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Philosophy and Spirituality in Rock and Pop Music

Stairway to Heaven — Meaning?


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[Here's a piece that seeks a deeper understanding of "Stairway to Heaven," and attempts to interpret its lyrical content.]

“Stairway To Heaven” (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.

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 stand 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 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
To be a rock and not to roll.

And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞
COMMENTARY

Not surprisingly, there appear to be several accounts of how the lyrics of “Stairway” came to be written. In one, Plant says that he wrote it after a period spent before the fire contemplating “spiritual perfection” at the band’s country house in Headley Grange. In another, Plant says that Page played him the chord changes and his hand spontaneously began writing the immortal first words (this is known as “automatic writing”). In another version, Page recalls that Plant jotted down about three quarters of the lyrics on the spot at the band’s very first rehearsal of the song. Stephen Davis maintains that Plant had written under the spell of Lewis Spence, particularly his Magic Arts in Great Britain. Of course, these versions are not mutually exclusive – one or more could be combined – but I don’t want to dwell on origins so much here, fascinating as it is, as I believe the words speak for themselves.

The first notable thing about “Stairway” as far as that’s concerned is that the first verse – at least as it is transcribed in official Zep songbooks, etc. — doesn’t make sense in the context of the rest of the song. If the lady who is sure that “all that glitters is gold” is really “buying a stairway to heaven,” and not hell, there’s nothing to sing about. But clearly the A minor chord and the continuation of the song make it clear that there is something dark about this woman, she’s headed down the wrong path. She should be taking a highway to hell, but she’s not. So what’s going on? Is Plant singing “heaven” or “hell” in the first verse?

Both. Listen carefully and you will hear that Zep apparently tried to fudge it in the studio, perhaps because the use of this particular four-letter word would have jeopardized the song’s airplay. Of course, that didn’t stop it from being labeled “Satanic” and God knows what else because not only is there strange stuff going on when you play it forwards, but apparently backwards as well. It’s called “backmasking” – hiding messages in the song that can only be discovered when played backwards. Kids have had fun doing this with “Stairway” for three decades, allegedly hearing stuff like “Glory in Satan” and “My Sweet Satan” (I remember as a freshman in college a fellow cross country runner, newly born again, spent an entire night trying to play this song backwards, finally succeeded, and swore that he heard “My Sweet Satan” in there.) [Note: Since writing this piece, I have listened to the "Stairway" backwards, and I do hear all that stuff in there. I don't believe that Zep intentionally put the stuff about Satan in there, but rather that they did draw these dark entities into their music via their lifestyle and Page's then fascination with Aleister Crowley. Personally, I also want to note, much of Zep's music feels "satanic" to me, perhaps especially "Stairway," and I do not find their music appealing as I once did. It feels dark to me now.]

People have claimed that Zep made a pact with the devil in exchange for their brilliant success – a pact that included including such messages in their songs, not to mention the death of their drummer, John Bonham. Of course, Zep denies the whole thing. Wouldn’t you?

But far be it for me to cast any aspersions, especially as I love the group and this song. How ironic it is that one of the most satanic songs in the history of rock was an attempt to express some deep spiritual truths. Archetypal truths that really resound deep in the psyche. Truths such as:

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.

Where have we heard that before? Plato, Christ, the Upanishads – any number of ancient spiritual traditions have proclaimed that there are two paths – the good and the pleasant. The Noble Path or righteous living, and the easy path of comfort and sense gratification. The well-trod path of the many, and the “road less taken” by the few. An ancient Sanskrit text, the Samyutta Nikaaya, reads:

“Therefore do the paths of the good and the evil of this world divide; the evil go to hell but the final destination of the good is heaven.” (Tasmaa satan ca asatan ca naanaa hot ito gati, asanto nirayam yanti santo saggaparaayanaa.)

Another ancient Sanskrit text, the Katha Upanishad, likewise says:

“The good is one thing, the gratifying is quite another;
Their goals are different, both bind a man.
Good things await him who picks the good;
By choosing the gratifying, one misses one’s goal…
But you have not taken to the way of wealth,
Where many mortals sink (to ruin).”

The gratifying path (preyas) is identified with the “way of wealth,” as it is in Stairway. There is the golden road (of unlimited devotion), and then there is the fool’s gold road, the highway to hell. The latter is that taken by the woman who thinks that all that glitters is gold and is buying her way to oblivion, another materialistic, superficial person in a superficial, materialistic society.

While I could have picked any one of a number of traditions to quote here, I chose Hinduism because there appears to be some reference to a reference to reincarnation at the end of the song Although in fact these ideas can be found in all traditions – Celtic, Jewish, Christian, Rock ‘n’ Roll – it doesn’t matter as great minds think alike.

