“Anything worth thinking about is worth
Which is why we have
songs of praise, songs of love,
songs of sorrow.
Songs to the gods, who have
so many names.
Songs the shepherds sing,
on lonely mountains, while the shepp
are honoring the grass,
by eating it.
~ Mary Oliver
The Lonely Shepherd (1977) is a song which became a global hit when the Romanian composer and pan-flutist, Gheorghe Zamfir (b. 1941) recorded it in London’s Royal Albert Hall during the James Last Orchestra’s 1978 European tour. Although James Last (1929-2015) is credited as the song’s composer, it is thought that the tune is actually an adaptation of a ancient Romanian folk melody which shepherds in that land have played on their flutes for generations. That theory is credible the moment the melody floats over you.
The song has been used as a soundtrack in a scene and in the closing credits of Quentin Tarantino’s 2003 cult classic film, ‘Kill Bill: Volume 1”.
Here is “The Lonely Shepherd” performed by Zamir himself with the backing of the Andre Rieu Orchestra. Simply sublime.