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Led Zeppelin/Analysis of the lyrics


damo wrote at 2009-05-19 10:22:17
The guys from Led Zeppelin were huge fans of the Lord of the Rings books by JR Tolkein, and a lot of their songs include references to this. In Stairway to Heaven there isn't a consistent story line about the book but a number of references are made:

There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold.

(This is a reference to a poem about Aragorn that implies that just because something doesn't glitter doesn't mean it is not gold, in reference to his rough appearance but great value.)

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

And my spirit is crying for leaving.

(references to the Elves still living in middle earth and their wish to sail west to the Undying lands)

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

And the forests will echo with laughter.

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

It's just a spring clean for the may-queen.

(this is a direct reference to Sam Gamgee eavesdropping in Frodo's hedgerow and being discovered by Gandalf who heard "a bustle in the hedgerow")

Yes there are two paths you can go by.

But in the long run.

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

(could be a reference to Aragorn taking the paths of the dead, or just a reference to something not LOTR related)

There walks a lady we all know.

Who shines white light and wants to show.

(probably galadriel)

When all are one and one is all.

(one ring to rule them all...)

bob wrote at 2011-01-11 00:39:19
Dude that was a great, great response. you write a paper for school and use it here? I'm 13, and Led Zeppelin is my favorite band, with U2 and Pink Floyd following closely behind.


that was supposed to be 5 stars...

Sam wrote at 2011-01-15 20:23:29
This song is basically about the two paths that one can follow. The "lady" is sure that once she follows the righteous path, and gets excepted into heaven, than she can have anything she wants. But the rest of the song is about how hard it is to "buy the stairway to heaven", and to succeed she needs to make the right choices (there are always two choices, the path of earthly desires, and the path of heaven and striving to be like an eagle.    

That's my interpretation anyway.  

SJT wrote at 2012-04-20 16:52:40
Who really cares zepplin was OVERATED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dagness wrote at 2012-05-20 15:09:07
I think you  have to be careful writing a full analysis on what you think the meaning of a song is when all you are really doing is explaining what the words mean to you when they hear it.

Led Zeppelin didn't always consistently refer to one topic throughout an entire song, just snippets from here and there, some relevant to their life experiences, and women, others from passions. I know that they were huge fans of the Lord of the Rings books by J.R. Tolkein and a lot of their work had random and out of context references to these books chucked into different songs, other parts refer to girls that they had met etc.

I can see a number of clear references in Stairway to Heaven;

"Bustle in your hedgerow" (sam gamgee eavesdropping at bag end) "All that glitters is gold" a reference to the verses about Aragorn, and then sections that sound like they are referring to the vanity of some girl in contrast to the meaning that the poem had in the book...

I've seen people trying to do entire interpretations of the song religiously relating it to sections of the bible, and also know that the band copped a lot of criticism over their pagan beliefs and attitude so I'd say that a bit of poetic license is taken by most people that try to interpret these things on the internet hey

Barbara De Paul wrote at 2015-03-09 16:46:24
Really enjoyed reading the background to some of the words to Stair Way to Heaven. Thank so much it was very interesting. I have always loved their music and still today at age 63 I still love hearing these songs.  

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Chris M. Zangara


I`m not only a Zeppelin fanatic, but I have been collecting Zeppelin - including Jimmy Page and Robert Plant solo music & information - for over 27 years. I am truly a lover of Page/Plant music in & out of Zeppelin simply because of the honesty & integrity of it all. - I have been studying them for as long as I have been listening to Rock/Blues Music. Their interpretation of the blues is unlike any other. I look forward to any question and will answer the very best I can - as above all - I am just a fan like you! (Please understand my interest is in the music and people of REAL life; NOT in rumor or fantasy).


Lover of blues roots and rock music from early 1900's to today. Musician for 30 years, mostly study of guitar and recording engineering.

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