Many of the Sixties white bands were influenced by the music of black Americans, particularly the blues and rhythm and blues, as well as the negro spirituals. By the late Sixties, the name of the music was shortened to “rock” Zep’s fourth album seems to be a kind of meditation on rock and roll.

In “Rock and roll,” Plant sings, “I gotta roll, can’t stand still, got a flamin’ heart, can’t get my fill.”

But then later Plant seems to contradict that when he sings, in the end of “Stairway”:

“To be a rock and not to roll.”

Meaning: Stop the cycle of incarnations, get off the wheel of death and rebirth. It’s a very deep message, and I will grant that Plant’s lyric may indeed have been inspired by the spirit world, but whether by the spirit of an angel or a demon, who can say?

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59 Responses to “Stairway to Heaven — Meaning?”

  1. [...] You can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here [...]

    • Okay, number ONE “Gotta rock I can’t stand still, gotta flamin’ heart can’t get my fill.” Is not from “Rock n Roll” It’s from “Black Dog”. Get your shit straight before you go writing articles on it. Other than that, I like your way of thinking.

  2. Well,
    Do any of you realize that this song REALLY IS a then-modern remake of an Old English folk song? And that old song was about a lady buying a Stairway to Heaven???
    In light of that, the speculation in this post is clearly WAY out of whack.
    Now, did Jimmy and the boys build in a little of the Thelema they had learned, maybe so, but the notion that Crowley was a Satanist is so clearly absurd, it can be binned with the other speculations in this post, i guess.

    Rick

  3. very interesting article. always loved to play song; but, i’m not sure now. you really shed the light on it. maybe he wasn’t a christian, but he might have knew a girl that was going thru the change of being reborn & he was trying to understand it.

    • stop trying to justify the song. it doesn’t matter if he was christian or not. It is one of the best songs in the history of rock and roll and u liked it before so y not like it now.

    • Rofl. Seriously? You’re going to believe it’s evil for nothing? You DO REALIZE that they say that screamo is ton’s of demonic and evil stuff, but they only backmask the GOOD stuff like Stairway To Heaven and stuff like Miley Cyrus, right? It’s a bunch of crap! It’s called “power of suggestion”. It’s not evil. You’re hearing things because your brain is trying to take gibberish and make it into something. This guy is obviously a troll fail.

  4. It aint satanic nor poetic… it´s about some lady doing carpentry work in Jimmy Page´s castle, man.
    When i first heard it back in 72, i didnt understand the lyrics at all (didnt speak english in fact) but that didnt keep me from thinking it was the greatest rock song ever.
    Ah… this blissful ignorance of the lyrics allowed to paint such aural landscapes in my mind…

  5. That’s an interesting take on it. I find it hard to believe that the song is satanic though. “She’s buying a stairway to heaven” probably means that she can get anything she wants, “with a word..” and that she fills her life with material possessions without being fulfilled. I think he’s criticizing materialism there, which would continue the cycle of re-incarnation if you believe in that.

    The whole thing about back masking isn’t something I tend to be concerned with for a few reasons. The first being that I’m listening to the song forwards, not backwards. That makes a difference, because there is not proof that hearing, (or not even hearing in this case) something backwards will subconsciously affect you, simple because you don’t understand something being said backwards, because it’s almost like a completely different language.

    Another reason it doesn’t really concern me is that a study was done concerning back masking, and two people listened to music with different messages back masked, and one of them was some Christian thing, the other I don’t remember. There behavior was not affected because of this.

  6. Next time you decide to listen to “stairway to heaven” backwards, follow along with these lyrics. If you are in dire need of the rest of these lyrics, Email me.

    Plaaaay backwards,
    Hear why its sung here, oppositioner..
    Allll on track, all arriving
    They all sing, and they are one.
    Shall I loathe you now, parishoner?
    Oh hear Him, Christian within me.
    It stirs my sin; the river,
    Oh, she swells with our lousiness.
    All my life will end for him?
    We’re all out of signs,
    I know I’m sorta shocked
    To hear The Lord,
    My God now will save me!

    Oh I will n’er be saved,
    Because I live with Satan..
    One wish today;
    That you’ll all pray for
    Three who will make it here late.
    Pray now and you’ll see..
    The ‘Lord’ turned me on,
    But, oh, I was the shaggy fool..
    Clothed in agony,
    Lost at a height.

    There’s No Escaping it.

  7. well in a sense i agree with you that there is a deeper spiritualistic meaning in “Stairway to heaven” but wether or not plant intended this however escapes me. although there are certain quotes that may have a depper “more satanic” meaning…

    “And as we wind on down the road
    Our shadows taller than our soul.”

