Song Cirith Ungol • Performed by Cirith UngolRecorded 1983 • Originally written 1978

On releases (11 numbers or more)

Lyrics

Try to run try to hide
If you don’t you’ll surely die
Screaming in terror there you’ll lie
In Cirith Ungol Tower of Fire

Gorgons are shriecking their bestial cries
Their piercing cry burns you inpage
Screaming in anguish there you’ll lie
In Cirith Ungol Tower of Fire

Demons circle the smoky skies
Your fate hangs before you on a wheel of fire
As you stand revealed to Satans eye
In Cirith Ungol Tower of Fire

This was written already in the 70’s (1978) by Greg Lindstrom. The song with the same name as the band’s name. The name is taken from J.R.R. Tolkkien’s The Two Towers.

 

…But it’s the album closer and band theme song “Cirith Ungol” that really needs to be heard. “Try to run, try to hide, if you don’t, you’ll surely die” says Tim and yet again we’re off into the doom and dirge. This song closes the album off really well with some tight, odd time changes, wild vocal echo played right where it’s needed, and some damn fine placing.

King Fowley, liner notes

 

Jerry’s solo on “Cirith Ungol” was the best 30 seconds of our 22 year career!

Robert Garven

About the bandname

They took their name from the place Cirith Ungol in J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings. The name Cirith Ungol is Elvish and means “Pass of the Spider”. While the place in Tolkien’s book is pronounced “kirith ungol”, the band pronounced it “sirith ungol”. The band said in a later interview they had some problems with the name:

Everyone in the band was a big “Sword and Sorcery” literature fan, especially Greg [Lindstrom, guitars] and I. He would always turn us on to the great writers who gave us inspiration for our music. We read all the books…Conan, Bran Mak Morn, etcetera, but the books that stood out in my mind are Michael Moorcock’s masterpieces: Elric, Hawkmoon, Corum among others. Greg Lindstrom and I met at an English Literature class where the teacher was reading Lord of the Rings… and Greg and I read it and it had an influence on our music and feelings. In retrospect I wish we had picked something easier to remember because a lot of our trouble has been over our name. People couldn’t pronounce it or remember it, but we figured once they did they wouldn’t forget it! We’ve humorously been called “Sarah’s Uncle” and “Serious Uncool,” for example! I know other bands are using the Tolkien angle. Led Zeppelin even made references to it in their earlier songs. I think he was an influence both then and now on many people.

Robert Garven

I remember some other possible band names we were conpagering: Minas Tirith, Khazad Dum, and Uruk Hai, all names from “The Lord Of The Rings”. Rob and I both liked J.R.R. Tolkien and Enzo Ferrari, so we knew our songs would cover both those subjects!

Greg Lindstrom

 

See the logos (this site) and Wikipedia: Minor places in Middle-earth, Cirith Ungol.

Cirith Ungol (version 1978)

Cirith Ungol (Album version 1984)

From released King of the Dead (1984/2017).

Cirith Ungol (live)

This was previously released as bonustrack for the remastered edition of Frost and Fire. Live at Opening for Loudness @ Arlington Theatre, Santa Barbara, Fri 05 Apr 1985.
From re-released Frost And Fire (1981/1999).From re-released Servants of Chaos (2001), same before from the album Frost And Fire.

Even though we played many shows over the years, we never were able to go to Europe and play for our most loyal fans. To this day it is my saddest regret! Remember that these probably were not our best performances, but the only ones to survive.

Robert Garven, liner notes

 

Live

Live at Live at Up the Hammers Festival, Sat 27 May 2017

 

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