Close the door, put out the light
No, they won't be home tonight
The snow falls hard and don't you know?
The winds of Thor are blowing cold

They're wearing steel that's bright and true
They carry news that must get through, oh
They choose the path where no-one goes
They hold no quarter
They hold no quarter, oh

Walking side-by-side with death
The devil mocks their every step, ooh
The snow drives back the foot that's slow
The dogs of doom are howling more

They carry news that must get through
To build a dream for me and you, oh, oh, oh
They choose the path where no one goes
They hold no quarter
They ask no quarter

They hold no quarter
They ask no quarter
Without quarter, quarter, yeah (without quarter)
Without quarter, quarter, quarter
Taking no quarter
Oh, oh, oh (hear the dogs of doom) (no, never quarter)
I hear the dogs of doom are howling more

Lyrics submitted by kevin, edited by matthewktr

No Quarter Lyrics as written by Jimmy Page John Paul Jones

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

No Quarter song meanings
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  • +9
    General Comment

    Close the door, put out the light. (Make like no one’s home, the Vikings are coming) You know they won't be home tonight. (The men of the city have gone to fight them) The snow falls hard and don't you know? (It’s probably blizzard like conditions outside, Vikings often came in the winter) The winds of Thor are blowing cold. (Thor, the main Viking god, blowing some damned cold winds) They're wearing steel that's bright and true (Vikings didn’t wear steel, but popular culture says that they did, along with those horned hats) They carry news that must get through. (They have to tell the countryside the Vikings have landed) They choose the path where no-one goes. (If referring to the townspeople, it’s to stay away from the Viking armies, if to the Vikings, than it’s the armies of the countryside)

    They hold no quarter. (Quarter means a sort of forced occupation, like; you demanded quarter of a house. So, it follows that the Vikings wouldn’t hold any quarter, they’d just slaughter and burn the hell out of the town)

    Walking side by side with death, The devil mocks their every step (It’s cold outside, many die on the long trip) The snow drives back the foot that's slow, The dogs of doom are howling more (In snow, wearing armor, you have to run, or you sink. The dogs of doom are Icelandic sheepdogs, a dog the Vikings took with them because of it’s hearty sprit, willingness to chase, and allegiance to it’s master) They carry news that must get through, To build a dream for me and you (If the news doesn’t get through, then the town is destroyed by Vikings)

    They choose the path where no-one goes. (See the last one, and the rest is self explanatory)

    They hold no quarter. They ask no quarter. The pain, the pain without quarter. They ask no quarter. The dogs of doom are howling more!

    Clemthon June 21, 2003   Link
  • +6
    General Comment

    Based on everyone's feeback (and my own opinion), obviously the original song kicks ass. My question is, where's the personal connection to the band? Given the multitude of songs and titles in Led Zeppelin's cataloque, why did Plant & Page select "No Quarter" as the album title for their 1994 re-appearance? In my silly opinion, Plant experienced writer's block at a certain point during the 70's (most likely due to drug related memory loss, which isn't necessarily a bad thing) and therefore turned to his local library, whereby he stumbled upon celtic texts, and borrowed lyrical ideas for many of the songs written during that period. Though none of the band members realized it at the time--20 years later, use of the title "No Quarter", would secretly confirm the marketing-based fact that the Led Zeppelin fans will continue to finance any bogus "remastered" creativity produced decades before. Therefore, from a business perspective, the joke is on the fans, and no quarter is given in that regard. There's a reason why Page was nicknamed "Led Wallet", and coincidentally, he's produced (and re-mastered) everthing relating to Zeppelin since 1982. I'm a little drunk at the moment, and I just made that all up. However, any comments that refute the points I've made (if I've made any) shall clearly indicate that the person making such comments subscribes to bestiality-porn websites. G'nite

    irie13on April 25, 2003   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    Saying the term "No Quarter" means no housing is given, while the correct origin of the term, is confusing. In Laymen’s terms, saying we will give "no quarter" is saying you will give no mercy, kill everything.

    I am not going to break down every line of the song but to me, it would seem that this song does indeed talk about the end of Paganism and the rise of Christianity in Western Europe. Or at least, the struggle of Paganism against Christianity.

    "They are wearing steel that’s bright and blue" - might be referring to the Christian knights. "Carrying word that must get through" - might be referring to the word of Jesus Christ. Not to mention, Christian knights were notoriously ruthless in their conquest showing no quarter to their enemies, and hence the irony of them walking with the devil.

    This would also fit as to why Tool decided to remake the song. Anyone that knows Tool, knows that they often pick Christian based themes to drive home many of their concepts. Tool is effective in showing the irony behind Christianity and Maynard himself, despite growing up in a strict Catholic home, has forsaken religion.

