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11/24/2017 4:44:23 PM
11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 8/27/2004 2:14:27 PM EST
This is fascinating and it isn't quite as sinister as everyone has tried to make the song out to be either:





[ stairway to heaven - lyrics interpreted ]

Read "Understanding Stairway to Heaven" by Michael Klassen.

Stairway to Heaven

R. Plant & J. Page
© 1971 Superhype Music Inc.

There's a lady1 who's sure all that
glitters is gold2.

And she's buying a stairway
to heaven3.

And when she gets there she knows
if the stores are closed.

With a word4 she can get
what she came for.

There's a sign on the wall
but she wants to be sure.

Cause you know sometimes
words have two meanings5.

In a tree by the brook
there's a songbird

who sings sometimes6.

All of our thoughts are misgiven.

There's a feeling I get when
I look to the west.

And my spirit is crying for leaving.

In my thoughts I have seen
rings of smoke

through the trees7.

And the voices of those who
stand looking.

And it's whispered that soon
if we all call the tune.

Then the piper will lead us to reason.

And a new day will dawn
for those who stand long8.

And the forests will echo
with laughter.

And it makes me wonder9.

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow
don't be alarmed now10.

It's just a spring clean for
the May-Queen.

Yes there are two paths
you can go by.

But in the long run.

There's still time to change
the road you're on11.

Your head is humming and
it won't go- in case you don't know12.

The piper's calling you to join him13.

Dear lady can you hear
the wind blow.

And did you know

your stairway lies on the
whispering wind14.

And as we wind on down the road.

Our shadows taller than our soul.

There walks a lady we all know.

Who shines white light
and wants to show.

How everything still turns gold15.

And if you listen very hard

the tune will come to you at last.

When all are one and one is all16.

To be a rock17 and not to roll.

And she's buying18 a stairway
to heaven.


The Lyrics Interpreted

By Michael Klassen

1. Erma Rees-Gwynn, a Welsh divorcee intent on starting her own carpenter contracting business. She was recommended (some say as a joke) by the castle's previous owner, actor Richard Harris, who fled to the Bahamas to avoid the taxman.

2. This is a bit of Plant's irony. In other words if it didn't glitter, it probably wasn't worth much. Erma and her assistants reportedly broke and scratched a lot of valuables carrying lumber through the residence.

3. This means "building" a stairway to heaven, or, more likely, buying the materials for the stairway. Erma was contracted to build a deck in back of Page's castle, three stories high. The plans were for a 2nd floor landing, and steps leading up from the back vegetable patch. Plant once described Lelawcge-an-bryn as "heaven." The staircase when completed would be a stairway to view heaven if you climbed up it, or going down, a stairway to carrots and peas.

4. "Foreclosure." The small Welsh town in the district had only one hardware store in the area, and the owner was on a picnic with his family. Erma complained to Jimmy about not being able to get screw nails. So Jimmy called a couple of local aldermen he had in his back pocket, so they could get the damn store open. The store owner soon received the politicians' threats, and cut short his picnic.

5. In order the secure the landing at the second floor, Erma's crew had to enter Jimmy's so-called "Guitar Room." The sign on the wall said "Keep the Fuck Out - Everyone!" These words don't have two meanings, do they? Well, Erma let herself in anyway. In fact, only two double-necked Gibsons could be found in the room, out of Page's reputed collection of 75 guitars. No, this was his Occult Room, full of red satin furnishings and things with horns on them.

6. Reportedly Jimmy was out on his property, singing in his favorite tree, when he saw Erma's helper hanging out the Guitar Room's window. His berserk ranting ("misgiven thoughts") could be heard in the next county.

7. West of Page's property, beyond a neighbour's forested grove, there was a coal-burning power plant. Apparently the tons of sulphur-rich deposits pouring from its stacks disheartened Plant. One day Percy got pretty inebriated, and schemed that they should all protest until the plant shut down. Why not get all the girls, the other lads, and large-fisted manager Peter Grant out blocking their gate? "Great idea," one of the girls responded, "but how are we going to keep the stereo going, or even have hot baths without power?" This comment silenced Plant's protest.

8. Jonesy was the true all round musician of the group. Before Led Zeppelin the bassist/keyboardist extraordinaire wrote and arranged some of Lulu's best work, including "To Sir With Love." Whilst up at Page's castle he tried to form a little choir he wished to call the Zeppettes. Singing careers could've meant a "new day" for the girls, but none could carry a tune. The neighbours watched them rehearse in vain, hence the laughter echoing in the forest.

