Led Zeppelin: The Ocean Meaning
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Song Released: 1973
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The Ocean Lyrics
and then they went: One, two, three, four"
Singing in the sunshine, laughing in the rain
Hitting on the moonshine, rocking in the grain
Ain't no time to pack my bag, my foots outside the...
"We've done four already but now we're steady
and then they went: One, two, three, four". It has been said that they were recording this song at a country estate in Newbury,Berkshire and weren't able to get it right in four takes. John Bonham added this bit on the fifth take and it stuck.
anonymous May 10th, 2014 5:36am report
Based on the bands former examples of allusion from literature, I think this song is referring to the Odyssey when Odysseus had to pass two monsters, a roaring mouth in the ocean "Charybdis" and a singing 6 headed monster on a mountain "Scylla" he referenced Tolkien severel times, and he has already referenced the Iliad in the song "Achilles Last Stand". they've "done four already" would also make sense since this was Odysseus' fifth obstacle. And the "daughter" is Circe, daughter of Helios. As Circe was his previous obstacle.
Singing to mountains is a much quieter (smaller) audience... Like singing to the non-responsive, polite audiences in that Finnish teen center or in the Midlands when RP & LZ started up. Then on to the USA baby!!!! Big, rambunctious, loud crowds (see the Tampa Concert seat record breaker). Now his family comes, and we all know RP loved his kids so much.... It definitely refers to Carmen, I think, as she was born while he was in LZ,nd I think in '73 he "upped" her age to 4 in the MSG finale.... She would've been around 4 at that time, so it kind of seems too coincidental to disregard. RP seems to rather enjoy the intimacy of smaller venues now, so maybe it was a prophetic message of beginning a family and settling down is a real fine way for him to start living the rest of his life681, as he's seen it all and LZ's success exceeded his expectations....
canadianbacon236 Jan 27th, 2012 1:31am report
The song “The Ocean” by Led Zeppelin has many meanings to it as the song progresses. My interpretation of the song is that he makes a tribute to the journey and the fans that supported him and then it obviously is about the girl that was introduced into his life a short while before the song was made, a muse perhaps and very personal companion to Robert Plant. Mind you that I have no personal connection to the band and they could be singing about a bowl of corn flakes for all I know, but this is my interpretation of “The Ocean”.
The first verse of the song is about the lifestyle of a popular musician. As many of us know Led Zeppelin were very heavy drinkers and for lack of a better term ingested a lot of “brain rocking” substances, and they thoroughly enjoyed it. And the quote “Got no time to pack my bag, my foots’ outside the door” exemplifies the fast paced lifestyle that popular musicians that toured like Led Zeppelin did have to endure. The last line of the first verse I cannot quite interpret and I have looked around the internet and have seldom found the same answer twice. But from what I have interpreted is that the lyrics describe them trying to make good time for some kind of ballroom perhaps? I am much too young to experience them in person, but my mother tells me that they never disappoint playing live (you have no idea of the jealousy…).
The second verse of the song is describing the band performing to their attendance of adoring fans to their performances. The band singing to an ocean may mean (as many of the contributors to this website have stated and I thoroughly agree) that the ocean represent a crowd of their fans. The band stating that they write about “the good things, and the sun that lights the way” to me is about their songs. In the line “I used to sing on the mountains, has the oceans lost its way” I have two feelings about that line. If you were to listen to the song for the first time it may sound to you like the ocean used to look up to Led Zeppelin atop a mountain (a stage above the ocean) but the said ocean has strayed away from the band due to popular opinion. I like give them the benefit of the doubt in the sense that in my interpretation on the verse is that the band or Robert is actually singing about his daughter. The fact that he used to sing solely for his fans has now in a way changed because he has his new love in his life, his daughter Carmen in which he does what he does best for her.
The third verse is when I believe is when the overall meaning of the song comes to life. The first line is about how the band is still out on tour, doing their thing. But in the second line of the song it states “used to sing on the mountains but the mountains washed away” which I do not think is a commentary on their fame but I believe is a commentary on where Robert believes he is singing from. By that I mean that line solidified what I had stated in my last point is that in a humble sense he is no longer atop a mountain singing for the masses. He does it for his little daughter Carmen. She is only three years old, but it’s a real fine way to start.
My interpretation of the song is that I believe it is a love song to his daughter Carmen. It started as a tribute to his fans and his enjoyment of the ride to the top. But he was blessed with a person that he then started singing for, maybe you can call her his new muse. I think it is a very sweet song in honor of his fans and his daughter. The guitar riff is one of my favorite to play, both on guitar and bass. This is my first post to this website. Furthermore I would like to thank you for reading my article. I hope that I may have provided you with a new viewpoint on the song. Enjoy!
anonymous Jun 7th, 2009 6:43pm report
this song was pretty much written as a thank you to the sea of fans that they always play for. Got no time to pack my bags : they were told to play at madison square garden a day before the concert.Singing to an ocean, I can hear the oceans roar,Play for free, play for me and play a whole lot more, more!: there singing to a huge crowd of people, and no matter how much they get paid, they will be " Sitting around singing songs, till the night turns into day..
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