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Led Zeppelin: Stairway To Heaven Meaning

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Stairway To Heaven Lyrics

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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    Jan 11th, 2011 1:07am report

    What turns a piece of art into a classic? What makes a song endure the vicissitudes of time and personal taste such that even after decades it still retains the title of “most-played track in radio history”? Something about the song resonates within all who hear it; nevertheless its deep message has remained sealed to the uninitiated. Indeed, the Zeppelin fan magazine “In the Light” refers to “the epic ‘Stairway to Heaven’, [as a song] the meaning of which is an enduring Zeppelin mystery.”

    To unlock the meaning hidden within any esoteric text a key is essential. Looking at the inside drawing of the album cover (see the illustration on wikipedia), the key is revealed. It is a drawing of a lone individual at the bottom of an ominous mountain looking upward questioningly for help, for guidance on her quest. At the top of the mountain stands a looming cloaked figure with a staff in one hand and a lamp in the other - a shepherd, a guide through the darkness of the surrounding night. At the center of the lamp, the source of the light, is a golden star. Yet this is no ordinary star, it is the Star of David - the symbol of the philosophy of ancient Israel.

    The song’s lyricist Robert Plant explains the creation of “Stairway to Heaven” as being an almost metaphysical experience: “It was done very quickly. It was a very fluid, unnaturally easy track. There was something pushing it, saying ‘you guys are okay, but if you want to do something timeless, here’s a wedding song for you.’”

    The description of “Stairway to Heaven” as a “wedding song” is most enigmatic given that the song has nothing to do with wedding songs - traditional or otherwise. However, by applying the Kabbalistic metaphor of “wedding”, used to depict the union of man and God, the description is demystified. Spiritually striving man is represented in feminine form in that she receives from God. God, as the absolute source of all, is represented in masculine form in that He gives to humanity. As will be developed, “Stairway to Heaven” tells the story of “a lady” - mankind fulfilling its spirituality - climbing heavenward to unite with her Creator. As such, it is most appropriate that the visionary of this song referred to it as “a wedding song”.

    For a full, verse by verse, interpretation based on mystical thought see:


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    Jan 2nd, 2011 1:54pm report

    actually it is a prediction about 2012...
    jk... actually it's really easy to put backwords meanings in to songs... ::: record a message - play it backwords - find a sentance that kinda sounds like what your hearing. -

    the seconed line is played loud forward on the track, the original is played backwords at a lower volume... and there you go you have a backwards message

    there are other tricks too that can make it sound clearer but thats basically it...
    the cure for writers block

    i think backwords messages are stupid though


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    Nov 23rd, 2010 11:45pm report

    And as we wind on down the road
    -(As we go through life)

    Our shadows taller than our soul
    -(Our evils besting the good within)

    There walk a lady we all know
    -(A familiar outlook or feeling)

    Who shines white light and wants to show
    -(False happiness)

    How everything still turns to gold
    -(You need money to be "happy")

    And if you listen very hard
    -(If you ignore the illusions)

    The tune will come to you at last
    -(You'll soon come to know true happiness)

    When all are one and one is all
    -(When everything finally makes sense to you)

    To be a rock and not to roll
    -(You'll have found your place in the universe)


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    Aug 16th, 2010 8:34pm report

    Fact these guys are satanists and into Allister Crowley / Page bought his castle in England now, don't get on my case I did an extensive study and you can see it on youtube - their lads worshiped or still worship satan, and it's about death and committing suicide - if you play this backwards you can clearly hear what plant is singing about, his lord "SATAN" and if you think I am nuts check out Illuminati, Bilderbergs, NWO and how they produce this crap so that kids get hooked...I tell you the truth and know there will be many who won't believe but do your homework on these people and abnds and you will be shocked - cheeers


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    Aug 16th, 2010 8:18pm report

    I heard this too many times on FM radio to be objective about how I loathe it.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Aug 8th, 2010 8:39am report

    How can anybody say this song has no meaning? Obviously since Led Zeppelin wrote it there is no hidden meaning for them. But to us there kind of is. Every song has a meaning, that is why songs are written. To portray a message. If they don't do that, what is the point of the song? Is it even a song if it doesn't evoke some sort of mood or feeling in a person? This song does, however.

    There are obvious double meanings, allegories, metaphors, what you will. It's down to personal interpretation at this stage. The lyrics are genius and there are so many references to other things in there that nobody can say that the song has no point. It was a very carefully thought out song, although there are rumours of it being devil-inspired and also God-inspired. As a lyric writer myself, I know that a song like that cannot be written for no reason. No one will know the true meaning behind each word and phrase but the authors.


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    Jul 20th, 2010 7:54pm report

    The most interesting thing about this discussion is that it shows very clearly how people see what they want to see.