    And by the way, the Tool remake is just as good in its own right as the original.

    lachrymiston November 03, 2009   Link
  • +3
    My Interpretation

    So, guys I appreciate your memories of revolutionary war terms, but in almost every other way the term No Quarter is used to describe an army not giving any mercy nor taking any surrender. This puts the song in a whole new light, if using the Viking or War perspective that Clemth posted. It could be about the fear of approaching death via an army that holds 'no quarter'.

    A much more light-hearted view on these lyrics is that the song is a bard singing for his own people's army, praising their courage for braving the cold to bring a message, while holding (or their enemies holding) no quarter.

    Also, in my opinion, the line "They carry steel that's bright and true" should be "tried and true", and you tell me which one sounds better (and synonomously the one Robert would use).

    Starrenon January 13, 2017   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    This song is definatly about Lord of the Rings. Just listen to the lyrics. Its obvious. Idiotic is right. The Tool version of the song is awesome. You should totally check it out. You know that saying "nothing is as good as the original." Well this is one case where cover is as good as the led zep version.

    ÆnimaManon June 22, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Anyone who's ever written lyrics knows that you don't sit down with a book and carefully research each line. It just comes out of you, and in the case of Zeppelin very nicely. Read the lyrics to That's the Way and you'll see what I mean. I'll admit, as is the case with Battle of Evermore, you people seem to have done your homework, and it does make sense. I just find it hard to believe Plant sat down and researched this to the extent it's taken to decipher it, that's all. Tolkien just works organically with Zeppelin, so it just works well to convey the mood, that's all.

    johnny1031on April 18, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    I think the 'Viking' comment is not far off the mark only the Norse fought for hundreds of years against Magyar Vikings who were their staunch enemies so I would replace the word 'Viking' with 'Norse' and then you have a pretty accurate interpretation since it is true - as mentioned - that Led Zeppelin was influenced by Northern Myth (even today of all the awards Robert Plant could mention on his site they have recieved, he made special note of the one awarded to him by the king of Sweden..telling..)...'The Winds of Thor are blowing cold' may refer to this age of the twilight of the gods we are said to be in ('Kali' if you are Hindu) in Northern Myth, when the ancient ways will fade and all connection to what is Higher. and the next line I think he is actually singing 'they were a steel that's tried and true' meaning they are bearers of an ancient teaching, a path, a way few hold to anymore. If this is correct then it makes more sense of the next line, 'to carry news that must get through.' ..singing about 'bright steel' does not make sense of that next line after it as well as this interpretation here in my opinion. And then it continues: 'Enter the path where no one goes: they hold no quarter, they vote no quarter..' This is speaking of an uncompromising warrior like attitude in carrying out what they are bound to and it may refer to a narrow path, not giving quarter to the broad path of the world. I personally think it refers to the Fourth Way (see the tarot card - Page is very into tarot - where a fourth cup is appearing to the meditator out of the sky with three cups before him)also because at the very end Robert Plant says 'Oh Lord, give me quarter' And finally because they once said in an interview you have to have a method to do what they do and that they choose Crowle's though they said Gurdjieff's is just as valid. Such are my musings..

    Commagene12on December 28, 2009   Link
  • +2
    My Interpretation

    OK, let's all get this straight -- LZ isn't "all about" LotR, but many of their songs ARE heavily influenced by LotR, as well as more direct Norse/Anglo-Saxon/Celtic mythology and history (as others have mentioned, Tolkien himself was heavily influenced by Norse/Anglo-Saxon/Celtic myths).

    No Quarter is a combination of the LotR scene where Aragorn leads his group along the Paths of the Dead (look it up), plus Norse (winds of Thor, the storm god), plus Celtic (the hounds of doom, the hounds of the Wild Hunt) all brought together -- very effectively, I must add. This definitely one of my favorite LZ songs.

    imposterazon March 24, 2013   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    No Quarter is about 2 people committing a home robbery in the winter. One says “shut the f’n door and turn off the f’n light’ ‘whoever lives won’t be home 2nite’ Either it’s cops that wear steel or it’s the robbers that carried off loads of shines true steel objects. Because the song is from 1973, nobody had the iPhone25X yet so they had to use payphones in which they deposited .25 cents (also known as a quarter). When the robbers took the path that no one goes their buddy Death didn’t have any money either. All their stolen goods was getting cold and heavy but they had news about their awesome haul that had to get through to the buyer who was waiting elsewhere for them. I guess you and I are the buyers of these illicit goods but unless someone gets a quarter to use the nearest payphone we won’t ever know. No Quarter; not even 2 dimes and a nickel (tough times in Plant and Pages youth).

    duboppon September 25, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I like this song because it has a "dark" quality to it, if that makes sense. It brings the mood down some.

    napnipon April 14, 2002   Link

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