Led Zeppelin's Tolkien Allusions
Jul 12, 2002 at 9:07 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 15

kerelybonto

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I've been spending a lot of time with my Zeppelin discs lately, and as I'm already intimately familiar with the instrumentals, I've been paying more and more attention to the lyrics. I noticed the band's lyrical allusions to J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy very soon after hearing the songs for the first time, but I've found quite a few more sublte references as I've been paying more attention.

The most obvious allusions are in "Ramble On." In the song's last stanza, Plant sings the following verse: Quote:

'Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor
I met a girl so fair
but Gollum and the Evil One
crept up and slipped away with her.


That's a pretty explicit reference, and it justifies looking for others.

So on to "The Battle of Evermore." From what I've read about the song, it's supposed to be related to Celtic mythology. But it obviously has mixed sources, evidence by it's mention of "the angels of Avalon," which is a reference to the Arthurian paradise of English lore. There are lots of things in the song that could be construed as Lord of the Rings material, such as "The Queen of Light" and "The Prince of Peace," which if my memory serves me correctly (I haven't read the books in quite a few years), were names for Eowyn and Aragorn. But without stretching things, there's the mention of "the Dark Lord" and "ringwraiths," the latter of which is a word I don't think has any meaning other than the one Tolkien gave it.

"Misty Mountain Hop" could also be an allusion. The title could refer to the Misty Mountains of Tolkien's Middle Earth geography or the mountains of the same name in Wales, where both Tolkien and Plant lived.

I can't think of any other explicit references right now. But besides the Tolkien allusions there are many references to Norse, Celtic, and British mythology, indicating that Plant did have an interest in such things. Do any of you know of any other allusions or if anyone from the band has ever said anything about them?

kerelybonto
 
Jul 12, 2002 at 9:15 PM Post #2 of 15

kerelybonto

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I did a search on Google and found a couple websites devoted to the subject. They have lots more references and some line-by-line commentaries. A lot of what they say seems to me to be stretching it a bit, but I think it's pretty likely that Plant was mixing in Lord of the Rings material with other mythology and randomness while creating his lyrics. Here are the sites:
  1. Zeppelin and Tolkien Relations Page
  2. Led Zeppelin's Allusions to JRR Tolkien
kerelybonto
 
Jul 12, 2002 at 9:19 PM Post #3 of 15

kerelybonto

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Oh, haha, didn't Plant have a dog named "Strider?" Geez, these guys were real geeks.
wink.gif


kerelybonto
 
Jul 12, 2002 at 10:16 PM Post #4 of 15

DarkAngel

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Zep 4, open album fold and see two page graphic spread of wizard gandalf with lantern on peak overlooking village below.
Modified version of this in CD booklet, open to center page spread
 
Jul 12, 2002 at 10:46 PM Post #5 of 15

zoboomofo

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Jimmy was known to have practiced black magic. I don't know if that's more of an Alistair Crowley thing or a Tolkien thing, but it was worth mentioning. Also, Robert looked much like a fairy elf maiden with that hair of his
biggrin.gif
.

related quote:

"I got a woman wanna ball all day, yaay yaay..."

could be a reference to Aragorn's affections towards Arwen
biggrin.gif
.

Keep on rockin' in the free world!
zobo.

Hey, I love your custom title Dark Angel! Your picture does look rather man-ish. (****s and giggles).
 
Jul 13, 2002 at 10:36 PM Post #6 of 15

redshifter

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darkangel,

take that gatefold painting of gandolf on the cliff and hold it against a mirror, cliff side touching the mirror face so the reflection looks like one large painting.


mmmwwwwuuuuuuuuuhhaaahahaaahahha!!
very_evil_smiley.gif
 
Jul 13, 2002 at 11:37 PM Post #7 of 15

kerelybonto

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The wizard-looking guy from the untitled disc is the hermit from a tarrot deck, I believe. I guess it might supposed to be Gandalf though. ...

So anyone know if the band ever talked about this strange infatuation?

kerelybonto
 
Jul 13, 2002 at 11:44 PM Post #8 of 15

DarkAngel

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Quote:

Originally posted by redshifter
take that gatefold painting of gandolf on the cliff and hold it against a mirror, cliff side touching the mirror face so the reflection looks like one large painting.
mmmwwwwuuuuuuuuuhhaaahahaaahahha!!
very_evil_smiley.gif


Tre Cool!
The rocks form a monsters face when mirror image is seen. You must hold image 90* to mirror to see full image.

Now, tell me this. In my youth I expended many bongs trying to decipher the meaning of the black obelisk which appears in several pictures on album Presence??????
confused.gif
 
Jul 14, 2002 at 1:33 AM Post #9 of 15

redshifter

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Quote:

Now, tell me this. In my youth I expended many bongs trying to decipher the meaning of the black obelisk which appears in several pictures on album Presence??????


i always thought the obelisk represented the Product, which is an object of worship in a consumer society.
 
Jul 16, 2002 at 12:32 AM Post #14 of 15

Budgie

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(Completely off subject) Dark Angels "location" always starts that damn Pat Benatar song going in my head. Proof positive of DA's evil nature.
 
Jul 16, 2002 at 8:26 PM Post #15 of 15

redshifter

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lol, budgie!

just for you, my friend:

"We're running with the shadows of the night
So baby take my hand, you'll be all right
Surrender all your dreams to me tonight
They'll come true in the end"

didn't you know pat benetar's secret identity on the inet is "darkangel"?
wink.gif
 

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