Stairway to heaven?

Though I have been hard rock fan for a long time it was recently that I heard Led Zeppelin, the Granddaddy of Hard Rock. I liked most of their songs, from their best of collections Early Days and Latter Days. The favourite of mine has been Stairway to heaven. The most famous and arguably the best Led Zep song (though Kashmir is also quite the same...) I started reading about it and was blown away by the mindblowing fact that the song is backmasked or accused to be so!

Backmasking??? It is the art(?) of introducing a message into a song which can only be deciphered when listened backwards.

Back to our song. This song straight forward has references to the Lord of the Rings. People like Galadriel and Gandalf come to our mind. Golden lady references and the smoke rings through the forest.The yearning of the elves for the west is also specified. It is natural as Robert Plant, the lyricist and singer and the whole Led Zep were Tolkien fans.
Like most other rock songs the song has references to drug use.
Some interpret as some real life lady who Led Zep knew. She was cheated out by them in a garage sale into buying some junk for a lot of cash etc.
I am not posting the entire lyrics here. Its too long(8:00 minutes). So the link is here.
But here is the most controversial part of the song, the backmasking. The clearest part is:

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.

Now here's the hidden message

Oh here's to my sweet Satan
The one whose little path makes me sad
Whose power is Satan
He will give those with him 666
There was a tool shed where he made us suffer
Sad Satan!

Christian fundamentalists in the USA (To hell with those mentals!) were up in arms and released the entire song backwards. Plant denied the whole thing and was terribly upset. He said he wrote the song with best of intentions. He had written the song in an abandoned castle in Britain often used by bands to record and practice due to its remoteness and peace. This place was an old sweat shop were people had suffered a lot.

A straight forward contemplation on the above part is that it refers to the menstrual cycle of a woman (I did not come up with it.Someone else did and I think it makes sense) . Though Led zebu has not endorsed this. But come to the line two paths. I think this is hint enough for the back mask.

How did this come about? Deliberate? Or a acoustic illusion? The second is very far fetched as the lyric is distinct. If they did by purpose then hats off to them. It is a brilliant job and they should be proud of it. Screw the fund "mental"! But Plant has denied again and again.
Something he hasn't denied is that they were avid drug users. Marijuana, Cocaine and Heroin used to flow to let the creativity flow. So my take on the issue:

Disclaimer: I believe in some pagan and occult stuff because it seems real, atleast to me. The opinion is my own and I don't want force it down anyone else's gullet. And I don't spook people off! I rarely talk on these subjects and I beg the pardon if I hurt anybody's funda"mentals"!

The place where the song was composed is a place which has seen a lot of horrible pains and memories. So the place obviously has a lower barrier to the astral plane where the spirits reside. The lower astral plane contains the discontent spirits and probably mischievous ones (they were humans once dude :-D).
The drug use in a person lowers the barrier of a person to spiritual attacks. I can endorse it personally as I a totally blanked out and doesn't dream when I sleep after boozing ( I drink in moderation and does not get blind drunk and the frequency of boozing is very small) So imagine I can imagine a person who is loaded on booze, marijuana and possibly heroin.

Robert Plant: Dude! That riff was awesome! I am going to write a song!
Jimmy Page: (the guitarist) Dude! Make sure LOTR comes in...
RP: You said you are going to have some fun tonight with that groupie! Whatsername?
JP: Who cares? Anyway...she says its "spring cleaning" know what I mean?
JP: Dude you smoked too much pot!
RP: And here goes some H!
JP: You rock! by the way Jason is blind drunk...he will kill himself by boozing. (Jason Bonham, the drummer, did die after a day full of excessive boozing leading to the disbanding of the band in 1981)
RP: *starts writing*

In the meantime a spirit called Lucious manages to breach the astral plane.
Lucious: Goody! I can be with real people now.
He eyes at Plant.
Lucious: Wow! Great hair and what is he doing when a hot guy like me is standing here!
RP: I am stuck!
Lucious: No you are not! Let me make some reference so that Satan is pleased with moi!
RP: Funny! the pen is moving on its on. May be I did have too much pot!

An hour later.
Lucious: Ah! The work here is done! I hope Satan gives me an entry into his exclusive Devils Advocate Members only Bridge Club...OMS! the guys are hot in there. Thinking of them makes my pants drop!
RP: Jimmy its done!
JP: *shaking himself up* Dude! You rock! But whats this two path and all...
RP: Don't know dude. Just wrote them!

And they made the song!

By the way, Plant did say later that words were flowing out without his knowledge.

So my friends if you want to listen to this and other backmasks. Go here!
In here the ones I think are genuine are Britney Spears ("Sleep with me, I am not too young", the message from "Hit me baby" ;-)), Nature's Trail to hell, Eminem, The Beatles-i'm so tired(Thats another big story!) and John Lennon.

Now for the song appreciation. Stairway to heaven is the most requested song in the history of radio ( I mean English radio). The song starts of slow with a beautiful acoustic guitar peace, moves into a medium transition in the middle and an awesome Guitar riff by Page in the end. The guitar tabs of this song is the largest selling in the world.

So its me Rockus signing off...


Arti Honrao said...

Me first ... me first ... :D
Don't know what to say abt the post ...
Isliye itna hi kaafi hai :)


-Poison- said...

i like tht song...
didnt knw abt the controveries!
funny take!!!

Anonymous said...

Well written man,neat stuff....

another illusion said...

i didn't know about this backmasking stuff! very interesting.

Unknown said...

@akansha: tee-hee!
@poison,@illusion,@Divakar: Danx guys!

hotICE said...

backmasking is a lotta crazy stuff!! not just this one.. nother song famous for the same reason is Hotel California of Eagles.

Well, I say, if the song is good listen to it, for heaven's sake, all fanatics, SHUT UP!!

Unknown said...

@hotice: Yup! Hotel California is there in that link...

Neetika said...

Wonderfully written!!
You have given a small subject some meaning....
Keep smiling

Unknown said...

@neetika: Danx...:-D

Emotions said...

hmmm.....very intresting:-))

all d bst !!
keep writing n keep smiling :-)

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