Stairway to Heaven

Posted by Arkham on January 11th, 2007

I do realize this song is very old. But it happens to me to listen to a lot of old songs, since modernity doesn’t have nothing to do with time: most of the current hits are love songs whose lyrics are recycled from 13th century italian poetry, while some songs of the 80s or 90s talk about our modern life, about us and the world around us…

“Us and Them
And after all we’re only ordinary men
Me, and you
God only knows it’s not what we would choose to do”

But now let’s talk about this song, Stairway to Heaven.

Stairway to heaven

A friend of mine has this wonderful poster of it; that drawing and the gothic font immediately reminded me of Belle Epoque drawings, like Aubrey Beardsley‘s ink illustrations, so I added my Best of Led Zeppelin again to my playlist after ages…
I am sure that all of you have listened to this song at least once in your life (and shame on you if you still didn’t), and so you should know the basic storyline: even though the meaning of most of the song is simple, there are a couple of very interesting points in the lyrics:

“A bustle in your hedgerow”

A hedgerow is a hedge that surrounds many estates in Britain; so, a bustle in your hedgerow means a noise, a disturbance near home: metaphorically something that could be disturbing is happening in your world.

“It’s just a spring clean for the May Queen.”

Spring cleaning is the ritual cleaning that every year you do to clear your house from the old things of the previous year, and symbolically from all the troubles of the past too.

The May Queen was a maiden chosen by a village to represent the hopes and potential for the coming year. She was a symbol of beauty, spring and new beginnings.

So, here the song tells us that we need to get rid of the old things to let the new ones occur: these things could be our past hopes, loves, dreams..
Using Nietzsche’s words:

“Companions, the creator seeketh, and such as know how to whet their sickles. Destroyers, will they be called, and despisers of good and evil. But they are the reapers and rejoicers.”

Through this point of the view, we can see why this renewing could be a hustle in our hedgerow, since everytime we have to abandon something that we loved or something we believed in, and this is one of the most painful aches that our souls have to suffer; most of the times, we only pretend to forget them, but we let them come back again and again, since we are too weak to free ourselves from their slavery…

These verses are kinda mysterious because it is a common legend to think that if you hear to the reversed playing of:

“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.”

You can hear these verses:

“Oh here’s to my sweet Satan.
The one whose little path would make me sad, whose power is Satan.
He’ll give those with him 666.
There was a little toolshed where he made us suffer, sad Satan.”

This fascinating theory is supported by other verses of the song:

“‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.”

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

Even though it is very interesting, this backmasking, like most of the not clearly intentional ones, could be explained in the same way I do explain UFOs, ghosts and so on.. that is when we look at things that aren’t clear and are too dark to see, it’s easier for us to project our own imaginations on them; in this way, if you already know that those lyrics could be satanic, and since the sound is so unclear, you’ll surely understand that gibberish as a prayer to Satan, while on the contrary, if no one tells you about that ‘hidden’ meaning, very probably you won’t understand it. Try to listen to the previous .ogg without reading the satanic verses, and you’ll see how is hard to understand the meaning to of the reversed words without having them under your eyes ;)

Morever, I think that you can see the satanic meaning of the song by reading it forward too:

“Your head is humming and it won’t go, in case you don’t know,
The piper’s calling you to join him”

Who’s this piper? He’s Pan, the greek divinity who watches over shepherds and their flocks. He has the hindquarters, legs, and horns of a goat. Obviously this character has great resemblances with the european image of the Devil.

I really love this song and I think that it has been fairly considered one of the best rock and not roll songs, so I hope you will follow my steps and listen to it again and again :)

This entry was posted on Thursday, January 11th, 2007 at 02:52 and is filed under music. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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