Led Zeppelin: Immigrant Song Meaning
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Song Released: 1970
Covered By: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross (2011), Jamie N Commons (2014)
Immigrant Song Lyrics
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
from the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
The hammer of the gods
Will drive our ships to new lands,
To fight the horde, singing and crying:
Valhalla, I am coming!
On we sweep with...
For God's sake, this is the most literal song they ever wrote! The midnight sun refers to the northern lands that the Vikings came from, where the sun never sets in summer, and hammer of the gods is what they believe is driving them... Thor or Odin or whatever. The Western shore probably means Britain, as that is west of Scandanavia. They fought wars in the green fields of Britain, declared themselves the Overlords and in the end the Britons and the Vikings began to trade together.
This song is about Iceland. The Ice and Snow (obviously). In summer the sun doesn't set and at Midnight it is bright orange and is referred to as the midnight sun.
The hot springs are the hot water pools that come from the earth and they blow in Geysirs. The hammer of Gods is Thor's hammer, one of the Viking Gods and he is the god of Iceland and the Vikings who landed on Iceland. The Western Shore is Iceland, situated west of Norway, and the Vikings sailed to Iceland from Norway
Immigrant Song, which opens Led Zeppelin III is obviously a heavy metal song. It is different from the rest of the album which features a more folk, and acoustic feel rather than the heavy metal/hard rock style displayed in Led Zeppelin and Led Zeppelin II.
Robert Plant actually wrote Immigrant Song whilst touring Iceland. When the workers who were supposed to prepare Zeppelin's concert went on strike the students in the region banded together to help prepare for the concert instead. It reminded Plant of Vikings, big ships, and John Bonham's stomach.
The literal interpretation of Immigrant Song is that it is about the Viking conquest of England. "We come from the land of the ice and snow" is a direct reference to Iceland itself. "Hammer of the Gods" is a reference to the Viking god Thor who carried a hammer. "Valhalla, I am coming" is a reference to the Viking version of heaven which only warriors who had died bravely in battle could gain access to.
"On we sweep with threshing oar/ our only goal would be the western shore" is a reference to Viking ships and how the Vikings would row to new lands in order to conquer them.
"How soft your fields so green can whisper tales of gore" refers both the type of countryside England has (very green, excellent for farming) and also refers to a mighty battle that took place. By the last two lines of this verse it is obvious that the Vikings won the battle and have no conquered England.
The last verse is an interesting one. Vikings are infamous for raping and pillaging. However, the last verse seems to be almost a cry for peace. The Vikings are requesting peace so that the conquered can rebuild their ruins. The Vikings are seeking a relationship based on peace and trust without any hard feelings.
anonymous Nov 23rd, 2017 11:26pm report
I think this is about immigrants. When they talk about their sips it's like when immigrants take boats to escape their country and the tides of war is talking about how they come from fighting lands. The hammer of the gods is like they are praying so that the hammer guides them to a better country.
anonymous Feb 14th, 2015 2:55am report
A great song in the call to adventure as a immigrant or a traveler's expierience to a new land to explore and to build a new dream in the spirit of the old pagan gods of Norse mythology of the vikings that Robert Plant and the Led Zeppelin band brought back to the western shores in this song from the land of the ice and snow where they were laid to rest, but also in the hope for them to be reserrected to be used peacefully in this song as ''The New Temple'' to honor them in the future from the ruins of the past to give more abundance of love to the people of their old natural nature.
anonymous Nov 21st, 2013 11:46pm report
Doing reversals is difficult.
Reversing the Immigrant Song is easy
and free with Audacity.
I can't go back to you.
I won't go back to her.
I won't go back to her.
I can't go back to this.
And do anybody really wanna ask?
Crazy hanging my weak.
I'll never hold your hand.
I have news.
Wives cannot weaken.
I stand up against the war to a react.
I used to.
It'll be war.
I'm the who ran your li...
Are your eyes.
I'll hope it's just...
All what you want.
What works the best is just stupid.
What you give some of the men.
Now I sleep on the floor
To sky the night on the blood.
I want out.
I want out.
I spent many did then warned to react
I kissed you.
Let peace be war.
He dream dream
We must make out.
Her lover love.
They're hoping this
Will open scalp.
The hell women.
See, they shove it out.
Don't pay me.
Her husband's like a mack.
anonymous Apr 25th, 2013 4:33pm report
Many of Led Zeppelin’s songs have various meanings; based on your knowledge of the band and how literal of a person you are affects your opinion of the songs meanings. Most people believe “Immigrant Song” is based on the bands drug use. They state that lyrics in the song such as “We come from the land of the ice and snow” are names that refer to common drug nicknames; “How soft your fields so green…” is said to be the feeling when high. The remaining of the song is about the band touring and meeting people who do not know about hard drugs like meth and coke; how they want to have total have power in the drug world. People who believe this are wrong. The song is actually comparing the band to Vikings, while telling the story of the Vikings of Norsemen invading Britian. Robert Plant wrote the song in Iceland and was very amused with folklore. “From the midnight sun where the hot springs flow” refers to the northern lands that the Vikings came from, where the sun never sets in summer. “…Our only goal will be the western shore.” This phrase refers to the band wanting to take over the music charts of America. It also speaks of the Vikings concoriong land in the name of their god, Thor. Which Plant also mentions when he stated “The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands.” The hammer of our gods repersenting Thor. Once again, this statement could also represent the bands want to take over America.
anonymous Dec 1st, 2012 12:28pm report
The land of the Ice and Snow where the hot springs blow is Scandinavia... The hammers of the gods are Thor and they believed in Vallhalla the Norse afterlife where you can only go if you die in battle... to fight the hordes may have different meanings... may mean Natives of Canada whom the Vikings fought... or the Mongol Hordes who invaded Viking inhabited Russia/Finland where they sailes down rivers to reach... or Dark Age Europe with the Gauls and Celts who traveled like hordes... or even the peoples of North Africa and Arabia... I have another completely different meaning that the Norwegian Immigrant Ships sailed to America to face crowds or hordes of people who wanted to have them leave... or face hard times in the massive cities of the USA.
anonymous Jul 26th, 2012 7:52pm report
This isn't really a song. This is a, I'm being legit, a chant the Vikings chanted into battle. Without the guitar, ahahahahs, and it was in Viking language! I'm being legitamate!
anonymous May 14th, 2012 5:56pm report
It is a metaphor of going/traveling to a better place.
anonymous Apr 17th, 2011 4:30am report
About the vikings.
anonymous Feb 18th, 2011 2:04am report
Yeah it's about the band invading america, ravishing young women as they go.
anonymous Jan 12th, 2010 1:54pm report
It's about the vikings conqueriong britain for god sake... also, farello, it isnt about going to iceland "we COME from the land of the ice and snow" refers to them coming from norway. "Hammer of the god will drive our ship to new lands" means they're sailing for new lands to conquer, also refering to the norsic gods famous symbol that is the hammer. "Sing and cry, valhalla i am coming!" vikings again... "on we sweep with threshing oar" they usuailly rowed in their longboats, "our only goal will be the western shore" they wont stop till they reach the western shore, england. i would go on but i cant be bothered because their is no way it could be any different meaning, it is the most literal song ever!!
anonymous Aug 15th, 2008 8:26pm report
I've never read any Led Zeppelin biographies or anything, but just by listening to the song I think that they are using the idea of invading Norsemen as a metaphor. Led Zeppelin basically invaded America and conquered the music scene, like a boatload of vikings crossing the Atlantic and taking land from other civilizations.
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