Lícumariel linde

2012 version

By Findegil / Björn Fromén

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.

Quenya Swedish

Lumna cormóris nar
peler yo mardor,
or cemen úanar
caitar i mordor.
Tá men mir lúna már
ninquitar lícumar:
Ela i calmacolinde,

Natten går tunga fjät
runt gård och stuva.
Kring jord som soln förlät
skuggorna ruva.
Då i vårt mörka hus
stiger med tända ljus
Sankta Lucia.
Sankta Lucia!

Fana ta calima,
á sile vanima
mí hrívefuine!
Apaceny’ olori
elmend’ anyárier:
a tinta rielyo calari,
a Lícumariel!

Sankta Lucia,
ljusklara hägring,
sprid i vår vinternatt
glans av din fägring!
Drömmar [med vingesus]
under oss sia.
Tänd dina vita ljus,
Sankta Lucia!

Tultal mi ninque men
melima yalme,
mery’ antal incanen
pá turuhalme.
Fanyo nón’ úruva
viny’ aure tuluva,
auta lóme: quetil tanna,

Kom i din vita skrud
huld med din maning!
Skänk oss[, du julens brud,]
julfröjders aning!
Dagen skall åter ny
stiga ur rosig sky,
mörkret skall flykta snart:
så hon ett underbart
ord till oss talar

Naltanen, lindenen
núle mauyalye,
me rilya rindenen
fuines varyalye.
Eleni túreva
hirien tie
ná men vanim’ Airendúreva

Trollsejd och mörkermakt
ljust du betvingar,
signade lågors vakt
skydd åt oss bringar.
Stjärnor som leda oss
vägen att finna
bli dina klara bloss,
fagra prästinna.

Notes on the translation

Lumna 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’.

Fana 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’.

Mi 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).

Naltanen, lindenen mauyalye núle ‘by radiance, by song you subdue sorcery’.
varyalye fuines rillion rindenenyou 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 airendúrevais for us the candle-wreath of the fair priestess’, *airendúreva possessive case of *aire-ndúre ‘sanctity-servant (fem.)’

An Elvish hymn to St Lucy

By Arador / Martin Rundkvist

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...".