Profound Bullshit

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Stairway to Heaven - An appreciation

The greatest Led Zeppelin song of all time. The greatest song of the seventies. The greatest song of the last century. The greatest song EVER.

Over eight minutes in length, it is awfully hard to classify it under a single genre. It beings with a slow guitar solo lasting well over a minute, and ends with an incredibly guitar riff that could easily be classified as heavy metal (well the heavy metal of the 70's!). It is almost possible to slow dance to the first five-six minutes of the song and head-bang to the last two!

The song has a very mystical and eerieish feel to it, which suits it very well. And, unlike other songs that I admire, the lyrics do not seem to make too much sense, which is refreshingly different! I mean it is vaguely about materialism and how this girl is trying to buy her way through everything. On the other hand, certain lines suggest it to be about the two paths in life - heaven and hell. On the whole, there doesn't seem to be an overall theme. Led Zep candidly admitted that the lyrics do not make sense and their excuse was being high on "Moroccan dope"! :)

But the most intriguing part of the song to me, at least are the satanic messages weaved in. I have heard it myself, and I can confirm it. THE SATANTIC MESSAGES DO EXIST. However, a lot of people get carried away to the extent of suggesting Satan's possible involvement. The lead guitarist of the band Jimmy Page has always been a Satanist and he wrote it into the song. All said and done, we must appreciate his genius - for a song to make sense when it is played forwards and BACKWARDS is an incredible achievement. Satanist or not, that dude was talented!

The message start at the time 4:18 secs on the studio version, played backwards. The song can be turned backwards on a computer using a program such as Windows Sound Recorder. When played forward the lyrics sound relatively innocuous:-

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now,
It's just a spring clean for the May queen.
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on.

However, when this paragraph is played backwards, this is what it reveals:-

Oh here's to my sweet Satan,
the one whose little path would make me sad, sweet Satan
He'll give you give you 666,
There was a little toolshed where he made us suffer, sad Satan.

And trust me, that does sound incredibly scary. According to Satanism, listening to the song playing forwards, playing normally that satanic message gets imbedded in our subconscious. And talk about tempting fate by writing an article on satanic messages on 06/06/06!

Rather than taking anything away from the song, the satanic messages add a whole lot more in terms of depth. It renders the meaning of the lyrics into obscurity. It excuses the lack of a central theme. And the incredible part about this song is that it rises above the satanic messages. Stairway to Heaven has always first been known as an all-time classic song and then for it's satanic messages. And that I consider that to be it's greatest achievement.

Friday, June 02, 2006

You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave

Ever since I first heard the satanic messages in "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin, I have always been intrigued by the true meanings and motives behind music. I have often checked out for their analysis but I believe that songs, like art and literature can be interpreted in many ways because after all it’s both art and literature.

One of my all time favourite songs - Hotel California is supposedly about materialism and excess, at least according to the trusted and the group themselves have agreed to that being the major theme during an interview in 1995. However, on close scrutiny to me at least, it seems more likely to be about cocaine addiction and Don Henleys battle with cocaine.

Don Henley has suffered with a cocaine addiction for a majority of his life and he uses his songwriting genius to bring it out in this song. It starts of on a positive note where he’s enjoying the effect of getting high though later on, he tries to get rid of his addiction but just can’t. “Hotel California” seems to be a euphemism for cocaine.

Think about it and check out these excerpts:-

“I saw a shimmering light. My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim” – he’s getting high all right!

“And I was thinking to myself this could be heaven or this could be hell” – He’s high. It’s feeling real good but he knows he shouldn’t be doing it as he's trying to get rid of his addiction.

“Plenty of room at the Hotel California. Any time of the year, you can find it here” – Anyone can get addicted to cocaine – anyone, anytime.

“And still those voices are calling from far away, wake you up in the middle of the night just to hear them say…” – It’s a serious addiction, he is trying very hard to stop but the addiction is too strong. His addiction is waking him up at night, it’s controlling his whole life.

“We are all just prisoners here, of our own device” – This is one of the most significant lines clearly showing an addiction. He started cocaine out of his own choice, but now it’s the cocaine that is controlling him, that has imprisoned him.

“They stab it with their steely knives but they just can’t kill the beast” – The steely knives are the needles with which the cocaine is injected and the beast is the addiction.

“Last thing I remember I was running for the door. I had to find the passage back to the place I was before” – He’s had enough of this addiction. He has to find a way out of it – to get back to what he was before his addiction.

“Relax said the nightman we are programmed to receive, you can check out anytime you like but you can never leave.” – Cocaine addiction can never truly be gotten out of. You can get out of it for a while, but it will never totally ever leave you…

Furthermore there are a lot of drug references in the song, “warm smell of colitas” directly refers to marijuana, mirrors on the ceiling, pink champagne on ice etc. The more I hear the song with his cocaine theory in mind – the more sense it makes. Keeping this in mind, do read the lyrics of the entire song again here or listen to it again – CAREFULLY. True, this theory is far from original but it’s not the accepted theory universally as more people believe the song is about materialism but anyways this is my point of view. The fact that Don Henley was a known cocaine addict adds further logic to this theory.

Whatever the song may be about, it’s a great song. Don Henley and the Eagles will always remain legends. Just the fact that a kid born fifteen years after the release of the song is trying to dissect its true inner meaning is indicative of the greatness of the song.

“Some dance to remember, some dance to forget”

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Caught Behind!

Hey folks..

This is just to let you all know that I have temporarily paused blogging on Profound Bullshit, in order to focus on my cricket superblog that I launched two weeks ago... Please do check it out at ...