Rearranged and translated in 1996 from the Swedish original lyrics of Arvid Rosén and Sigrid Elmblad. The music is available as a midi file, arranged by Guild-master Gildir.
går tunga fjät
mi ninque men
i din vita skrud
cormóris nar ‘in heavy encircling darkness are’, *Cor-móre ‘round-blackness’, locative *cor-móris(se).
peler yo mardor ‘farmyard and dwellers’,
or cemen úanar ‘over an Earth without sun’, *ú-anar ‘sunless’.
caitar i mordor ‘the shadows lie’.
Tá lícumar men ninquitar mir lúna már ‘then for us candles shine white into murky dwelling’.
Ela i calmacolinde, Lícumafinde! ‘see the light-bearer, candles [in] hair!’, *-colinde fem. of -colindo ‘-bearer’.
ta calima, Lícumaríne ‘white figure so brilliant,
candle-crowned’, *licuma-ríne fem. noun from *lícuma-rína ‘candle-crowned’.
á sile vanima mí hrívefuine ‘shine fair in the winter night!’.
Apaceny’ olori ‘prophetic dreams’, apacenya adj. ‘of foresight’ (MR, p.216).
anyárier elmenda ‘have heralded a miracle’, *anyárier perfect plural of nyarin ‘I tell’,
a tinta rielyo calari ‘kindle the lights of your crown!’.
a Lícumariel ‘oh candle-wreath-maiden’, *lícuma-ri-el, cf. Alta-ri-el ‘radiance-wreath-maiden’.
ninque men tultal melima yalme ‘In white [apparel ] you
bring us gracious summons’, *yalme verbal noun from yal- ‘summon’ (UT p.317; thus not the yalme of the Etymologies).
antal merya incanen pá turuhalme ‘you present [us] with a festive notion of Yule, turuhalme ‘Log-drawing’ (Yule-tide custom mentioned in BLT I pp.229, 270), here metonymically for Yule in its entirety.
Vinya aure tuluva, úruva fanyo nóna ‘a new day shall come, born of glowing cloud[s]’, *fanyo separative genitive (cf. Oiolosseo in Galadriel’s Lament).
auta lóme: quetil tanna, Lícumarianna ‘night is passing: [what] you speak [is] sign [thereof], oh Candle Queen’, *rianna ‘queen’ (cf. S. Celebrían ‘silver-queen’, Letters #345), tanna ‘sign, *portent’ (MR, p.385).
lindenen mauyalye núle ‘by radiance, by song you subdue
varyalye fuines rillion rindenen ‘you protect [us] in darkness by [your] circle of flames’, *fuines(se) locative of fuine ‘deep shadow’.
Eleni túreva hirien tie ‘stars with guiding power’, *túreva adjectival case of túre ‘might, strength’, *hirien tie gerundial form in dative with a direct object ‘to find [the] way’ (cf. enyalien alcar, UT, p.317).
ná men lícuma-rie vanima airendúreva ‘is for us the candle-wreath of the fair priestess’, *airendúreva possessive case of *aire-ndúre ‘sanctity-servant (fem.)’
The morning of St Lucy’s day (13 December) is celebrated in Sweden with much ceremony involving white-robed, predominantly female carolers led by a candle-crowned maiden, performing a specialized repertoire of songs in honour of St Lucy (Sw. Lucia) and St Stephen, in addition to generic Christmas carols. Considerable amounts of candles, saffron buns, ginger biscuits, coffee and sometimes mulled wine are consumed in the process.
This very Catholic custom is an uniquely Swedish phenomenon, which may be slightly surprising given the fact that the country has had a Protestant State church since the 16th century. Winter in Sweden, however, is dark and cold, with weather steadily getting worse through the long autumnal months. There is certainly a sore need for a Candle Maiden in deep December when you are still a week on the wrong side of the solstice.
Lícumariel linde is a slight rearrangement and translation of the lyrics for the two most common Lucia hymns into Quenya (High Elvish), one of the languages constructed by Professor J.R.R. Tolkien for his fictional world. The tune is a traditional Neapolitan one, and the original Italian lyrics are coincidentally decidedly Tolkienian: Sul mare luccica l’astro d’argento..., "The silver star gleams over the sea...".