I’ve only read “Lord of the Rings” once, and I skipped almost all of the songs. I ended up skipping a lot of his incredibly long-winded descriptions of every leaf on every tree in the forest, too.
Interesting… do we know if he wrote the melodies himself?
Read them? No, with one exception. I have read the LOTR multiple times, and skipped the poems/songs every time.
Currently reading the Fire and Ice books, skip the songs in there as well.
I’ve also listened to the audiobooks for LOTR multiple times, and I do enjoy the songs there. Rob Inglis does a remarkable job at the voices, and even makes the songs bearable, although some of them go on and on and on.
My one author that I do read the songs has been Patrick O’Brian. The songs in the Aubrey-Maturin series are usually not so long, and often funny/ribald.