Talk:Stairway to Heaven/Archive 1

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Archive 1 Archive 2


Weasel words

It's a song by a bunch of idiots from Birmingham.. Get a grip

Like the clouds in the sky

Is it Satan? There are only about 40 (or so) phonetic sounds in the common English language, but there are millions of words made with those sounds. The existance of 'hidden messages' in more likely just mathmatical happenstance, than deliberate action. For example, when the reversed lyrics appeard to say '..for Satan' to an individual, they may sound like 'forsaken' to someone else. That would drastically alter the meaning of a 'message'.

Back masked messages are completely open to the observers' interpretation. Just like the clouds in the sky.

What a lot of people aren't realising is that this can be solved once and for all. All someone has to do is to get a live version of Stairway that is pretty crystal clear or even clean it up and then reverse it. If you can still here any of the alleged backwards masking then it is naturally occuring and unintentional (Thatguy586 16:38, 10 October 2006 (UTC))

From what I've read (I've never tried it), you can still hear some of the words, but not as well. Λυδαcιτγ 01:23, 12 October 2006 (UTC)
A lot of backmasked "satanic messages" do seem to be pulled out of nowhere, but honestly, this one is very clear, far more clear than any others I have heard of. It kind of creeps me out.


whats with this crap i tell people that the song has backwards messages and some guy delete it everything i write about the backwards message is true. why the hell are you doing this

what, are you worried people will think its satanic? if your a satanic moron, then that doesn't mean you have to get other people to listen to something satanic

(i dont know whats stupider, someone who's religion is satanism or religion of evolution)

Your claims are written as your opinon. See WP:CITE and Wikipedia:No original research. Jgm 15:41, 9 December 2005 (UTC)

  • ok so the last thing about "the band claims not to have anything to do with it...." was opinion but the rest was fact. i even listed sources for a website that has lyrics for the entire song backwards. and every lyric on that site is true, if you dont believe me then download stairway to heaven and reverse it.

"backwards messages" in rock music are in the eye (ear?) of the beholder. You cannot present a story about that as fact. There ARE no "backwards lyrics", any site that you've seen that claims to have them is again, just opinion masquerading as fact. Until Plant or Page come forward and say "here are the reversed lyrics", you can continue to keep putting shit about it in this wiki, and we can continue to delete. Smokeverbs 22:45, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

  • have you ever listened to this song backwards? its impossible not to hear the backwards lyrics. look at the site and listen to the song. its so ovbious. its not like the band kiss when they say something like "devil love me" when the song is reverse. in this case its so obvious that its a different set of lyrics. holy shit, im suprised you aren't deleting the other stuff about backwards lyrics. and in the very begining of the reversed song it clearly says "play is why its sung here" how can you deny that this song wasn't done on backwards on purpose and not let me include it on the site when you hear something like that?
to deny that you are willingly ingnorant
  • I concur. Simply because the band won't take you by the hand to the promised land of interpretation doesn't mean that the song means nothing. Same thing goes for the song reversed. Ever hear American Pie? The author has never commented on the meaning of it, but that doesn't rule out that he's ragging on the Beatles.

I can deny it, because The Band Led Zeppelin have denied it. Beyond that, the only people who think this song have reversed lyrics in it are the people who have previously been told this. The mind is a funny thing, you can hear anything you've been told to hear if you try hard enough. I could tell you, for example, to go listen to Smells Like Teen Spirit backwards, and you probably wouldn't hear a thing. But if I then linked you to a page that features supposed backwards lyrics, and you read them, and then listened to the song again, you'd "hear" those lyrics too. I'm very sorry that you have bought into this myth, and if it makes you happy to keep believing it, that's fine, but it's my understanding that Wikipedia is a place for Unbiased content, and content that can be backed up with Facts and Sources. Show me an interview where the composers of Stairway to Heaven have admitted, and explained, and given examples of the supposed backwards lyrics, and that changes everything. Jimmy Page has made no secret in the past that he admires, even follows the writings of Alistair Crowley, and has studied the occult. Why would he make any secret about this song having satanic lyrics? Think about it. Smokeverbs 22:42, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

  • Cause they would take him to court for subliminal messaging and take away all his money.
  • Excuse me sir, but you can't take someone to court for subliminal messaging. It is his intellectual property and he can put whatever he wants on it. Pink Floyd has a song called Empty Spaces and this song is undeniably backmasked. When played forward the song has a few lines in it that are jibberish. However, when played backwords they are a message which goes something like this: "Congradulations, you have found the secret message. Send your answer to old pink care of the funny farm." So do you see??? You can't be sued for backword messages in your intellectual property. Now next time get the facts before you try to make an argument or even speak.
May be of relevance that this song was recorded during the Manson trial. Drutt 01:55, 9 March 2007 (UTC)
This claims that Crowley's house in Scotland was nicknamed "the Toolhouse" by occultists. Drutt 13:46, 9 March 2007 (UTC)

For those of you who hadn't noticed yet, the lyrics to stairway to heaven are probably based on the story of the pied piper. Not exactly a word for word retelling of the story, but the elements are all in there. The townspeople who believe their money is everything ("all that glitters is gold"), "the piper will lead us to reason", and of course the flute in the intro points in that direction too.

a stairway to heaven is a hit of intravenously injected cocaine or heroin directly into the jugular. It gets its name for either the great pleasure it induces or the great likelihood that it will kill you. Also a general term for heroin; the song could arguably be about a woman buying her next hit of smack. She is at once acquiring something which will produce a heavenly euphoria, but it will also kill her eventually.

"a stairway to heaven is a hit of intravenously injected cocaine or heroin directly into the jugular." Chicken or the egg? I'd like to see a refence. Also could you please sign your messages. Iam 00:22, Apr 15, 2004 (UTC)

Here's what I hear

I'm not a fan of the song, and I didn't hear other's take on it before making my own. All I heard of it was that it had a satanic message. So I got it, flipped it (audacity), and wrote down what I heard. I have no idea where some of those interpretations come from. Toolshed?

~ implies garbled or unclear

Phil h. hears: oh ~~ isht my sweet satan The one little path would make me sad Whose power is satan you ~would give a girl in your sicksicksick and wallow 'im with ~more shame though you may love suffer SAD Satan

Stairway to Heaven

A "Stairway to Heaven" is an attempt by a non-religious person to buy their way into heaven, with the knowledge that their death is imminent. The term "stairway to heaven" is a modern translation from "Jacob's Ladder," in which Jacob dreamt of a stairway between heaven and earth. (Genesis Chapter 29).

The Statute of Mortmain was set forth by King Edward I in 1279, and provided that estates could not be granted to religious corporations without royal assent. The purpose is to keep property in the hands of the people, and the government through taxation, rather than perpetual institutions like religious movements. Various forms remain in statutory form today, that void testamentary gifts to religious institutions when the donor is aware of impending death.

some people say that led zeplin had a hiden satanic messege in his song, i do not bolive it but when you hear stairways to heaven backwords you can hear "oh heres to my sweet satan. the one whose little path whold make me sad, whose power is satan he'll give you 666, there was a littel tool shed where he made us suffer, sad satan" you can look for it where in the song he sais if there's a bustle in your hedgerow, dont be alarmd now....

