Jimmy Page’s Explanation On The LOTR-Influenced Led Zeppelin Songs
There has always been a close relationship between music and literature as the musicians tell their own stories through notes and lyrics. At the same time, the authors create theirs by using words and figures of speech in different genres. Some of the songs’ lyrics are so well written that their fans define them as poems and short stories, and there are many literary works that feel like music.
Therefore, it’s not surprising that authors and composers inspired each other with their works of art, and the search for traces from that influences became the greatest pleasures of geeks. They are mostly very good at finding those, so they inevitably realized a connection between Led Zeppelin and J. R. R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings.’
How Did LOTR Influence Led Zeppelin?
The Lord of the Rings is an epic, high-fantasy trilogy, one of the best-selling books written by author and scholar J. R. R. Tolkien. Its three books named ‘The Fellowship of the Ring,’ ‘The Two Towers,’ and ‘The Return of the King’ were all released around 1954 and 1955.
The trilogy and Tolkien himself became very popular and had millions of fans in time. The books were also deeply examined by them, so the LOTR fandom became one of the most dedicated communities worldwide. The works were adapted to the movies, and years after the books, Led Zeppelin fans noticed the band’s music related to LOTR.
Led Zeppelin released their second studio album entitled ‘Led Zeppelin II’ on October 22, 1969. One of its tracks, ‘Ramble On,’ was very different than the others. In the song written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, there were lots of LOTR references, such as the darkest depths of Mordor, Gollum, and The Evil One, probably referring to Sauron. However, it wasn’t the only song that carried pieces from Tolkien’s classics.
In addition, Led Zeppelin paid tribute to the legendary series in ‘The Battle of Evermore,’ which was released on untitled fourth studio album known as ‘Led Zeppelin IV.’ Some people stated that Prince of Peace is a metaphor for the hobbit Frodo, and Queen Of Light is for the powerful elf Galadriel, using ringwraiths.
What Are Jimmy Page’s Thoughts About LOTR-Inspired Led Zeppelin Works?
During one of his interviews, Jimmy Page was asked about the connection between the popular books and their songs that carried references to LOTR. The guitarist highlighted that Robert Plant wrote most of the lyrics for these two songs and read LOTR books. Therefore, it’s normal to be inspired by them as songwriters often draw inspiration from words they see and hear.
In Page’s words, he said:
“I think to be fair here, it was the lyrics certainly of ‘The Battle of Evermore’ and ‘Ramble On’ were primarily Robert’s lyrics on those, and Robert had read Tolkien. It’s just like if you’re doing lyrics, so every sort of word goes in, and it comes out another way just as much as it does with a musician with hearing all things musical. It was Robert who wrote the lyrics.”
In a 2013 interview with Independent, Robert Plant reflected on writing ‘The Battle of Evermore’ and ‘Ramble On.’ According to the frontman, the Lord of the Rings trilogy deeply impacted him after reading, which is why their elements stuck with the singer. He also didn’t forget to mention that it’s pretty normal for him to be inspired by such a magical world as he was a 21-year-old musician when he wrote those songs.
Regarding his LOTR-inspired songs, Plant said:
“When I read the books, they dissolved into me. I used them in songs, you know, like ‘The Battle of Evermore’ and ‘Ramble On,’ which, well, I want to hold up my hand and say, ‘Okay, I was 21 when I wrote that.'”
You can check out the interview and the songs below.