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Lyrics submitted by kevin, edited by Mellow_Harsher, Teampeeta254

Stairway to Heaven song meanings
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  • +64
    General CommentPublisher block? I think not. Here are the lyrics:


    There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
    And she's buying a stairway to heaven.
    When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
    With a word she can get what she came for.
    Ooh, ooh, and she's buying a stairway to heaven.

    There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
    'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
    In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings,
    Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.

    Ooh, it makes me wonder,
    Ooh, it makes me wonder.

    There's a feeling I get when I look to the west,
    And my spirit is crying for leaving.
    In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees,
    And the voices of those who stand looking.

    Ooh, it makes me wonder,
    Ooh, it really makes me wonder.

    And it's whispered that soon, if we all call the tune,
    Then the piper will lead us to reason.
    And a new day will dawn for those who stand long,
    And the forests will echo with laughter.

    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.

    Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know,
    The piper's calling you to join him,
    Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
    Your stairway lies on the whispering wind?

    And as we wind on down the road
    Our shadows taller than our soul.
    There walks a lady we all know
    Who shines white light and wants to show
    How everything still turns to gold.
    And if you listen very hard
    The tune will come to you at last.
    When all are one and one is all
    To be a rock and not to roll.

    And she's buying a stairway to heaven.
    GeoJoe1000on March 26, 2014   Link
  • +30
    General CommentWe interpreted this song in my senior English class, and what I took from it is "the lady who's sure" has based her life on the material things. When she's on her way to heaven, she doesn't believe the signs that say she can't get in once she reaches the gates because her life lacks a spiritual base. That's why her stairway is unstable/false and lies on a foundation of "whispering wind." Throughout the song, the lady's experience is paralleled to the band's reflection on what they've done in life and wondering if they'll one day end up on a similar stairway. (Hence, "there's a feeling I get when I look to the west, and my spirit is crying for leaving"- they fear they've left their spiritual path to travel down a road of materialism.) At first they believe they can simply change their fate and walk down the right path when they need to, but as their shadows grow long, they realize they may have been too late. This was the first Led Zeppelin song I ever heard and I've been a fan ever since.
    Briseyfish69on June 07, 2002   Link
  • +15
    General CommentStH is about the Teletubbies possessing the bodies of people that build escalators and taking over the world.
    "All that glitters is gold" represents Tinky Winky and his purse.
    cheshireranch182on April 30, 2002   Link
  • +8
    My InterpretationThis may be similar to others' interpretations (with like 10 pages of them, I can't be sure I've read them all). I think I'm just pulling from my own thoughts and imagination and stuff. Trying to make sense in my head of something that probably defies one single explanation.



    There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
    And she's buying a stairway to heaven.
    When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
    With a word she can get what she came for.
    Ooh, ooh, and she's buying a stairway to heaven.

    The Catholic Church of the middle ages was given to selling indulgences, commonly perceived to allow the faithful to buy out (through monetary donations to the Church) of purgatory time for themselves or loved ones and into Heaven.

    There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
    'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
    In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings,
    Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.
    Ooh, it makes me wonder,
    Ooh, it makes me wonder.

    I'm thinking that the "sign on the wall" could also be the writing on the wall, perhaps biblical in nature, that can be interpreted in many ways. It makes lots of folks wonder about it.

    There's a feeling I get when I look to the west,
    And my spirit is crying for leaving.
    In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees,
    And the voices of those who stand looking.
    Ooh, it makes me wonder,
    Ooh, it really makes me wonder.

    The coming of the Enlightenment - the mass exodus from the Church (as well as other established institutions) and its teachings and rites?

    In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees,
    And the voices of those who stand looking.
    It makes me wonder.

    A musing in particular about the election of the pope and the signal of such by means of smoke - and its effect on the masses.....

    And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune
    Then the piper will lead us to reason.
    And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
    And the forests will echo with laughter.

    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.

    Again about enlightenment, about the replacement of Church teachings and superstition with Man's own ability to reason.

    Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know,
    The piper's calling you to join him,
    Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
    Your stairway lies on the whispering wind.

    The second part of the stanza as a direct address to the Lady (the Church) as a warning that Her time is about to end, it's about to be blown away with the winds of time.

