This is the second of the two Zeppelin anthems, both technically brilliant songs, as well as being powerfully atmospheric, their theme ambivalent ... after all, you know words can have two meanings.
Part of Tuesday 3 mentioned this film:
So let's look and there is this:
Inspired by David Pinner's 1967 novel Ritual, (it) centres on the visit of Police Sergeant Neil Howie to the isolated Scottish island of Summerisle in search of a missing girl. Howie, a devout Christian, is appalled to find that the inhabitants of the island have abandoned Christianity and now practise a form of Celtic paganism. Paul Giovanni composed the film score.
Now I'll have to go in to bat for the pagans here ... that's false history, the pagans preceded Christianity, unless you accept Blake's Jerusalem literally. December 25th was initially pagan. However, let's press on:
Howie, a devout Christian, is disturbed to find the Islanders paying homage to the pagan Celtic gods of their ancestors. They copulate openly in the fields, include children as part of the May Day celebrations, teach children of the phallic association of the maypole, and place toads in their mouths to cure sore throats. The islanders appear to be trying to thwart his investigation by claiming that Rowan (the gorgeous girlchild, now Britt Ekland) never existed.
Uh huh. Now to certain motifs which come up in the song further down:
While staying at the Green Man Inn, Howie notices a series of photographs celebrating the annual harvest, each featuring a young girl as the May Queen.
What is the very thing which PD has been on about since the beginning, well before this blog? What theme?
Now to Stairway to Heaven itself, a quite ambivalent theme ... after all, you know words can have two meanings.
Firstly, I went through many reactors to the song, ostensibly heard for the first time.
Criteria for me were firstly ... the reactor did not keep stopping and starting the song in order to rabbit on and on ... secondly, that it was not the live version but the original ... thirdly, that the lyrics were showing so our readers could follow them.
Of the dozen or so, I came down to a shortlist of four (to the left here) and they were interesting in themselves.
The white American kid was sadly a product of today's education, plus he had that white male imperviousness to all bar laughter and anger. The black bro from the hood ... he felt it deep, man ... his reaction was perhaps best, but no lyrics.
The white opera singer was ok but she was all about voice and not lyrics. The black gal I've run before was all emotion, as Zeppelin intended ... the lyrics weaving a web around her ... she felt the emotion but at the end, was nonplussed by the meaning, whatever that might be. Hers is the version I'm using, the analytical ones not on the shortlist all hovered around the meaning.
One girl latched onto the "in the end, there are two paths, you can always change your path, it's never too late, as Steppenwolf sang." Ah, but that's the other side's way, and Zeppelin made no secret of the out of control, destructive, do as thou wilt, womanising life, rampaging locusts.
Contrast their reality, their real life behaviour, ever and ever darker, with the pagan idyll behind the lyrics in the box, the peace and love, refugees welcome, tree hugging gaia primary colours, which a Christian might be churlish enough to call a trap for the unwary. Look at that idyll, and then at real life Zeppelin. Look at the Antifa rhetoric and framing ... and then at their actual behaviour.
Also consider this:
Or variations on that theme. That's a very Christian motif, as well as that of any sane thinker who sees what's of value in the world ... and what ultimately lies on no more than the whispering wind, almost dust in the wind.
There are two paths and which do humans unerringly choose?
Now, technically ... Zeppelin were most talented composers, with Plant's voice an extra instrument, the earlier post and some other reactors pointed out that Plant relied on Jones, who relied on Bonham, with Page controlling the whole. Love em or hate em, they were an amazing band, I was too young to appeciate this ... until a classical musician analysed every part of their composition Kashmir and I saw just how good they were.
Once again, there are two paths ... you can use your talent for good ... or go the other way.
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