Led Zeppelin/Stairway to Heaven
Who is the girl thats buying her way to Heaven?
Regarding the meaning of the song. Well, there's no specific meaning. The song was written for that purpose.
Before the song became the most requested song on radio history (this record has never been broken, even 34 years to this day..) housewives were requesting the song while they waited for their husbands to come home from work.
The song was requested for weddings and funerals alike. Robert Plant once stated that the song was "...a women's quest for spiritual perfection" and ".. a simple wedding song."
Jimmy Page said, more sincerely, that the song has whatever meaning the listener wants to put to it. It was a song of hope.
Jimmy credits Roberts lyrics while Plant credits Jimmy's magical folk to rock guitar playing. It's obvious that the song inspired everyone in Led Zeppelin at the time.
Notable lines include "If there's a bustle in your hedgerow.." A bustle in your hedgerow refers to the beginning of spring. When the flora and animals, etc wake up and are new and refreshed after the winter.
After the tragedy that Zeppelin experienced during their career, especially Robert Plant (Robert and his wife Maureen were nearly killed in a car accident in 1975. She suffered a fractured skull and pelvis and Robert's ankle was crushed. He had to walk for almost a mile before a fruit truck picked him up and pretty much saved his family. He wouldn't walk again for 6 months. In 1979 Plant's son had died from a respiratory infection & in 1980 his childhood friend John Bonham had died and Zeppelin came to an end.)
After that, it was over for Robert Plant. He refused to sing any Zeppelin songs while touring to promote his solo work. Eventually, in the late 80's and early 90's he came around and accepted his past. He performed some Zeppelin songs in concert but NEVER touched Stairway To Heaven. It would be a kind of sacrilege to play the song without the full band..and Bonham was dead.
Robert has said continuously that Stairway is not his favorite Zeppelin song. It is Kashmir. It's taken much compromise with Plant to even get it done during the Live Aid and Atlantic 88 reunions.
Jimmy Page felt the same. Although he describes Stairway as his favorite (along with Kashmir), he will not play it without, at least, Robert Plant on vocal. He as played the song in his solo concerts but only as an instrumental with the audience filling in for Robert. Some very emotional moments there.
In 1994 on Japanese television Jimmy Page and Robert Plant played a shortened live version of Stairway To Heaven before a shocked crowd and talk show hosts.
Page and Plant went out to sit on 2 stools and asked the audience for any requests. One shouted "Babe I'm Going To Leave You." Agreed. But Jimmy Page himself surprised everyone, especially Robert Plant, by strumming the opening riff of Stairway To Heaven. From there on, the song took shape and a short but magical version was performed. A truly wonderful moment.