"Carouselambra" as written by and Jimmy Page John Paul Jones....
Sisters of the way-side bide their time in quiet peace
Await their place within the ring of calm
Still stand to turn in seconds of release
Await the call they know may never come
In times of lightness, no intruder dared upon
To jeopardize the course, upset the run
And all was joy and hands were raised toward the sun
As love in the halls of plenty overrun
Uh-uh, uh-uh, uh-uh, uh-uh

Still in their bliss unchallenged mighty feast
Unending dances shadowed on the day
Within their walls, their daunting formless keep
Preserved their joy and kept their doubts at bay
Faceless legions stood in readiness to weep
Just turn a coin, bring order to the fray
And everything is soon no sooner thought than deed
But no one seemed to question in anyway
Uh-uh, uh-uh, uh-uh, uh-uh

How keen the storied hunter's eye prevails upon the land
To seek the unsuspecting and the weak
And powerless the fabled sat, too smug to lift a hand
Toward the foe that threatened from the deep
Who cares to dry the cheeks of those who saddened stand
Adrift upon a sea of futile speech?
And to fall to fate and make the 'status plan'
But no one there had heaven within their reach
Singing uh-uh, uh-uh, uh-uh, uh-uh

Oh, oh, oh

Oh, oh

Oh

Where was your word, where did you go?
Where was your helping, where was your bow? Bow
Bow

Dull is the armour, cold is the day
Hard was the journey, dark was the way, way

I heard the word, I couldn't stay, oh
I couldn't stand it another day, another day
Another day, another day

Touched by the timely coming
Roused from the keeper's sleep
Release the grip, throw down the key

Held now within the knowing
Rest now within the peace
Take of the fruit, but guard the seed

They had to stay
Held now within the knowing
Rest now within the peace
Take off the fruit, but guard the seed

Take off the fruit, but guard the seed


Lyrics submitted by kevin, edited by maketrax

"Carouselambra" as written by Jimmy Page John Paul Jones

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Carouselambra song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentI don't do this often (or ever) but I did some vocal isolation work and really think I've finally figured out the lyrics - once and for all. Here goes:

    By the way I finally isolated the vocal track to the point that these are the definitive lyrics:

    Sisters by the wayside bide their time in quiet peace, await their place within the ring of calm
    Still stand adjurned in seconds of release,
    Await the call they know may never come.
    In times of light, this knight truly no more
    To unite the forces into one
    And all was joy as hands would raise to the sun
    As loving hordes aplenty overrun

    To live in bliss and cherish my defeat - an ending that's a shadow of the day
    Within the hall their daunting form must keep a certain type of gift that found their way
    A place is laid and soon embedded next to me - just turning, wandering all into the fray
    And everything is soon no sooner thought than deed, that no one seemed to question anyway

    I hear the story about the giant hands upon the land, that sweep the unsuspecting and the weak
    And powerless the fabled sat, too smug to lift a hand
    Toward the foe that threatened from beneath
    Who cares to dry the cheeks of those who sat or stand
    Adrift upon a sea of futile speech?
    And befall the fate that make him state his plan
    No more nearer where they would ever reach.

    Where was your word - where did you go?
    Where was your helping - why did you go?
    Dull is the armor, cold is the day
    Hard was the journey, dark was the way
    I heard the word I couldn't stay
    I couldn't stand it another day
    Another day
    Touched by the timely coming,
    Roused from the keeper's sleep,
    Release the grip, throw down the key.

    Held now within the knowing,
    Rest now within the peace.
    Take of the fruit, but guard the seed.

    They had to stay!

