Led Zeppelin: Stairway To Heaven Meaning
Stairway To Heaven Lyrics
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...
anonymous Dec 16th 2005, 22:06 report
You're all missing the point... Sort of. This song means a lot of things to a lot of people. It's not just drugs, or magic, or Tolkien, or whatever. It's about the feeling that there's something out there, which you can't control, that there are forces and... That you are not alone as an individual in this crazy world, that the piper will "Call us to reason", whoever he is, and that a voice of reason will emerge to end the fighting, violence, senselessness.
So while there are drug references, while there is backmasking, I guess, and there are most definitely references to Tolkien... That's not the full essence of the song. The essence of this song is different for everyone and that's why this is still a classic years later... because "sometimes words have two meanings."
Hello it's me again CrutcHead, first off I'd like to say that its quite interesting to see that we're having a great discussion here regarding Zep's all-time great rock classic staple, Stairway To Heaven.
I guess to further clarify what we could find in this song, I suppose a line per line study of the lyrics should suffice. However before going to that, I'd like to state a few points if I may-- the phenomenon called 'Backmasking' (which is now being alleged as a dud by many these days - even by those who just do so out of what they're told, or its that they just don't like to look 'stupid' or be called as one by those around them mainly by their peers and its all a concern for that public image social stuff as for what is common) is a valid matter. And setting aside such preconceived ideas by approaching the said phenomena in an open-minded/unbiased perspective- the phenomenon is provable.
As I've stated from my previous review to the song, that when you 'memorize the said line heard backwards and record your own voice reciting the backward (it) line would emit the forward segment of that particular portion when one listens to his own voice recording played in reverse.'
The other matter which makes "alleged" backmask examples non-credible- is because of that some who presented them set out words that are not really there when heard backwards. Take for that matter the backward message found on Stairway- many claim that it says "the one who's middle path" , when what it truly state backwards is "the one who made a path, which always makes me sad who's power is satan" - because testing the former line would not emit the forward segment when reversed when using the method explained earlier. Hence, even with forward lyrics people would often have different ideas as well.
Furthermore to claim that a song is 'ABOUT DRUGS" is such an inane way to irresponsibly explain away the lyrics when it meant more than that- and this is the kind of interpretation you'd often get from a person who don't understand the lyrics to a certain song from certain bands such as U2, or Midnight Oil for that matter.
Thus to further amplify what there is to be found to our appreciation in the lyrics of Stairway To Heaven by LED ZEP (not the Neil Sedaka song just to clarify), here's a line by line 'exegesis' if you may call it as such of the song:
^There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven.^
the lady depicts the church - or to make it plainly the catholic church -- under a scope of reflecting to history REVELATION 17:5 talks about, a church which is supposed to be the bride of Christ, who went wanton and from her came forth daughters(sects) which also prostituted themselves with the ways of the world (a common biblical analogy from the old testament - check the book of Hosea).
The GOLD being spoken of in the song refers to what lasts forever - for that matter IMMORTALITY, thus the lady had a mindset that every seems that claim (glitters) to resemble what is religious could lead to ETERNAL LIFE/SALVATION, and thus she's trying to buy her way to get to heaven, peculiarly reflectively connected with Matthew 7:21 and Ephesians 2:9 which paints a picture that the woman/lady is indeed being foolish.
^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.^
these lines which depicts the Lady going to the store (the common church) being closed and not being there in time to get 'the word that she can get' for which she came for thinking that those were what could lead/guide her to heaven - is such a very powerful and clear analogy regarding what the song is dealing about.
^There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.^
Being that 'GOD's WORD' could be mighty vague at times, the lady would even find her self in doubt at times
^In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings,
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.^ This line indicates Christ, who's hung/crucified at the cross - who's words are at times misgiven; a great and fine depiction about this is found on the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR, in particular with the segment Simon Zealots/Poor Jerusalem tracks - wherein they have a different idea about what christ came here for, their idea of a messiah (saviour) is for political means, when Christ have something else (Spiritual) in mind ... So much for anything amidst the changes of the times
^Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it makes me wonder.^
Plant's personal musings (see second post review)
^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^
Christianity originating from the East - its opposite would then be the west (even in occult knowledge it defines this same thing), hearken the lines indicate that the speaker is having thoughts of considering another path than the one which is being trod upon Christianity, as there are other 'voices' such as those of the athiests, the evolutionists, and even so-called satanists that offers other options than what is there regarding Christianity. Spilling the beans about the song -this is the whole idea of the song's lyrics and it would even be much more apparent as we move on.
