Classic Rock Lyrics

Stairway To Heaven Lyrics - Led Zeppelin



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.

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 misgiven.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it makes me wonder.

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 standing looking.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it really makes me wonder.

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 forests will echo with laughter.

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow
Don't be alarmed now,
It's just a spring clean for 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.
And it makes me wonder.

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 you hear the wind blow,
And did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind.

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 ev'rything still turns to gold.
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll.

And she's buying a stairway to heaven.


The most famous Rock song of all time, it never charted because it was never released as a single to the general public. Radio stations received promotional singles which quickly became collector's items.
This is about a woman who accumulates money, but finds out the hard way her life had no meaning and will not get her into heaven.
Every youth who picked up a guitar would try to play this. In the movie Wayne's World, it is banned in the guitar shop where Wayne starts playing it. In the movie, Wayne clearly plays the first few notes before being scolded, but due to legal issues, the video version was changed so Wayne plays something incomprehensible.
This is rumored to contain backward satanic messages, as if Led Zeppelin sold their souls to the devil in exchange for "Stairway To Heaven." Supporting this theory is the fact that Jimmy Page bought Aleister Crowley's house in Scotland, which had become a well known Satanic church and was known as "The Toolhouse." In his books, Crowley advocated that his followers learn to read and speak backwards. (thanks, Tolga - naples, FL)
Robert Plant addressed the issue in an interview with Musician magazine: "'Stairway To Heaven' was written with every best intention, and as far as reversing tapes and putting messages on the end, that's not my idea of making music. It's really sad. the first time I heard it was early in the morning when I was living at home, and I heard it on a news program. I was absolutely drained all day. I walked around, and I couldn't actually believe, I couldn't take people seriously who could come up with sketches like that. There are a lot of people who are making money there, and if that's the way they need to do it, then do it without my lyrics. I cherish them far too much." (thanks, rob - easton, PA)
This runs 8:03, but still became one of the most-played songs on American radio. It proved that people wouldn't tune out just because a song was long. It has also sold more sheet music than any other rock song.
In solo work or with other groups, Jimmy Page would not let anyone but Robert Plant sing this, but he does play it as an instrumental on occasion.
Page felt Plant's lyrics were his best yet. He had him write all of Zeppelin's lyrics from then on.
This was the only song whose lyrics were printed on the album's inner sleeve.
Robert and Jimmy wrote this in an old mansion called Headley Grange in Worcestershire, England, where they recorded most of their 4th album. It was a huge, old, dusty mansion with no electricity but great acoustics. Bands would go there to get some privacy and focus on songwriting. One night, in front of a roaring fire, Page strummed the chords to this for Robert. Plant wrote 90% of the lyrics right there in front of the fire. He has said in many interviews that he didn't seem to be writing, that something else was moving his pencil for him. Plant is a great admirer of all things mystic, the old English legends and lore and the writings of the Celts. He was immersed in The Lord Of The Rings around this time and many of his lyrics reflect that. (thanks, Chris - Tucson, AZ)
Zeppelin bass player John Paul Jones decided not to use a bass on this because it sounded like a folk song. Instead, he added a string section, keyboards and flutes. He also played wooden recorders that were used on the intro. Bonham's drums do not come in until 4:18.
Dolly Parton covered this on her 2002 album Halos and Horns. Plant liked her version. Other artists to cover this include U2, Jimmy Castor, Frank Zappa, The Foo Fighters, The Dave Matthews Band, Sisters of Mercy, Nancy Wilson, Zakk Wylde, Elkie Brooks, Pardon Me Boys, White Flag, Jana, Great White, Stanley Jordan, Far Corporation, Dixie Power Trio, Justin Hayward, Leningrad Cowboys, Dread Zeppelin, Tiny Tim, and Monte Montgomery. Neil Sedaka had an unrelated Top-10 hit with the same title in 1960. (thanks, Brett - Edmonton, Canada)
The band performed this at the Atlantic Records 40th anniversary concert in 1988 with Jason Bonham sitting in on drums for his late father. Plant did not want to play it, but was convinced at the last minute. It was sloppy and Plant forgot some of the words.
Gordon Roy of Wishaw, Scotland has all of the lyrics to this tattooed on his back. He did it as a tribute to a friend who died in a car accident.
Led Zeppelin played this for the first time in Belfast on March 5, 1971 - Northern Ireland was a war zone at the time. John Paul Jones said in an audio documentary that when they played it, the audience was not that impressed. They wanted to hear something they knew - like "Whole Lotta Love." (thanks, Adrian - Wilmington, DE)
Jimmy Page considers this a masterpiece, but Robert Plant does not share his fondness for the song. Plant has referred to it as a "wedding song" and insists that his favorite Led Zeppelin song is "Kashmir." After the band broke up, Plant refused to sing it except on rare occasions, including Live Aid.
This was the last song the remaining members of Led Zeppelin performed when they reunited for Live Aid in 1985. Bob Geldof organized the event, and did his best to get many famous bands to play even if they had broken up. Unlike The Who, Geldof had an easy time convincing Plant, Page, and Jones to play the show. They played the Philadelphia stage with Tony Thompson and Phil Collins sitting in on drums.
The acoustic intro was borrowed from the song "Taurus" from the band Spirit, who toured with Led Zeppelin when they first played the US. The band Spirit has acknowledged this, and is okay with it. (thanks, Conrad - Los Angeles, CA)
Former Gospel singer Pat Boone covered it for his album In a Metal Mood. He wanted to see how it would turn out as a Jazz waltz, and it opened and closed with soft flute-playing. In a subtle reference to his Christian faith, Boone changed the line "All in one is all and all" to "Three in one is all and all" - a reference to the Christian god, the Trinity. (thanks, Brett - Edmonton, Canada)
In the '90s, Australian TV host Andrew Denton had a show on which various artists were asked to perform their version of this song. Their versions were released on an album called The Money or the Gun: Stairways to Heaven. Artists performing it included Australian Doors Show, The Beatnix, Kate Ceberano and the Ministry of Fun, Robyne Dunn, Etcetera Theatre Company, The Fargone Beauties, Sandra Hahn and Michael Turkic, Rolf Harris, Pardon Me Boys, Neil Pepper, The Rock Lobsters, Leonard Teale, Toys Went Berserk, Vegimite Reggae, The Whipper Snappers, and John Paul Young. In reply to Rolf Harris' version, Page and Plant performed his song "Sun Arise" at the end of another Denton TV show. (thanks, Graham - Australia)
The guitar solo, now considered a classic that most aspiring lead guitarists try to learn note-for-note, was never actually played that way in the studio. It was pieced together out of several different takes by Jimmy Page, who then learned the solo after the fact to be able to perform it live. If you listen closely on the album, you can hear the "punch-ins," places where the recording engineer, Eddie Kramer, edited the tracks. (thanks, Dan - Montreal, Canada)
In an excerpt from Led Zeppelin; The Definitive Biography by Ritchie Yorke, Jimmy Page is quoted as saying concerning the first time this was played in concert: "I remember playing it for the first time at the LA Forum, and - I'm not saying the whole audience gave us a standing ovation - but there was this sizable standing ovation there. And I thought, 'This is incredible because no one's heard this number yet. This is the first time hearing it!' It obviously touched them, so I knew there was something with that one." (thanks, Spencer - South Kingstown, RI)


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