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 12:06pm 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 12:09am 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 May 7th, 5:37am report
The lady in the song is about THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND who is very powerful and rich. Plainly simple that the band is advising the lady to believe in the faith. When the band was interviewed about its meaning, the band simply said they don't know what they were writing about :-) . They will not tell because its is meant for their Queen. They were also telling us that, in order for us to go to heaven, then be a rock (in faith) and not roll our faiths.
anonymous May 7th, 5:01am report
All the word LADY in the song refer to the Queen of England. The band do not want to divulge this when the song became a success. The song obviously refers to religious matters.
anonymous Mar 4th, 3:07pm report
There's a lady that's sure all that appears good is good,
and she's trying to get into heaven by following that idea
When she dies she know that if she chosen the wrong path she can get into heaven by repenting
So with that idea she doesn't care if what she thinks is right is really right because god will know she tried
She is confused with the information she has because somethings you have to choose the meaning for yourself
“In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings,
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven”
reiterates previous meaning
it makes her wonder
She want to get away from it, thinking about moving somewhere west but the will always be a west so there are some things that can't be solved by relocating
She sees people with the same problems but they do not speak out about it
it really makes he wonder.
If everyone spoke out the “piper” or leaders of a movement will sway people to a rationalization
all those who stand by their idea will see a new age that they dreamed of, and the “forest” or place of living will finally be happy.
If someone tries to intimidate you, don’t worry, its the power you are opposing showing you that what you are doing is making a difference.
you can follow or resist but you can change which side you are on.
You are starting to think about the situation constantly, the reasoning behind the movement is calling you to it.
can you feel the change happening? And did you know that happiness lies beyond the change?
And as we travel down the path to making an important change we begin to believe our doubts of being able to change what it is that we really hope for.
There is the person who started it all, in all their glory, and shows that there is always hope. Reigniting the movements passion.
And if you consider their words the truth will come to you at last
when we everyone agrees, and we hold onto what we believe
we will have our stairway to heaven.
I'm sorry to say that not one person here has correctly interpreted the true meaning of this 20th century musical masterpiece.
I'll start by saying that Robert Plant and Jimmy Pages comments regarding the meaning of this piece of music are purposely misleading. These two writers of this song do not want to comment publicly as to its true meaning.
I know what it means and I can say that I understand their reasons for being so secretive and more importantly, cautious. They both know very well that the possibility of a public outcry is too high should they reveal it.
They have said it is a song of hope and it most certainly is that. It is also a song of warning from two artists who care deeply about mankind but unfortunately they realize that many would not take it that way and in fact their would be those who would curse them because it would inevitably be misconstrued by many. THAT is why they don't reveal its true meaning.
It is very spiritual... in a sense, but it has nothing directly to do with religion although the "Lady" whom the song speaks of considers herself righteous and spiritual in a manner of speaking.
I'm being guarded regarding the meaning of this song because I have great respect for Plant and Page as artists. What the song has done for the decades that it has been around is that it has caused many to consider its true meaning and that is very important and THAT is what makes it a great work of art.
The fact remains that I consider its meaning to be very important. So much so that I have been wrestling with the idea of publishing an article on just that subject but, until I actually decide to do that and make it public I don't think any one will really "get" it!
Keep trying though and Good Luck!
People seem to be getting hung up on the back masking of this song. Back masking was done back then for those of you who thinks it's phony. They should pay more attention to the lyrics!
What I believe……. Stairway to Heaven……to really mean
If you have studied the scriptures like I have and know a great deal about what they say and Know there symbolic meanings, and after reading the lyrics to this song, it is quite clear to me, that this song that Plant wrote, was inspired (most likely unknowingly) By none other than Satan himself. Laugh all you want, but after examining the lyrics in this song, that is quite clear to me. Plant and Page both dabbled pretty heavily into the occult, which of course is Satan inspired! Notice what Plant himself said about his writing of the song;
Jimmy Page was strumming the chords and Robert Plant had a pencil and paper. Plant later said that suddenly,
My hand was writing out the words, 'There's a lady is sure [sic], all that glitters is gold, and she's buying a stairway to heaven'. I just sat there and looked at them and almost leapt out of my seat." Quote taken from “Stairway to heaven Wikipedia”
You just don’t happen to write words like that in an instant…..
I ‘m going to now explain to you verse by verse what I mean;
“There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven.”