^And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason.^
Here we have the first mention of the PIPER - who in folklore lead away the children by his music, would thus even come to imply here a certain stem about what sentiments there are within the time of the songs inceptions such as the whole gamut of mysticism and various 'spiritual' cults as those of the Maharishi's, and those of the 60's flower power movement.
The following line only expresses the Hope that could/may be found about straying away to another spiritual movement - thus as Plant stated before performing the track on what turned out to be their live recording that appeared on the flick The Song Remains The Same 'I Think This is a song of hope'
^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.^
What these lines appear to imply is that- some situations in our lives would at times come as to stump us, but as in the words to a HERMAN's HERMIT song 'This Door Swings Both Ways' - being pat of the season of our lives, so to speak.
And now we come to these lines where the "alleged" Backward message appeared:
^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. ^
Again right here, we hear about the 'path' - a term that is prominent even with occultists (as Jimmy Page is even well in delved with) regarding the study and practice of occultism - whence for every being, it is inevitable to choose a path for the way how you are to live your life, choosing your lifestyle so to speak, and to an occultist- the path of vying for occult knowledge is the 'Path' that they chose, and in that regard the sentiment to bring it upon as the way to spread what is Utopia-like into this world (also check out URIAH HEEP's The Wizard- who's fanbase hail as the only Heavy Metal acoustic song ever written above ZEP's Stairway)
Ironically though, being a believer of the Bible (and all things related with the hebrew-God YHWH, may I say so) myself, I found nothing wrong with the backward message in this song - I could say so its even a gospel-truth ... That is, satan gives you the bad ride of life (cf. JOHN 10:1 to 10)
^Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know,
The piper's calling you to join him,^
It's that nagging feelings and thoughts that would like you to completely turn away from all that is holy
^Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind.^
ah the whispering wind, don't you realize that God's wizard Paul the Apostle stated in his knowledge that the spirits of those that are against God are of the air? (check Ephesians 2:1-2) Right now as I write I'm having second thoughts myself about the Angelic Evocation ritual from the Kabbalah that I'm studying to practice is kosher- as far as its evocations are really calling the Archangels of God , or of those that have fallen away with Lucifer/Satan are concerned (
) cf. EZEKIEL 28:12-19/REVELATION 12:7-9
^And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul.^
Accordingly- it is self-deceit and vain to follow the steps of religiosity, that ones self-opinion becomes more magnified than what is real, that is: one thinks he is okey when he is not, thus 'our shadow's taller than our souls'
^There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold.^
Organized Religion who claims to serve as the guide to the path of eternal life
^And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When all are one and one is all^
The song implies - that the answer lies actually in global unity, and thus is the very thing which REVELATION chapter 13 predicts - a global government lead by a single anti-christian figure or government, which is not far from reality, as statistics amongst UN Board members answered for the cure to all global problems: coyly they answered unanimously (and unknowing about it) = a one world government! (read sometime ago in NEWSWEEK 1989)
The Gospel According to Satan indeed!
^To be a rock and not to roll.^
Not to wander but to be formidable and sure
-- afterwards the song transits to the picture that we have of the foolish woman, still:
^And she's buying a stairway to heaven^
which I think is one of the wonderful elements to this song - its that it paves to paint a picture amidst its lyrics along with the narrative concerning the thoughts that we have discussed here mirrored by its lyrics, which would segue time and time again back to the travelling woman in the path which she believes to be that road that leads to Life.
All in all, despite of the arguments and everything - the song is one heck of a genius work indeed coming from LED ZEP's Robert Plant and Jimmy Page (the latter an avowed 'fan' of the self-proclaimed late british faggot/occult ecsentric Alister Crowley).
---Chris Banez lim
anonymous Dec 1st 2005, 01:09 report
It never ceases to amaze me how similar drug addicts are to the devoutly religious:
1. Maximum of a high school education (or, more than likely, equivalent)
2. No knowledge of probability/statistics, or literature
3. Belief that everything is about or related to the thing that is most important to them
It’s no different in this case. The drug addicts are all saying “yo, dude, it’s about druuuuugs, duuude.” And once again, the religious people are all saying “It’s all about Satan! Satan, Satan, Satan! No Rock and/or Roll music in this house!”