I like peppermints Andy Mabbett 23:16, 16 Aug 2004 (UTC)

You people obviously don't know that "Stairway To Heaven" has some written in it about Jimmy Page's girlfriend, who, at the time, stole his money and bought her "stairway" to heaven in a shopping spree. From: Middle of the country (10:20 FEB. 10, 2006)

Though you can clearly hear it, there is no sense in saying that the song is satanic. If you turn half the things on earth backwards, they'll sound something or the other to the person who wants to believe it. plus, backmasking is extremely tedious.

i don't think people should tarnish a masterpiece such as 'stairway to heaven' by creating such ridiculous notions. --aditya mukherjee 07:46, 26 Jan 2005 (UTC)

It's not tarnishing to some people however, to me it's interesting how a song has "good religious lyrics" forwards and "Satanic lyrics" backwards. It's obvious-Led Zeppelin wants you to choose your path-heaven or hell-as evidenced in the forwards line "yes there are two paths you can go by". They also are NOT Satanists as one would have you believe. CoolKatt number 99999

The message that stairway presents is open to everyone's interpretation but this is what i believe the meaning is...the lady being depicted represents the common man who like everyone has a lust for money and feels power when they have this money...the song basically deals with how we are to live our lives...we are in charge and like sung in the song "there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run There's still time to change the road you're on". I believe the piper in this song represents sin and the easy way through can choose to follow them to advance your life...a stairway...or you can live your life truthfully...whatever you do in the end what you have done reflects who you are..."And as we wind on down the road Our shadows taller than our soul" The soul message of this song i believe is to choose your own life path and not follow the lives of others, the piper...what you do determines who you are and echos through eturnity..."To be a rock and not to roll" suggests that we must be our own person and stand true to what we believe and not roll with societies with some of the ideals that way seem who you are

LZ comments about backward messages

"Led Zeppelin have always ignored such claims, the only comment coming from Swan Song Records which issued the statement: "Our turntables only play in one direction - forwards""

Did they mean that metaphorically? Most record companies at that time would have kept the original master on a "reel to reel" recording which can be loaded to play in reverse flawlessly. -Burns

Someone with English and editing skills please tell about this interview with Robert Plant: (Read the last paragraph).

Stairway to Heaven Backwards requires attention. Uncle G 23:59:52, 2005-08-06 (UTC)

I don't think it needs its own article, so I vfded it. Cmouse 01:54, 7 August 2005 (UTC)

The original text made it clear that the allegations of backwards messages are just that. Adding a section about "the Satanic message" and giving a personal interpretation is unencyclopedic. I agree that the Plant response to the accusations should me mentioned and will take a stab at it. Jgm 03:07, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
Looking at it some more, this issue may be notable enough to be out of the "Trivia" section, but this wording (and section title) is preferable. Jgm 04:13, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
I don't think it needs its own section. Consider the notability of the song in general and compare it to the notability of the "backwards message". Cmouse 07:16, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
But, given the history of the issue, and the response by Plant, it's more than "trivia", don't you think? The very fact that it gets so much attention here means that it remains a significant part of the story of the song. Our focus needs to be on keeping the section factual and NPOV, I think. Jgm 11:49, 15 November 2005 (UTC)
On the main page, I added an external link to some supposed entire backwards lyrics, check it out if you want. Of course it was a while ago. CoolKatt number 99999

Coincidently the rebuttal which is referenced in the article shares a common frame of reference with the subject matter it alludes to deny.

"To me it's very sad, because 'Stairway To Heaven' was written with every best intention,"

Strange choice of words, since one of the more commonly agreed upon backwards verses is: "the one whose little path would make me sad" this phrase forward talks about how a road can be transversed in two directions. Which could be dually interpreted as the path of a needle on a record.

If the backward verses were admittedly intentional they would lose their sensationalism and be nothing more than common footnotes lost in the long lists of premeditated auditory oddities. -Burns

""Led Zeppelin have always ignored such claims, the only comment coming from Swan Song Records which issued the statement: "Our turntables only play in one direction - forwards" Did they mean that metaphorically? Most record companies at that time would have kept the original master on a "reel to reel" recording which can be loaded to play in reverse flawlessly. -Burns "
I take this to mean that there is no truth in the rumour. It seems quite straightforward as a denial with no hidden meaning.
"Someone with English and editing skills please tell about this interview with Robert Plant: the last paragraph)."
Despite some typos in the article it seems to simply say that Plant considers it not only bullshit but also personally insulting. I agree. Candy 10:34, 18 November 2006 (UTC)


It sounds more anti-sanantist than satanic. Most of the lyrics reference the illness of mortality's frailty, Israel, and the "Sweet Satan" sounds sarcastic. Unless it's implying that things are the opposite, and that Yahweh is evil and the Devil is fighting for our salvation.


The album commonly referred to as Led Zeppelin IV is untitled. Read the Led Zeppelin IV page. Thank you. I'm No Parking and I approved this message 22:57, 1 December 2005 (UTC)

Nevermind. But it's not called Zeppelin IV, so there. I'm No Parking and I approved this message

Single infobox

Why does this article have a song-infobox, instead of a single-infobox. This song was released on fact, this is one of the best sold singles up to date.Weather rain.pngSoothingR 07:32, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

I think your mistaken. I have never before heard that this song is a single. I have heard that it wasn't a single though. What is your source. RENTAFraiseFruitPhoto.jpgFOR LET? 01:24, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, odd...I've done a thorough search, and other than [1], there was nothing which could be found regarding this being a single. In fact, the Led Zeppelin-article even contradicts it. I believe I am mistaken, apoligies for the situation.Weather rain.pngSoothingR 08:37, 9 February 2006 (UTC)
Oooh, you can spot a newbie or non-fan from a mile away if they call "Stairway" a single. "Stariway" was never, ever, EVER released as a single. Ever. It's played on RADIO. Get that? RADIO. Specifically AOR stations. But LZ infamously never released it as a single. Ever. The End. Doc Strange 19:24, 5 June 2007 (UTC)
Thank you for this particular non-constructive comment to this age-old discussion.—♦♦ SʘʘTHING(Я) 07:03, 6 June 2007 (UTC)


Does anyone other than me think that instead of having a section called "lyrics" change it to something like Interpretation so that we could talk about the lyrics and also give some of the interpretaitons of the songs lyrics. RENTAFraiseFruitPhoto.jpgFOR LET? 03:37, 17 February 2006 (UTC)

Maybe there's something here more than what it seems?

When Led Zeppelin made this song, they were high on all sorts of stuff. Also Led Zeppelin isn't exactly the most moral bunch of people in the world. Also the fact that Stairway to Heaven is one of THE most popular rock songs ever made. In fact a lot of people actually think this song is about GOD. When in fact, all they did was put some ideas and ambiguous lyrics into a song while messed up on who knows what. I think it is possible that some demonic force could have influenced this song sublimally while they were making it. I know black masking is a statistical concept, but there are a lot of coincidences here... Which lends it more suspicious... Oh, and the end of the song is translated "He'll make all the evil fools suffer sadly."

You idiot. You can't write a brilliant song like this while on drugs. I wish people would stop blaming drugs. Odinssverd 12:45, 9 December 2006 (UTC)

Except that back masking is bullshit, and no evidence suggests it is anything but coincidence.

New published information to expand/augment article

In Spin Magazine's most recent issue an article on the last page says that it is common misinterpretation that Stairway to Heaven is the most requested song. It also says that Plant wrote the song soley. Other helpful information is also there as well.

