he really says is "A curse has entered this world, and its name is Feanor". So close, but so not close.

It's also interesting that you comment on a lot of lyrics stuff differently here, but the lyrics are exactly the same, minus a couple songs and switching "two" for "three" for the Feanorians.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HS
The full Russian text of Version 2 - including the chords! - is also up.
This is actually beyond Version 2 and has even more recent updates and added songs, for which I was not able to find a recording on Youtube. Apparently the group that first did it is still going strong and performing the evolving version of the musical on stage, with some cast modifications (Sauron and Finrod are the same as Version 1, just 20 years older, but I think others are different).

Quote:
Hilariously, in this version his plan doesn't even solve anything: he wants one Son of Feanor to get Luthien and the crown of Nargothrond.
So, probably a translation issue; he wants to marry off one of them and crown the other, but you're right, it still leaves Caranthir with naught.

Quote:
I am sitting here with my mouth open at Emo Sauron. I love him!


Quote:
Thingol: What brought this about? Um, I think it was you…
Again, probably translation issue. He never actually says that. He echoes Melian saying "What have I done!", but it's not a question.

Quote:
Did I just not listen to this song before, or has it changed? Because now it's the Passing of the Elves. Interesting end! And I love the Ossiriand shots.
Same lyrics in Russian, probably vastly different in translation, but you're right: this is a LOTR-Galadriel, leaving the world to mortals. I like this version of the song better in execution than Version 2 though.

Quote:
And Sauron draws the curtain with a cackle. Delightful.
Heehee! I love that moment. Also, they have various behind-the-scenes and bloopers afterwards.
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Old 07-06-2020, 06:46 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
This is actually beyond Version 2 and has even more recent updates and added songs, for which I was not able to find a recording on Youtube. Apparently the group that first did it is still going strong and performing the evolving version of the musical on stage, with some cast modifications (Sauron and Finrod are the same as Version 1, just 20 years older, but I think others are different).
I noticed this after posting! They have a whole song by Daeron, which makes the whole Love Polygon even more complicated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
So, probably a translation issue; he wants to marry off one of them and crown the other, but you're right, it still leaves Caranthir with naught.
Definitely a subtitle issue then.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
Same lyrics in Russian, probably vastly different in translation, but you're right: this is a LOTR-Galadriel, leaving the world to mortals. I like this version of the song better in execution than Version 2 though.
I think I'd just lost focus by this point in V2. I know I was focussing on different things in the two versions; that's why there's comments on things that were actually in both still showing up in my second commentary.

Also! With lots of English text available (both subtitles + Google Translate), I tried my hand at rendering part of the musical into singable English form. It's the first verse of Finrod's lament to Amarie (just after his initial duet with Beren), because a) I like that song, and b) it has a pretty simple structure to work from.

In the hour when slumber calls
And the cloak of Night dulls the air*
I don’t see these fine-carven walls
For I know that you are still there.

I know I can never return
That my heart lies cold by the way
There is no escaping my fate
But in my waking memory I yearn**

I cannot bring myself to curse your choice
I cannot curse my own unchanging nature
Your love sings to my heart, a whispered voice***
The time for turning from the truth is over

The Grinding Ice burns crimson in the sun
A boundary of blood to keep us parted
My sorrow’s not that I go on alone****
My sorrow’s that our song was left unfinished…


In the interests of meter and rhyme, some of the lines have been shuffled around, and a few have been changed. I regret losing the specific ice reference in stanza 2, but I need the semi-rhyme way/fate. My abuse of the rhyme scheme is validated by Finrod himself, who at one point rhymes '-om' with '-a' (and does it very well). ^_^

*Since the musical left Luthien's nightcloak out, I felt the need to put in a reference to it.

**I have no idea what the original of this line means. The subtitles seem to think Finrod says he's in a land of waking memory, which... I don't really understand? Is he talking about Valinor or Beleriand? Or what? Anyway, since I needed a rhyme with either 'return' or 'turn back', I went with yearn. Probably my weakest line.

***I know this is a bad translation (Version 2 runs "One soul can only serve one love"), but I consider the 'choice' line more important, so needed to get the rhyme.

****These could also be 'My grief is' etc; I'd have to sing both versions to see what works better.

hS
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Old 07-06-2020, 09:52 AM   #15
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Hui, that is flipping amazing!!!