9. It's likely Plant spend as much time wondering about things as it took for him to write this line.

10. It's said a lot of clothes were found in strange places after their infamous Victorian dress-up parties.

11. The "May-Queen" was Maytag's laundromat-sized washer/dryer combo ordered in to handle hotel-sized loads of laundry being done at Page's castle. Jimmy was promised a money-back warranty on the set if he wasn't satisfied. The "two paths" were whether to keep them or return. The warranty gave him time to change the road he was on, you see.

12. This was one of the worst hangovers Plant had ever felt.

13. Jonesy was going back to London and asked Plant to come along.

14. Actually, your stairway, and the whole damned sundeck laid on the ground. A spring torrent ripped through Great Britain that year, and destroyed Erma's shoddy work.

15. Jonesy and Plant hit the road in John Paul's Stutz Bearcat. By coincidence, they came across Erma waving a flashlight, trying to hitch out of Lelawcge-an-bryn County. After the sundeck fiasco she gave up on carpentry, and was leaving for a cousin's residence in King's Cross. "Everything still turns to gold," she promised, boasting ten thousand pounds profit on the Page job alone.

16. A sarcastic bit of advice from Percy to the Zeppettes: just keep practicing, girls.

17. Plant decided to be a rock, if not a lump of clay, and stay home with his wife and family until the next tour.

18. Last heard from, Erma was in the Bahamas. "And she's buying a ticket to Nassau."
back to top




thinkcap.com/articles/pop/zeppelin_stairway.html
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 2:16:04 PM EST
Cool
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 2:53:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2004 2:54:42 PM EST by BallisticTip]
It rocks man,
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 2:56:42 PM EST
looks like someone is bored & has nothing better to do than analyze music lyrics...

...especially music over 30 years old
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 2:56:44 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2004 2:58:18 PM EST by ByteTheBullet]
That was my Senior Prom Theme song.

What does it mean if you interpret it BACKWARDS?!?!


ByteTheBullet (-:
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 2:59:49 PM EST

Originally Posted By beernut:
looks like someone is bored & has nothing better to do than analyze music lyrics...

...especially music over 30 years old




You aren't implying that the age of music has any detriment to it's worth are you????
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 3:16:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By lvgunner777:

Originally Posted By beernut:
looks like someone is bored & has nothing better to do than analyze music lyrics...

...especially music over 30 years old




You aren't implying that the age of music has any detriment to it's worth are you????



this is ridiculous..

get over it
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 3:26:36 PM EST
i'm thinking its just a bunch of words they stuck together while stoned. rock n roll!
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 3:31:48 PM EST
I always thought it was some Tolkienesque poem about the elves and Middle Earth. Certainly other songs on that album are.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 3:38:09 PM EST
Just puff on a spliff and the words will follow……



Andy
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 3:45:49 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 3:55:49 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 3:57:24 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2004 3:57:45 PM EST by beernut]

Originally Posted By vito113:
Just puff on a spliff and the words will follow……

img.photobucket.com/albums/v133/macandy/spliff.jpg

Andy



pretty good

Link Posted: 8/27/2004 4:26:38 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2004 4:35:22 PM EST by raven]
Terry Gross on NPR did a show about pop tunes with inscrutible lyrics, and interviewed the guy who wrote "MacArthur Park" and Robert Plant, who wrote the lyrics to "Stairway".

He said that it was a sort of harkening for modern people to go back to the simpler ways of their forefathers and living more closely in turn with nature. The lyrics were just meant to evoke a call away from materialism, fast hedonistic living, wrecking the environment, and war.

Here's the interview where he tries to explain it to Terry. Doesn't sound like he was trying to describe a real estate deal. The explaination starts at 4:30 freshair.npr.org/day_fa.jhtml?display=day&todayDate=08/24/2004freshair.npr.org/day_fa.jhtml?display=day&todayDate=08/24/2004
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 4:42:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2004 4:54:39 PM EST by lvgunner777]

Originally Posted By raven:
Terry Gross on NPR did a show about pop tunes with inscrutible lyrics, and interviewed the guy who wrote "MacArthur Park" and Robert Plant, who wrote the lyrics to "Stairway".

He said that it was a sort of harkening for modern people to go back to the simpler ways of their forefathers and living more closely in turn with nature. The lyrics were just meant to evoke a call away from materialism, fast hedonistic living, wrecking the environment, and war.