    In this part of the song it could refer to our shadows as something darker and possibly “evil” and our souls are usually refered to as something holy. our shadows taller than our soulscould refer to being on the path to hell…

    “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.”

    this section could be related to the rapture meaning that in the end you will be rewarded for the path you take…

    “there’s a sign on the wall
    But she wants to be sure
    ‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.”

    this could possibly mean that in one’s sense of hell another could find heaven…If plant was a devil worshiper (I dont think he was) then he would think of hell as a haven or heaven…

    “There’s a feeling I get
    When I look to the west,
    And my spirit is crying for leaving.”

    this section of the song may refer to the fact that some religions bury their dead facing east because the bible states that jesus will return from the east, and the west being opposite east meaning the opposite of jesus.

    Over all though I do agree with you that the song could be good or bad, but about the message backwards…I have listened to some of the song backwards and have heard phrases refering to satan, but the rest could could be jiberish. I feel that if you listen to anything long enough that you’ll hear what you’re looking for.

  8. you’re an idiot

  9. The key to understanding ‘Stairway to Heaven’ is in the cover art on the album. On the back is a prophet on a hill holding a latern with a six pointed star in it.

    This is a direct reference to the world of sacred geometry, which has a connection to the world of the occult. (Hence the connection with Aliester Crowly)

    When you start to understand the teachings of Plato, and why the sign over his academy read, “Let no man enter here who does not understand geometry”, you will begin to understand how the song was created, and why it resonates with our souls.You will also begin to understand that the lyrics of the song is a prophecy that has only started to become relavent in the last few years, and consequently, could not have been correctly interperated before this time.

    The explaination for this song is an essay, not a few paragraphs. I will post a link when I complete it.

  10. Do you realise that you’re a complete jackass? just curious…

  11. If you have never been beyond the vail of life you will never know the repetitive process typing in your soul

  12. i never knew a song as good as this one had so many dimensions to it than just good music
    can u gimme anymore inside of what pact did zeppe made with satan to be more popular:how authentic is it ??

  13. A new day will dawn… The forests will echo with laughter.

    Speaks of the day when forests reclaim the land. And not people?

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  15. I can clear up one thing that the writer of this ponders on. He points out that surely the woman who thinks all that glitters is gold should be buying a stairway to hell.
    Yes, that is true. But what it means is that she prioritizes material possessions, and thinks that she can buy her way into heaven (so to speak) by being prosperous.

  16. Check this out- http://www.asongofhope.com

    ..the video is about the painting titled “A Song of Hope” (www. asongofhope. com) by American artist Greg Harris, based on the Led Zeppelin classic “Stairway to Heaven.”

    It is an artist’s visual interpretation of a musical masterpiece and offers clues to the true meaning of perhaps the most popular and controversial song of all time.

    &, if you’re feeling philanthropic… Prints are available via the website’s contact page and all proceeds will be donated to the Action for Brazil’s Children Trust.

  17. It’s about getting married isn’t it?

    According to author Charley Cross in his Zep bio, “Led Zeppelin: Heaven and Hell,” Plant balked at the thought of playing the anthem at the Atlantic Records Anniversary Concert in 1988. Corporate push came to shove, however, and Plant capitulated. It has been suggested that one of the reasons he shies away from a Zeppelin reunion is the specter of doing a fifty-city tour in which he’d be forced to sing what was called”that bloody wedding song” fifty times.

    It’s also chock-a-block full of Tolkien imagery, which I’ve annotated in my blog, should you wish to drip by:

    http://octarineshaman.wordpress.com/2009/01/06/stairway-to-heaven-annotated/

    I’ve often wondered whether the “piper” is Pan (which would tie-in with the alleged and so-called Satanic symbolism)? Or whether the “piper” is a reference to the smoke rings he sees in his mind, as opposed to the gold ring? The gold reference is entirely interesting, as it compares Aragorn with the One Ring of Power.

    I do believe the bride looks to the West down the nave of a Christian church. The West is also clearly referencing the Elven undying lands.

  18. Sorry, mistake. I mean the GROOM looks to the West in a Christian church, although I may be mistaken.

  19. I take issue with “People have claimed that Zep made a pact with the devil in exchange for their brilliant success – a pact that included including such messages in their songs, not to mention the death of their drummer, John Bonham. Of course, Zep denies the whole thing. Wouldn’t you?”

    Which is clearly affirming the consequent (in logic)

    e.g. If SRV was alive, I would be happy. I am happy, therefore SRV is alive.

    or a closer example, if I had a foot fetish, I wouldn’t tell anyone. I don’t tell anyone I have a foot fetish, therefore I must have a foot fetish.

