After one of my dark periods a few months ago, I concluded that there had not been enough music in my life across the last decade.
Without a doubt, its absence had a negative effect on my psyche. How could it not when it was once an ever-present part of my life?
I have been trying to do better by incorporating music into my posts, but that’s not been enough, and I still find my soul pining for more.
From now on, I will put forth a concerted effort to switch at least 50% of the time once spent listening to podcasts to playlists; fingers crossed that it works this time, haha.
I am not naive enough to presume music is a panacea, that with a queue of the right hits, one is smooth sailing for paradise, but if I look to my roots, I know that it will help.
Early years spent wearing out a crate of 45s, childhood permanently connected to a Walkman, mixed tapes and breakup songs in my youth; a forever companion through the loneliness of isolation and terror of too many storms.
The comfort of familiar riffs and passionate voices helped me tolerate dark days, sometimes even lifting me out of a depression and steering me back towards the light.
Music was one of the only consistent friends I knew during my beginnings and was by my side in good times and bad, extra loud when things were exceptional.
Musically speaking, singing will remain my first true love, but I have always wanted to learn to play more instruments. I enjoyed playing the flute and the cello during the middle grades but promptly dropped the class in high school.
Now in my middle age, I have a desire to learn the Ukulele and was happy to receive one for my birthday in 2020. I call her Mea Hoola, meaning ‘healer’ in Hawaiin.
Progress is slow, but I like it that way. A dose of humility comes with any learned skill, and I cherish that gift of personal growth. After years of typing and working with yarn, I now suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, so my practice sessions do not last as long as I would like, but every time I pick her up I enjoy a few minutes of escape to a freer place in my mind. It is loads of fun and creatively therapeutic, as art continues to help me unload the baggage of the day.
With a vast and eclectic musical appreciation, there is not much that I refuse to listen to, but rock and roll, particularly from the seventies, is where my heart resides. Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, David Bowie; endless amounts of timeless talent!
I loved them all, but Led Zeppelin was my ultimate. Even though I was over a decade behind what my schoolmates were into, I did not care. I was listening to the modern stuff too, but I preferred to rock it out with my cassette tape on repeat, memorising every ooh and ahh, that Robert Plant would purr.
Led Zeppelin IV was my introduction to the band, and I still do not know how I managed not to lose or break that cassette. The charts revere Stairway to Heaven as the best of the album, but it is my least favourite. 😬 Sorry to those that might take offence, lol. The true masterpiece, in my humble opinion, and I think my number one song of all time if you made me pick, is Battle of Evermore.
Robert Plant is an avid Tolkien fan, and as such many assumed the song to be about Return of the King and its Battle of Pelennor. Some inconsistencies would suggest otherwise, though. I am more inclined to believe the story that Plant wrote the song after reading a book about Scottish history and that it represented the battle between night and day, or good and evil.
The Celtic folk sound and the fingerpicking of the mandolin hit me in some unknown yet eerily familiar place, as though ancestral awakenings have come to bear. Add to this the harmonious marriage of Plant and Sandy Denny’s angelic voices, and I transcend into greatness whilst the emotionally charged song reverberates through my body.
I was lucky enough to see Heart, another of my top bands, while they were touring with Def Leppard back in 2011. It was a phenomenal show, quite frankly one of the best I have seen, but I know that has a lot to do with nostalgia. Not only did I dance like nobody was watching in my aisle seat, sing loud and proud to every dear Def Leppard song of my younger days, but I got to hear Heart perform Battle of Evermore. One thing I can say for sure, on that glorious day, it was clear that good had won the battle, as the song never sounded more beautiful.
Click on the song title to hear the original Led Zeppelin track, along with the lyrics.
Battle or Evermore - Led Zeppelin Queen Of Light Took Her Bow And Then She Turned To Go The Prince Of Peace Embraced The Gloom And Walked The Night Alone Oh Dance In The Dark Of Night Sing To The Morn Ing Light The Dark Lord Rides In Force Tonight And Time Will Tell Us All Oh Throw Down Your Plow And Hoe Rest Not To Lock Your Homes Side By Side We Wait The Might Of The Darkest Of Them All I Hear The Horses' Thunder Down In The Valley Blow I'm Waiting For The Angels Of Avalon Waiting For The Eastern Glow The Apples Of The Valley Hold The Seas Of Happiness The Ground Is Rich From Tender Care Repay Do Not Forget No No Ohdance In The Dark Of Night Sing To The Morning Light The Apples Turn To Brown And Black The Tyrant's Face Is Red Oh The War Is Common Cry Pick Up You Swords And Fly The Sky Is Filled With Good And Bad That Mortals Never Know Oh Well The Night Is Long The Beads Of Time Pass Slow Tired Eyes On The Sunrise Waiting For The Eastern Glow The Pain Of War Cannot Exceed The Woe Of Aftermath The Drums Will Shake The Castle Wall The Ring Wraiths Ride In Black Ride On Sing As You Raise Your Bow Shoot Straighter Than Before No Comfort Has The Fire At Night That Lights The Face So Cold Oh Dance In The Dark Of Night Sing To The Mornin' Light The Magic Runes Are Writ In Gold To Bring The Balance Back Bring It Back At Last The Sun Is Shining The Clouds Of Blue Roll By With Flames From The Dragon Of Darkness The Sunlight Blinds His Eyes
In this unique version of the classic song, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant welcome Najma Akhtar, a popular British singer of Indian ancestry. The added Eastern instrumental influence and her captivating voice make this a performance to behold and only elevate the richness of the music, a real treat!
As a proud mama, it would be remiss of me not to include a photo of the best Led Zeppelin-themed gift I have ever received in this post.
Here is a picture my thoughtful son drew me for my birthday last year. He is also a fan of the band, excellent taste that he has!
What are your thoughts on Led Zeppelin’s catalogue?
Do you have a track that you like the best off of Zeppelin IV, or any of their other Internationally bestselling albums?