Controversy section

Would anyone else want to help with moving the sample and some of the backmasking details to their own article, Backmasking in Stairway to Heaven? This would address concerns about overstating the controversy in this article. I emailed LZ's label for permission to use the lyrics, and they haven't responded yet, but regardless, we can include at least a short quote of the lyrics. TheJabberwʘck 22:21, 17 May 2006 (UTC)

OK, no response from the label. We can't cite the forward lyrics because of copyvio worries, but the backward ones should be okay, since no one has a copyright on them - the label denies they exist. Λυδαcιτγ 01:07, 10 June 2006 (UTC)

Hard rock???

The article describes this song as being in the hard rock genre. How on earth? The song is so slow paced! Davez621 16:32, 20 May 2006 (UTC)

LZ can't really be compressed into one genre. But at least part of the song - "And as we wind on down the road..." is definitely hard rock. Λυδαcιτγ(TheJabberwock) 00:07, 21 May 2006 (UTC)
From the guitar solo onwards the song is a drivin'-headbanging-phrenetic-limbs-a-go-go-hair-a-shaking-stompo-rocker. I guess that's why it's hard rock. Freebird (by Skynyrd) has the same slow start with hard rock ending. Hard rock too! Candy 22:13, 16 August 2006 (UTC)

Ok how about this. Why don't we call it Folk Rock AND Hard Rock? The song has elements of both.

Good idea. Λυδαcιτγ 02:03, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

ok who changed it back to JUST hard rock? i thought everyone agreed the song is both.

Fixed. Λυδαcιτγ 21:16, 22 October 2006 (UTC)


I can't conclusively say if this was intentional, but at one point in the song as played backwards, the words "The one whose little path would make me sad, whose power is Satan," can be quite noticeably heard, especially the "whose power is Satan" part. I'm not sure about the other stuff mentioned in the article, but it seems hard to believe this was totally a coincidence. —Preceding unsigned comment added by CyberRaptor (talkcontribs)

Did you read the words somewhere, and then listen for them, or vice versa? Λυδαcιτγ 03:13, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
I had clearly heard the word Satan spoken in the song three different times when played backwards, and that was before reading what was on this page. It's so pronounced that it's hard NOT to hear that. However, the "whose power is Satan" totally jumped out at me too after reading this, and upon listening more carefully, I was able to make out the rest of it too.

Sorry I forgot to leave my name before. CyberRaptor 03:27, 13 June 2006 (UTC)

No problem; everybody does it at first.
I've read a fair amound on this, and I think that Satan is supposed to be easily produced by random combinations of words. I've never had it stand out, though. The strongest piece of evidence for the backmasking, to me, is the weird jumps in Plant's voice during the section in question. If you listen, it does seem as if his voice is being manipulated.
Still, I don't think there is a message, or even the word "Satan." Like all good conspiracy theories, this one is very convincing. But I think it's much more likely that the message is a result of the power of suggestion.
One way to find out more definitively would be to listen to a live version of the song. If a similar message can be heard in the live version, you can be pretty sure there is no backmasking, because it was recorded live.
Anyway, good luck with your investigation! One more resource: has a good forum discussion on this. See you around. Λυδαcιτγ 04:06, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Just in case anyone wants to read anything else, along the lines of the power of suggestion, I recommend they also read the article on pareidolia. I've actually tried it out with a few of my friends at school who've never heard of this whole theory before. They have trouble making out any actual 'Satanic' words until I show them the lyrics. I think a whole bunch of bored guys just played it backwards one day and thought they heard something. I think if Led Zep themselves wanted there to be a Satanic message in their song, they'd be a bit more forthright about it when approached. Just my two cents. --Stephen 22:41, 13 June 2006 (UTC)
Neat article! I'm going to link to it in a couple of places. Thanks! Λυδαcιτγ 01:40, 14 June 2006 (UTC)

In my opinion the song HAS to be backmasked. When you listen to other songs backwards like Another One Bites The Dust where a backwards message was unintentionally created the voice sounds very distorted. However during most of the track backwards Plant's voice sounds very clear. Also in the backwards version of "If there's a bustle in your hedgerow" section Plant says the word Satan 3 times but no words are repeated in the actual verse.

Ev puts Stairway under "Phoenetic Reversal" - not "Engineered Phoenetic Reversal" - but seems to agree that "Did some sort of evil force play a part in the writing of "Stairway To Heaven"? When reversed, does it literally translate to "Stairway To Hell" in more ways than one? As mystical and far from logic as it seems, the conclusion seems appropriate!" But as a skeptic, I agree with William Poundstone and Bob Crispen. Take a look at the Skeptic's Dictionary entry and comments, which are excellent. Λυδαcιτγ 02:11, 14 September 2006 (UTC)

This is just utterly pathethic...let me demonstrate : Robert Plant sits by his evening log fire ready to write some Satanic messages,he comes up with this thing about toolsheds and suffering,and then he realises that if he says it backwards it becomes "if theres a bustle in your hedgerow...." and also the "satanic message" also sounds like "Holy Donkey is good for you" if you listen a bit better. PS: there are also christian messages in Highway to Hell Lord revan 19:27, 22 October 2006 (UTC)

That's really funny. Thanks Raven. :D Rush4hire 14:13, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

This Song

Truthfully, you can hear the words speaking about Satan if you listen to the section backwards. It starts at 4:23 into the song and ends at 4:43. This is not being made up in any way. As previously stated, you can download the forwards section at and the backwards section at And those "alleged" lyrics below the one that I posted on the main page of this is no way true, it has nothign so say about God in it, just about Satan!!! I enjoy the music in the song, as it is one of the most famous pieces of music in rock history. Still, this message, meant to or not, is there in the song, like it or not.--Aaron 12:39, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

"And It's Whispered That Soon If We All Call The Tune"

Flip this line and you get ["wish"?] "The Lord Forgive Me Who Is Sinner" (end garbled)

"Lord Forgive Me" is pretty clear in this section (If We All Call). Making for atleast three distinct Phonetic Reversals in the master recording- thus I believe this is more than coincidence- it's most likely an intentional studio trick. Also the backwards phrases aren't nearly as noticeable in any of the live versions. Although there's reports of a live version from 1976 that repeats "Forgive me Lord, forgive me Lord, forgive me Lord." when reversed. [Ref: Reverse Speech: Voices From The Unconscious]

It's also notable that Page owned and lived in Crowley's former house, "Boleskine," a sprawling farmhouse on the shores of Loch Ness (complete with a "hedgerow" and "toolshed"). Crowely was fond of early audio recording devices and is reported to have done some research on Phonetic Reversals and encoded wording in his spare time. *hint hint*

As someone may have pointed out Phonetic Reversals are a bit different than Backmasking. Backmasking is a post production technique which involves layering a backwards track over the recording- if done at low volume it could enhance a true Phonetic Reversal while simply modulating the forward version unnoticeably.

Running a notch filter to isolate the the vocal range and then enhancing it a few times (power of 5 x 3 ) using Sony Soundforge helps to improve the clarity of the reversed phrases.

I'd love to find an instrumental version of the master recording as the signal phase could be reversed and layered over the original to produce an accapella which could be better evaluated, i.e. for post production methods such as backmasking. - Burns


As typed in the trivia section:: "At some high schools, "Stairway to Heaven" is the standard last song at dances, a fact referenced by the Canadian band Barenaked Ladies in their lyrics for "Grade 9": "I've got a red leather tie and pair of rugger pants, I put them on and I went to the high school dance. Dad said I had to be home by eleven -- aw, man, I'm gonna miss Stairway to Heaven."