Quote:
**I have*no idea*what the original of this line means. The subtitles seem to think Finrod says he's in a land of waking memory, which... I don't really understand? Is he talking about Valinor or Beleriand? Or what?
To be honest, I have no idea what that line is supposed to say either. The stanza goes: I know that there is no returning, that the heart is frozen in ice; I know I will meet trouble in the place where memory awakens.
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Old 07-06-2020, 11:19 AM   #16
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So I tried to continue the translation to the next verses, and this is why I don't willingly attempt translations. Holy Eru this is difficult. I can do individual phrases, but none of them rhyme and most don't make sense together. I like the "no / yes" pairing in the next verse, but I couldn't come up with any way to rhyme the first half with it. But if we borrow from the stanza that follows, I can piece together this:

You are now a sign of success,
You are my rebuke where I go.
You have merely answered me "No!",
Leaving me forever with "Yes!"


And that will probably be the extent of both poetry and translation for the day. But if inspiration strikes...

Hui, what you did is absolutely amazing.
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Old 07-06-2020, 01:58 PM   #17
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Yeah, it's really not easy. I've hacked together the next verse, but have had to take a few more liberties with the source.

(I've also revised a couple of lines in verse 1)

In the hour when slumber calls
And the cloak of Night dulls the air
I don’t see these stone-carven walls
For I know that you are still there.
I know I can never return
That my heart lies cold by the way
There is no escaping my fate
In this land where memories burn

I cannot bring myself to curse your choice
I cannot curse my own unchanging nature
Your love sings to my heart, a whispered voice
The time for turning from the truth is over.
The Grinding Ice burns crimson in the sun
A boundary of blood to keep us parted
My sorrow’s not that I go on alone
My sorrow’s that our song was left unfinished…

Between us now, time and Sea fled
Between us now, shadowy road
In the dark you cried to me: "No"
Leaving me alone with my "Yes".
Now you are my hope in the night
Now you are eternal remorse
Had I not marched headlong to war
We would stand together, united.

Your wings blaze like an Eagle in the West
Oh, would that love had never heard of rules!
It wasn't you who left me in the dust
Forever I regret the Night I left you!
Perhaps there is no boundary between
Perhaps our summer Sun is undiminished
My sorrow's not that I cannot return
My sorrow’s that our song was left unfinished…


I've shifted the implication of the wings line from '??angel' to 'Eagle', because Tolkien. ^_^

I think you might be onto something with swapping those two stanzas around. Let me see:

You are now my ev'ry success
You are my rebuke where I go
In that Night you cried to me "No!"
Leaving me alone with my "Yes".

Between us flows an Ocean of Time
Between us flows a shadowy road
Had I not pursued that old foe
Perhaps another fate would be mine


That's certainly more faithful to the original, despite the shuffle. I shall have to ponder. (Who would have thought "Yes" would be the difficult one to rhyme?)

Any comments on the translation are always welcome.

hS
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Old 07-06-2020, 03:34 PM   #18
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I actually like your version better! It comes ouut more accurate in terms of the meaning ("a symbol of good fortune" - I would have put omen of luck if that rhymed with anything useful). If you do use success, I think that actually chanhing it to "hope of success" might add a little extra touch.

And the translation is not a perfect transcript but it gets you to the place where you need to get, which is exactly as it should be. Only thing I would say is it's not "my Yes" so much as "your Yes", or at least "a Yes". Amarie leaves Finrod a yes, if that makes sense. Indeed, who knew that Yes is so hard to rhyme! But it's also the second part, which is vague and hard to make sense of: if not for the old quarrel, everything might have been different. How do you rhyme that? Unless you somehow end it in "curse", but that also strays awah from the text. Honestly, you're doing such a fantastic job with this, it's ridiculously impressive.
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Old 07-06-2020, 03:44 PM   #19
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That Yes... my read is that Amarie said No to going into exile, after Finrod had already said Yes to it. If it's not that, it could be a reference to an earlier "Yes, I will marry you"? That would make sense, I think.

Similarly, I think the Old Quarrel is the Melkor/Manwe/Feanor squabble. That's what led to the Exile, after all. Finrod is saying either 'if they'd not fought', or perhaps 'if I'd not picked sides'. Maybe it refers back to the Oath, and foreshadows its awakening?

My main problem with my original version is that 'time and Sea fled' rhyme with 'yes'. If I could fix that one line, I think I'd be happy with it.

