Led Zeppelin: Kashmir Meaning
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I am a traveler of both time and space, to be where I have been
To sit with elders of the gentle race, this world has seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait and...
anonymous Mar 8th, 2014 3:45pm report
The song is about, when in a place or State of Nothing, one can more easily transcend, and find their true higher Self.
Sun beats down upon my face... worldly pressures, stars to fill my dreams... one's hopes for the future.
traveler... elders...gentle race... seldom seen... the few who are Enlightened, waiting for the day when All will Be Revealed (enlightened).
Next verse: he hears the message, but doesn't quite get it.
All I see turns to brown (the color of all colors mixed into One), my eyes fill with sand... for this journey sight is not required. Trying to find where I've been... the higher Self so easily distracted/lost by the same wasted land and ground that is burned by the sun.
Pilot of the storm, leaves no trace, like thoughts inside a dream... turmoil, trials, tribulations, in life are guides/lessons to the Way (Toa, etc.)
Heed the path that led me, Shangrila, will return again.... A brief experience of Nirvana or Enlightenment from the space created by nothingness (vast desert).
Father of the four winds, fill my sails, across the sea of years... a prayer that the higher energy or Being will give him the strength and guidance to make the journey... with no provisions but an open face.... open heart, no baggage, nothing, no Ego... along the straits of fear.... our self created psyche fears bind us in ego fabricated walls of prison... prayer to be free, supported by the Father of the four winds and his open heart... fearless.
When I'm on the way, when I see the way, you-stay... he is now able to transcend on the way, even though you stay... he can/will leave the unenlightened behind.
The song closes out by touching on all humans come down from Nirvana, but when he's down... let me take you there! Desire to show All the way to Nirvana...Starting from a place of Nothing! Nothing: meaning no past, no future, only Now, traveling forever in a sea of brown, with no judgement.
anonymous May 23rd, 2010 5:20pm report
I agree with the top post about the past nuclear war, but i'm wondering could he also be singing about an astral travel experience - it almost sounds like hes at first experiencing a point in time before the destruction of the elder gentle race and communicating with them etc, then all of a sudden hes skipped forwards in time and its a barren wasteland after the destruction. Also i think the storm that leaves no trace could be the massive nuclear war. When i speak of time travel i am meaning in an astral viewing sense only, not really being back in time, just perceiving the past.
The song Kashmir closes side two of the double album Physical Graffiti. It is easily Led Zeppelin's greatest work. The orchestra playing the song's riff, the pummeling drums, and the grandiose lyrics definitely leave an impression on the listener which is not quickly forgotten.
The song was originally titled Driving to Kashmir and was basically about traveling through exotic lands. In particular, Morocco. The riff itself originated from a solo song by Jimmy Page called Swan Song.
On to the interpretation. The first verse was inspired by a long, straight stretch of road that cut through the desert. There was rock ridges on either side. The second verse is about the people who lived in these regions. Cultures that would have been so different than the western cultures that Zeppelin would have experienced.
The bridge section which goes "all I see turns to brown" is definitely a reference to the desert. It's baking sun, the endless sand (Sahara desert, anyone), and the almost total lack of life in the region.
The third verse conjures interesting imagery. The "pilot of the storm who leaves no trace" is probably a reference to Jimmy Page's obsession with the occult. Just change pilot to magus and you'll understand what I mean. Basically in this verse Plant is telling us that this land is like paradise or Shangri-la, if you like. He has every intention of returning.
The fourth and final verse is again about travel, but moreover about having the freedom to travel. Plant doesn't want any worldly possessions except the grace to be able to travel where he likes when he pleases.
The song ends with another bridge-type section. Much of this is improvised although the line that goes "let me take you there" is almost an invitation of the listener to travel to Kashmir and experience the culture and lifestyle there.
That's my interpretation of Kashmir. Personally I believe that the song was designed to be more poetic and have more imagery rather than to have a concrete meaning.
kooljohn176 May 10th, 2019 5:15am report
Kashmir is one of the greatest Led Zeppelin songs of freedom that spoke to my soul's imagination then and now. This owesome and amazing song that was and still to this day could be about any international traveler, or any sovereign citizen of any sovereign country when born. Like it was once in the old days of America and Yugoslavia that raised free traveling men of time and space. All after our God created soul from above that comes traveling down into energizing the sovereign flesh and blood human being ''baby'' first most to become sovereign Freemen travelers. Who are the real you and not the other YOU that is ruled down to travel in the ''space fiction'' of the dead corp. owned ''person'' name given to us to be revealed and known to us on this earth.
anonymous Nov 13th, 2018 11:54am report
Yes I agree it’s about a travel experience.
Yes I agree it’s also about a drug trip.
anonymous May 2nd, 2018 5:08am report
Zeppelin is from the future. They jumped back in time to save rock & roll and steer it high above the mountains . Lets face it. " Hammer of the Gods" ring a bell ??
anonymous Jul 1st, 2017 7:00pm report
I tend to think that this song proves that not only were Led Zeppelin Fans of Tolkien but also viewers of Dr. Who. Just for a laugh imagine you are the companion learning about the Dr. through your experiences with him. A Traveller of both time and space, TARDIS, the Dr.s vehicle is an anagram for Time And Relative Distance In Space.
anonymous Aug 16th, 2016 8:13pm report
I think Kashmir is about a DMT trip.
anonymous Apr 3rd, 2015 4:59pm report
song about death, about meeting the makers, about traveling back in time & space to the past of one's life experience, about facing up to the sun & stars, about eyes wide open with sand filling in those eyes, about soul flying out of the dead body.
anonymous Mar 27th, 2014 3:14pm report
Led Zeppelin's song "Kashmir" inspired the novels "The Elder Effect" and "Vital Perception." The author, (D. L. Given) stated in an interview she has no interpretation for the meaning of the song only that is an amazing piece.
anonymous Mar 9th, 2014 3:19am report
It is about a person's journey to becoming a Bodisattva. If you don't see it, look up the meaning of Bodisattva on Wikipedia.
anonymous Sep 18th, 2012 9:54pm report
It does seem to bring to mind Doctor Who. The traveler, "Talk and songs from tongues of lilting grace, whose sounds caress my ear" reminds me of "Planet of the Ood". I mean, I get Kashmir and the war, but the razed land, traveling time and space, him trying to find where he's been, it all sounds like it.
anonymous Jul 21st, 2012 7:13am report
wow a lot of you people are pretty stupid. I don't know what souls and all that crap have to do with Kashmir. It's relating a trip to Morocco to the conflict in Kashmir. Nothing more nothing less. NONE of the member of Led Zeppelin HAVE EVER been to Kashmir.
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