Stairway to Heaven
Icons | December 20, 2017
KNEBWORTH, UNITED KINGDOM – AUGUST 11: Led Zeppelin play Stairway to Heaven at Knebworth on August 11, 1979 in Knebworth, United Kingdom. (Photo by FG/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images)
If you remember anything at all about the 1970s, then you surely know that Led Zeppelin was one of the biggest rock groups of their time. At the time, Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones and John Bonham were quite possibly the best thing since sliced bread.
Stairway to Heaven was not only a song, but had become an anthem. The original version was a whopping 8 minutes long. While listening to it, it was easy to drift away and get lost in the moment. Somehow, the song was just so entrancing. The vocals were mellow, and the music was played with passion. This particular song was a milestone for the group. It gave Led Zeppelin the ability to showcase their talents both individually and as a group.
I remember, like it was yesterday, hanging out or cruising around town with my friends listening to the radio; the louder the better! When any Led Zeppelin song came on, we all knew the words. When Stairway to Heaven came on it was a bonus! It seemed like such a carefree time.
Back in the 1970s and even the 1980s “Stairway to Heaven” was the theme of countless high school dances. I remember well the high school gym’s transformation. For a few hours, it wasn’t a gym, it was a sanctuary where a kid could get lost in the good music. It was as if we were all under a spell. Ironically, many of the lyrics were spontaneous and not very well thought out but also very “deep” at the same time.
Many have considered the possibility that the lyrics to Stairway to Heaven are references to drugs. Well, the timing would have been right but that isn’t to say that those people would be right. One of the great things about the song is that it always was and still is open to many interpretations. It is one of those songs that means different things to different people. In fact, there is even a verse in the song that goes as follows:
There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
‘Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
Stairway to Heaven is one of those songs that will live on forever. Even now, when I hear it, my mind drifts back in time to that high school dance. The song still resonates today with people who were born years after it was released, and they know it well. You may not hear in on the radio as frequently as you did back in the day, but it is still thought of as one of the greatest rock songs of its time. It definitely left a lasting impression on plenty of young people. For that reason alone, it will never die.