Women are the most religious of the two genders and there intentions are for going to Heaven. Glitter would refer to the prominence of religion throughout the centuries, which of course would be the gold one would need to get into Heaven. Also there are those who think they can buy there way to Heaven. The stores being closed in Heaven would refer to some doubt as to being able to get into Heaven and stay there, but with a word (Gods approval ) she can get what she came for (everlasting life).
“There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
The struggle with religious doubt is being suggested here and whether she has the right or will be allowed in Heaven.
“In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings” Referring to Satan as the bird
“Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.”
Satan planting the doubt in the mind of the listeners once again, as regards there beliefs!
“There's a feeling I get when I look to the west,
And my spirit is crying for leaving.
The west representing America, land of religious freedom and also freedom from religion which was starting to occur at the time this song was written.
Religion was now being questioned at that time and the dismantling of it began also!
“And my spirit is crying for leaving”.
The idea here, was to want to be there (America) and be part of what was taking place.
“In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees,
And the voices of those who stand looking.”
The rings of smoke represent the supposed lies that religions feed the masses, who represent the trees from which the voices, who stand looking , (religious leaders) come from
They are the voices usually speaking out to the masses and politicians
Religion was starting to be believed or looked at as a hoax…”Rings of smoke”
“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.”
“Call the tune” The tune, propaganda or empty lies Satan promotes or promises, referring to himself as the “Piper”
Leading the misled to reason and falsely claiming that if they follow him the “Piper”
A new day will dawn for those who stand long and the Forrest will supposedly echo with laughter!
” If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now,
It's just a sprinkling for the May queen.
A reference from the authors book Plant was heavily into.
“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”
Satan knows there are only two roads, one that is the road that leads to death everlasting and the other road that leads to life forever. Once again falsely promising that if one eventually thinks he or she is on the wrong road, there is plenty of time to change to the other road. People think that if they have done bad during there lives, all they need to do when they are dying, is ask God to forgive them and then they will enter into Heaven. This of course, is not true.
‘Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know,
The piper's calling you to join him,
Being young and confused as regards which way to go, thus “your head is humming”
Once again the Piper, (Satan) is lying, stating that he has the answer, by calling you to join him.
“Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?”
Once again planting doubt in the listeners ear that the stairway to Heaven or the way to Heaven is a Myth. Stating that the lady is mistaken…”Your (you) (or her) stairway lies on the whispering wind” thus non existent!
“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 stone.
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When we all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll.”
“And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul.”
Satan being arrogant, is here encouraging the young to be proud full in how one feels about ones self , regardless of what ever viewpoint one may have, right or wrong and in whatever one does in that regard!
“There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to stone.”
The lady we all know is the Bible and “Belief in the scriptures” and the pure white light that the scriptures show, “the same scriptures that want you to know, what happened to lots wife who was turned into a pillar of salt (stone) because of lack of faith.
Thus…”Wants to show, how everything evil or everyone evil still turns to stone.”
“And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When we all are one and one is all
Satans promise, that if you the listener will listen intently to what he is saying, the way he wants you to think and do, it will come to you at last.
Then his promise is that all will be one in belief and ways, if and when they do so!
To be a rock and not to roll.”
You will Be rock solid in his beliefs and not be able to be moved, another lie
Satan is the great trickster and used the youth of that time through the drug controlling of the mind to talk to the youth through musical groups like this and to inspire the writing of there songs! I was part of that generation and know exactly what went down back then. No, I’m not a religious fanatic and don’t believe in religion, only what the scriptures say, especially after studying then regularly for close to 15 years!
Of course you are free to believe what you like, but this I truly believe is the case with this song!
Through the breaking down of my generation and it’s morals and the passing on of that mentality to the following generations, Satan has now become complete controller of this world and he and it will go soon!
This song was #1 on the charts for around 150 weeks. Considered the best Rock song of all time! Why?? It's quite evident that it was inspired by Satan, that's Why!
A real heart strings tugger, that Satan himself is very proud of!
anonymous Oct 17th, 2013 10:38pm report
It's about the Highway to Hell...
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
anonymous May 28th, 2013 5:24am report
I guess I have been around a lot longer than you guys because I heard them tell us why they wrote this song right after they did it. The band rented a house in the UK. It was haunted. This was their interpretation of the ghost lady of that house and why she was still there. It may be mixed in with all sorts of other meanings but that started it. They saw her as they came down the road. Remember back then that the art of cutting out clips of newspaper phrases and throwing them into the air then putting them together randomly was seen as something artist but magical.
anonymous Apr 28th, 2013 4:58am 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, 2013 2:11pm 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, 2013 2:51pm 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, 2013 1:14pm 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, 2013 1:42am 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 10:37am 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 7:07am 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.
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