When will you people learn?
Ok, first things first. Stairway to Heaven is poetry: pretty words that sound good together that convey happy and good feelings – and in this case, no real or deep meaning. That’s it. That’s all Plant says it is. That’s all Page says it is. That’s about all that anyone can knowledgeably say it is.
One idiot wrote something like “duuuude, ‘buying a stairway to heaven’ means the chick is buying drugs, so she’s gonna die.” Ok, that’s fine and all, except you forgot one thing: THE REST OF THE FUCKING SONG. This accounts for exactly 2.5% of the song. So, duuuude, why will the “piper … lead us to reason”? Or, when will the new day dawn “for those who stand long”? And just what the hell does any of that have to do with buying drugs and dying?
SATAN, SATAN, SATAN
This one is always my favorite. EVERYTHING gets traced back to good ol’ Satan. In this case it’s like seeing the Virgin Mary on a grilled cheese sandwich (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4034787.stm): if you toast enough bread, eventually something’s gonna come up looking like something important to you or that you think about a lot. If you sit around and listen to any noise for 8 minutes and 3 seconds you’ll end up hearing something that sounds like whatever it is you happen to be looking for. This is also a lot like EVP (http://www.aaevp.com/). Anyone who made it through high school or college freshman level probability/statistics should understand this.
Another familiar religious story came up as well: [the love of] money is [the root of all] evil. Of course, religious leaders often remove the bracketed sections. So, one person wrote “She thinks she can buy her way into heaven, but then discovers her life is pointless and she goes to hell.”
What? What the hell does that even mean? Why is her life pointless? Is it because of the “forests echoing with laughter” perhaps? Or is it because she did not stand long, so a new day will, in fact, not be dawning for her? The last bit of the song would tend to lead one away from her being in hell anyway: “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.”
So, next time you hear Stairway to Heaven come on the radio think Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, or even Tolkien or Homer. Just don’t jump straight to Satan, or “it’s about druuugs, maaaan.” Put a little bit of thought into it.
anonymous Apr 28th, 10:58 report
The song was written by Plant and he swears his hand was moving itself. Mary, the mother of Jesus, wrote it through Plants hand about her son and her mission.
There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold (all souls are golden) And she's buying a stairway to heaven (she is working all souls towards her son one step at a time) When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed With a word she can get what she came for (she came to give us her son and she pushes us to heaven. She has clout with her son. Her son will never deny her. She gets what she wants. She can open up heaven to your soul) 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 (sign may say "closed" but she can open it)In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings (Mary and the holy spirit sings softly to everyone good thoughts) Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven (apprehension occurs when you hear her or the holy spirit) 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 (Mary left because her Fatima message was not spread)In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees And the voices of those who stand looking (hell is burning and souls stand waiting to go in or out) Ooh, it makes me wonder Ooh, it really makes me wonder
And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune Then the piper (the holy spirit) will lead us to reason And a new day will dawn for those who stand long And the forests will echo with laughter (cause their getting into heaven)
If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now It's just a spring clean for the May queen (May is the month of Mary, she can help clean up your life) 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 (be patient and keep trying you'll get it right) And it makes me wonder
Your head is humming (too hard to know right from wrong) and it won't go, in case you don't know The piper's calling you to join him (the holy spirit wants you to listen to him, join the son) Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow and did you know Your stairway lies on the whispering wind? (Mary's stairway to heaven lies in the whisper of the holy spirit)
And as we wind on down the road Our shadows taller than our soul (shadow is long but failures are too, much regret) There walks a lady we all know Who shines white light and wants to show (she points out the good you have done and helps you forget the bad) How everything still turns to gold (she shines the way to her son and to you becoming GOLD)
And if you listen very hard The tune will come to you at last When all are one and one is all, (pure holy communion of the true Church to the bride and their creator)yeah To be a rock and not to roll (listen and try and not be swayed by failure)
And she's buying a stairway to heaven
Mary works endlessly to get all souls to her son! Everyone is gold and she is buying your way with her work and the work of her son.
anonymous Feb 17th, 16:11 report
I can't believe that anyone does not know the meaning to this song. Wikipedia Nimrod and Semiramis. Oh and it has everything to do with Satan and his lie in the garden of eden. Its so good that 1/3 of the angels in heven followed him and fell for that cherubs tale . Also I can believe that people will fall for this lie and its the same thing that happens today its all about greed. Just like the emperor on star wars said only in the end do you understand.
barbedwire59 Feb 7th, 14:51 report
This song has different meanings to different people. I know alot of people who love this song because it relates them to the feeling of losing somebody they loved (it is about dying and oing to heaven).