There's a third verse in Version 2, right? Will probably try that tomorrow.

hS
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Old 07-06-2020, 04:10 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
That Yes... my read is that Amarie said No to going into exile, after Finrod had already said Yes to it. If it's not that, it could be a reference to an earlier "Yes, I will marry you"? That would make sense, I think.
You merely cried No!, leaving* me forever with Yes. Letting me have Yes.

*Leaving not in the sense that she is leaving Finrod, but that she is leaving Yes with Finrod.

You know what?

The way I understood it, in her heart it would have been a Yes [to marriage] had Finrod not left with the rest. She speaks No, but leaves him a sense of a Yes that could have been. That goes in keeping with his last verse, where he apologizes for demanding an answer.

But! I made myself see it from your perspective, and there it could be turned to: you left to me the option of "yes" [to Exile]. That took some convincing, but I admit my brain was heavily biased in favour of the first explanation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hS
Similarly, I think the Old Quarrel is the Melkor/Manwe/Feanor squabble. That's what led to the Exile, after all. Finrod is saying either 'if they'd not fought', or perhaps 'if I'd not picked sides'. Maybe it refers back to the Oath, and foreshadows its awakening?
That's my issue with the Russian line, it is so vague. You could honestly make it into anything and it would not contradict their text.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hS
My main problem with my original version is that 'time and Sea fled' rhyme with 'yes'. If I could fix that one line, I think I'd be happy with it.
Hmm...

Between us now, time and Sea stretch.

Between us now, time and Sea crests.

'Tween us time and Sea weave their tress.


If Time doesn't fit, Distance would also do the trick (the lyrics actually say distance and water, but time works so well here).
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Old Yesterday, 02:04 AM   #21
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I couldn't think of a reasonable way to say 'distance' ('miles' is the only real option that doesn't sound forced in English), so I substituted Time.

Anyway, turned out I was being a bit dense: by combining the two versions (and your inspired 'tress' suggestion!) I've turned out this:

Between us time and Sea weave their tress
Between us runs a shadowy road
In the dark you cried to me: "No"
Leaving me forever with "Yes".
Now you are my hope in the night
You are my rebuke where I go
Had I not pursued that old foe
Perhaps another fate would be mine.


All in the right order, hitting all the right notes. The only lines that really change meaning are 'hope in the night' for 'hope of victory' and 'pursued that old foe' for 'that old feud'.

I also think I'm settling on 'grief' rather than 'sorrow'. It flows slightly better. My main problem with singing this is that I keep finding my voice pitching too high. It's a process.

On to verse 3! (Also work.)

hS
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Old Yesterday, 02:41 AM   #22
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Okay! I think, somehow, this thing is actually done.

The Ballad of Finrod to Amarie

In the hour when slumber calls
And the cloak of Night dulls the air
I don’t see these stone-carven walls
For I know that you are still there.
I know I can never return
That my heart lies cold by the way
There is no escaping my fate
In this land where memories burn

I cannot bring myself to curse your choice
I cannot curse my own unchanging nature
Your love sings to my heart, a whispered voice
The time for turning from the truth is over.
The Grinding Ice burns crimson in the sun
A boundary of blood to keep us parted
My grief is not that I go on alone
My grief is that our song was left unfinished...

Between us time and Sea weave their tress
Between us now, shadowy road
In the dark you cried to me: "No"
Leaving me forever with "Yes".
Now you are my hope in the night
You are my rebuke where I go
Had I not pursued that old foe
Perhaps another fate would be mine.

Your wings blaze like an Eagle in the West
Oh, would that love had never heard of rules!
It wasn't you who left me in the dust
Forever I regret the Night I left you!
Perhaps there is no boundary between
Perhaps our summer Sun is undiminished
My grief is not that I cannot return
My grief is that our song was left unfinished...

Many summers since that long Night
Yellowed grass waves like golden locks
Now the Ring that Beren brings forth
Shows me that your course ran aright.
Only one road runs ever straight
Only love remains ever true
You spurned me forever that Night
But I never swore I would leave you.

You are now my guiding light above
So guide me down untrodden paths of fate
One soul can only serve a single love
There's no turning back from what is right!
Your steady light shines ever in the West
Forgive me for the answer I demanded
My grief is not the "no" that you confessed
My grief is that our song was left unfinished...


All scansion, rhyme, and meaning at least approximately conserved. It sings pretty well, too.