    Religious types think there is some message about Jesus and Christianity or Satan ( trust me guys, Led Zeppelin were a British rock band - they would not give a flying f&%k about Christianity, which we in Britain regard as being ... well, for really gullible people). It is a well known fact that American Christians see Satan everywhere... This merely shows how their lives are ruled by fear of an imaginary being. It was Christianity that created Satan.

    When Christianity became the dominant religion, the imagery of the preceding religion (paganism) was used to represent Satan. This is why Satan appears as a half-man, half goat. This image is actually Pan the Piper, a pagan god of the forest and music. Hence the confusion amongst the under-educated. Satan in the Bible is much more connected with the image of the serpent; the connection with Pan was invented much later to destroy the older religion.

    The song is full of pagan imagery, and NOT Christian/Satanic imagery. Page was a follower of occultist Aleister Crowley, but Crowley was in reality a joker who was making fun of people for believing in such nonsense as Satanism; he was a student of the occult who had realised there was money to be made from exploiting the gullible, nothing more. His extensive studies of religion and symbolism simply made him rather convincing; but his alleged Satanism was just a money-making scam.

    As an aside, logically if you believe in God, you also believe in Satan; therefore belief in Satan implies a belief in God. An interesting paradox, particularly to those of us whose minds have developed beyond childish fairy tales.

    Further, and this is more relevant to the song, the idea that getting into Heaven is a reward for being good, implies that people should be good out of self-interest (i.e. To get into Heaven you must be good, so being good becomes a matter of selfishness rather than being done out of selfless love).

    This theme relates to the idea of buying a stairway to heaven.

    The backmasking discussion is a complete red herring. As a recording engineer, I can tell you that if you play any song backwards, you will often hear what appear to be words. This is an illusion of the perceptual system.

    Secondly on this point, your unconscious has no way of reversing any message in this way and so it would be undetectable - and thus pointless.

    The lady who is sure all that glitters is gold, is the image of a superficial person who is swayed by surface appearances. 'Buying a stairway to heaven' is a metaphor for gullible people being sold false ideas. Clearly you cannot buy a stairway to heaven; anyone selling a stairway to heaven is by definition a charlatan and a fraud. There may well be here a reference to the empty promises of leaders of all stripes, political and religious.

    'When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed, with a word she can get what she came for'
    Assuming of course that heaven has stores, and that these stores have closing times, and that the power of money she enjoys on earth operates the same way in heaven. This is making fun of the narrow mindset of the rich and religious, who believe the whole universe operates the same way as their little town.

    'In the tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings, sometimes all of our thoughts are misgivings.'
    Misgivings are distrustful or doubtful thoughts; the tree, brook and songbird are introducing the imagery of nature.

    'There's a sign on the wall, but she wants to be sure, because you know sometimes words have two meanings'. This is the lady carefully reading a contract, anxious to ensure that her stairway to heaven is legally enforceable once she has paid for it. Again making fun of the idea of 'buying' a 'stairway to heaven'.

    The rest of the song deals with the consequences and pitfalls of believing in the stairway to heaven, and basically worrying about the details of the contract for this completely fictitious entity. It is therefore a comment on religion, which essentially does the same thing; makes a totally false promise, and then distracts the believers with nit-picking over the exact terms of this contract for an invented reward that is plainly a scam and a lie.


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    May 29th, 2010 5:36am report

    I dont have an interpretation for this song. I think it's all just beautiful poetry. I wish all these stupid bible thumper christians trying to shove their religious dogmatic beliefs down everyones throats about what they are reading into the song, would leave.

    Christians will always read into something what they want it to mean to them and with them they always got to put their religion into everything, especially with their threats of eternal hell damnation and their obsession with satan. This is another way they make up lies, they dont care if what they are saying is right or not they have one goal in mind and thats trying to convert people into their way of thinking anyway they can.


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    May 19th, 2010 5:12pm report

    I don't know what's wrong with all you people. Has anyone ever just listened and loved the music ....just for the hell of it? IT'S MUSIC!! That's all. No one really cares why it was written. Yes there were drugs,but you know what? Those were the very best songs ever penned,sang,resang,borrowed,etc. So stop complaining and just enjoy. That's what they were created for.


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    Apr 25th, 2010 4:30am report

    Hmm, it seems to slip the minds of many that this song was written by twenty year olds (around), who did drugs. Ironic, right? Also, all the great music from big bands (Rolling Stones, The Beatles [members too], Pink Floyd etc) came earlier in their lives. Maybe children are smarter than adults. Or I'm just delusional.


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    Mar 29th, 2010 3:57pm report

    This song was 30 years ago! is Robert Plant even religious?

    It is about what he says it is about! It is a great song to listen to; high on acid, stoned, drunk, tipsy, or even sober?!

