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Led Zeppelin: That's the Way Meaning


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Artist(Band):Led Zeppelin
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I don't know how I'm gonna tell you, I can't...


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    Jan 26th, 2015 1:36am report

    character Smeagle/Gollum, who killed his brother on his birthday when they discovered the ring of power.

    The lyrics "all the fish that lay in dirty water dying ...have they got you hypnotized?"
    This the dead give away. Gollum is living near a stagnant underground lake beneath the Misty Mountains, in The Hobbit, and he is obsessed with eating the sickly cavefish who live in it.

    There is a play on words at work here.
    "My friend, the boy next door."
    Smeagle was a Hobbit form the Storr family.
    When Plant sings "...next door" it sounds like next storr..this is kind of weak but listen and you see what I mean.

    These lyrics
    "I'm satisfied to sit here working all day long,
    You're in the darker side of town.
    And when I'm out I see you walking,
    Why don't your eyes see me,
    Could it be you've found another game to play,
    What did mama say to me."

    Lamenting the life that once was ,Smeagle the former self has long been in the "darker side of town" a metaphor for what the ring has done to him.


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    Jan 25th, 2013 1:19am report

    I believe this song is about the dichotomy between reality and idealistic fantasy. As young people without experience we often see the world through rose tinted glasses and can be deeply affected and guided by those feelings in a most often irrational way. Sometimes the differences between people are so great that the gulf between them is irreconcilable.


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    Jan 22nd, 2013 1:26pm report

    the song is about a friend/boy or girl who starts shooting up listen to it i cant play with you no more all that lives is born to die WAKE UP PEOPLE


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    Jul 21st, 2012 7:23am report

    hmm, well I always thought it was about hippies...


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    May 9th, 2012 5:50pm report

    It's a song written by a man (Plant) who'd grown up in a multicultural city (Birmingham) and simply couldn't believe what he saw when he witnessed the effects of segregation in the American south. There's a real innocence about the words which conveys the sheer astonishment: "I don't know what to say about it".

    This is one of the most moving songs I know.


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    Apr 18th, 2012 4:29am report

    The song is about how Zep was treated in the States and things they saw. What's so amazing is the song construction. Ppl call it mellow and relaxing. That's the brilliance of it. The acoustic and mandolin are comforting and pleasant. What I love is the slide guitar as the voice of 'the other boy'. This song is so inherently contradictory. Listen to the words and hear the music and notice how they work against each other. I had heard this song many times, but the first time I really listened to it, I was floored. The lyrics are vivid, but it's the contradiction with the feel of the guitars and the voice of the slide guitar that makes this song amazing...this is also why it pisses me off that they don't use the slide in How the West Was Won. On the DVD, it's just too awesome to not love.


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    Apr 17th, 2011 4:24am report

    A song about how Americans treated the band and would threaten them, even pull guns on them, spit at them. Plant was making a social comentary about how being different made people dislike you and have false perceptions about you.


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    Nov 17th, 2008 11:22am report

    I think the friend is either...

    A) Black (the darker side of town)
    B) Gay (I can’t believe what people saying, You’re gonna let your hair hang down / And yesterday I saw you kissing tiny flowers)
    C) A Hippie (You’re gonna let your hair hang down / And yesterday I saw you kissing tiny flowers)
    D) All of the above
    E) Just plain socially unacceptable.


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    Oct 24th, 2006 10:15pm report

    I agree, but I don't think it's unnecessarily a black person, just a person who isn't considered socially acceptable.


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    Mar 14th, 2006 3:28pm report

    It's about a little boy who has a black friend but his mom won't let him talk to or hang out with him.

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