I think the least faithful line is "Only love that's lost can endure". The translation says "There's no love that can be betrayed", but I'm not sure if he's saying "It's impossible to betray love" or "Without love, you can't betray it". Context kind of suggests the former, but the latter gave me a rhyme.

hS

Last edited by Huinesoron; Yesterday at 07:20 AM. Reason: Slight tweak (see following posts)
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Old Yesterday, 04:11 AM   #23
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Hurray!

Quote:

I think the least faithful line is "Only love that's lost can endure". The translation says "There's no love that can be betrayed", but I'm not sure if he's saying "It's impossible to betray love" or "Without love, you can't betray it". Context kind of suggests the former, but the latter gave me a rhyme
It's more like "there is no love that one could betray", meaning the former. I don't think it's critical to stick to every line exactly. But this sounds a bit gloomy for Finrod (implying that love that is not lost won't endure? Poor Beren!). I don't know if I have an alternative that sounds as good though.

The last stanza is a perfect translation, and it rhymes so well too!


Hui, can I ask permission to share this with other people outside the Downs? It's fantastic, and very impressive!
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Old Yesterday, 07:19 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
It's more like "there is no love that one could betray", meaning the former. I don't think it's critical to stick to every line exactly. But this sounds a bit gloomy for Finrod (implying that love that is not lost won't endure? Poor Beren!). I don't know if I have an alternative that sounds as good though.
Right, that makes sense... but is very difficult to make fit. ^_^ I've tweaked it a little to get rid of the gloom and make a tighter match with the line above:

Only one road runs ever straight
Only love remains ever true
You spurned me forever that Night
But I never swore I would leave you.


It's still not perfect, but it's better, and the one/ever pattern is nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
Hui, can I ask permission to share this with other people outside the Downs? It's fantastic, and very impressive!
Sure, go for it! And that goes preemptively for any other sections I might translate.

... because, uh, I did. I praised Luthien's duel with Sauron in both my commentaries, so it seemed only fair (by which I mean awesome):

Duel of Luthien and Sauron (1:26:00 in version 2)

LUTHIEN:
What do I care for locks and bars
If my love... is living?
What do I care if hard and cold
Falls the Dark Lord's hand?
Now! Let him come forth from iron cage and walls.

I will have nothing left to lose
If my love... is fallen
I would forsake the world entire
For a single day!
Now! Let fate be woven for me here and now!

SAURON:
Know this:
In my shadow every bird and beast will bow to me
In my shadow I have power utter and complete

LUTHIEN:
You... you fear to step out of your iron gates!
Know this:
There, the breath of springtime stirs the air
There, the grass is dappled with the dew
And when the nightingale takes flight,
She sings at dawn-

SAURON:
-that you will lose even the little that you have.

LUTHIEN:
I will have nothing left to lose
Unless my love is at my side-!

SAURON:
Nothing you do will change a note of Arda's Song of Life
The threads are woven in their pattern strong and drear and tight

LUTHIEN:
I can't unpick the threads of fate
But at your iron prison's gate
I beseech you: give me back what's always mine!

SAURON:
There is only one who can wield power in this world

BOTH:
One... who can wield power in this world

LUTHIEN:
One... who can be loyal and endure
Till love can chase away the night
Like sudden ray of springtime light.

SAURON:
But Elves are naught but slaves who
Ever curse their rightful Lords
Elves.... are naught but slaves of greater Lords
Games of light and darkness are beyond your feeble kind
Games... like these are far beyond your kind

LUTHIEN:
Light and dark can both be damned!
Love is the only vow that counts!

SAURON:
I can do anything I want to do with you!

LUTHIEN:
NO!
Know: love fills my heart with thirst for life
Know: love gives me strength if I must die
And even then, in shadowed hall
I'll face the mightiest of all
I will take what is and always has been mine!

SAURON:
The weave of fate is dire-

LUTHIEN:
Know: love can be patient in its need
Know: love holds the keys to victory
Light and dark can both be damned!
Love is the only vow that counts!
The only Law for those who welcome love and see:

SAURON:
The games of light and dark-

LUTHIEN:
Know: love is stronger than your hate
Know: love is unstoppable today
And like the springtime water's flow
Love will melt the chains of cold
Tear down walls of stone and burn the bars away!

LUTHIEN & BEREN:
Let... the wind rage over tumbled walls
Love... has led me back to you once more
Stronger than any griefs or woes
Worth more than victory or gold
A single battle won: the victory of love...!


