What does Stairway To Heaven mean?

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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...

  1.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 9th, 2008 6:00am report


    Hmm..the great stairway to heaven. Great song and if anybody thinks it's satanic because of how it's played backwards is completely crazy. And no one should say they know what it's about..because last time I checked you weren't in the band Led Zeppelin and you didn't write the song.



  2.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 1st, 2008 6:25am report


    Honestly, I feel that to understand mosty of the Zeppelin songs, you would have to know every aspect that occured in Plant's life.

    People often write about what's going on in their own life & no matter how much you think you know about Plant & Zeppelin, you'll never know absolutely everything. So obviously, most things you won't be able to interpret accurately.



  3.  

    beatlegurl3344
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    May 17th, 2008 5:16pm report


    Materialism...



  4.  

    anonymous
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    May 12th, 2008 5:35am report


    There's only one meaning to this song. Rock and Roll rules!



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Apr 9th, 2008 4:13pm report


    "Stairway to Heaven" has multiple interpretations. For clarity's sake, we will just focus on the lyrics themselves.

    The core of the song is rooted in judeo-christian beliefs, despite a brief reference to the "May Queen" and the celtic paganism it implies. Many Zeppelin songs of the era referenced the fantastic; "Ramble On" even mentioned Gollum and Mordor (of Lord of the Rings) directly.

    In essence, the song's actual meaning depends on your interpretation of the lady. The more popular of my two interpretations, and the one supported by actual quotes by Robert Plant, is that the lady is a "woman [who gets] everything she wanted all the time without giving back any thought or consideration." That quote directly from Plant via Wikipedia. A rich old biddy of the Catholic "cradle to grave" variety, or perhaps a Southern Baptist, whom either puts her faith entirely in her material goods, or trusts that the good she does through them will earn her a place in heaven.

    The Piper in the song is a clear-cut Messiah figure, bringing the message of true salvation for any whom care to listen to it (as evidenced in the lines "Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow/and did you know..." et al).

    The alternate interpretation, which admittedly has no base and is entirely a product of my own mind after my first listening, was that the lady represented a Satan figure - sowing the belief in the material in the world, while buying off souls that she may one day ascend to the throne of the almighty. Under this interpretation, the Piper's message is one of futility, not of Salvation - that her stairway will never be completed, her work in vain.

    In any case, the remainder of the song is laden with imagery that seems ripped from the book of Revelations, about the millenial reign on earth after the fall of the antichrist.

    A final note - most of the explanations I have seen on this page merely made me laugh. As an audio engineer, I will say that the claims of backmasking in "Stairway" are naive at best. Pick up an MP3 of Utada Hikaru's "Sanctuary" if you want to hear actual, intentional backmasking. The entire song was designed to be played both ways. Likewise, the drug-based interpretations are... well...

    Moronic. Absolutely, utterly, completely dense. Yes, it would work with the era, but to suggest that "Stairway" was entirely about drugs is tantamount to blasphemy.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  6.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 25th, 2008 3:18pm report


    You are all idiots. It basically means live life to the fullest. "buying her stairway to heaven" refers to someone who buys happiness instead of seeking it out for themselves, simply that money just leads to greed and we need to find our source of happiness in life without it. "there are two paths you can go on, but in the long run, Theres still time to change the road your on" basically means that you can still change your ways of greed and become enlightened and not live your life around money.



  7.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 25th, 2008 3:50pm report


    For me, this song is not specifically religious, not necessarily about drugs, and not meaningless, but then again, I am none of those things so perhaps I'm projecting. I think the lady represents God (the whole "all that glitters is gold" thing seems to speak to this), and the piper is Satan (who, as many preachers like to say, is "calling you to join him.") I have a difficult time believing that the song is literally about the religious figures, inasmuch as it seems silly that if Zep truly believed in the Bible, then they wouldn't support Satan, as the Bible says that he loses in the end. Who wants to root for a loser? I don't think this is about the fictitious God-Satan dichotomy, but the real struggle that God and Satan have always symbolically represented. That is the dichotomy between faith and reason. Obviously, God is faith, and the devil is reason ("Then the piper will lead us to reason.") We assume that faith is the better way to live, and perhaps it is, but that's not the point. The point is, faith is the much harder way to live. While some, including probably myself, live devoid of faith, using only reason, no one, except maybe George Bush, lives devoid of reason, using only faith. Generally, people strive to gain faith, but it remains elusive("Your stairway lies on the whispering wind.") No matter how much they want to believe that things will work out for the best, reason tells us that blindly trusting anything is foolish. Obviously, Zep have made their bed ("our shadows taller than our souls") and though they point that "there's still time to change the road you're on" it seems unlikely that they will ever truly be able to gain enough faith "to be a rock and not to roll". And she's buy-y-ying a stair-way to heaven.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  8.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 21st, 2008 3:19pm report


