"Gallows Pole" as written by and Robert Plant Jimmy Page....
Hangman, hangman, hold it a little while
Think I see my friends coming
Riding a many mile
Friends did you get some silver?
Did you get a little gold?
What did you bring me my dear friends
To keep me from the gallows pole?
What did you bring me to keep me from the gallows pole?

I couldn't get no silver, I couldn't get no gold
You know that we're too damn poor
To keep you from the gallows pole
Hangman, hangman, hold it a little while
I think I see my brother coming
Riding a many mile
Brother, did you get me some silver?
Did you get a little gold?
What did you bring me, my brother
To keep me from the gallows pole?
Brother, I brought you some silver
I brought a little gold,
I brought a little of everythin
To keep you from the gallows pole
Yes, I brought you to keep you from the gallows pole

Hangman, hangman, turn your head awhile
I think I see my sister coming
Riding a many mile, mile, mile
Sister, I implore you, take him by the hand
Take him to some shady bower
Save me from the wrath of this man
Please take him
Save me from the wrath of this man, man

Hangman, hangman, upon your face a smile
Pray tell me that I'm free to ride
Ride for many mile, mile, mile
Oh, yes, you got a fine sister
She warmed my blood from cold
She brought my blood to boiling hot
To keep you from the gallows pole, pole, pole, pole, yeah
Your brother brought me silver
Your sister warmed my soul
But now I laugh and pull so hard
And see you swinging on the gallows pole, yeah
But now I laugh and pull so hard
And see you swinging on the gallows pole, pole, pole
Swingin' on the gallows pole
Swingin' on the gallows pole
Swingin' on the gallows pole
Swingin' on the gallows pole, pole, pole, pole, pole, pole, pole, pole


Lyrics submitted by kevin

"Gallows Pole" as written by Robert Plant Jimmy Page

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Gallows Pole song meanings
Add your thoughts

48 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +3
    General CommentI have been listening to this today because I think the lyrics are wrong here. The last line, I believe says "She's swingin' on the Gallows Pole." The sister gave herself sexually to the hangman in exchange for freedom for her brother. So the final line is "she's swinging on the gallows pole." Meaning either figuratively (by prostituting herself) or figuratively (the hangman actually hanged her after he "did" her). Personally, I believe it is figurative...that the hangman's desire for sex was greater than the money and finally won the brother's freedom (at the expense of the sister). My two cents.
    Admanon July 03, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentToOlHoLiO was close but also not colse...the song does talk about friends and family coming and trying to help, but in the end it doesn't work...the person talking ends up being hung. "Swingin' from te gallows pole!" the song tells us that if you do something bad take it like a man and dont drag your family and friends down with you.
    fake0303on March 06, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentGallows Pole is actually a very AMERICAN tune. It is an old Delta Blues (as with many of LZ's songs) song originally recorded by Lead Belly. Plant references this on one of the newer recordings of the song, either a bootleg or the "Walking into Clarksdale"
    Speedbumpon April 19, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song comes from a VERY old folk song. It has many many many different versions. This one being the most popular. It most of the versions the accused actually lives though. Zeppelin is the only one that kills him. Also, in the original version, it was a woman who was being hanged. She kept begging her family to bribe the hangman, but they had just came to watch her die. Eventually, her lover comes and saves her, and she puts a curse on her family. Led Zeppelin got this song from Huddie Ledbetter. His version is KICK ASS. He called it Gallis Pole though. Dylan also did a version of it called Seven Curses.
    rhiannonbowlinon August 29, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about how you can try to whore your own sister to save yourself. That's the British for you.
    Bite Meon May 09, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is actually an old british folk-style sort of song, just redone by Led Zeppelin. It is pretty odd, bbut like you said, that`s the British for you.
    ramtharon May 17, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI love it when the drums come in!!
    RAin_fULon April 10, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThe practice of paying provincial hangmen was very common in England up to the early 18th C. I think that the lyrics have been embellished a little but it's a deliciously dark little number that they have taken right out of medieval history and brought it back to us with a fusion of folk and heavy rock. Fantastic stuff!
    chaikyon June 09, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Commentlook, ive read all your "definitions"..... its about the meaning of the song, not the origin, and analysing every detail, just listen to it, theres this guy about to be hung, desperate to survive, and he tries everything to save himself including whoring his sister (Whether intentional or not)... and the guy still hangs him, its about life, its about the struggle to survive, there are people out there doing it tough, trying to get themselves out of shit day by day, but theres always a guy above them pulling them by the chain...... thats what the song is about, so yeh, in summary. a song about betrayal, and the human will to survive... thinking about that just reminded me of the song by the verve "bitter sweet symphony"... 'try to make ends meet try to make some money then you die'........
    Schr4nzon September 28, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is more of a cover of an old blues song of the same name by the blues singer "leadbelly", with a few more improvised lyrics.
    Twieqon April 01, 2006   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain