Film Scores: Mr. Tumnus and the Narnia Lullaby

Since this is my first post, and since my blog is called Tea with Tumnus, I thought it would be fitting to write up a little something about the faun from Narnia and the song he plays on his pipe, called the Narnia Lullaby.

Tumnus is the sort of character with depth that plays a vital role in the Narnia books, yet he doesn’t come in that much. From the story he tells Lucy, in the good old days of Narnia, before the White Witch cast a spell of everlasting winter upon the land, we read that all the nymphs and dryads and the talking beasts of Narnia would revel and make merry and go off on hunting parties to catch the white Stag. Even Bacchus himself! When Mr. Tumnus first appears in the book, he seems at first to be a funny little, innocent creature. Then he seems suddenly evil and traitorous, and then the next minute, remorsefully begging for forgiveness. Later, he comes in helpless and vulnerable as he is turned to stone and redeemed with all the other stone Narnians when Aslan comes back and defeats the White Witch.

The scene in which Mr. Tumnus leads Lucy to his cave is one of my favorites. It is a humble little abode, with a dark room, a crackling fire, comfy armchairs, shelves of old books, and tea set up on the table. And for once I am glad that it was winter in Narnia, or Tumnus’s cave would not have the right effect. Lucy enjoys listening to the tales of the golden days of Narnia, along with a cup of tea, sardines, and cakes … ah yes, can’t forget the toast. Tumnus then takes out his pipe and begins to play for what would seem mere entertainment, yet what is really the next step in the scheme he is forced to play out. This song “made Lucy want to cry and laugh and dance and go to sleep all at the same time.” In the movie, this soundtrack is called the Narnia Lullaby, which is quite a unique little song, with just the right touch of mystery and eccentricity. While listening, Lucy becomes mesmerized and gazes into the fire. The flames leap up into dancing figures as the drums and choir increases. The fire then becomes a lion roaring as the French horns play their part. Lucy then leaps up to find the room quiet and dark, the fire out, and that she had fallen asleep. She seeks out Tumnus, a very guilty faun who has quite a lot of explaining to do.

Nevertheless, Mr. Tumnus is (apparently) one of my favorite characters from Narnia. After all, when it comes to serving the White Witch with a threat to have your hoofs sawn off if you do not obey, there really isn’t much of a choice, is there?

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