But if you look closely to the lyrics, and look at the background of Zep (blues/rock fusion band, heavily influenced by the Black Southern Blues musicians), then its a different story.
This song is about the damnation of the poor. Poor people do not go to heaven. It does not matter what is right, when all are one and one is all. It is a song of hope because it tries to turn that around, with lifting guitar riffs and ooh it makes me wonder lyrics, and finally "...her stairway lies in the whispering winds..." and it rocks it all away.
But in the end, "and she's buying the stairway to heaven."
An interesting note, in the latest Celebration Day concerts in 2012, Robert
changed the lyrics from "..her stairway lies on the whispering wind..." to "...our stairway lies on the whispering winds..." maybe refering to their belief that heaven does not exist or that we are all damned, rich or poor.
anonymous Jan 21st, 20:14 report
After reading a nearly direct reference to the song in Atlas Shrugged, I can't help but wonder if the meaning is meant to express the "evils" of capitalism.
Directly from the book: (Francisco) "When I die, I hope I go to heaven - whatever the hell that is and I want to be able to afford the price of admission."
(Jim) "Virtue is the price of admission."
(Francisco) " That's what I mean, James. So I want to be prepared to claim the greatest virtue of all-that I made money."
(Jim) "But any grafter can make money."
(Francisco) "You ought to discover some day that words have an exact meaning."
Those few lines from the book really struck me as being similar to the song and what Francisco means (I think) is that he can buy his way into heaven by bribing god with his own gold; that he can live a life without virtue on Earth yet still get into heaven. He will not "inherit streets of gold" fo he paved them himself and is willing to cut god a deal.
Then again, I could be wrong but I also think the lady is referring to Lady Liberty and her torch of gold calling to the east like a siren. The land of opportunity (capitalism) the land of milk and honey (because of capitalism) and the inclination for those who gain it to be egotist and full of pride in ere.
Also, Rand's philosophy is based on hard reason further elucidating that if you follow the piper and take the path of "greed" (capitalism) you are not choosing a path of virtue.
The next scene in the book, just after the conversation between Jim and Francisco, is where they have built a fire in the forest and this is when the female becomes entranced by Francisco and glorifies him...a beakon of future wealth but also a tormented soul encapsulated by all of those things that go with money, power and influence.
So, maybe the lady is actually meant to represent Rand and is a typical push toward socialism so frequent in the music during the day; during the "revolution."
anonymous Jan 14th, 01:42 report
Without going wayy too deep which I've given this one considerable thought but have been to lazy to make an intelligent contribution, there are definitely religious undertones as well as blatant indications of wealth and status ruining someone.
"With a word she can get what she came for" has a definite religious pinning in that christianity teaches that it doen't matter how pathetic and reviled of a base existance you have lived each moment of every day, simply uttering the phrase, "please forgive me for I have sinned" will get you into heaven when really, you should be condemned to hell to burn for all of the sordid choices and decisions you have made in your living, breathing life.
The piper represents deception and the west as opportunity for wealth and fame. But the piper is a warning that living a life in pursuit of such frivolous and petty things is meaningless and when you are quiet long enough to really listen, you will discover how insignificant you really are in the grand scheme of things. Same applies to belief in a god.
anonymous Oct 14th 2012, 10:37 report
Buying the Stairway to Heaven is: trying to get to heaven by doing good deeds and charity.
But it doesn't work like that. You could be Al Capone and donate to charity and still be a bad person.
Somebody "up there" has to recognize you, regardless of good deeds.
anonymous Jul 25th 2012, 07:07 report
This is one of Robert Plant's Tolkien inspired lyrics.
The 'Lady' is Lady Galadriel. If you haven't read the book, I'm sure you've seen Cate Blanchett play her in the films.
The 'all that glitters is gold' line is a variation 'All that is gold does not glitter' the poem from LOTR about Aragorn.