    And the exact case, If Zep made a deal with the Devil, they wouldn’t tell anyone. They don’t tell anyone they made a deal with the Devil, therefore they must have made a deal with the Devil.

    You can see how all these example are clearly invalid. You should take this bit out, as it’s a bit dodgy.

  20. It’s not too late to change the path you’re on [for the better]

    There’s a feeling I get
    When I look to the west [toward the setting sun]
    and my spirit is crying for leaving [longing to be liberated from this "mortal coil".]

    If theres a bustle in your hedgerow
    Dont be alarmed now [Haven't you ever benefited from adversity? Grown from it?]

    Its just a spring clean for the May Queen. [Who is the May Queen? She is revealing herself as neither a sinister person nor a mundane one, such as the lady at the beginning of the song. Whose month is May?]

    Yes, there are two paths you can go by [profane or sacred]
    But in the long run
    There’s still time [it isn't too late] to change the road your’e on
    [from the mundane/profane to the sacred.].

    And as we wind on down the road
    Our shadows taller [because the sun is setting] than our soul [We are running out of time...Again, not necessarily a sinister reference]

    There walks a Lady we all know
    [Another reference to The May Queen, not to the woman at the beginning of the son. Who is this Lady we all know? What Lady does everyone in the world, or at least the Western world, know?]

    Who shines white light and wants to show
    [The "lady" has changed from earlier in the song, when she was profane or mundane, to someone else, to a Lady we all know, to Our Lady, who is sacred.]

    How everything still turns to gold
    [Again, a positive reference. White light is not sinister but casts away darkness. She turns the seeming pointlessness of our lives to Gold. As in: "All will be well...and all manner of things will be well." Julian of Norwich]

    And if you listen very hard
    The tune [or truth] will come to you at last
    When all are one and one is all [this reference to eternal unity is a sacred reference. What is satanic about this? NOTHING.]

    To be a rock and not to roll [to be complete, to finally rest]

    And she’s buying a stairway to heaven
    [mundane pursuits, such thinking you can "buy" heaven, now seem like very yesterday]

  21. I’m amazed by this song and I firmly believe that the only people who don’t love this song have never truly listened to it. It steals you at the start, and if you allow yourself into the world it concocts, it truly takes you away. You cannot say you’ve listened to it if you’ve simply heard it. Try getting some good headphones if you don’t believe me, because the difference is unbelievable.
    I personally feel that the song chooses neither Satanic nor Christian paths. It simply expresses both. Forwards it’s Christian, backwards it’s Satanic. Think about the line ‘Sometimes words have two meanings’ the song is riddled with implications of this nature.
    Personally I favour the idea that the song was developed using automatic writing, because I don’t think it’s possible to write such a complex song with the conscious mind. Plus it also allows us all to clutch at possible delusions that Plant was infact influenced by God himself.
    I don’t know to be honest, I’m just about as agnostic as they come.
    I do hope someone out there at least sees my point though.

  22. Listen to it backwards on youtube, read the lyrics while you listen, but most of them have the lyrics on the video so you can listen and read. It does say ‘Sweet Satan’ is says 666, the whole song backwards is satanic. I really like/d this song, and I only found out last night about its satanic backwards meaning, I went to bed, put my MP3 Player on, and I was thinking, oh, I hope Stairway to Heaven doesn’t come on, and it did.

    Today I listened to it, and it’s so weird. My dad said its impossible for songs to be played backwards and have the exact – or near – same instrumental sound. And how does each word lyric for lyric corrospond to those words? I read that the band denied they did it intentionally, also heard that they said the song kinda wrote itself… dark forces did it, obviously. At least it’s a good warning and reminds us that there really is a Satan…there is two paths, best not go down that path. And maybe its about the road to Satan is alluring, it will trick you into thinking your on your way to the Stairway of Heaven, when in fact, you’re on your way to the Stairway of Hell.

  23. Plant’s lyrics here remind me of the poem by Robert Frost; “The Road Not Taken”. To me it is about choices: nonconformity, drugs, sex and relationships, war or peace, and all of the issues of the 60′s and 70′s and even the same today. Bold and intelligent lyrics and performed by some of the greatest musicians ever, it is truly a great work of art which I have heard heard played on a juke box and in a symphony hall.

    Mr. Frost says:

    Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
    And sorry I could not travel both
    And be one traveller, long I stood
    And looked down one as far as I could
    To where it bent in the undergrowth;

    Then took the other, as just as fair,
    And having perhaps the better claim,
    Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
    Though as for that the passing there
    Had worn them really about the same,

    And both that morning equally lay
    In leaves no step had trodden black.
    Oh, I kept the first for another day!
    Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
    I doubted if I should ever come back.