I've played a little looser with the rhymes here, because I don't feel like they're as tightly written in the first place. I've deliberately dropped the Tolkien reference of "the dark abyss" in favour of "be damned", because I really like that line. ^_^ I'm not too happy with the final duet (the first line is a bit weird), and I'm sure there are translation errors throughout, but... well, it sings well.

I've also thrown both translations up together on a Google Doc, mostly to help me keep track of them! But I figured I'd share the 'consolidated version' here too.

hS

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Old Yesterday, 03:36 PM   #25
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FINALLY I actually read it to the end! Twice on my brief breaks I tried to read through the whole thing, and both times got called away for work half way through. The result of which was that the song wqs stuck in my head during a surgery, creating a hilatious juxtaposition of dialogue. "Lights off please! - But you are not up to games of light and darkness!", or "Pass me the clamp! - Quendi are merely servants of the masters that they curse!" I was dying of curiosity to see how you would translate the Quendi insult - I love the way it sounds!

I think dropping the rhyme here is not too noticeable, but it's nice when it pops up. It's a pretty complicated (and somewhat arbitrary) rhyming scheme, but it's nice to still have Luthien do some of her rhyming couplets. Sauron is of course Sauron, no wishy washy rhyming for him.

Quote:
Nothing you do will change a note of Arda's Song of Life
The threads are woven in their pattern strong and drear and tight
I might be mistaken, if I'm just reading this line incorrectly, but I think you're over the rhythm on the first line by a beat. "Of Life" sticks out extra. Even if I count strong beats, it's supposed to be 7, but the top line has 7.5 or 8 (plus a rhythm break in the middle). What if you just lop off the end, and shuffle the second line to end on "strong" to rhyme with Song?

Nothing you can do will change a note of Arda's Song
Threads are woven in their pattern drear and tight and strong.

Or -

Nothing that you do will change the Arda's Song of Life


I can't figure out a way to fit all three elements in their entirety. I really like the Nothing, it's very Saurony, and "change a note" is beautiful. It just doesn't seem to fit into the rhythm.

I got called away again in the midst of this post, and forgot the other thing I meant to write. But it will come to me.
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Old Yesterday, 04:24 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
FINALLY I actually read it to the end! Twice on my brief breaks I tried to read through the whole thing, and both times got called away for work half way through. The result of which was that the song wqs stuck in my head during a surgery, creating a hilatious juxtaposition of dialogue. "Lights off please! - But you are not up to games of light and darkness!", or "Pass me the clamp! - Quendi are merely servants of the masters that they curse!" I was dying of curiosity to see how you would translate the Quendi insult - I love the way it sounds!
Thanks! I went through three or four versions of that line until I was happy. The good part is, if you prefer 'Quendi' to 'Elves', you just have to remove 'naught' to make it fit.

(It was 'servants' until the very last second, but whether he's talking about the Valar or Melkor, Sauron would say slaves.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
I might be mistaken, if I'm just reading this line incorrectly, but I think you're over the rhythm on the first line by a beat. "Of Life" sticks out extra. Even if I count strong beats, it's supposed to be 7, but the top line has 7.5 or 8 (plus a rhythm break in the middle). What if you just lop off the end, and shuffle the second line to end on "strong" to rhyme with Song?

Nothing you can do will change a note of Arda's Song
Threads are woven in their pattern drear and tight and strong.
^This one. This is another line I repeatedly changed. The subtitles say 'the Song of Creation'. 'Of Life' was a way to make that fit... but with Arda named, you don't need it! Arda has only one Song.

I believe I made it fit with some very weird beats - 'no THING y'do will CHANGE anote'. That actually matches Sauron's rhythm, but the more deliberate feel of your version works much better.

I did have trouble with the lines that have lots of rapid syllables (like that one) ; it was hard to work out exactly how many I needed! There's a fair few instances of 'I know she said more, but we'll just make it a long note' in the translation.

hS
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Old Yesterday, 04:49 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Huinesoron View Post
Thanks! I went through three or four versions of that line until I was happy. The good part is, if you prefer 'Quendi' to 'Elves', you just have to remove 'naught' to make it fit.