Galadriel was a Noldorian elf from Valinor who left Valinor with the army of Feanor in the Silmarillion. As this was an act of rebellion all those who left were exiled to middle earth and prevented from returning.
She was said to emit white light.
Galadriel 'buys' her forgiveness when she passes the test of refusing to accept The One Ring when Frodo offers it to her. She realises then that when the power of her own ring fades she will be allowed to return, on the Straight Road, to Valinor (Heaven) and this indeed occurs in one of the final chapters, when she, Elrond, Gandalf, and Frodo and Bilbo, take the ship from the Havens.
I think people are over complicating the meaning of this song. In a nutshell; heaven is a state of being totally absorbed and carried along with the flow of the music. Sort of like what a person who meditates is trying to attain by being totally "in the moment".
This ultimate appreciation of music, cannot be bought! Just like you cannot buy love. It must be felt and/or sensed.
It's up to each one of us to decide whether or not to peruse this mysterious state of nirvana. The music cannot overtly come right out and tell us how to experience this, but it is able to posts clues to it along the way, which if we are perceptive enough, allow us to get glimpses of what it is like.
anonymous Mar 31st 2012, 02:39 report
The cover art is also esoterically revealed through the the major arcana of tarrot; The Hermit, and is more so reflected in Kashmir.
The Hermit symbolizes withdraw and isolation from society to emerge having a deeper perception of "self." Here is the Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hermit
My thoughts are incomplete at the moment and it's rather difficult to put into words, but what do you guys think?
I know some are extremely religious and tarot reading would be considered a sacrilege, but it's really no different from finding meaning in a song.
anonymous Mar 30th 2012, 10:39 report
the narrator potrays a story for every saint has a past and every sinner has a future. the choice is ours. keep holding on my special friend. learn to breathe and walk again slowly.
anonymous Dec 17th 2011, 07:35 report
it means heaven is nt for every one
anonymous Dec 15th 2011, 16:12 report
The stairway to heaven is a complictated thing. It actual was a stairway to one of the studios bedroom and guess what a bed. Sorry to disapoint from someone who has the stairway to heaven and peter grants house
anonymous Dec 5th 2011, 02:25 report
I think the beauty of the song is that there is no single correct interpretation of the lyrics meaning-depending on how you look at it, it could be about drugs, money, life, satan (when played backwards), or simply nothing at all, just a collection of words combined with a great melody that sounds real good.
anonymous Nov 23rd 2011, 03:58 report
i think this a song of hope :) ~ RP 1975. this masterpeice was written on the basis of Robert Plants belief ~ 'life is simply physics' and he is absolutely right. for every high theres an equal low, what goes around comes around and so on. its saying to us all, that no matter how dark things may seem, and no matter how hopeless we may feel inside, there is always light somewhere along that tunnel. they are showing such understanding of the demons that are sometimes 'shadowing our souls' in times of depression. just as he was albe to "take control of his own mothership" this song is to remind us not only of hope, but that life is what WE make of it and it has a lot to offer if we too regain the reins to our own motherships!
so in led zep's terms, metaphorically speaking of course ;
cause you know sometimes words have two meanings (things aren't always as they seem);
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..... i hope so!
(me too LZ) ;
a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo with laughter......DOES ANYBODY REMEMBER LAUGHTER!! (keep holding on, keep fighting and you will find your way out);
if you listen very hard, the tune will come to you at last;
and to complete the song and meaning perfectly......
when all is one and one is all, to be a rock and not to roll!!!!!!!!
anonymous Sep 27th 2011, 13:34 report
ok im a stoner and i think that ^ post is dumb. smoke or dont smoke or high or not high this song simply means.................................nothing at all u dumbasses just appreciate music and suck nutz for christz sake plz fuck id rather eat a bowl of Mr.Crunch before deciding wtf this song means. yall r on yall asses and its where your head should be and youre all taking shits from your moufs (mouths). pay rent. work. eat. fuck. shit. sleep. REPEAT. back to you daily lives ppl!
anonymous Sep 27th 2011, 13:29 report
It means get high man. if yuh get high ull be alright man. its all gooood maaannn. trust meh. just hit the pipe in school out of school in class out of class just do it maaan. itl b good like johnny b good duude.
smokeee it smokkke its good 4 yuh guy
ull get sexier and grow a thik head if pubezz
anonymous Sep 26th 2011, 16:22 report
There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven. (she is tithing)
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for. (The bible is the word of God, with the bible, she can get into Heaven.) Revelation 3:8
Ooh, ooh, and she's buying a stairway to heaven. (She is tithing and she she thinks that will get her into Heaven)
There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure (points out the significance of the next line, hint hint)
'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings. (parables, which the bible is full of, and the words in this song have two meanings)
In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings, (reference to John the Baptist and Jesus)
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiving.