    I shall be telling this with a sigh
    Somewhere ages and ages hence:
    Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–
    I took the one less traveled by,
    And that has made all the difference

    …Robert Frost

  24. After reading Jimi Page’s biographie and some Led Zeppelin informations, i still couldnt find out if there was any religious influence in the band. To me, this has nothing to do with religion,i hope, the stairway isn’t actually going to heaven, its mostly trying to show how society is materialistic, the lady who’s sure is influenced and convinced she needs something, shes convinvced the glitter ( what shes buying ) is something she absolutley needs( gold) and thats what the stairway is, an illusion of materialism, of something ur doing because u think its necessary, when uv actually been convinced that you need it. theres nothing evil about this song, its sad mostly, and it aint only materialism, thers also other things that some people think they need, like an illusion trying to call itself divine to control people (that we call god) if thers something powerfull out there, its more like an energy wich could be keeping us together, not a dude with a beard that stalks everyone everysecond of theyr lifes, and that will send you to hell if you do any of the bad things he wrote in a special list ;) ( but he loves you ) anyhow, i dont belive Led Zeppelin has any religious connotation, it could even be the opposite, but i doubt that too, wer talking about what stairway to heaven means to Plant n Page, cause technically it can mean whatever you want it to mean. What i belive, its that its trying to make us realize what we really need, and focus on whats more true n concrete, what we can change, try to not be influenced about everytihng and convinced so easy, make the bullshit come out, basically.(neuh)

  25. In “Stairway to Heaven” I was really astonished to hear that, I didn’t believe it before, but most of it is pretty clear. I thought it might have said the girl whose little path made me suffer, that’s actually what I got from it played forwards as well. The song reminded me of a girl I knew, but that was mostly just the “shines white light and wants to know” so nothing subliminal was necessary for that, but, Stairway to Heaven is not a satanic song, the lady in the song is trying to buy her way to heaven, and she shines white light and wants to know, and from a conservative Christian sense from what I know, you are not supposed to be too curious but accept what you are told about God and Jesus and all on faith and man is not the savior of man, Jesus is and all of that, and the lady is clearly on the wrong path.

    “You know sometimes words have two meanings” In this song we know that the lady, or the person that looks to the West, which in the song seems a place of spiritual fulfillment, and her spirit is crying for leaving she has lost faith or has no real faith, the sign is on the wall but she needs to be sure, she isn’t sure on faith or knowing, which is the real important thing knowing, so she is trying to buy her way to heaven I think it’s talking about tithing.

    The piper is calling her to join him, the piper not quite sure who the piper is could be a god Jesus or Satan or whatever. I think it is either Pan or Jesus. It is a song of hope as Robert Plant said on the live version on “The Song Remains the Same” In the backwards Satan part There is “Here’s to my sweet Satan” and also ” ” the Satan who “made us suffer, sad Satan.” The piper is probably not that one. He could be the other one, though There’s a duality to spiritual things. It seems that a lot of times people if they here about the backwards messages and they here something like “The Piper’s calling you to join him” are going to assume it’s Satanic, especially coming from a rock group, but the piper calling you to join him isn’t necessarily a good thing, it could be a warning to the lady in the song trying to buy her way to heaven. But my main point was, in the song lyrics “you know sometimes words have two meanings” and “if you listen very hard, the truth will come to you at last” it’s like in a horror movie where it’s the devil and then it turns into Jesus then back into the devil. There are both different facets, and different faces and interpretations placed on gods and deities in different religions and so forth.

    “If you listen very hard, the truth will come to you at last..” Listening very hard I think means listening not with your ears but with your soul or spirit to hear the truth. “When all are one and one is all” is after the “spring clean for the May Queen” after God has weeded out all the evil bullshit, all is good in the worldl. Stairway to Heaven actually seems a bit more Christian than Satanic to me, but I think that If Robert plant was writing something about spiritual perfection, that might be as close as a song has ever come, and as for the backwards part about Satan and everything, that’s astoundingly strange, and it is also hard to believe that it is a coincidence, but I don’t think Led Zeppelin did it intentionally. Maybe it’s something from another dimension we are not normally aware of.

  26. if you honestly believe that zep is satanic or in anyway related you’re not a fan and you should be ashamed of yourself. i dont think jimmy page would appreciate your so called knowledge of zep, i actually think YOU’RE the satanist for saying anything so ugly about people you have and never will know.

  27. I always loved this song. Now I am scared to listen it. Why the Zep’s finally come out and tell us the true meaning of the song. I’ve found dozens of different meanings written on the web. Oh, God.

