Originally Posted by maude
A word about the songs that appear to have been poorly received by several of the people posting here...
They are part of the book, and I think Tolkein included them to help paint a picture of a world in which song and oral tradition were central to cultural life. Middle Earth, I think, is largely a portrayal of Medieval Europe.
It is understandable that a 21st C audience would find these songs laborious or cheesy, and it might or might not have been a good call on Jackson's part to include them. But in context, they were an important part of the world Tolkein captured in his writing.
They were a part of the LOTR books too, especially the first instalment. Jackson wisely left them out of those movies (other than the moving scene of ROTK where Aragorn sings after finally being crowned King) and I think it would've been a better idea for him to do the same with The Hobbit. At least the first song anyway. It was godawful.