(It was 'servants' until the very last second, but whether he's talking about the Valar or Melkor, Sauron would say slaves.)
Oh no, what you have there is absolutely perfect! I liked the Quendi reference in Russian; it actually comes out to the same rhythm as "Elves" would, but it was an extra reference to the source text, and I liked it for the erudition. But having "naught" is maybe more flavourful in English. As for the servants vs slaves, I absolutely agree - especially since Sauron uses slaves (thralls?) in a different part of the text.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
I believe I made it fit with some very weird beats - 'no THING y'do will CHANGE anote'. That actually matches Sauron's rhythm, but the more deliberate feel of your version works much better.
Oh, that makes sense now! I was reading "you do will" as all separate, and couldn't figure out where the downbeat was supposed to go in that spot.

Sauron tends to speak trochaically. I think the only times he doesn't is when he switches to Luthien's melody.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hui
I did have trouble with the lines that have lots of rapid syllables (like that one) ; it was hard to work out exactly how many I needed! There's a fair few instances of 'I know she said more, but we'll just make it a long note' in the translation.
Right. And sometimes the opposite - an early half-beat for an extra syllable in the beginning. It's not that noticeable if you sing it, because the melody sets the beats even if the lyrics are imperfect with that.

I think that my failure to be more flexible with it is why I can't get anywhere productive when I attempted to translate. Today I spent a ton of time trying to do Beren's arrival in Nargothrond, due to its easy structure and abundance of King/Ring rhymes. But I get stuck on duplicating both the meaning and the sentence structure, and fitting it exactly into the right rhythm and not a half beat extra/less, and as a result I scrapped my meager results into the rubbish bin as unworthy of the content they attempt to convey.
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Old Today, 01:57 AM   #28
Huinesoron
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Final version (for now) of those lines:

Nothing you can do will change one note of Arda's Song
In a pattern tight are woven threads both dire and strong.


I had a question about the lines that followed: that 'beseech' from Luthien. Both translators agree that she's asking or pleading with Sauron to release Beren, but I'm wondering if the Russian could also imply 'command'?

('What's always mine' in that same line is a kludge: I wanted 'what once was mine', but that carries the implication that she lost Beren, which Luthien would never say. It works okay, with the 'is and always has been' later, but I'm not 100% pleased with it.)

hS
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Old Today, 03:54 AM   #29
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She says "I ask (you), give me back that which belongs to me". But I have to say, I like "command" better.

I guess I rationalized it as "this is the last time I'm asking, do it or else".
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Old Today, 08:27 AM   #30
Huinesoron
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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
She says "I ask (you), give me back that which belongs to me". But I have to say, I like "command" better.

I guess I rationalized it as "this is the last time I'm asking, do it or else".
Command it is! And with a fix to the end of the line: I command you: give me back that which is mine!

And... then I decided to tackle something really hard.

The Oath of the Sons of Feanor

An ancient oath is leading our House down this road
An ancient oath has bound us together with blood
The Oath is stronger than kin
Stronger than Angband iron and grim
But this is our fight!
This is our fight!
This is our fight!
And the jewel-thief must die!

The star-bright gems are our hope
Our cause and our woe.
Their light now marred by the crown of our thrice-curséd foe
We vowed to you, Feanor, not to rest till your gems are reclaimed once more
My brother, I see
My brother, tell me
My brother, will we
Bring our enemy low?

Chained by our oath we press on through the night on the path that our fate has wrought
Any who stand in our way will be cast at our side to the dark we court!

Light of the Crown
Vault of the Heavens
Blood of our sire
Name of our Kindred
I swear this Oath
Here in the Night
Swear to complete
The Quest for the Light

O Silmarils, bound to our honour
We call as witness the Powers of Arda
Blood in our veins, flow out like water
If we turn back from claiming the treasure

Cursed be the hands, Mortal or Vala
Daring to sully the gems of our Father
Beat of our hearts is the beat of a hammer
Break Morgoth's crown, reclaim our treasure

Wind of the West, stand as my witness
(Swear to this oath!)
Waves of the Sea, rise to remind me
(Swear to this oath!)
Fire in your anger, ravage our standard
(Swear to this oath!)
One hope now for the children of Fire
Sworn is the Oath and the Oath will drive us!

One by one, the oath-bound warriors fall
Crushed by a burden heavy enough for us all
We vowed to you, Feanor, not to rest till your gems are reclaimed once more
And those who survive
And those still alive
The Oath will still drive
Fulfill the Oath for us all.

Like hounds on the hunt, we follow the trail
Of our fallen through endless Night
This road holds no hope, but such is our doom
We know that, brother mine!
My brother, we know
My brother in woe
My brother, we'll go…!


