INTRODUCTION TO TOLKIEN ALLUSIONS IN LED ZEPPELIN SONGS
Led Zeppelin was a diverse band, both musically and personally. Without a doubt, their many influences were woven into their music. Both Page and Plant, in keeping with the times, were readers of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Plant has commented lightly on the possibility of lyrical allusions to LOTR( Lord of the Rings) in his music, and even gone so far as to say that he and Jimmy Page would "play music and write songs about the Lord of the Rings." [thanks to Steven Kelly] He can even be quoted as saying "After reading Tolkien, I knew I had to move to the country," thus proving how deep an impact the trilogy made on him, as it has done to many of us. In his lyrics, particularly those for "Ramble On" and "Battle of Evermore," Plant uses Tolkien-specific terms such as Gollum, Ringwraiths and Mordor. Other, more indirect allusions may be found elsewhere throughout their repertoir.
In no way am I accusing the members of Led Zeppelin of plagarism or anything of the sort. Indeed, I hope to prove that Led Zeppelin is not just another shallow rock band from the seventies, but a group of truly talented and cultured musicians, not to be thrown aside in the dust bin of LP's and 8-tracks.
These most certainly are not the only interpretations of Led Zeppelin's lyrics. Artistic license allows each of us to evaluate the music in whatever way we choose.
It is common knowledge that Plant was deeply interested in ancient history, particularly the Celts and the Scottish Wars. Also, he and Tolkien share a common home in the vicinity of Birmingham, England, though not during the same timespan. As a consequence, the folklore and imagery associated with the area (i.e. the Misty Mountains of Wales) are common to both the music of Led Zeppelin and the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, as well as the deep history of the English culture.
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© a.r.e.a./Dr.Vicente Forés López
Universitat de València Press
Creada: 22/02/2000 Última Actualización: 27/03/2000