I highly doubt this is true. It deserves actual documentation, rather than one mention in a BNL song. Regardless of whether or not this happened at one of the members 'high school dances', that only refers to one, specific situation, and not a moderate dissection of universal society. Until proper, justified references can be attributed, I'm going to take it off.

Agreed. By the way, it would be great if you could use an edit summary (like "see talk page") when making edits like this one. Thanks, Λυδαcιτγ 03:28, 5 July 2006 (UTC)


How can there be an article dedicated to a single song, without actually containing the lyrics of said song?

Can anyone add them?
No, lyrics are usually copyvio. See [2] and Λυδαcιτγ 03:31, 10 July 2006 (UTC)

Deleted passage

Does anyone know what this is about? I deleted it since it made no sense to me. Λυδαcιτγ 03:25, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Good call. That edit doesn't seem to have a place here. -Phoenixrod 03:18, 25 July 2006 (UTC)

folklore and folksongs

Funny, I heard at the time that Stairway to Heaven came out that it was "and old Irish folk song; I don't know how they got the copyright on it" from a fellow guitar player. It makes me wonder. Why does the song sound so much like an Irish woman singing a sad dirge? The references, like seeing rings of smoke through tree, sounds more like smoke signals than some middle earth fantasy.

Of the stairway to heaven, there were once seven wonders of the world, and one was, indeed, an attempt to build a stairway to heaven. For this sin, that empire was destroyed and its emperor downed.

While I'm not sure where the actual words come from for this song, even Plant would have to admit that sometimes songwriters are just channels, as much as Steven King admits he is just a channel and the work writes itself.

When you put such prose to paper, or to music, words do, indeed, sometimes have two meanings.

And sometimes you draw on old things you've heard in childhood, the craft of wordsmithing, and all of your education, experience, and then dreams and inspiration. But what is the source? In a dream, where do words and music actually come from?

They come from everything you are, and more. I often dream entire songs, get up, and record them, every last detail, words and music. Where do they come from? I don't really know, I can't say for sure, they seem to be given as a gift from someone higher, someone not of earth, but of heaven. Which is why the whole of arts are a gift, not a trade you can simply learn. The fact is, with a great song or lyrical poem, words never have one meaning, they transcend being pinned down to one singular meaning and cannot be defined as "this" or as "that." This is the only way that a song or a poem, such as Stairway To Heaven, can have as many meanings as there are people who listen to it, but, in the end, the meaning to all is of such hope, as Plant explained, that not even the devil himself can touch one little hair of that song's precious head.

The thing about Stairway to Heaven is that the lyrics are "perfect." Rarely do we, as artists, get to create such perfection. It does not come from a group of people sitting around hashing out parts and editing lyrics and re-doing things, it either is or it isn't. And if it is, you know it, as does everyone else, instinctively.

As for the backwards parts; anything you record that has dialogue can be shown at some speed or tempo to contain weird sounds that seem to be words, but none of them are. This is all just your mind playing games and trying to fill in the blanks and create a recognisable pattern, which sounds like a clause, or a phrase, or some statement, but it's really just you and your imagination completely running away with you. If Plant says they weren't there, then they weren't there. Some people hear rocks talk to them when the scrape them together; that doesn't mean that rocks talk, just that someone heard what they wanted to hear in their imagination.

No matter how the song came to be, it is the number one song of our time. And as Plant put it, because it's hope, which is what we all really need so bad, especially right now, as we did back when it was recorded.

It's also the first hard rock, heavy metal, punk type sound that I've ever heard. It's the dynamics you see, it starts out as a folk song and screams louder than any latent genre that tries to imitate greatness. Dynamics that nearly all of the subculture genres since lack. Too many genres tear music apart; Stairway to Heaven brought all people together.

Maybe some people who paint themselves or dress up funny and chant on one agenda could learn something from this song, maybe the all inclusive genre can happen again, the single classification of Cyber music, but it doesn't happen by fighting with one another, it only happens when all the genres throw off the stupidity of being classified and unite.

And that was the message of the last verse of the song, in case you missed it.

Speculative at the very most

I just read this article and couldn't get further than the "Title" section. I will return later when my sensibilities about the gibberish written here have returned.

"It is not entirely clear whether the song was inspired by a movie title." This needs removing. It just makes no sense. Which movie title? It's not clear becasue it doesn't mean anything.

"The original reference to a stairway to heaven comes from the Bible's description of Jacob's Ladder: Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the Earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. Genesis 28:12" Untrue there are plenty of references to a ladder to head that predate Biblical Scripture. The Sumerian and Assyrian myths to begin with.

"Another possible source..." Let's just cut this whole section out.

"...for the title was from a castle that Page had recently bought. The castle was in Lelawcge-an-bryn, Wales which at one time Plant had called "heaven." During the spring of 1971, while Plant was writing the lyrics to the song, Page was undergoing the building of a stairwell from the ground to a second story deck. When the staircase was completed it would be a "stairway to Heaven."[3]

The reference for this leads to a site that I would call at the best bullshit.

No sound references, full of speculation and demeaning to this clasic song. This is an encyclopaedia not a tribute page to speculation.

Candy 23:34, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

Excellent points you make. Why not fix the article yourself (and maybe provide an explanation here)? Well, I did it for you; see how the article looks now. Λυδαcιτγ 01:49, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
Well, I really liked your changes Audacity. It reads a lote better. I didn't change it myself because I was short of time. I hope I've helped by making some further changes and additions. Still not that happy about the way the song structure and instruments used are muddled together. Also I wiped out "This style is found in many Zeppelin songs recorded after the release of "Stairway to Heaven" because I just don't see that and I've never read of heard anyone mention that at all. Would like to know which songs the author was speaking about!
Candy 16:06, 14 August 2006 (UTC)

Backward Lyrics

Look, the fact that there is speculation over backward lyrics should be mentioned and linked. The whole backward lyric stuff should be elsewehere and the actual "claimed" lyrics shouldn't be printed here. IMHO these are the result of part fun and part gullability. Anyway, they have misinterpreted the actual first part of the backward lyrics. My own reserach leads me to believe they actually say, "“Glory nor Ish my play tavourite or one a bit of tad wood make me sad wood wore Io win say ton”. 8)—Preceding unsigned comment added by Candorwien (talkcontribs)

The best way to expose a fraud is to provide all the details. I personally agree that they are bogus, but so what? - there's a lot of speculation, and the best we can do is document the truth. Λυδαcιτγ 01:47, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Who the fuck plays songs backwards. If it was intended to have this (which it probably wasn't), no one is gonna notice considering LPs were always the more popular format and one didn't need to play it backwards to listen to it again. And it didn't harm anybody. The priest just wanted some publicity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:26, 12 December 2007 (UTC)

Too Much Information

Any body know about this section, "Some radio stations that have listed the song as #1 include WNOR (Norfolk), WEBN (Cincinnati), WLVQ (Columbus), WGRX (Baltimore), WFXF (Indianapolis), KLSK (Albuquerque), WMYG (Pittsburgh), KLSX (Los Angeles), Virgin Radio (London), KRTH (Los Angeles), KGON (Portland), KSAN (San Francisco Bay Area), KGB (San Diego), CHOM (Montréal), WNCX (Cleveland), Q107 (CILQ Toronto), and WZLX (Boston).[2]"

My feeling is that it is probably unnecessary. I mean, isn't this rather superfluous. Any thoughts? Candy 17:51, 23 August 2006 (UTC)

I don't have a problem with it – the detailed info really gets across how widely Stairway is regarded as the greatest. Also, someone might wish to take a look at the Greatest Rock Song polls from a few of those stations. Λυδαcιτγ 02:04, 24 August 2006 (UTC)

Flute vs. recorder

There've been a lot of changes recently regarding the flute intro. Apparently there is both a flute part and a recorder part in the song. Anybody want to clarify? Λυδαcιτγ 00:57, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

I recall reading (a loooong time ago) in an interview with JPJ that it was a recorder playing on the original recording. I haven't listed to the song recently but I always had the feling it was a wooden recorder that was being played. Although the flute and recorder are closely related, there always seems to be a little more "mouth noise" from the flute when recorded because the airflow is over the open hole to set up the standing wave whereas the recorder is blown into to set the standing waves up. I don't hear the sound as being a flute.
Having said that, I need to find some interview or refernce to support my assumption.
Candy 10:48, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

Just to fill you in John Paul Jones played 3 overdubbed recorders in the intro. This is confirmed in an official LZ guitar tabs book where it says 'recorder part adapted for guitar'.

Don't know if I would consider a tab book a good source - even an "official" one. They are usually quite incorrect. However, I wouldn't doubt the recorder part. Isit in harmony? Candy 05:08, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

in concert john paul played it on a keyboard so they might have recorded it on that

Yes, that's always a possibility too. However, live versions always have to make compromises compared to the original recordings. Miking a recorder/flute live would probably have not been so clever back then for Zep considering all the amps (even though Ian Anderson was doing that a lot). Pagey uses a Gibson neck for instance when live. The solo was certainly played on a Fender in the recording and live it clearly comes out a great deal fatter because of the Gibson. Damn, I might even just send him and email and ask him what it was. It could even have been Le Pétomane !! 8) Candy 13:47, 14 October 2006 (UTC)

Plant Quote

Just to clarify. The ammendment by Mike65535 of the quote by Plant corrects the lyrics of the song but as it was a quote by Plant it should stand. Perhaps Mike read it a little too quickly and out of context? Candy 20:51, 1 September 2006 (UTC)


The article says that Plant wrote the lyrics at Bron-Y-Aur. The Straight Dope says Headley Grange. Which is correct? TheMadBaron 23:50, 9 September 2006 (UTC)

Straight Dope:
"According to band lore, Robert Plant composed most of the lyrics in a single day during sessions at Headley Grange" (My bold)
"Stairway to Heaven", Led zepellin Uncensored by Richard Cole with Richard Turbo, Simon & Schuster UK 1997
"Robert improvised most of the lyrics for "Stairway" during the rehearsals as he sat in fromt of the roaring fireplace. (Referring to Headly Grange)
I made the change to Bron-Y-Aur but as I have just packed up most of my magazines and books as I am moving house I can't get to the original source I used to check if I misread it or not. I will change it to Headly Grange as we have two sources (although the first may rely on the second anyway) and if I locate my other erefernce and it differs enter into discussion. Hope that suits everyone.
Candy 09:45, 10 September 2006 (UTC)
Ooops reread the article. It says Headly Grange. Candy 09:47, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

help refs

Sorry messed up the refs for my last two changes and I#m tired. Could someone help clean them up? seem to have templated them. Thanks. Candy 19:20, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

All done. Templates, which have the double { and } brackets around them, are only useful if you're using a template such as {{cite web}}. Otherwise, just enclose it in ref tags. You'll notice I deleted most of one ref - it's now copied from the other ref, using the ref naming system. Check out m:Cite/Cite.php for more. Λυδαcιτγ 01:33, 19 September 2006 (UTC)
Thanks Audacity. 8) Candy 13:57, 19 September 2006 (UTC)

Removed two sections

Two sections were removed by me just now. The first was original reserach - an analysis of the number of repeated words in the text. It is irrelevant and original research is not part of Wikipedia.

The second section was the lyrics. These are copyright and not permissible. Candy 21:45, 30 September 2006 (UTC)

To stunt!

This part, "In 1991 an Albuquerque, New Mexico radio station stunted into its Classic Rock format by playing "Stairway to Heaven" for 24 hours straight.[citation needed]" is not only unreferenced (doesn't even have the radio station's name so it may well be hearsay or a vague recollection by someone) but also uses "stunt", a noun, as a verb. This either needs rewriting (but I don't actually understand if it means that as a stunt for their Classic Rock hour they played ?... " or deleting. Any thoughts?

Thoughts are ... delete. It doesn't add to the article but detracts. There has been enough time for someone to comment for its inclusion. Bye bye ref! Candy 07:52, 20 November 2006 (UTC)
Agree, but just for the record, stunted (present tense - stunting) is a commonly used radio term. See the Stunting (broadcasting) section for more infoCiticat 00:35, 10 December 2006 (UTC).


There's too much stuff in the trivia section,that is mentioned earlier in the article. I don't know if there's anything worthy to keep there,but stuff that is already mentioned should be deleted from there. You tell me,what things should be removed in your opinion?

Wooden bass recorders?

The second paragraph of the Music section mentions that wooden bass recorders were played but the source given which confirms that recorders were played (in the first paragraph of the section) has no mention of bass recorders at all. Where did the idea of bass recorders come into it? --Hydraton31 14:58, 12 November 2006 (UTC)

Large paragraph erased

Couldn't stand it any longer and I wiped a whole section.

I posted some weeks ago for citations and received none. The whole section seems to be simply speculation. We are better off without it.

If anyone wanted to put a simple line in to say that it could be inspired by Tolkien Mythology (and Ramble On certainly is) then that would still need a citation as there shouldn't be speculation or original reserach going on in Wikipedia.

Candy 08:09, 19 December 2006 (UTC)

Sheet music ref needed

I found a couple of web pages that cite an Esquire magazine article from Nov 1991 saying over 1 million copies sold. I can't find a ref for the 1.2 million copies sold. I found a Guardian Newspaper article recently quoting 1.2 million copies but this doesn't cite its own sources and as it is later than this Wiki article it could easily be using this uncited article as a source itself (therefore an uncited cource in Wiki becomes a source for the citation if you see what I mean). I will revert to the Esquire cource which seems more reliable if someone can't come up with one. Candy 06:25, 5 January 2007 (UTC)


I've always thought this song was kind of dark. Not from a Pagan perspective but Christian. I'm not surprised there are satanic messages when it's played backwards.

I don't believe the artists did this intentionally or where even consciously aware of it when this manifestation occurred. I think it was the "May Queen" that did it. She's coming out to say: "Ha ha. I'm really a demon!"

Many artists, even the Beatles, have admitted they gave themselves to the control of what some would call "demonic forces" and what others would call "Hindu gods" or "Pagan gods".

But this is so creepy it's no wonder Led Zepplin would deny having anything to do with that sort of thing.

Rush4hire 13:43, 1 April 2007 (UTC)

Leave you bullshit religious propaganda out of wikipedia please. 15:41, 8 August 2007 (UTC)

Stop calling them satanist. The song, if you listen to the entire thing backwards, contains more or less messages about suffering in hell, rather then portraying it as good. 04:27, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Stairway to Gilligan

How about stairway to Gilligan?

Cry me a river

I just listened to Davey Graham's 1959 "Cry me a river" in the Davy Graham sequence in 1959 BBC documentary on the guitar in Britain. Graham's arpeggio guitar sections sound to me very like the Stairway to Heaven intro. Has this been commmented on anywhere as a possible source of inspiration to Page? It makes you wonder! Bluewave 19:45, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Wow, it does. Are you sure this is actually from 1959? Λυδαcιτγ 03:18, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I think 1959 is right. This article [3] from the Independent says "When was the acoustic guitar's Golden Dawn? Some say 7 June 1959, the date the BBC television Monitor arts series televised Ken Russell's Guitar Craze. One scene had Davy Graham playing "Cry Me a River" on what looked like a tenement bombsite." Bluewave 09:37, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I only hear a rudimentary similarity. The DG part with the minor arpeggio and descending bass line is not dissimilar to some older classical pieces. Page has a descending bass and an ascending treble and is more measured where DG's "Cry me a River" has more of an homage to jazz.
I think tracing the inspiration for Stairway is probably a wild goose chase and not really worth persuing. Stairway is an extremely well-crafted song and there is little that precedes it in any genre - although there are some imitators. Page listened to so many people and played with so many. No doubt he lifted stuff but then again was it synthesis? Candy 12:47, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
The article already includes some speculation about the inspiration for Stairway, so I thought it was reasonable at least to consider this (and Davy Graham is certainly not an imitator of Page, although Page has 'borrowed' from Graham for other songs). Anyway, I'm not trying to detract from the importance of the song and, in any case, if there are no citable sources that make the connection with the Davy Graham piece, I'll leave it alone. Bluewave 12:22, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Edinburgh Science Festival 2005

I don't know if this is worth mentioning in the main article, but just FYI, at the 2005 Edinburgh International Science Festival, Simon Singh played Stairway backwards without telling the audience what it was, then asked if anyone heard the word "Satan". A handful of people did. No-one heard anything more than that. Then he told us what it was, what the backwards lyrics were supposed to be, and played it again. This time we all heard it. Pure power of suggestion. Daibhid C 22:39, 13 May 2007 (UTC)

Any citation? Λυδαcιτγ 23:09, 13 May 2007 (UTC)
Blogs from people who were there don't count, of course, but there's a New York Academy of Sciences report on the lecture. Daibhid C 15:13, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Folk Rock?? I'd say it's more Classic

Stairway has more of a classic rock intro than a folk rock one, especially the guitar part. It has a lot more classic rock elements, and it certainly isn't country style the way folk rock would be (the middle section however is slightly folk rock, but not entirely folk rock.)

Except that there is no musical style called "classic rock." "Classic rock" is a radio format. Kww 10:49, 28 May 2007 (UTC)

Original Research

Yes, if he said George Washington was the first President of the United States, he would have to cite a reference. Take a look at , and pay close attention, especially to 'Material that counts as "original research" within the meaning of this policy is material for which no reliable source can be found and which is therefore believed to be the original thought of the Wikipedian who added it'. The section I am reverting is very specifically a conclusion drawn by the author. He did not rely on an outside source. It is not acceptable in Wikipedia. If a reliable source said exactly the same thing, he could quote it, and it would not be a problem. If he can't quote a reliable outside source that agrees with him, he can't say it at all. Kww 02:52, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Pat Boone Mention

"Pop Singer and conservative Pat Boone" -- and conservative? This is unnecessary labeling -- as soon as I read it my image of the singer (who I haven't really heard of) was tainted upon reading the word "conservative." While he might be politically active as a conservative, there's no reason to throw this word in really at all at this point. I'm getting rid of it. 23:53, 2 June 2007 (UTC)

Thanks Candy 08:26, 3 June 2007 (UTC)
I disagree with this change. When Pat Boone released "In a Metal Mood: No More Mr. Nice Guy", it made CNN, ABC, Reuters, etc. Not because Pat Boone was a lounge singer, but because he was a conservative, evangelical lounge singer that was politically active, and was vocally supportive of the "Parental Advisory" stickers that we take for granted now. Kww 15:22, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

The Dolly Parton Version Has the backwards thing too

I played the Dolly Parton version of the song backwards (same part : If theres a bustle......) and it happens on it too. Perhaps it was just the choice of words happening to do it. I dont know. Try it. It is ture/

Hmm... Maybe it is just a phonetic coincidence. They say some words and it sounds like something else backwards. Try making your own cover (just sing the song a capella (no music) and record it on your computer) play it backwards, and see. If you hear it (the evil message), it's probably just a phonetic coincidence. MalwareSmarts 19:34, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Quote about the first performance

In the article it claims that the first performance didn't get any good reception. Now I found on Songfacts a quite different quote from the band. Perhaps I am confusing 2 performances here - but since they say "no one's heard this number yet" this one seems about the first performance too: In an excerpt from Led Zeppelin; The Definitive Biography by Ritchie Yorke, Jimmy Page is quoted as saying concerning the first time this was played in concert: "I remember playing it for the first time at the LA Forum, and - I'm not saying the whole audience gave us a standing ovation - but there was this sizable standing ovation there. And I thought, 'This is incredible because no one's heard this number yet. This is the first time hearing it!' It obviously touched them, so I knew there was something with that one." Dunno whats really correct - perhaps someone who's interested could look into it. --Thomas 01:11, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

Thanks - I added it to the page. I think the Ulster Hall performance was the first performance, meaning that Page is wrong. Does anyone know the dates of these two performances. Λυδαcιτγ 02:02, 13 August 2007 (UTC)
Well songfacts states two alternatives as you say Thomas. I don't think that it is a particularly good source for that reason. However, I do know that it was first performed live before 1 April 1971 as Zep performed Stairway at the Paris Theatre, London. It was recorded and put on the BBC Sessions album and I have a reference from a music magazine which states that it was an early performance (but not the first). Zep went on in June and July that year on a European tour where it received an excellent reception and was becoming well known through word of mouth (and presumably bootlegs). Again, I have a reference for this as well if anyone needs it.
Zep played the LA Forum on August 21, 1971 that year (I searched bootleg archives). But they could have played earlier in the year of course as well. Perhaps the second quote from Pagey was about the first time it was played in the US? Candy 16:46, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
Dunno, but I chopped off the incorrect part of the quote. Thanks for the info. Λυδαcιτγ 19:28, 14 August 2007 (UTC)
The first time the band played the song live was at the Royal Ulster Hall. Led Zeppelin performed the song many times at the LA Forum over the years. Page was referring to the first of these LA Forum performances, not the first time the band ever played the song live. The quote was not therefore incorrect. Edelmand 12:37, 26 August 2007 (UTC)
Gotcha - the incorrect info is in Songfacts or the source cited by them. Λυδαcιτγ 06:26, 27 August 2007 (UTC)

Removed some html tags

Themacboy 03:12, 6 September 2007 (UTC) Removed some hmtl tags around a link to an MP3

Good work sonny Jim. Frvernchanezzz (talk) 07:48, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Stairway To Heaven is a christian song!

I know some of you won't believe me, but it's true, you can read about it here: 9I promise it isn't rickroll) Should that be noted in the article? Orangemango (talk) 03:45, 4 May 2008 (UTC)

That's only one person's interpretation, one of many, and not what we'd regard as a reliable source. --Rodhullandemu 03:48, 4 May 2008 (UTC)
What is the song about? Does anyone know, did they ever talk about it? The article could use some information about it... -- (talk) 22:56, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Multi-movement suite

Sorry, but I couldn't stand the phrase any more. The main reason is it is not a suite in any musical sense. I have a feeling that it may be quoted (as it is referenced) but I don't see any quotations. Regardless, it makes no sense and is inaccurate so I have replaced it.

Candy (talk) 08:10, 15 December 2007 (UTC)

Accusations of plagiarism

The section "Accusations of plagiarism" contains no mention of any accusations. —Random832 16:53, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Have changed it to "Musical sources" in the absence of any citations of controversy. --Rodhullandemu (Talk) 17:02, 20 December 2007 (UTC)

Most Played Song

The citation that this is the most played song on the radio is flawed in a few different ways; but most importantly, this citation is from something written in 1991 with seemingly no reason to believe that it is official. Metsfanmax (talk) 00:34, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

It's impossible to verify anyway: which radio, and in which country? Sure, it's always up there in top ten favourite rock tracks, but even these would need citations. --Rodhullandemu (Talk) 00:50, 29 December 2007 (UTC)

Inadvertently, I found a website listing the most played radio songs as of November 2003. —100 Most Played Songs. I didn't see "Stairway to Heaven" listed but perhaps someone else can look more carefully. I won't remove the "most played song" in the article but it seems like it can't be verified so perhaps someone should. I found the article while referencing banned songs and remembered this discussion which somehow evolved into the number of airplays of "Brown Eyed Girl" (?) — (That is my reason for placing this new note at the top of list) Hope this helps. Agadant (talk) 19:46, 1 June 2008 (UTC)

Taken from the article Brown Eyed Girl: Here are some verified totals, it doesn't appear that Stairway to Heaven was on the list of most played by BMI:
In November 2005, Van Morrison was awarded a Million-Air certificate by BMI for reaching 7 million US radio and television airplays for "Brown Eyed Girl".BMI Honors Top European Writers, 2005-11-28 In October 2007, Morrison was awarded another Million-Air certificate by BMI for 8 million air plays of "Brown Eyed Girl". The only song with more airplays was "Every Breath You Take" by The Police with 9 million.2007 BMI London AwardsAgadant (talk) 00:23, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Something is not quite right with these figures. According to an earlier report from
Perhaps the key lies in the description "Top European Writers" in the 2007 Awards in London. Agadant (talk) 12:03, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

"BMI today announced the Top 100 Songs of the Century, listing the most played songs on American radio and television. Leading the list is the anthemic "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," written by Barry Mann, Phil Spector and Cynthia Weil, which recently passed the historic 8 million performance plateau. It was originally recorded by The Righteous Brothers and produced by Spector." This story was from 1999 and note the figure of 8 million. This list makes no mention of either Van Morrison or The Police. I seriously doubt radio stations suddenly stopped playing "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" between 1999 (when this figure was taken) and 2007. MegX (talk) 04:04, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Actually the complete list does mention EBYT and BEG but not Stairway to Heaven. I hope this helps in this discussion of citations for accuracy. I've changed the BEG and EBYT entries to reflect "Top European Writers". 12:03, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
That still does not explain the discrepency of the list figures. One list says one song has 8 million plays, another doesn't say that. If "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" had 8 million radio and television plays you would expect it to appear near the top of the 2007 list but it doesn't rate a single mention anywhere. I would say the figures used are suspect. Songs with that many plays don't disappear like that. MegX (talk) 00:53, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
I thought that was explained by the fact that the 2007 awards in London was for "Top European Writers" of which Sting and Van Morrison were the two highest awarded the Millionaire Certificates for those two songs. I gather there are two BMI member groups- US and Europe. The 1999 list for Songs of the Century is a different thing than the "Millionaire Certificate Awards" & would include all songs by both groups - At least this is what I surmise. - The Wiki articles for "Brown Eyed Girl" and "Every Breath You Take" don't make any claims of having the most or more air plays than all other songs in the world only the exact information as is in the BMI news release for 2007. Agadant (talk) 03:47, 15 May 2008 (UTC)
BMI figures also take into account songs that appear on TV commercials, not just radio. You wouldn't expect "Stairway" to do well in that area as it's not used in any TV commercials. MegX (talk) 02:02, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
I'm almost positive that "Brown Eyed Girl" has not been used in any TV commercials either. I don't know about "Every Breath You Take". Agadant (talk) 02:16, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
"Brown Eyed Girl" was used in TV commercials for Northern Ireland Tourism and also Bud Light. MegX (talk) 02:44, 14 May 2008 (UTC)
Can you tell me where to find references for the song being used on TV commercials. I've never run across this. Agadant (talk) 03:09, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Fender solo

This is sourced. I will drag the source out when I have time. --Candy (talk) 06:26, 11 January 2008 (UTC)


Ian Stewart (The Rolling Stones) wrote a part of "stairway to heaven" (source: DVD The Rolling Stones - just for the record) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:14, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

banned from radio airplay

i heard years ago that the song had disappeared from radio airplay in the US, because this one radio conglomerate which owns a very large number of local stations throughout the country had "recommended" that it not be played, but i don't recall grasping the reason why. Reading this article makes me think that it must've been due to the backmasking controversy (which i didn't know of). So here goes:

  1. Did this airplay blacklisting really happen? i've failed to find anything in here.
  2. If so, did it end? Is the song to be heard again? (i don't listen to rock radio any longer)

--Jerome Potts (talk) 04:13, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

Highly unlikely. We have no reliable sources on it's ban. Doc StrangeMailboxLogbook 18:49, 28 June 2008 (UTC)
I think the person is referring to the Clear Channel memo listing inapproriate songs to be played after 9/11, which somehow got blown out of all proportions by some indepedent media blogs. The network claimed it was a suggestion list, which most stations never enforced or ignored. See Snopes website here for details [4] MegX (talk) 03:23, 29 June 2008 (UTC)

backmasking controversy

Can we keep the silly "lyrics" samples to a strict minimum, while mentioning that there are several differing versions of the said "message" (and sourcing all of that, providing pointers to the inquiring minds who wanna know)?

It might be worth mentioning that you can here the same "message" in the version from "the song remains the same," which is strong evidence that it was not intentional. (it's hard to back-mask a live recording) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:01, 5 August 2009 (UTC)

--Jerome Potts (talk) 10:20, 27 January 2008 (UTC)

 Done Λυδαcιτγ 05:33, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
Thank you. --Jerome Potts (talk) 06:45, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
The puritanism described in the backmasking section should be removed. This is a disgrace to wikipedia. Miskin (talk) 12:55, 23 February 2008 (UTC)
In response to the unsigned comment - if it were really true that the Satanic messages were intentional, then the lyrics might have been crafted in such a way that you would actually get those messages when playing it backwards, so singing the same lyrics in concert should yield the same results. Metsfanmax (talk) 15:45, 10 September 2009 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:The-Money-or-the-Gun.jpg

Nuvola apps important.svg

Image:The-Money-or-the-Gun.jpg is being used on this article. I notice the image page specifies that the image is being used under fair use but there is no explanation or rationale as to why its use in this Wikipedia article constitutes fair use. In addition to the boilerplate fair use template, you must also write out on the image description page a specific explanation or rationale for why using this image in each article is consistent with fair use.

Please go to the image description page and edit it to include a fair use rationale. Using one of the templates at Wikipedia:Fair use rationale guideline is an easy way to insure that your image is in compliance with Wikipedia policy, but remember that you must complete the template. Do not simply insert a blank template on an image page.