    Held now within the knowing,
    Rest now within the beat.
    Take of the fruit, but guard the seed...
    mikeydhhon November 22, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentBlending mythology, literature, religion, and deliberately ambiguous "rock" lyrics,, this song is AMAZINGLY complex.
    I suspect LZ realized the mysterious lyrics would hold people's interests much longer than the usual "fluff" that passed for rock lyrics at the time.
    I read these lyrics and they are so rich and deep, I feel like I am looking at a painting by one of the great masters and my mind is being overwhelmed with imagery after imagery.
    Zeppelin wasn't concerned with writing "pop" songs for the radio.
    These lyrics are testimony that they were on to something bigger and better than FM airplay. Zeppelin was creating master pieces of sonic / audio art works.
    "YES" and even "RUSH" dabble with imaginative lyrics but nothing with the sophistication of Led Zeppelin's lyrics.
    Genius.
    Just reading the lyrics they don't really look like a song, more like some
    ancient poetry written by Leonardo DaVinci while tripping on acid.
    And how Plant looked at them, gave them melody, and sang them,,, is absolutely stunning.
    These lyrics should be required reading in high schools and colleges.
    Then young kids "might" appreciate true creative genius, and hopefully turn their backs on the garbage that corporate record labels are now promoting as music.
    CRUNGE73on April 21, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's hard as hell to understand the lyrics in this song, but dammit it's a great song, nonetheless.
    napnipon April 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAfter years of trying to figure this out, I've finally decided that it must have something to do with either a bandmate or Richard Cole's excesses with groupies and the like during the 1977 tour. "Sisters of the wayside" in line 1, i.e. the groupies waiting in hotel lobbies, halls, etc; some being picked and exploited in rock and roll fashion, at the whim of this person to whom Plant addresses. Further allusions to the "hunter's eye", faceless legions, etc, are again signs of perusing the girls at hotels. I further believe this has to do with the 1977 tour, as with the line "I heard the word; I couldn't stay...I couldn't stand it another day." The '77 tour was abruptly ended when Robert Plant received the phone call from his wife, notifying him of his son Karac's sudden death.
    mikeydhhon June 10, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLed Zeppelin always seemed to have a political statement to make here and there......They were a true part of the HIppie rebellion in the Late 60's and 70's......This seems apparent in such songs like Misty Mountain Hop.......Anyhow....I kinda get a feeling of how the masses were really disappointed wit hthe way things were being handled by the government and such......

    "How keen the storied hunter's eye prevails upon the land To seek the unsuspecting and the weak; And powerless the fabled sat, too smug to lift a hand Toward the foe that threatened from the deep. Who cares to dry the cheeks of those who saddened stand Adrift upon a sea of futile speech?

    Kinda sounds like the futile governmental processes that seem to prevail since Vietnam.....Lots of futile promises and unkept promises......Who knows?....I don't think it's the whole meaning behind the song because Vietnam was pretty much over in 77'...but we never officially left either.....go figure......I can see some of the references to groupies and the tour too....Don't know if there is supposed to be any correlation or not.......Maybe it's just kind of a look at how glamourous and wonderful life seemed for them not too long before...Now look at the state of things......

    I also think that the last line is a warning for future generations........It kinda falls in line with the above idea of what has the world come too.....Maybe feeling that it was too late to make any changes in their generation...It's up to ours to make those changes.........Take of the fruit, but guard the seed.....We all need to stop taking advantage of our now seemingly abundant resources.....Or soon we will consume ourselves out of house and home......Guard that seed.......Replant what you destroy.....Leave something for the others who follow so they can taste the same sweetness you enjoy today......Just some thoughts ;)
    Fool_in_the_rainon July 02, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Commenttheir last great epic, a truely awsome song.
    Ben2k9on May 06, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is in fact a Viking funeral dirge. It's lyrical start is in beautiful alternating iambic septameter. The song tells the story of a warrior who dwells in (the ever popular) Valhalla at a time when he was needed by his people.

    Musically, the first part of Coarouselambra tells the story of these people that are too busy with their own lore and its telling to heed any sort of danger.

    The guitar-rich downtempo second part begins with their lament ("Where was your word, where did you go?"). He answers back with "I heard the word..." and has decided to return...

    The third uptempo synth-heavy part makes oblique reference to his resurrection.
    rogerdon December 05, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentJones is a good song writer.
    JosephWolfon January 30, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is the best song Led Zepplin's ever done. The musical composition, the lyrics, ...the whole is truly greater than the sum of it's parts.
    I bought this album in 1982. I listend to Carouselambra every day without fail, at least three times, well into 1984. More on Saturdays.
    Major Valoron April 12, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYes, I know, Jones is a brilliant songriter. You can definitely tell the difference between what he and Plant wrote and what Plant and Page wrote. Jonesy should have written way more songs :(
    Anyways, this song is very confusing. The lyrics which are barely audible beneath the synthesizer and guitar, and the lyrics itself. It's still a great song though. Probably the best.
    My favorite line is "Take of the fruit, But guard the seed" It sounds like Jones and Plant are giving our generation some advice??
    It's funny how you all have different opinions on what this song is about. Too bad we can't get the remaining Zeppelin to help us......
    JoNeSyFaN18on June 22, 2005   Link

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