Music that means something – Day 3 – Led Zeppelin

Yes, I know. It is the rock song that everyone loves to hate apparently. It is almost as if it is so popular no-one wants to admit to liking it any more. I love it…I always did and these days, I love it even more for the memories it holds.

There are so many urban legends about this one that none of them bear repeating,  except that the lyrics were written almost entirely in one stream. Jimmy Page was playing the chords on the guitar and Robert Plant had a pencil and paper. He is quoted as saying,

“My hand was writing out the words, ‘There’s a lady is sure, all that glitters is gold, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven’. I just sat there and looked at them and almost leapt out of my seat.”

Plant says that he had been reading the works of antiquarian Lewis Spence, and that his Magic Arts in Celtic Britain may have had some influence on the song. Where the lyrics really came from, we will never know. Inspiration finds its own voice. Everyone seems to have their own interpretation of the words and their meaning. They have been applied to the imagery of the Tarot and to the Tree of Life as well as being taken more literally, and that is the true gift of music. It is unique for every listener. .

It is for this reason, amongst others, that we started to use contemporary songs as the basis for meditations during the workshop weekends. We were a little nervous about it, to be fair. We had started the year before with Kate Bush’s Nocturn… but that is a gentler sound. Just how well would rock music go down in a ritual setting? We played Stairway to Heaven during the Leaf and Flame workshop last year. In fact, it went down very well. Possibly better than Bauhaus’ Bela Lugosi’s Dead, which was the perfect mood-music for when we led ‘Sir Gawain’ to meet his fate at the hands of the Green Knight…

We wanted to breach the shell of ‘mechanicalness’ with which we often listen to music, hearing and even singing along to the lyrics without ever listening to them. It is a question of attention, bringing the awareness to bear with a conscious, mindful intent. It is surprising what meaning can be uncovered that way.

It doesn’t actually matter what the songwriter intended, or what is written. What matters is that we can each draw something from what we hear…something that speaks directly to our imagination and emotions…and from that experience we can perhaps learn something about ourselves.

Me? I’m still working on that…

“Stairway To Heaven”

There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.

There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
In a tree by the brook, there’s a songbird who sings,
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it makes me wonder.

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 trees,
And the voices of those who stand looking.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it really makes me wonder.

(Full lyrics here)

My thanks to Willow who included me in this challenge.

The rules of the challenge:

Post a song a day for five consecutive days.
Post what the lyrics mean to you.  (Optional)
Post the name of the song and a video.
Nominate 1 or 2 bloggers each day of the challenge.

Today, I’ll ask Debby if she would care to join in 🙂

About Sue Vincent

Sue Vincent is a Yorkshire-born writer and one of the Directors of The Silent Eye, a modern Mystery School. She has written a number of books, both alone and with Stuart France, exploring ancient myths, the mysterious landscape of Albion and the inner journey of the soul. She is owned by a small dog who also blogs. Follow her at scvincent.com and on Twitter @SCVincent Find her books on Goodreads and follow her on Amazon worldwide to find out about new releases and offers. Email: findme@scvincent.com
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64 Responses to Music that means something – Day 3 – Led Zeppelin

  1. Anisha says:

    Beautiful song… have been on top in my playlist for years now 🙂 it’s just magic!

    Like

  2. Ritu says:

    That is indeed another classic Sue!

    Like

  3. davidjrogersftw says:

    Thank you Sue. Music is so much a part of my life and has been since childhood that your post was so enjoyable to em.

    Like

    • Sue Vincent says:

      I can’t imagine life wthout music, David. It seems strange that something we had to find a way to make for ourselves should be so integral to life and memory…but it is.

      Like

  4. pjlazos says:

    This song is such a part of my personal collected “greatest hits” of memories, and the rest the world as well. It’s like a true north of lyrics and song writing. Thanks for reminding me!

    Like

  5. The rock star as poet….this song deserves all the attention, it builds to a classical frenzy.

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  6. I love it! Even though I’m more of a Deep Purple fan than L. Zepp, this one always comes very near the top of my favourite songs of all time playlist.

    Like

  7. The only LZ song I like! ❤

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  8. Mike says:

    I’ll admit to loving this song – for its own merits and the memories it brings back.

    Like

  9. willowdot21 says:

    I love Led Zeppelin and especially this song, i am so pleased that you experimented with it at your workshop.
    By the way we have been told not to print all the lyrics due to copyright infringement, i had no idea this was a problem , Judy was told by  Terri Webster Schrandt  who said :regarding the publishing of song lyrics. Please see below. With that in mind I will just give you a taster of the lyrics and you will just have to listen carefully to the song! ****

    Just letting you know to be careful not to post all the lyrics of songs (copyright infringement potential), kind of like using google images. I read you can post the first 25 words of lyrics and quotes without an issue.

    Like

  10. A brilliant song choice Sue. I see Willow has mentioned about posting the lyrics possibly being a copyright problem. I am enjoying this challenge so will carry on anway with just a snippet!

    Like

  11. paulandruss says:

    Classic Led Zepplin song Sue brings back so many memories

    Like

  12. Eliza Waters says:

    These posts are taking me waaaay back! 😉

    Like

  13. Reblogged this on Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life and commented:
    Sue Vincent is on Day 3 of Music that Means Something with on of my most played Led Zeppelin tracks Stairway to Heaven… #recommended

    Liked by 1 person

  14. chimerapoet says:

    I still love it!

    Like

  15. … and even if there is only the music score, without lyrics, the meaning is quite impressive. Music is a Language itself… and it goes to touch deepest in our soul&Mind.
    Have a lovely day :-)claudine

    Like

  16. I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve always loved Stairway to Heaven. The only time I didn’t love it was when Rolf Harris did that criminal cover of it. Thanks for posting the lyrics!
    Incidentally, Bela Lugosi’s Dead is a favourite of mine as well – I was a big fan of Bauhaus back in the day. Pete Murphy was sex on legs!

    Like

  17. dgkaye says:

    Fantastic classic choice Sue. I enjoyed the background history you laid out for this song. And thank your for inviting me to join in. Ironically, you and Sally have both nominated me, so I’ll be posting a double header this week for 2 song choices. ❤ 🙂

    Like

  18. Always loved that song! I ran Student Council at my school for over ten years and we held monthly dances with disc jockeys. That song was played at the end at each dance. Memories…

    Like

  19. Pingback: Musical blog challenge, memories of songs, D.G. Kaye

  20. adeleulnais says:

    I love this song and was singing away to the lyrics. I love, love that you chose my fav band Bauhaus and my fav song Bella. Seeing Bauhaus live really changed my direction. It was the bridge from punk to goth for me. xx

    Like

  21. An incredible song, Sue. The lyrics are fantastic.

    Like

  22. I love to love Stairway; what a great song. I’m going to be doing an analysis on the rock guitarists from the 2009 film “It Might Get Loud” (Jimmy Page, The Edge, and Jack White), anyone interested can see the first post here, but there is more to come https://criticoptimist.com/2017/05/23/it-might-get-loud/
    Great lyric analysis, i really enjoyed reading it. Personally, the song always reminded me of something out of Tolkien.

    Like

  23. tonayme says:

    It’s top on my playlist even today

    Liked by 1 person

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