Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Stairway to Heaven Song Analysis

It's time! Yes, time for another grand-daddy confusing damn rock and roll song. This time it's Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. Sure, they tell me all the time not to mess with the classics but I can't resist. There's nothing about this song that makes sense other than despite all the cliches and overplay, it is still an amazing piece of rock and roll history. Let's ruin it by trying to explain it...

There’s a lady who’s sure
All that glitters is gold

And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.

I sure hope she’s right; I’ve got a lot of money tied up in glitter right now. But seriously, my money is on the fact that this is Paris Hilton they’re speaking of. Sure, it was written long before celebretramps but I feel that our foursome looked into the future and saw her none-the-less. Who else could be so dumb?

When she gets there she knows
If the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for

It’s hard to determine what this is really referring to. I’m guessing that it’s the duty free shop right before you get into heaven. You know, the one on the way where you can get things they said you couldn’t take with you, like designer angel wings and such…

Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven

Oh; and where did she go to buy that stairway? Stairways R Us? I certainly hope they deliver and assemble.

There’s a sign on the wall
But she wants to be sure
cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.

It’s that No Vacancy sign in front of heaven. It’s been full up for years; the waiting list is long. Take your number and head on down to Hell…we’ll call you.

In a tree by the brook
There’s a songbird who sings,
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.

I rarely misgive thoughts. I usually just regift them.

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

Remember; most songwriters are paid by the word count…

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

Obviously the spirit knows the big hassle of today’s airline industry; no wonder it’s crying about leaving.

In my thoughts I have seen
Rings of smoke through the trees,
And the voices of those who standing looking.

This is yet another obsessive reference to The Lord of the Rings trilogy by the boys. You’d have thought they’d eventually grow up and out of that phase. Yes, its sad JRR Tolkien died. Yes, it’s sad his son keeps cobbling together the rest of his scribblings into books just to make money. Yes, it’s too bad the movies cut out the Tom Bombadil section. We all suffer too…

Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it really makes me wonder

Adding that extra “really” added $1.50 to the song writer’s check…


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

Later, after a long arduous journey we realize the song had a typo all along when the piper leads everyone to a raisin farm.

And a new day will dawn
For those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter.

What they are trying to explain to you here is that old days don’t dawn again. They’re gone! Get over it. Carpe Diem. The forests will always laugh at those people who stand long. They have to stand; they’re rooted. They laugh at mobile people who choose to stand when they could be having fun on Segway group tours.

If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow
Don’t be alarmed now,
Its just a spring clean for the may queen.

With proper maintenance and some inexpensive illegal aliens, you too can keep bustles from ever growing in your hedgerow.

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.

Basically what he’s saying is that all the roads are redundant, connecting with each other at every point so that when they are clogged with traffic it won’t matter which one you take, it’ll still take you twice as long as you hoped.

And it makes me wonder

A slight misuse of the written word here. He’s obviously making a wonder bread sandwich.

Your head is humming and it wont go
In case you don’t know,
The pipers calling you to join him

Head humming is a debilitating disease. Ask your doctor is you have the humbug and if expensive side-effect-ridden medication is right for you…

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

Just bear in mind that county ordinance 5.027-1 clearly states that it is not up to code to place stairways on whispering winds anymore. There have been numerous reported fatalities due to shifting winds and high altitudes while walking up to heaven as a result.

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

Remember, size DOES matter…and this just proves it.

There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show

How everything still turns to gold.

Due to legal issues between George Lucas and the band members, we can no longer elaborate on the rumors that George stole the Jedi idea from them. Sure; it can be argued that a lady with a white light saber was prophesized in this lyric, but until they settle, nobody can be sure.

And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.

Just not digitally on itunes; the boys were stubborn about that…

When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll.

What he’s saying is that I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together.

See how they run like pigs from a gun, see how they fly. I'm crying. I am the Walrus…

And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.

Large purchases like these take awhile to process. Please go to the waiting room in hell; we’ll call you when it’s processed…

55 comments:

Candie Bracci said...

LMAO!!A duty free shop before getting to heaven?Yes that was awesome.You gave some sense to the song!Now I understand it all,was hard before to understand what they were talking(smoking)about!But leaving in my own world,you know I know were you can find some stairways for cheap.Just call the rainbow man and tell him you know me!lol ;)

subtorp77 said...

VE, HA! and well done! "Celebretramp"? Can you out a patent on that?-LOL! Raisin farm-LMAO! And I thought everybody knew Lucas got the idea for Star Wars( nicely tied in, by the way ), from Akira Kurosawa's "The Magnificent Seven"( look it up, you )-HA!

And you just have to do a parody( lyrics, of course ) of this, now!

Mrsupole said...

Buying a stairway to heaven. Oh yeah, but was a good one and all the time they have in the waiting room in hell. Makes you wonder if they do have a waiting room there for them to repent.

Yup you made sense of the song, it never had any sense before. You are so sensable.

God bless.

Gladys said...

WEll finally I understand the song. For years I thought it was about bad drug hallucinations. Now I know it's really about Paris Hilton and that Hell is really just a waiting room for heaven.
Thanks for clearing that up VE.

The Incredible Woody said...

I never really knew the real lyrics to that song - just the ones my stoned mind made up. A bustle in your hedgerow? A spring clean for the may queen? I'm thinking my lyrics were better!

Beth said...

I will never listen to this song in the same way again.
Your delightful cynicism and wit have forever changed its meaning – which I never really understood in the first place.
(I’m still smiling...)

Kurt said...

That song is no Beth.