    And as we wind on down the road
    Our shadows taller than our soul.
    There walks a lady we all know
    Who shines white light and wants to show
    How everything still turns to gold.
    And if you listen very hard
    The tune will come to you at last.
    When all is one and one is all
    To be a rock and not to roll.

    And she's buying a stairway to heaven....

    To me this is a plea to look beyond the Lady (Church) to one's own sense of reason and morality to get to some higher place - "the tune will come to you at last" and you'll be the "rock" of your own faith, of your own reason,(as Jesus' claim to Peter) and not depend upon any other earthly entity to inform you of right and wrong.
    42 stepson August 27, 2012   Link
  • +6
    My InterpretationDisclaimer: This is my fairly dark interpretation of the song. If you accept it as its intended meaning, you may wish you hadn't heard it. You've been warned.

    My Interpretation:

    In the first verse, the lady represents the naive soul of a person, believing that everything will work out, believing that she can simply ask for something and receive it, and in the end she will reach heaven for being good.

    In the second verse, it says that "there's a sign on the wall". I believe this represents the fact that we don't know for sure what to believe, but there is a religious authority which gives us a standard answer. However, the woman looks deeper because there may be more than one simple meaning.

    "In a tree by the brook",(using more natural and mystical language than the "sign") a songbird hints that our entire perception about the world around us may be wrong. I believe the songbird represents the wondering of our mind.

    Then, "Ooh, it makes me wonder"

    Third Verse. Here it begins to get a little bit dark. "There's a feeling I get when I look to the west, and my spirit is crying for leaving." Something is pulling at my soul to look for something else and leave what I know behind. "In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees, and the voices of those who stand looking." The trees represent the "forest" of the mind, and rings of smoke has to mean that something inside the mind is trying to communicate something, which is rather spooky. The voices looking are his thoughts in response to the "smoke rings".

    "Ooh, it makes me wonder."

    Fourth Verse

    And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune
    Then the piper will lead us to reason.
    And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
    And the forests will echo with laughter.

    If we all call the tune and follow the whisperings of our mind, "the Piper" will lead us to see things differently. The result being that we will leave way we knew behind and live in a new way of splendor and freedom.

    The drums start, as does this new vision of existence.

    Fifth Verse

    "If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now.
    It's just a spring clean for the May Queen."

    A hedgerow is a bush, this is imagery depicting a bush shaking from the inside, but refers to wary feelings in the mind. The "May Queen" is an occultist reference. It says that while you may be alarmed at first, she is simply cleaning out your old ways of thought.

    "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."

    It's not too late. You still can go down either path if you want, but in the long run this occultist enlightenment will always be at arms' length.

    Sixth Verse
    "Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know,
    The Piper's calling you to join him."

    You're wary and anxious about it but you won't go unless you decide to surrender yourself to it, meanwhile "The Piper" is calling you on.

    "Dear Lady can you hear the wind blow, and did you know,
    Your stairway lies on the whispering wind."

    The Lady is the pure soul. He asks, don't you hear the whisperings of your mind, and do you know that the way to your paradise is through following those deepest thoughts and wants?

    Then, a sudden strange and abrupt change in music. The solo seems to communicate its own particular message without words. This transition seems to represent the crossing over from innocence and falling into the rich, mournful truth.

    Then:

    And as we wind on down the road

    Our Shadows taller than our soul (Our desires overcoming our potential for goodness)

    There walks a Lady we all know of (We are all familiar with the intimacy of our souls)

    Who shines bright light and wants to show (She is figuratively radiant from the new knowledge)

    How everything still turns to gold
    (In this new vision, things turn to gold, as opposed to the naive optimism earlier of believing all glittering things were gold)

    And if you listen very hard (Listen!)

    The truth will come to you at last (Promising the thing everybody is searching for)

    When all is one and one is all

    (The belief that everything is for you and for your purpose. Everything is you and you are everything. The central ideal in satanism. Robert Plant has yelled "That's what HE is!" quickly after this line in concert.)