The absolute biggest issue here is that 'my brother' has one more syllable than 'мой брат', and the lines centred on it only have five syllables to start with! Unless I wanted to go with "my bro" (no), I had a lot of compression to do.

The Oath itself was fun. The lengthy Russian for 'cursed by the hands' meant I got to drop in a book-reference with "Mortal or Vala", and the "X of the Y" structure fitted really well into the cadence.

The long rapid lines, such as the one I've got as "We vowed to you, Feanor, not to rest till your gems are reclaimed once more", were probably the hardest; those commas shouldn't really be there, since the rhythm just charges straight through. But it does scan, I think.

This was the song I thought would be most difficult, so I'm pleased I was able to make it work.

hS
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Old Today, 11:18 AM   #31
Galadriel55
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Whoa! That oath sounds scary! (As it should be, of course).

Quote:
The long rapid lines, such as the one I've got as "We vowed to you, Feanor, not to rest till your gems are reclaimed once more", were probably the hardest; those commas shouldn't really be there, since the rhythm just charges straight through. But it*does*scan, I think.
I had no trouble with that one, it fits the rhythm perfectly I think. The line I recall tripping on is "One hope now for the children of Fire
Sworn is the Oath and the Oath will drive us!", because it's a couple syllables short and some words need to be stretched.
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Old Today, 01:35 PM   #32
Huinesoron
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Originally Posted by Galadriel55 View Post
I had no trouble with that one, it fits the rhythm perfectly I think. The line I recall tripping on is "One hope now for the children of Fire
Sworn is the Oath and the Oath will drive us!", because it's a couple syllables short and some words need to be stretched.
I've been listening to this (in Version 2) on 75% speed, and I think Cel'n'Cur are talking over each other enough that some syllables are being lost:

Тольк[о] одна [у] нас ныне надежда,
Клятва дана, но земля нас [не] держит…


'Только' is audible as a single syllable ('tolk'), with the 'o' merging into 'одна'. I can't hear 'у' at all. Similarly, 'не' completely vanishes on the second line. I'm sure they're both singing it all, but they're just enough out of synch that some sounds are vanishing!

Comparing the script to their sung version, I think it should be this:

Толь-ко од-на у нас ны-не на-деж-да,
Кля-тва да-на, но зем-ля нас не дер-жит…


Which is... much more highly structured than I expected. ^_^ Okay, I can work with this:

One sin-gle hope for the sons of the fat-her
Sworn is the Oath and the Oath is our master!


How's that?

(You can almost shove 'the sons of Feanaro' in there, but you have to turn 'Fe-a' into 'Fya' to do it. I'll do without.)

hS
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Old Today, 04:19 PM   #33
Galadriel55
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^ That is exactly correct. I am not sure if the syllables seem to blend in because Cel'n'Cur are out of sync, or because the vowel combos just sound like long vowels to English speakers. If you are ever in doubt, by the way, I'd be glad to do the rhythm breakdown for you. All of the text is very strictly structured (another point to Lora and Lina!), but small deviations can be easily forgiven in translation.

The second version is a perfect fit rhythm-wise, and sounds nice too. I really like the original Russian in that line, "the oath is sworn but the earth doesn't hold us", but I don't think it's translatable. It just gives me this imagery of how awful you have to be that the earth itself rejects your presence, besides the more literal interpretation that they suffer loss after loss and keep retreating farther from their goal. "The Oath is our master" is neat in a different way: it emphasizes that all the actions of the bros are dictated by their oath above all things, even when they hate it and regret ever saying it.


Meanwhile, I almost figured out a decent rhyme for the first Nargothrond stanza. Now nees the same for the second, and will post the result.


EDIT: tried singing the Feanorian song again, and another line that made the rhythm trip a little is "the Oath is stronger than kin" in the first stanza. It corresponds to ДРЕВ-ня-я КЛЯТ-ва силь-НЕ-е родст-ВА. Might I suggest a small addition, "THE oath is STRONGer than BLOOD and than KIN"?


EDIT 2: You can tell I'm back in the medical world when those expressions start seeping into my regular vocabulary. I was trying to see if the last line in Verse 1 can be forced back into the rhyming scheme, and what else would my brain come up with except for "the jewel-thief will code!" (to explain, "to code" is slang in reference to Code Blue, ie cardiac arrest).
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