Quirkyloon said...

@Kurt BETH? Baby vomit!

Sorry had to get that off my chest.

AND... I am a regular head hummer and that does NOT mean I have a debilitating disease! Head humming is GOOD!

It's what makes the world go round and round!

Ha!

(BTW, very funny VE!)

Elizabeth said...

"What he’s saying is that I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all together"
Love your explenations!

moooooog35 said...

You know why she bought it, right?

Stairway to Heaven: Billy Mays' last infomercial.

You just couldn't say no to that friggin' guy.

Prefers Her Fantasy Life said...

Not every songwriter can be Lennon and McCartney.

VE said...

Ok everyone, I fixed the weird html stuff on my post. Sometimes I have no clue what blogger does. I didn't notice it had messed up the post until I got up this morning. How can they mess up straight text? Oh well...

VE said...

candie - Ah the rainbow man. Yes, I tried him earlier and all I found was a whole lot of colors on the other side

VE said...

subtorp77 - I believe Lucas also referrenced the whole Nazi rise and fall as a very strong reference when making the Star Wars movies.

VE said...

mrsupole - It would just figure if we did have to wait in hell for our number to be called...

VE said...

gladys - Glad I could provide that clarity. Everything in life is a beuracracy...(however it's spelled)

VE said...

incredible woody - Now I'm curious what the ones you made up were! Fess up...

VE said...

beth - Ah, well its good to know I can change things. I can't seem to do the water to wine one yet though...

VE said...

kurt - Ha! That's because Led Zeppelin is no Kiss!

VE said...

quirkyloon - Ha! Baby vomit...that is a good way to describe that song! You loonie, you! ;)

VE said...

elizabeth - I don't know why but that still cracks me up. Is it wrong to laugh at your own jokes?

VE said...

moooooog35 - Billy Mays...Ha! That's funny. I should have consulted with you before I finished this...

VE said...

prefers - Here, here. Or Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Carole King or Leonard Cohen.

ReformingGeek said...

I am ONE with the stairway.

Wait. Huh? I still don't get that song.

Good job, VE!

VE said...

reforminggeek - Don't worry, you'll finally get it when you're in the waiting room in hell... ;)

subtorp77 said...

VE, I was not quite 11 when episode IV came out and got the references then( especially the "stormtroopers" one), ya think?

Megan said...

I suppose I knew you would go here someday. I'm really not looking forward to this song being in my head all day, you know.

Tom Bombadil!!!!

VE said...

subtorp77 - I think he was trying to portray what it looks like when a intention goes from good to evil. But, yes, the stormtroopers was a pretty telling sign! duh...

VE said...

megan - Tom Bombadil, indeed. I know my LOTR trilogy...

Roy Scribner said...

This is a Neil Diamond tune, right?

Chris Wood said...

There are now stairlifts to heaven for the disabed. Ahhh, I call that thoughtful ...

VE said...

roy - Roy,Roy,Roy...you've been camping too long!

VE said...

chris - Ha! True... an they have an exciting ride with those wheel chairs down to the waiting room in hell...

Jeff said...

Huh... I always thought it was "...just a sprinkling for the May Queen." Gee, the real lyrics make SO much more sense.

Ronda Laveen said...

I always thought the lady with the white light was also a LOTR reference.

Should develop a nice Jlo booty by the time you climb from Hell to Heaven.

VE said...

jeff - That's funny...that's what I thought it was too until I downloaded the lyrics. And yeah, neither one help...

ronda - That's true...it just might be...somebody from Lothlorien perhaps...

Maureen said...

I never bothered to listen to the lyrics. All I knew was it was ALWAYS the last song at the school dances; and your last chance to get to slow dance with the cute guy...

Serena said...

Well, there goes another one that I'll never hear quite the same way again.:)

Starrlight said...

This is the first time I have enjoyed this song in ages!

VE said...

maureen - Guess they should have called it the "Last Chance" song...of course buying a stairway to heaven is sort of that, isn't it?

serena - VE...the ruiner of songs!

starrlight - Excellent; glad I could freshen in up some...

Anne said...

thanks. i needed that.

VE said...

anne - I am at your service!

Uncivil said...

And a new day will dawn
For those who stand long
And the cahiers at Walmart will echo with laughter.

VE said...

uncivil - Excellent version. Too funny.

otin said...

I wonder if they even wrote the lyrics, they stole all of their other songs!

Jaime said...

i'd like everything to turn to gold. then maybe i wouldn't have to work so hard. but i wouldn't just want to buy a stairway to heaven.

VE said...

otin - You know, I have no idea. I think they did; perhaps why they make no sense...

jaime - Gold is pretty heavy; can't they just turn it into high yield Bera-bonds?

Kanrei said...

How did I let this go by? Great

VE said...

kan - You've missed some doozies...

Janna said...

Back when I was playing harp at weddings, I had one where the groom requested that I play Stairway To Heaven.

On the harp.

It's hard to do on an Irish harp because of the sharping levers (as opposed to a concert harp, which has pedals for sharping and flatting).

But I did it.

I think part of the universe died a little bit, but I did it anyway.

VE said...

janna - The harp? Yikes. There are some things that should never be attempted! Ha.

unfinishedrambler said...

What about the parts in Lothlorien too that were cut from the movies? I think that's the real question to which you're trying to get, isn't it? Or did I miss the point of this parody?

VE said...

unfinishedrambler - You missed the point...there isn't one! ;)

Carla said...

Can't believe I missed all this before. Great job.

VE said...

carla - Now you know...