    To be a rock and not to roll. (To be the unmoveable center of your universe)


    In summation, I believe it's satanic, and I find it rather disturbing, but that's what Jimmy Page and Robert Plant were into and I think that this very close to the ever-elusive intended meaning behind the song.
    Heyuhmaybeon July 18, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General CommentI think its about ignorant materialism
    Temujinon April 19, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General Commentbeen a zeppelin fan for a long time. i like to know the meanings to songs if im going to listen to them. to me this song means lots of differnt things. one is the paths. we can travel on two paths, one the road to heaven and the other the road to hell. our paths change all the time in our own lifes. the piper is god, and he wants us to "join him." this song is also about death. the lady is dying. shes buying the stairway with her life. at the begining, it says that "shes sure all the glitters are gold" this means that she already sees the light, and shes dying. the sign and the song bird are just there because it begins to paint a picture of heaven. the narrator or singer is looking to the west, and "his spirit is crying for leaving" his soul as left already and he has died too. but his soul his remorse ful or sad for leaving the world. if we ask the piper, being god will help, sort of like a prayer, and god will help you through an other day. two roads you can go by, and before you die, you can change the road you are curently on. "Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know, The piper's calling you to join him, Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know Your stairway lies on the whispering wind." this is god calling you, and your death. it comes like a wind, it happens that fast. "as we wind on down the road, our shadwos taller than our souls". shadows are tall when the sun is setting, and this is meaning that the sun is setting as we walk down the road, our lifes are coming to an end. and the lady from the begining is in white light, like an angel. "listen very hard the tune will come to you at last." this means everyone will die. we are all as one and to be a rock and not roll is impossible, all of our lifes will come to an end. this song as a lot of symbolism in it, i hope you all see what im saying. the cool thing about symbolism, is there is no wrong or right answer. long live zeppelin.


    acryczekon May 08, 2002   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningStairway is represented by The Hermit of the tarot which can have a number of meaning but I'd associate all meaning of The Hermit with the song in certain aspects.
    being introspective
    thinking things over
    focusing inward
    concentrating less on the senses
    quieting yourself
    looking for answers within
    needing to understand

    searching
    seeking greater understanding
    looking for something
    wanting the truth at all costs
    going on a personal quest
    needing more
    desiring a new direction

    receiving/giving guidance
    going to/being a mentor
    accepting/offering wise counsel
    learning from/being a guru
    turning to/being a trusted teacher
    being helped/helping

    seeking solitude
    needing to be alone
    desiring stillness
    withdrawing from the world
    experiencing seclusion
    giving up distractions
    retreating into a private world

    learntarot.com/…
    now that being said it lays the forefront of the song
    thinking these lyrics have no set meaning or being open for interpretation should only be taken lightly for the interpretation page and plant want us to make for ourselves is in self discovery not in the song itself.

    this song hints the fools journey into his own enlightenment but the esoteric occultist symbols are somewhat obvious if you know your stuff

    The references to the piper and his tune are invitations to the occultist way
    Pan is the Piper at the Gates of Dawn (Pink Floyd's first album when Syd was still writing all the material)

    Jim of The Doors, Page of Led Zeppelin, Iommi and Osbourne of Black Sabbath

    the 60's was the the Shread of Aliester Crowley's afterbirth if you disagree your just ignorant to whats hidden in plain sight. Crowley was all about self enlightenment and conscience expansion.

    But the hermit will be there with the guiding light whether you like it or not.
    Blatantlyblindon July 22, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI see quite a bit about the Lord of the Rings in this song. The Lady mentioned I believe is symbolic of the elven woman Galadriel, and she is trying to bring light to middle earth. One verse mentions 'looking to the west, and my spirit is crying for leaving,' which is most likely Frodo before his trip into Mordor, looking west towards the Shire one last time before the trials ahead...

    Of course, there are probably 20 other things the band put in there while stoned and don't even realize themselves even now, this song is definitely one of the best, ever.
    mykothopeaon April 15, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is one of the greatest songs ever written...hands down. My only regret of this song, is that so many people say they like Zeppelin and wear shirts and stuff, and they couldn't name more than one member of the band. People should have to pass some sort of a test to become a fan of a band. Im sorry, but i hate preppies, bandwagoners, and followers.
    BenRules7on May 29, 2002   Link

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