Ooh, it makes me wonder, (think!)
Ooh, it makes me wonder.
There's a feeling I get when I look to the west, (the anointing of the holy spirit's comforting, Christianity is the religion of western civilization) (it's usually about now that I feel the spirit! -jk)
And my spirit is crying for leaving. (soul crying out to be saved)
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees, (Revelation of Jesus Christ)
And the voices of those who standing looking.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it really makes me wonder.
And it's whispered (Revealed by Jesus) that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper (Jesus, the one playing the woodwind instrument, the flute, which has a whispering tone) will lead us to reason. (Jesus' second coming, revelation 7:17)
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long (World after tribulation) Revelation 3:12
And the forests will echo with laughter.
Well I've got some good news! (Gospel is the Greek word for good news)
If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now,
It's just a spring clean for the May queen. (God puling the weeds, the tare, reaping...)
Yes, there are two paths you can go by (the Stairway to Heaven or the Highway to Hell), but in the long run,
There's still time to change the road you're on.
Well I hope so! (There is always hope. It is never to late to be saved)
And it makes me wonder.
Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know,
The piper's calling you to join him, (Jesus said I will knock on the door...) Rev 3:20
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, (the word of Jesus) and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind. (if you want to get to heaven you have to follow the piper, Jesus. Christians are saved by grace, not by their works.)
And as we wind on down the road (Later in life, after a few wrong turns. There is a straight and narrow path to heaven, there is a long and winding road to hell. )
Our shadows taller than our soul. (late in the day (near the end of our life) we cast longer shadows, our soul is nothing with out Jesus)
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold. (Later in life after more and more sin we can still be saved. The new world after the tribulation will be made of gold.)
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last. (if you accept Christ the holy spirit will come into your heart and you will be saved.)
When all are one and one is all (in Heaven we are one with God)
To be a rock and not to roll. (Jesus is the Rock, be strong with his foundation)
And she's buying a stairway to heaven................
anonymous Aug 24th 2011, 00:08 report
As Mr. Plant says.."This is a song of hope"
Does anybody remember laughter?
anonymous Jul 29th 2011, 15:43 report
Like the song says, sometimes a word can have two meanings. That being said, I think that Page or Plant convey a message with this song that has to do with the context that the song was written in. I think you can definitely see how it's an expression of what the band may have been experiencing at the time.
What a lot of people forget about Led Zeppelin ,since they've become so influential, is that when they first came onto the music scene a lot of critics HATED them, if you don't believe me just read this brutally sarcastic Rolling Stone review of Led Zeppelin II
Of course, if the members of Led Zeppelin had taken this kind of criticism to heart we would be missing out on some really great rock and roll, so what does this have to do with "Stairway to Heaven"?
In my opinion, much of stairway to heaven is about following your own personal vision, whether that be artistic, moral, intellectual, or even religious, and this sentiment is filtered through the ambiguous and poetic qualities of the song, which many people take for being allegories of specific subjects.
While I doubt that this was an intended quality of the song, I think it's very possible that subconsciously the members of Led Zeppelin were reacting to their rather critical environment.
"There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold And she's buying a stairway to heaven"
ok, so there's a woman who has a superficial idea of how to gain access to salvation/peace of mind/ happiness. Maybe this alludes to how some people think that with success, and critical acclaim you can achieve happiness.
"When she gets there she knows if the stores are all closed with a word she can get what she came for."
You can't achieve resolution or happiness through external means such as buying it at a store or through someone else's validation, so right away even though this protagonist accepts some popular or superficial beliefs about what will make her happy on the surface, deep down she knows she can obtain it on her own terms.
"There's a sign on the wall, but she wants to be sure, because you know sometimes words have two meanings."