    It is whatever those guys did when they sang it! You guys need to chill and love the art of music...


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    Mar 17th, 2010 3:00am report

    Or you could just let me explain.
    it could be about drugs
    in some parts
    BUT>>>> what it is,
    is the story of a girl
    stuck between two paths.
    and she's choosing the wrong one in the eyes of the writer.
    i believe this song is about a girl that he couldn't have
    because she loved someone else
    she liked him, she even had "relations" with him
    but she chose the other guy
    the one she loved.
    "There's a lady who's sure
    All that glitters is gold
    And she's buying a stairway to heaven"
    she's attracted to the other guy because he's flashy
    he's rich, and attractive
    but the writer believes this is just a front. That he's just the "piper" that he is leading her away.

    Your head is humming and it won't go
    In case you don't know
    The piper's calling you to join him
    He belives that he is the best choice. That only he can love her. She's looking for love "heaven" and she thinks that "The road she's on" will lead her there.
    but he'll wait for her, "there's always time to change the road your on"
    Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow?
    And did you know
    Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?
    he may be quieter and less flashy but he can be her heaven, the road he's on is her stairway.
    she's trying to buy a "stairway to heaven" the path of love cannot be bought
    he thinks its obvious that the guy she wants is no good for her its like a sign on the wall
    There's a sign on the wall
    But she wants to be sure
    'Cause you know sometimes words have
    Two meanings
    it makes him wonder how she can want him more, why can't she see/; "Ooh, it makes me wonder "
    he feels that in the end. She may never see him at all. He wants out before he gets hurt
    There's a feeling I get
    When I look to the west
    And my spirit is crying
    For leaving
    he hopes that in the end his persistance will pay off and his life will be good.

    And a new day will dawn
    For those who stand long
    And the forests will
    Echo with laughter

    but he wouldn't love her if she was any different even though it hurts to love such a person
    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
    And if you listen very hard
    The truth will come to you at last
    When all are one and one is all
    To be a rock and not to roll
    i can interpret every other lyric in the song but my fingers are getting tired :/
    basically, we write songs and sometimes we don't know what the meanings are because we needed to get it out, we just didn't know what it was we were bottling up.
    much like dreams. . . . . .


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    Feb 24th, 2010 2:10pm report

    Great song and there should be room for multiple interpretations.

    I would like to say Page, Plant, and the rest of Led Zep were great musicians for years, so any argument about the length of time to write the song, I consider void. After all, Einstein came up with E=mc^2 after a train ride.

    I leave room for more interpretation.

    Basically, the woman is going to church on Sunday, mostly because stores are (were) closed on Sunday. And she is buying her way to heaven on the cheap, by saying she “believes” as opposed to donating a little money (or doing a little good) “because she wants to be sure” that she is getting her monies worth.

    The fact that you can always just say that you “believe” and then get into heaven without doing any good along the journey…”It makes me wonder”.

    “Our shadows” (i.e. what we accomplish, contributed, influenced, efforts to do good…our legacy) “are taller” (more significant) “than our souls” (what is in our hearts at the moment or what we say “I believe”).

    In other words, what we do is more important than what we say. It is what you do that is important.

    “It makes my wonder” why so many say that just by declaring that you “believe”, you can buy your way into heaven.


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    Jan 26th, 2010 1:41pm report

    Well I have done a lot of research on the use of subliminal messaging specializing. In the backmasking of songs, and in STH, in the hedgerow stanza, you should notice how and odd stress is put on the words 'may queen' . That is only one of the reasons I believe it is intentional backmasking. Another is what someone has already stated about the toolshed and the other backmasking in the song. The most important reason iis that do you think that a whole entire paragraph of words that played backwards would say: here's to sweet Satan, the one who's little path would make me sad whos power is Satan. He gives those with him 666, there was a little TOOLSHED (see comment on toolshed) where he made us suufed sad Satan. I mean do you really think that was an accident? Look at what kind of things they did, they do drugs and practiced satanism and voodoo. Also, the whole song hints a backmask: 'because you know sometimes words have two meanings' , ' there are two paths you can go by (god/Satan) but there's still time to change the road your on ( change to satanism)' , 'a new day will dawn for those who stand long' etc the list goes on. It is really your interpretation though.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Dec 18th, 2009 12:59pm report

    Ok,just let me get this out...i think whoever was looking for this is stupid. what kind of a lazy butthead would listen to their songs over and over backwards until he found something. However,there is more messages in this song saying "Leave God and come to Satin" of course bacwards but hey could this just be coincidence?? the members of led zeppelin may worship satin or they may not. Who knows? There are however, some lyrics like "there is still time to change roads your on." which does that mean leave the stairway to heaven and start on the stairway to hell?

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway

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