Maybe some of you already know that Led Zeppelin were huge fans of the Lord Of The Rings trilogy. If you listen to the lyrics to some certain song's of their's there are some obvious connections. First, let me clear some things up. I know that there is at least on genius that is thinking that the Lord of the Rings movies came out only a few years ago. In case you didn't know they were books written by the fantasy novelist J.R.R Tolkien in the 40's. If I recal correctly each of the members of the band has read the series at least once, the series conisist of four books. In order they are The Hobbit, The Fellowship of the Rings, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King.
I know that your already thinking that Led Zeppelin would never be caught seen reading these books. But they've influenced Robert Plant and Jimmy Page the most because they were fantasy. These books had a subliminal world far from reality where the possibilities were endless. There are also some underlying dark themes within them as well. Led Zeppelin were fascinated by these books so much they used references in some of there music. Some of their songs that contain lyrics of uncharted lands, mysterious beings, and enchanted places often derive from the books.
The most memorable song to be Lord of the Ring influenced is definately Ramble On. In some lyrics about three minutes into the song you can hear some direct references. "Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor I met a girl so fair, but Gollum and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her," were the lines. Now let me explain for those not familiar with the books. A brief plot summary would be that this short, hairy footed creature that resembles a miniture human called a hobbit (Frodo) is sent to destroy a powerful ring crafted by an evil being named Sauron. So where does this little adventurer have to travel, an evil land of fire and brimstone called Mordor. Along the way our hero meets another hobbit named Gollum. Gollum fiends for ring that is going to be destroyed, the ring makes people lust for it's power and has slowely deformed Gollum into a wretched creature. So in these line Led Zeppelin makes their own story (since the girl so fair brings no metafors to mind) using elements (Gollum and Mordor) from the Lord of the Rings.
Some more proof just in this song is evident. The first lines in Ramble on states, "leaves are falling all around time I was on my way, thanks to you I'm much abliged for such a pleasant stay." Thanks to you I'm much abliged for such a pleasant stay are direct lines from when the hobbit leaves an elven habitat and continues his journey.
Of course there are other song containing these fantasy induced lyrics. Another one with a lot of straight foward evidence. One of these is the song the Battle Of Evermore from their untitled album (sometimes referred to as Led Zeppelin four). "The drum will shake the castle wall the wringwraths ride in black," were the lyrics which are approximately two minutes and fifty seconds into the song. Wringwraths are characters in the Lord of the Ring series. They are evil knights who ride on dragons, they are evident in the books during a large battle at a castle called Rivendell. I think this whole song is about this epic battle and the band changed the name. In the beginning of the song Page sings, "The queen of light took her bow and then she turned to gold, the prince of peace embraced the doom and walked the night alone." This doesn't necessarily mention a direct relationship to the books but I think I found a relation. The prince of peace is a metaphor for the prince (Aragon) that would restore order and peace back to the shattered lands. The queen of light was his love who he could't be with because she was an elf and would live forever and he would inevidably grow old and die. So the prince had to face the doom of killing off the evil lord and facing his battles feeling he had to face his evil fate alone.
Of course, this is a stretch, who knows what they really meant. They left it open for interpretation so you may have your own meaning for the song. Many other Led Zeppelin songs were claimed to be inspired by the Lord of the Rings such as Misty Mountain Hop and Celebration Day. I like to believe that Stairway To Heavan was inspired by more but one line caught my attention. "In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees, and the voices of those who stand looking," are the words. In the first book the wizard Gandalf blows rings of smoke as the hobbit Bilbo tells him he is leaving for a far away land. While this is happening the hobbit's nephew, Frodo, watches behind the trees and this is the start of his adventure. In my thoughts I have seen... I believe this is their way of saying they want something more. They dream of fantasy and a different place, away from the world we live in. They long for something more, maybe adventure or just a place to get away from reality. Maybe I'm wrong but this is how I see it.
For those of you who skipped right to the end, I learned that you can be successful and write meaningful lyrics. But you can also write about your personal likes and fantasies in this case, Lord of the Rings. So next time you see a kid with one of those large fantasy novels think twice before you knock him over he could (most unlikely) be part of the next Led Zeppelin.
Whether you loved it or hated it I have done my part, plaese leave a comment.
Until then peace out.