Here's the interview where he tries to explain it to Terry. Doesn't sound like he was trying to describe a real estate deal. The explaination starts at 4:30 freshair.npr.org/day_fa.jhtml?display=day&todayDate=08/24/2004freshair.npr.org/day_fa.jhtml?display=day&todayDate=08/24/2004



Someon­e from Led Zeppelin denouncing hedonistic, fast, and materialistic living????
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 5:26:32 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2004 5:41:33 PM EST by Mike_Mills]
Well, I wasn't far off, then. Those themes certainly are Tolkien's main themes. He deplored the destruction of the English countryside by the industrial age. He disliked the impact of technology on human culture and society. His Elves were very much in touch with the Earth. They, like humans, were borne out of the Earth. The Elves were always looking off far away, longingly. They always harkened to the call of the se. They yearn for it. Eventually, they all took to ships and sailed across the ocean, leaving Middle Earth forever.

One specific example,

And as we wind on down the road. (remember Bilbo's and Frodo's adventures alway began with them walking down the road)

Our shadows taller than our soul. (everyone has a dark side in Tolkien's world)

There walks a lady we all know. (Galadriel, queen of the elves)

Who shines white light (All Tolkien elves shone white, Galadriel especially so)
and wants to show. (The Mirror of Galadriel, as used to show Frodo possible future outcomes)

How everything still turns gold. (the outcomes could be good (gold) or bad)

This song and "The Battle of Evermore" are total Tolkien rip-offs.

Link Posted: 8/27/2004 5:43:52 PM EST
Anyone here ever actually read the Tolkien series? Ever actually study it rather than just read it? It really is deep, deeper than you can imagine if you just read it for simple enjoyment. The thing is, it works on that level, too.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 5:51:53 PM EST

Originally Posted By Mike_Mills:
Anyone here ever actually read the Tolkien series?




nope, just you
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 5:58:41 PM EST

Originally Posted By ByteTheBullet:
That was my Senior Prom Theme song.

What does it mean if you interpret it BACKWARDS?!?!

ByteTheBullet (-:



Holy crap, are you serious!? My bestfriend and I single-handedly lobbied our entire senior class for the only one song that surpasses Stairway on the grand scale of Rock adn Roll History - Freebird. (we even got to play it on our guitars in front of the class on senior day)

ROCK ON
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 6:01:35 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/27/2004 6:01:47 PM EST by glazer1972]
Wow man wow!
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 6:27:11 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 6:35:02 PM EST
Really now.
The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings have jamming guitar riffs and solos, the best drummer in the world and production values not matched by anyone else.
What chapter of the LP / 8-track / cassette / CD is that?

Zep may have based songs / song themes / lyrics on The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings, however, it's asinine to call the songs rip-offs.




Originally Posted By Mike_Mills:
This song and "The Battle of Evermore" are total Tolkien rip-offs.

Link Posted: 8/27/2004 6:37:39 PM EST
"YOU bought it, YOU name it!" -Joe Walsh
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 7:04:18 PM EST
That one is too easy.

Let 'em decipher "Louie Louie"

Arc.
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 7:20:27 PM EST

Originally Posted By pale_pony:
"YOU bought it, YOU name it!" -Joe Walsh



Not IBTL, but ILBTs.

ILBTs - Joe Walsh

Uh hu
I like big tits
You see em on the street
Left and right
I like big tits (that's right)
I try to look away
but I can't resist
Evertime
I try to call it quits
Here come some tits
Uh hu
And thats a big ten 4 big tits
Uh hu
I like big tits
What it is
I like big tits
Tits
Well they come in twos
Hard to choose
Your favorite tit
Uh hu
I like tits for dinner
or a noon time snack
I like tits for lunch
a big tit attack
I like tits for breakfast
Eggs benedict tits (eggs benedict tits)
Uh hu (what it is)
what it is
They're where it's at
Tits
They give me shivers when they bounce around
Puckered up or dragging on the ground
I like those tits
Uh hu (Uh hu)
Tits
says it all for me
Tits
I'm a tit man
I'm a tit man
I like big tits
Uh hu
I like big tits (me too) (that's right)
They give me fits
I like big tits
Link Posted: 8/27/2004 7:32:34 PM EST
You're correct, "rip off" is too strong. Derived from..., based upon..., Tolkienesque..., you are free to pick another more politically correct term.

Jeez, I'm the only guy here who's read LOTR? ;-)
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