  28. I love what ejpyle has said about the horror movie with jesus flipping faces with the devil.
    I see a great theme of duality in this song, two paths, two meanings.
    The fact that this song has a satanic interpretation when played backwards is intensely poetic to me.

    It pains me to see when Christians are often the ones who are afraid of anything associated with satanism, evil, or the devil. If you claim to be following a true path, then why are you cowering from what you are against? You should be overpowering it. You should seek to understand it as best you can to overcome it.
    I see this fear as an intense lack of faith in one’s safety and self-control.

    Realize that reality is subjective, that you only see the world as you are. That your senses can only pick up a fraction of a millionth of the universe. And that ultimately, spiritual growth comes from within, and faith without growth is something disgraceful to your path, no matter what religion you may be a part of.

  29. Well it syas that sometimes words have two meanings so…
    Maybe any song, tune, humming, etc… is the word of God.
    and any tree is a follower of God.
    The song bird would be the Holy Spirit.
    Maybe the Piper is Jesus?
    Whispering wind could be prayer.
    The shadow is your past.
    To be a rock and not to roll means hold to your beliefs.
    Maybe, maybe not.

  30. . A Good song.

  31. I think everyone’s reading WAY too much into the song. Even if it does have satanic back-tracks, it’s not like these will influence anyone unless they actually WANT to be influencesd – the song is meant to be played FORWARD, not backwards, and everyone listens to it forward.

    I’ve always found that the interpretation of lyrics are subjective – i.e. the listener decides how they want to interpret them – that’s the beauty of music; it can be bent to match individual realities. While it’s good to read what other’s think, can we not just take the song for what it is – really GREAT!?

  32. I’ll be honest here, I dnt know what to think anymore. People are lashing out at a song that many feel has two meanings( no pun intended). What you all are trying to get at is that he song is satanic, but it really isnt. If you listen to something over and over again, eventually you’ll here what youre looking for. If people judge it immediately and call it satanic, all you are doing is destroying the song for yourself. The beauty of music is that its only evil if you want it to be. Music may be a powerful thing, and no doubt it may be used for evil, but evil has no power unless we allow it to. I guess the bottom line is if we dwell on what is potential but otherwise powerless evil, we cannot even so much as hope to see the ultimate good that the song has in it. Im almost sure that if you backmasked every song on the face of the earth, you would find millions of bizzare stuff in songs. But the thing is that we should not be cowering in fear of the as i said potential evil, but overcoming it with the strength that the Divine Creator gives us and believing that it is what it is only to yourself, and ultimately it has no matter what others may think, but the song remains the same ( pun definately intended ).

  33. According to Wikipedia (gotta love my killer sources), the May Queen is a teenage girl chosen to lead the Mayday celebration, sorta bringing on spring. It’s rumored that the may queen was put to death at the end of the ceremony during occultist times. That might explain references to “the piper”. If we go with the pied piper, who brings away the rats in exchange for gold (which is already an important concept) but eventually takes the children (May queen?) it could seem to be talking about a debt to something or someone. That fits with the “new day will dawn” line whether or not the May queen is killed; it’s speaking about the start of spring and something new. I personally don’t like the thought of the May queen being killed as what the lyrics are about but I suppose it’s a possibility.

    We could take this as a song about the world’s failure to protect something or someone in exchange for whatever they’re indebted to. For example: the May queen has been used to celebrate spring and is about to be killed. The people involved with the celebration realize that their souls are terribly diminished to let someone suffer for their gain, as they’re winding down the road as usual. “There walks a lady we all know” could be the one they let die, reminding them of what they’ve done. “How everything still turns to gold” could be an allusion to the story of King Midas, where everything he touched turned to solid gold, including his own daughter. I’m not sure about the last three lines. All the while you have this contrasted to the lady who’s buying a stairway to heaven with the gold she needed to pay the piper so that he would take her children away. I don’t think this interpretation I just gave need be sinister or at all tied with the occultist happenings regarding the May Queen but it’s a metaphor Plant would have been familiar with. Stairway to Heaven might be a song regarding responsibility. Who knows what the band’s opinion was of the happenings in Great Britain or America at the time. Is this a commentary on something such as the education system, for example, where the children are deprived of something important to them because some lady (politician ?) is chasing after something that glitters? That’s just an example, most likely not what the band was thinking of at the time, but maybe something remotely similar. If they were commenting on the situation of their world at the time they wrote the song, it wouldn’t be the first time a 70′s rock band has done so (think every Pink Floyd song ever written).

