#SongLyricSunday : River/Stream/Brook
Time again for Song Lyric Sunday!
The Idea was formed by Helen at This Thing Called Life One Word At A Time. Jim over at A Unique Title For Me has stepped up as Guest Host for this fun weekly post.
This week our word prompt is “River/Stream/Brook”.
Per usual, I am writing this post days in advance, and I’m going on the premise that many will go the route of using River as their word. As for me, I’m going with a smaller body of water with a big song.
According to Wikipedia:
The recording of "Stairway to Heaven" commenced in December 1970 at Island Records' new Basing Street Studios in London. The song was completed by the addition of lyrics by Plant during the sessions for Led Zeppelin IV at Headley Grange, Hampshire, in 1971. Page then returned to Island Studios to record his guitar solo.
The song originated in 1970 when Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were spending time at Bron-Yr-Aur, a remote cottage in Wales, following Led Zeppelin's fifth American concert tour. According to Page, he wrote the music "over a long period, the first part coming at Bron-Yr-Aur one night". Page always kept a cassette recorder around, and the idea for "Stairway" came together from bits of taped music.
The first attempts at lyrics, written by Robert Plant next to an evening log fire at Headley Grange, were partly spontaneously improvised and Page claimed, "a huge percentage of the lyrics were written there and then". Jimmy Page was strumming the chords and Robert Plant had a pencil and paper. The complete studio recording was released on Led Zeppelin IV in November 1971. The band's record label, Atlantic Records was keen to issue this track as a single, but the band's manager Peter Grant refused requests to do so in both 1972 and 1973. This led many people to buy the fourth album as if it were the single. In the US, Atlantic issued "Stairway to Heaven" as a 7" promotional single in 1972.
“Stairway to Heaven” is one of Led Zeppelin’s most famous recordings, and it was even voted the greatest rock song of all time. It tells the story of a greedy woman who is overly optimistic about her unpromising future.
The song resonated with young listeners, opening up a door to a different realm of spirituality and transporting them into a more mystical view of life. The vagueness of the lyrics also allows listeners to interpret the song in their own way, adding to the magic and mystery of the track.
Jimmy Page stated that:
[The song] crystallized the essence of the band. It had everything there and showed us at our best. It was a milestone. Every musician wants to do something of lasting quality, something which will hold up for a long time. We did it with ‘Stairway.’
He later told Rolling Stone in 2012:
[The intro riff] was written on an acoustic guitar. I was trying things at home, shunting this piece up with that piece. I had the idea of the verses, the link into the solo and the last part. It was this idea of something that would keep building and building. I didn’t have any of Robert’s lyrics, only a sort of melody that related to the guitar parts I had. […] Originally, there was another guitar part that I had done for the ending. It was like the opening, a bit different. But I never tagged it on. The statement was there.
Did you enjoy today’s post? Be sure to check back next week for more Song Lyric Sunday fun!