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Led Zeppelin: Stairway To Heaven Meaning

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There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
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...


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    Jul 11th, 2013 7:13am report

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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    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.


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    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."

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    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.


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    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.


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    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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    Apr 25th, 2012 4:42am report

    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.


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    Mar 31st, 2012 3:39am report

    @ mnavon:

    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.


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    Mar 30th, 2012 3:39am 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.


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    Dec 17th, 2011 12:35am report

    it means heaven is nt for every one


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    Dec 15th, 2011 12:12pm 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


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    Dec 5th, 2011 12:25am 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.

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