    Hi there! I find it great that there are so many different ways to interpret this song! I would just like to add for anyone who believes the Satan backwards message thing that Robert Plant lived in a castle previously owned by Alistaier Crowely called the "Tool Shed" also, crowely made his religious followers learn how to speak and write backwards. By the way, loved the idea about the girl and her period, it was very well thought out. Cya

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  9.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 16th, 2008 3:19pm report


    Jimi page is god!!!!!!!



  10.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 15th, 2008 3:30pm report


    Hey! F.T.R. YOU FORGOT THE 'german techno bible'

    CADBURYS CREME EGG: GOOOOOOOOOOO!

    CUMMAGE

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


  11.  

    anonymous
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    Feb 2nd, 2008 2:52pm report


    I am pretty sure that this song is about a lady who sells her body for sex, and attains money that way. She tithes, thinking she can get into heaven, but she realizes that money isn't everything, and that her life is not a life that can get her into heaven.



  12.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 19th, 2008 1:53pm report


    I've been to a few sites and have done quite a bit of reading on this and I'm still perplexed. Many say the backmasked messages on most reported cases(other songs) to be unintentional . How can they be unintentional and be so clear ? I find most of the time the backward recordings to have sound groups that don't exist in the forward recordings so how could they be unintentional? I could see it if were a case of a random collection of clearly enunciated words but these are complete sentences , or thoughts . In regards to LZ's STH there are several stanzas with backmasking however the one I find the most interesting is the 'bustle in your headgerow' stanza which includes the word 'toolshed' . If it were not for that one word I might be able to entertain that it is unintentional however fans who are familiar with the bands backround will recognize the significance of this word being used and the context within which it is used .
    who makes the determination if one songs backmasking is intentional or not and how do they come to that determination . I should mention that I'm agnostic and am not making any judgements or statements , just sincere curiosity . It is a controvercial topic worthy of intelligent debate .IMHO
    http://www.wimp.com/satanic
    jeffmilner.com/backmasking.htm

    I'll explain the 'toolshed' reference for those who aren't familiar: as most people know Jimmy Page once owned the Boleskin house in Scotland which had once been owned and used by aliester crowley for the purpose of his Magick rituals , he performed these rituals in an oratory he built and reffered to as the 'toolshed' he said during these occasions he and others witnessed shadowy figures coming from the 'toolshed and entering into the east side of the house . It is commonly believed the song STH was written there but it was actually written at another country mannor also owned by Page I believe that was in Wales . Even though Plant wrote the lyrics they both were interested in Crowley and magick , Page was quite a bit more involved than Plant and Page freely admits his interest . In all the years he owned Boleskin he never spent more than 6 weeks there says Page himself . The baskmask sounds decidedly to warn against satan so I do not consider it satanic unintentional or not
    feel free to email me regarding a dialogue on this topic
    badjuju10@yahoo.com



  13.  

    Madmonk
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    Dec 12th, 2007 12:19pm report


    This is really simple. Whats the Song Title.

    Stairway To Heaven.

    Not a Stairway To Hell.

    be got fools before I take a rod to your back.



  14.  

    worldfest
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    Nov 25th, 2007 11:08pm report


    When I first heard it, it sounded alright. long but alright. The voice is hauntingly beautiful and full of symbolism.

    Piper refers to Pan a greek God who played this pipe thing that I just forgot. Pan is again an Arcadian god of lust and magic who seduces men and women with his pipes and wantonness.

    This was a turn off, but I liked it so I kepted the song. Then someone said to check it out backwards. The first time I listened to it, I thought I was cool but I did recognize words.

    I would have thought it an accident, if it was shorter by like 3 mins! It's like 8 mins long and enough to write any hidden message. That's why, to me it was intentional and although I practically memorized the first part after listening to it twice, its too odd and confusing to learn to play. Its never been interpreted correctly and is so controversial that it seems to be incomplete and thus, finished when played backwards...thats what I think.



  15.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 15th, 2007 11:50am report


    This is not a song about drugs... If you knew any better you would know that some of their songs were based on the hobbit book also known as lord of the rings. when he says spring clean for the may queen the may queen is believed to be a spring fairy and when they say spring clean for the may queen that means to clean for the fairy of spring also that part about the stairway to heaven isn't all of the song so before you start to jugde the song. listen to it first!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!






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