  34. I guess the last three lines could be a resolve to change their actions in the future.

  35. can’t bother explaining more for you oversensitive bastards

    And it’s whispered that soon
    If we all call the tune
    Then the piper will lead us to reason

    = it has whispered means that jesus said that if you believe in him you go to heaven BECAUSE later on he’ll come and reign his fucking kingdom whatever just because he wanted to give us some spare time to get prepared for it
    so I guess jesus wanted to everyone to be saved right? so if we all call the tune everyone is saved and what then? I guess that would be quite fun if everyone believed into christ yet nothing would happen = jesus would lead us to reason why the fuck we do this = there is none which is this song about=
    And the forests will
    Echo with laughter

    never liked the whole song though

  36. If a person starts to dabble in the occult ( By reading or getting involved with anti-christ religion, Ufology, spiritism, astrology etc etc) they can be influenced by the satanic realm. It happened to me.I don’t believe for one minute that Zeppelin intended backward meanings to come out of their songs.If the song is about finding the answer to the meaning of life then it’s a positive one. Many rock stars are Christians and don’t need to search any more but in ’69, 70 Zepp were still searching. I have the greatest respect for Zeppelin. I met John Bonhams wife and Jason Bonham on a regular basis. John kindly gave me two of his cymbals as a gift.
    Just out of interest I was given the nickname BONZO before John Bonham. I live within a few hundred yards of where he lived. My friend had John as his drummer in Johns very first band in ’63 and I started rock drumming in ’63 . Just recently someone thrust limited edition photographs of John and said “have these as a gift.”
    How spooky is all that. Jesus is Lord.

  37. The first verses of “Stairway”, where Plant sings about “a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold and she’s buying a stairway to heaven” is a poke at the wife of the lawyer at Atlantic Records in the 70′s. His name was Stephens H Weiss, and her name was Marie Wiess. They traveled extensively with the band at the time. She was not the nicest woman in the world, but was very absorbed in the Catholic church. She was always donating money to one Catholic charity or another. (A side note, he was Jewish, but she was Catholic. He handled her divorce in the early 70′s, and she ended up marrying him, after she saw how much money he made)
    The second part, where he sings about “if the stores are all closed, with a word she can get what she came for” comes from a story that was told to me by her daughter. It seems that they went to London for the first time in 1972. She was intent on getting to shop at Harrods Of London, but because they arrived in the evening it was already closed. They were scheduled to leave the next day, and she would not be able to do her shopping. Being who he was, Led Zeppelin’s lawyer, he had connections, and was able to call someone (who, I don’t know) and have them open the store back up just for her to be able to go shopping. As for the rest of the song..a lot of the phrases and references can be found in old English poems and literature, something that Page was absorbed with at the time.
    I tend to believe these stories that were told to me by her daughter, who I was dating in the 90′s, because the walls in her stepfather’s office were covered in Zeppelin’s Gold Records, and she regularly received letters from both Page and Plant that were signed “Uncle Robert” and “Uncle Jimmy”.
    Stephens H Weiss can be seen briefly in the film “The Song Remains The Same”. He appears in a backstage room in Madison Square Garden,sitting on a bench, wearing a blue shirt (with a HUGE collar, typical of the fashion at the time) while Zeppelins manager, Peter Grant, is going off about the band being ripped off.
    So, the meaning of the song is not that “deep” or “spiritual”. Its really just about a spoiled woman who thought that donating money to the church would secure her a spot in Heaven, regardless of how she treated others.

  38. when ironicaly the bit about bussels in the hedgerow, Basicaly pubity, is played backwards there are satanic words, weather by accident i don’t know, but it’s more vivd than you would expect, page was into crowley, why i don’t know cos Crowley bartardsised the Hermetica by mixing it with Revalatins from the New Testament, and that was only getting at the developing Holy Roman Empire,,, the Hermetica which has influenced all east and west cultures through the ages, and influences free masanary and Jungianism to name just a couple is a great book

  39. The meaning of the song is obvious to all, if only you would allow the living dream through your preconceptions of the illusion side of the human condition. It is a message from the soul, to the soul, to wake up and plant yourSELF in the natural, one world. The Lady we all Know, is the guide within. Be the rock (solid, still, QUIET!!) then you may see through all the rolling you are doing. Let the soul be lived, your shadow disappears when the light of understanding is high above and no shadow is cast. Silence of mind to all.

