Spent my days with a woman unkind
Smoked my stuff and drank all my wine
Made up my mind to make a new start
Going To California with an aching in my heart
Someone told me there's a girl out there
With love in her eyes and flowers in her hair

Took my chances on a big jet plane
Never let them tell you that we're all the same
Oh, the sea was red and the sky was grey
Wondered how tomorrow could ever follow today
The mountains and the canyons started to tremble and shake
The children of the sun began to awake, watch out

Seems that the wrath of the Gods
Got a punch on the nose and it started to flow
I think I might be sinking
Throw me a line if I reach it in time
I'll meet you up there
Where the path runs straight and high

To find a queen without a king
They say she plays guitar and cries and sings
La la la
Ride a white mare in the footsteps of dawn
Tryin' to find a woman who's never, never, never been born
Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams
Telling myself it's not as hard, hard, hard as it seems, mmh oh

(Ahh, ahh, ahh)

Lyrics submitted by kevin, edited by Mellow_Harsher, giedre

Going to California Lyrics as written by James Patrick Page Robert Anthony Plant

Lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc.

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Going to California song meanings
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  • +8
    General CommentI agree with the previous sentiment. I think this has nothing to do with LotR, though many Led Zeppelin songs do. This is, in fact, a very sad song. It does sound optimistic at first; OK, I've just been dumped by my bitch of a girlfriend ("a woman unkind"), I'm smoking and drinking myself to death ... wait on, maybe I'll start anew!

    The media has a tendency to idealise California, and particularly the Californian girl. Take the Beach Boys' song, for example. Quite simply, he thinks that there is the woman for him, this perfect woman that he's been seeking all his life, so off he goes.

    The poor bastard is dreaming. The woman he seeks ... a girl "with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair", has "never, never been born." THAT'S the crucial line in the song. It's just a roundabout way of saying that she doesn't exist ... a sexist statement, maybe, but there it is.

    But he'll go on looking, spurred on by all of these false hopes and dreams he's built around (and under) himself, and is telling himself that in the end he'll find the woman of his dreams. He won't. But he's so caught up in his own optimism that he can't see it ... and he won't accept it when people try to tell him that "they're all the same." It's actually a highly cynical song, if you look at the lyrics in a certain way.

    Jordan plays back! Swoosh! And that's the game! Nothing further, your Honour.
    MadTomon March 30, 2003   Link
  • +4
    General CommentI think this is only a highly cynical song if you look at the lyrics in a highly cynical way and I feel sorry for those people how do so. He can't know for sure that he will or will not find the woman of his dream and the song represents his uncertainty. For me this song is about hope and having the courage to pursue your dreams. The idea that he might not achieve his dreams makes them all the more beautiful.
    rambleron April 30, 2003   Link
  • +3
    General Commenttheres no way this song is from Lord of the Rings! How do you explain the reference to a jet plane? I think it is a big stretch to try and find the symbolism required to make it a song about Lord of the Rings.
    SundanceKidon September 05, 2002   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThe meaning of this great Zeppelin song is quite simple. It's about a man whose realized his whole life is a waste. He dreams of starting over again and going to California and finding a perfect girl with flowers in her hair (hippie). He tries to climb his mountain of dreams and keeps on telling himself he can do it and its not hard as it seems.
    ZepHead86on March 15, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General Commentits all about dreams. thats what we live for baby:-) great song. great band.
    jimmysgirlon May 11, 2002   Link
  • +2
    General Commentwill you please stop relating this song to Lord of The Rings. This song is definetly not about LOTR it is about how the band love California. This song is by far one of my favortie songs.
    goodtimesbadtimeson March 26, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI am a big Led Zeppelin and a Joni Mitchell fan, and i read in a review that the girl
    " To find a queen without a king,
    They say she plays guitar and cries and sings.. la la"
    is joni mitchell. Then in a live recording of this song, (which happens to be my favorite) after this lyric is sung he calls out Joni.
    I think this as for all songs, only means something to you, so yes i see the lotr relation but also it can be just about his love for california.
    hippyathearton June 11, 2003   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe band liked california and when they toured america they say california as a rest. California represents paradise. the "queen without a king" is Joni Mitchel robert plant was really into her music thus the playing guitar and singing the character does.
    teds-mate-billon July 26, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentJust to let you know, you may think it's a cynical message, but it's coming from a man who has had hundreds of women and knows em pretty well. Makes ya think don't it?
    JHJKASon February 23, 2008   Link
  • +2
    General Commentactually this song was inspired from joni mitchell's song california who they were huge fans of. when in concert, after the lines "To find the queen without a king they say she plays guitar and cries and sings," Plant would often say her name
    tinashon March 25, 2009   Link

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