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Stairway to Heaven
Song

Stairway to Heaven

Led Zeppelin
Album:
Led Zeppelin IV

Song Meaning and Background of Stairway to Haven by Led Zeppelin


The centrepiece of Led Zeppelin IV, "Stairway to Heaven," is the standard by which all epic anthems must be measured.


Thanks to John Paul Jones' recorder solo and Robert Plant's imaginative lyrics, which were partly influenced by Lewis Spence's historical book Magic Arts in Celtic Britain, the acoustic intro positively sounds Elizabethan.


The song develops into a ferocious Jimmy Page solo that storms heaven's gate over the course of eight minutes.


Page said the song “crystallized the essence of the band. It had everything there and showed us at our best. It was a milestone. Every musician wants to do something of lasting quality, something which will hold up for a long time. We did it with ‘Stairway.'”


Page said that "a huge percentage of the lyrics were written there and then" in reference to Robert Plant's initial attempts at writing songs while sitting next to a log fire at Headley Grange in the evening. Robert Plant had a pen and paper, and Jimmy Page was strumming the chords.


Lyrics of Stairway to Haven by Led Zeppelin


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, makes me wonder

Ooh, 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, really makes me wonder

 

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 long

And the forests will echo with laughter

 

Oh-oh-oh-oh-whoa

 

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

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 on

 

And it makes me wonder

Oh, whoa

 

Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know

The piper's calling you to join him

Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow? And did you know

Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?

 

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 to gold

And if you listen very hard

The tune will come to you at last

When all are one and one is all

To be a rock and not to roll

 

And she's buying a stairway to Heaven

Release Date

1971

Songwriter/s

Jimmy Page, Robert Plant

Producer/s

Jimmy Page

Label/s

Atlantic

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