  40. For one there has been so many critism and a truth about the song. and at the time it was written and air played, no one even realized or even thought about doing research on the lyrics or to find what the song realy meant. At the time everyone was enjoying the song. And satan was smileing as the forest echoed with laughter. And the band members knew it would be like that ubtill the time came when everyone would have concern about the truth of the song, and research would be done and the actual truth about the song will be revealed. As its said the “truth will always be revealed” Page or Plant do not like to respond on any questions about the song. And I dont think they will care to play the song again live. Because they know that people know the truth about the song. It may have came to them spontaneously but they know exactly what they were doing, where it was coming from and knew what the results were going to be. Page and Plant were very entellegent people. Dont be ignorant people music was only created for one reason alone and it was for worship. Who you worship is your choice. But for those who believe, God created music, and Lucifer was the director of worship and the angle gariel has a horn. Music was ther before us folks.

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  46. You think he didn’t want to say the word “hell” in his song because it might be censored? Have you heard some of the language of other songs of the same era? Pink Floyd especially did way worse. Back then they played those songs as they were. I always find it funny that only recently have they begun to bleep out possibly offensive (and possible fine-inducing)words.

  47. Thank you ejpyle3, very nice description of the song.

  48. You post: “In “Rock and roll,” Plant sings, “I gotta roll, can’t stand still, got a flamin’ heart, can’t get my fill.” ”

    That is false. Plant sings ‘I gotta roll, can’t stand still, got a flamin’ heart, can’t get my fill’ in Led Zeppelin’s song “Black Dog”.

  49. Every Man & Woman is given a measure of “Faith” to hear God calling them to His Son Jesus…to have their Dead spirit be…”Re Born to His Life”

    Robert Plant was simply Hearing that Voice….How He Responded ….I know not…has anyone ever ask him that Question?
    My Belief is that it is a “Stairway Warning”

    http://zolaboard.levitt.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=1240854#Post1240854

    Could be a Prophetic Warning to the Evangelical Church:

    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.

    1Co 14:26 Then how is it, brothers? When you come together, each one of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be for building up.

    Could be a Prophetic Warning to the Catholic Church:

    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. (Holy Spirit Infilling)

    Could be a Prophetic Warning to the Lost …
    to be Born Again and Part of the Spirit Filled Jerusalem Church

    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
    To be a rock and not to roll.

    And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.

  50. “Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.”

    Believe it or not, I am the guy that wrote the original blog piece that everyone here commented upon, and I’m back to say just a few things in response to what you/we all wrote.

    First, we’re all right, and we’re all wrong — all of our thoughts are misgiven. The mind alone cannot comprehend these things, as some of you suggested, it’s all just too much.

    With that in mind, I also agree that this song probably was written through automatic writing — it came from a place beyond the mind, with a most crucial message for humankind.

    Also, I admit that some of my judgments in the piece were probably off-base, and I no doubt deserved to be called an “idiot” (as a few of you did) in places for my commentary. For example, “buying a Stairway to HEAVEN” in the first verse does indeed make perfect sense, of course, and I doubt ZEP were wanting to say “Hell” instead, especially not for wariness about censorship.

    Then again, there is still something funny about the end of that first verse…I doubt this song cannot be fathomed by our normal, waking mental processes, and anything we say could be as right as it is wrong.

    “Ooh, it makes me wonder.”

    Indeed. What I’ve understood since writing this, too, is that the song does seem to be about the victory over the darkness/evil/devil which is within each and every one of us human beings. I completely agree with a few of you who said it doesn’t help to stop listening to this song; rather, it’s our task to see that the darkness that we feel/experience from this song is actually within ourselves, and that we need to completely acknowledge/confront that head on and overcome our deepest fears — the fear of being separate, completely alone, completely cut off from Source, completely cut off from LOVE, GOD, CONNECTION TO EVERYONE & EVERYTHING. And yet to realize, too, that in this dualistic world of the mind, Good and Evil are not separate, they are ONE, and that all of our fears stem from the dualistic mind.

    “And it’s whispered that soon, if we all call the tune…”

    We’re in this 2012 SHIFT, apparently about to go through this major Galactivation experience. We’ve all been shifting in a big way these past several years, whether we know it consciously or not.

    “There walks a lady we all know.”

    I feel this is the Divine Mother, who is a lady we all KNOW because she lives within us at a deeper coressential level, and thus we have met her before. Since writing this piece, I’ve been working with the Grandmother Medicine, and what I’ve understood from Her is that it’s all about learning to finally stop rockin’ and rollin’ and “BE STILL AND KNOW” as the Bible and the most profound scriptures East and West tell us.

    “And if you listen very hard
    The tune will come to you at last.
    When all is one and one is all
    To be a rock and not to roll.”

    When All is One. Evil/Devil is just the other side of the coin of Good/God. It’s all duality, and reality is ONLY ONE. We can only know this truth when we ourselves become SINGLE, when we ourselves become ONE.

    “To Be a Rock and not to Roll.”

    Thank you for listening (very hard : )

    To Y/our Victory,

    Jaya!


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