The other night, after the Rockets were about to fall to the Spurs, I decided to watch the movie Juice. I have not watched Juice in years therefore I forgot the ending. Short recap: Bishop and Q were fighting on the roof of a New York building, ultimately Bishop ended up falling off the building and Q had to save him. To make a long story short, Q could not hold Bishop which caused Bishop to die. Q walked away and someone approached Q and said "I guess you got the Juice now". 16 or 18 years later that part of the movie is still obscure to me but it lead me to think about Led Zeppelin.
I really hate when I get in these moods because I will not stop until I have an answer that satisfies my needs. For example, I have always wanted to know why we say "Bless you" after someone sneeze; before you scholars try to tell me why, let me add, I have been all over the world and asked this question and i have received at least seven different reasons. The quest for that answer expanded after the varying degrees of answers but the one that appeased my feelings was: You just do it.
After being so upset about the ending of the movie Juice, i wanted to explore Led Zeppelin's Stairway To Heaven. If you are upset about the ending of the Sopranos, Juice, Blair witch Project or Paranormal Activity, you haven't seen nothing until you have listened to Stairway To Heaven.
I have been to countless message boards in search of the Stairway to Heaven's meaning. John Lopez of Sports Radio 610 Morning Show probably had the best take on Stairway to Heaven. According to JLO, he believes Stairway to Heaven is about Marilyn Monroe. The whole lyric about "looking to the West". West metaphorically as America and yet California. I want to say Marc Vandermeer (guitarist) was more of the mindset "it just sounds awesome".
I will decipher these lyrics 16 Bars at a time, and I will the REAL MEANING.
STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN'S 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 heaven
Hmm, John Lopez's Marilyn Monroe's prediction could be true but this could also be Janice Joplin, Momma Cass, or even Forest Gump's wife.
There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misleading
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Lady Bird Johnson maybe but at least we know this song is about a female in the west, The lyrics are referencing trees, brooks, and song birds hence nature. Lady Bird Johnson planted the first Blue Bonnet of in Texas. Just saying.
There's a feeling I get when I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees
And the voices of those who stand looking
and it makes me wonder
really makes me wonder
OK this is going right back to Marilyn Monroe. It seems like Robert Plant is saying, when I get high, through all of the smoke I see this awesome woman. Umm, voices standing can only be no other than those in power however at the time period of this song would put us around 1972-1974 therefore John and Robert Kennedy were dead in addition to Marilyn. I'm beginning to wonder if this a metaphor of America. America is commonly referenced as a female like ships, boats, vessels.
And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forest will echo with laughter
If none of you know, Led Zeppelin formerly named Yardbirds had a manager who was tough as nails (Peter Grant) who died in the early 80s after John Bonham
"Bonzo" the drummer died @ 32. Peter is the reason Led Zeppelin even has the name in addition to him getting the band in America in 1968. Led Zeppelin is nothing if they don't get to HER (AMERICA). It's commonly reported that Zeppelin's home away from home was Los Angeles.
If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now,
It's just a spring clean from the May Queen
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
Ooh, it makes me wonder
Ooh, Ooh, it makes me wonder
This psychedelic gibberish is straight up LOS ANGELES
The May Queen Reference is certainly talking about death. WOW, are we talking about Death of America
May Queen according to Wikipedia
The May Queen is a girl (usually a teenage girl from a specific school year) who is selected to ride or walk at the front of a parade for May Day celebrations. She wears a white gown to symbolise purity and usually a tiara or crown. Her duty is to begin the May Day celebrations. She is generally crowned by flowers and makes a speech before the dancing begins. Certain age groups dance round a Maypole celebrating youth and the spring time.
According to popular British folklore, the tradition once had a sinister twist, in that the May Queen was put to death once the festivities were over. The veracity of this belief is difficult to establish, but while in truth it might just be an example of anti-pagan propaganda, frequent associations between May Day rituals, the occult and human sacrifice are still to be found in popular culture today. The Wicker Man, a cult horror film starring Christopher Lee, is a prominent example of these associations
Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know
The piper's calling you to join him
Dear lady, can't you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind
OK, here's the twist, we are talking about early 70s and it's my assertion they could be referencing America. During the early 70s, America was locked in a war with Vietnam and multiple countries were falling to Communism as the prevailing rule of politic. "The piper calling you to join him. The win blow? All of these other countries are falling to Communism and you are the only one rejecting it. Your eventual dismay will end up RED.
However, I have the real meaning of the song.
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 tune will come to you at last
When all is one and one is all, yeah
To be a rock and not to roll.
And she's buying the stairway to heaven
If you are a casual observer of Led Zeppelin then this will fly over your head however if you are a true fan of Zeppelin you will dig this.
After "Whole Lot of Love" success, the guys got a little change in their pockets and begin to explore. Jimmy Page (original Yardbirds) member was really intrigued with Black Majic. Of course most of us reading this article wouldn't have common knowledge of this unless you are a fan like me but Jimmy began practicing black magic and there was an uproar. I honestly believe part of this song is rooted in occult references in addition to the guys being super duper HIGH.
Believe it or not, some believe Page's involvement in Black Magic was the result of Bonzo's death. In essence, Bonzo's death is Zeppelin's YOKO.