Signs tell us what to do, but ultimately you decide how you will interpret them- if someone criticizes you , you have the freedom to take it to heart or ignore it- and on the flip side, if you are listening to someone express themselves, there could be multiple meanings to what they have to say, so music and art are subjective and should be treated as such.
The song bird is a more overt reference to the medium of music as a way to deliver messages with multiple meanings, since birds sing in their own language, they sing their own unique tune that can only be understood by other birds. So, if you hear a bird singing in a way it has "misgiven" its message to you.
"In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees, and the voices of those who stand looking"
Smoke rings are a kind of code, not unlike the bird's song, which use a specific language to communicate a message
"There's a feeling I get when I look to the west,
and my spirit is crying for leaving"
With the imagery of singing birds and smoke rings it seems that there is a need to break free, and that other people innately feel this as well. Heaven, smoke rings, and birds all can exist on a higher plane than the earth and therefore transcend earthly problems
"And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune, then the piper will lead us to reason"
You can find the answers but you have to generate them yourself before they can take you places, and this is something that everyone has the ability to do. In other words, you proclaim your own fate. Also the continued allusions to music and song clue us into the fact that Led Zeppelin's music is there own "tune" and therefore provides them with the kind of artistic and spiritual satisfaction that they need despite what other critics say about them.
"And a new day will dawn for those who stand strong, and the forests will echo with laughter"
Further promotes the point that who have to remain strong in what you believe in if you want to achieve true happiness.
"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"
Don't be intimidated or frightened by critics, sometimes you can heed their input to your own advantage, like everyone needs to do a little spring cleaning now and then- spring also symbolizes growth and rebirth, but ultimately you make the decisions about how you want to lead your life.
"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?"
In your head, like the "lady who knows" you already know the answers you just have to look inside to find them. The "whispering wind" like the bird's song and the smoke rings come from the sky, symbolizing heaven/ peace of mind or happiness. Unlike a stairway, which is a physical object, wind is abstract and temporal- you feel it, and like a whisper, instinct is something only you can understand just as you would decode a smoke signal or a bird would understand another bird's song.
"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"
As we travel through life, although our self- consciousness often ellipses our true desires and self knowledge, we all truly know what we want and what makes us happy, and furthermore, it is our innate instincts that tell us this.
"And if you listen very hard The tune will come to you at last When all are one and one is all, yeah To be a rock and not to roll"
Stay steadfast like a rock, also a pun and the final clue that the Led Zeppelin is talking about their own artistic medium of expression, rock and roll. You will know what to do if you stick to your guns and be true to yourself.
And she's buying a stairway to heaven
Kind of an ambiguous last line, sung in a kind of sorrowful way, maybe mourning those who have not had this realization yet because obviously you cannot buy your way into heaven.
This analysis is kind of a combination of what I know about Led Zeppelin's critical reception in the late 60's by critics who considered their music to be an insincere bastardization of the American blues, as well as Page's and Plant's interest in mysticism. Contrary to popular belief, mysticism has much less to do with the occult and satanic rituals, and more to do with finding spirituality within yourself and developing a personal relationship with God. I feel that this interest really doesn't have anything to do with religion but is rather more of a philosophy of contentment.
People throughout history, especially women, who have been outspoken about their personal beliefs on God were persecuted because their vision didn't sit well with the establishment- people like Teresa of Avila, and Joan of Arc. Led Zeppelin cleverly draw a connection between the closed mindedness of the middle ages (even if unintentionally) with the close mindedness of critics. The use of classic English folk instrumentation also brings the middle ages to mind, it's hard to see this as coincidental. This may also be why there seem to be so many religious undertones within Stairway: because of its mystical message. This could also be seen as an endorsement of the counterculture in the face of the critical status quo during the 60's and early 70's.
Ultimately, the main theme (I won't even say message because that seems too didactic) is following your own internal compass- which is why I can't say I disagree with any of the other interpretations of this song no matter how off base they seem to me. Happiness and meaning are things you define on your own terms.
anonymous Jul 24th 2011, 22:55 report
I think everyone is missing the point of this song. This song doesnt have one set meaning. It means whatever you want it too, whatever you can relate too. Jimmy Page said so himself. So the song means whatever you want it too and thats why it will forever go down as the greatest song of rock and roll ever, and this is coming from a 15 year old girl. so you can kiss my ass if you think my generation doesnt know music
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