If there is other fair use media, consider checking that you have specified the fair use rationale on the other images used on this page. Note that any fair use images lacking such an explanation can be deleted one week after being tagged, as described on criteria for speedy deletion. If you have any questions please ask them at the Media copyright questions page. Thank you.

BetacommandBot (talk) 02:51, 12 February 2008 (UTC)

The information about the backward message in the song is wrong. There are not four phrases hidden in the song. There is an entire song hidden when you play the mp3 archive backwards. I got an mp3 archive and played it backward with the Sibelius program, and the result is this: —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:36, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

There's a lady is sure (sic) ...please do not "correct"

The lyrics are very clear in the recorded album version. However, this quote is correct. Please refer to history (Nov/Dec 2006) to see why this is so.

So, do not correct the quote even though your grammatical or lyrically attuned senses may wish to.

I hope that clears this up ... --Candy (talk) 19:29, 9 April 2008 (UTC)


Trying to split hairs on what "genre" (actually sub-genre) this song is becomes, almost by definition, a matter of personal opinion or independent research. It's a rock song, in some ways a genre-defining one, and retroactively trying to assign it a sub-category is invalid.Jgm (talk) 00:50, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

It's definately not Rock and Roll though. Planty does sing "to be a rock and not to roll ..." 8-) --Candy (talk) 17:30, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

backmasked "section"?

I've seen it claimed (for example, here and here) that the whole song contains Satanic lyrics backwards. Is this claim sufficiently widespread to merit inclusion in the Wikipedia article? I note that the two videos linked have almost two million hits between them, there are more where they come from, and YouTube surely isn't the only place where this is discussed. Capedia (talk) 02:13, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

As a sidenote, this isn't really about backmasking, which is a technique of recording something, then reversing the recording for playback. This technique was clearly not used (which you can tell from the unnatural sounds you hear when playing the recording backwards), and I don't think anybody is actually claiming that the song, or any part of the song, was recorded backwards. What people seem to claiming is that the lyrics (or perhaps the combination of lyrics and music) were written in such a way that they have another meaning when played backwards. I think this section of the article should be rewritten to correct this terminological error. Capedia (talk) 02:32, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

I agree Capedia. This is about the song not backmasking in general. --Candy (talk) 09:51, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

i once heard a piece of a clinton speech backward & forwards the speech forward was "but i can't do this alone" play backward it's "small ba doo duh space cop now" notice the word "alone" bacikwards is "small" which prove the contraction "there's" is not "satan" when played backward i heard stairwayway to heaven backwards even though couldn't understand every bit when played backward i do remamber hearing the word "satan" & "666" & another reason i say this is because i just heard bill o'reilly's flip out backwards & forward & he once said the word there's when playing what he said forward i played backwards & never once heard the word "satan" in fact it sound like ha was talking german or swedish when hear what bill o'reilly said backwards apparently it's another word besides "there's" repeated in many sentence that comes back "satan" when playing stairway to heaven backwards —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:13, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

It's a crock. The notes come out forward not backward in the recording. No one has carefully played it backwards with one-sided magnetic tape. If you want to scratch an old record by trying to play it backwards, then go ahead. I think the alleged has back-masking contains a hint about a "Satan" mentioned in the song. Perhaps it is some weird fairy tale about the pied piper, and a lady who screams "GOD" all the time. With a word, she can get what she came for.

"Carolan's Dream" by Turlough O'Carolan

My understanding is that the main melody of "Stairway to Heaven" is derived from Turlough O'Carolan's tune called "Carolan's Dream". Turlough O'Carolan was a blind Irish harp player who lived from 1670-1738. Search for "Carolan's Dream" on YouTube if you would like to hear it. Matagamasi (talk) 02:47, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

For us to make this connection would be original research, which is not permitted. If a reliable source has pointed out the similarity, it can be mentioned in the article. --Rodhullandemu 14:26, 12 August 2008 (UTC)

Backmasking Controversy Lyrics

"The one who's little path would make me suffer who's power is satan" "There was a little toolshed where he made us suffer, sad satan"

These could be "The [other??] one who's little path would make me sad who's power is faith" (Possibly because the road to heaven is narrow and straight, and you have to sacrifice your worldly pleasures and sins to follow in the way of Jesus Christ, while road to hell is wide and easy)

"And all the evil little fools will know he made us suffer sadly" (Sounds much more like this, Not sure what this means but Robert Plant did dabble in the occult and the works of Aleister Crowley) Dangerousd777 (talk) 18:34, 1 September 2008 (UTC)Dangerousd777

Any of this would need a reliable source, because otherwise it's original research, which is not permitted here. Can you cite a source for any of these? --Rodhullandemu 18:38, 1 September 2008 (UTC)
"... but Robert Plant did dabble in the occult and the works of Aleister Crowley) Dangerousd777 (talk)"
I beg to differ. I believe it was Jimmy Page --Candy (talk) 21:20, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Correct, Page bought Boleskine Manor, a former home of Crowley's, specifically for the association. --Rodhullandemu 22:39, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Folk rock?

"Stairway To Heaven" sounds more folk than it really does rock, though could this song be considered folk rock?

Ожиданиесчастья (talk) 03:55, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

At the beginning, perhaps. Not really at the end. Has a reliable source ever described it as folk rock? --Rodhullandemu 04:07, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Yes, the beginning of the song. When you combine "folk" with "rock", you pretty much have a combination of folk music with rock music, and that is what "Stairway To Heaven" is, celtic-sounding folk infused in hard rock.

Ожиданиесчастья (talk) 06:43, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

Thanks, I've written for most of the Fairport Convention and Sandy Denny articles, so I know what folk rock is, and it's not necessarily celtic. The issue here is one of original research; whatever we think is the genre of a song is irrelevant, as it would need to be described as such by a reliable source such as Allmusic, and cited. --Rodhullandemu 15:12, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

And i have listened to the song, and being of Celtic hertiage, i can tell that it is a Celtic folk rock song, end of story.

Ожиданиесчастья (talk) 08:41, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

Fine. That is the very definition of original research and best kept out of the article; and please don't start new topics for an existing conversation, it breaks the page up too much. Thanks. --Rodhullandemu 15:09, 8 September 2008 (UTC)
Comment The article is OK/fine/nice/neutral with just 'rock' in the box. It's sorta/kinda like a folk rock song that kinda/almost turns into a rock song and peaks with a sorta/maybe/classic hard rock guitar solo.pentatonic at its finest With all those sorta/kinda/maybe styles blended into a single track... the best way to stay accurate and neutral and "Wikipedia-ish" is to just go with the parent genre "Rock." In the end 'rock' is the only true genre in the mix anyways. All the rest are just 'styles' of rock... so putting rock in the box and leaving out the superfluity is the best route. The Real Libs-speak politely 16:35, 8 September 2008 (UTC)

How could you not mention?...

The fact that the solo or solos ranked #1 on Revolver's list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Solos of all time? I think it was also #1 on a VH1 countdown some time back.

-Alan (talk) 22:02, 20 November 2008 (UTC)

The Frank Zappa live version on "the best band you never heard in your life" recorded in 1988 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:49, 2 January 2010 (UTC)


This is the first line under the "Music" section:

"The song consists of several distinct sections, beginning with a quiet introduction on a finger picked 12 string guitar and three recorders"

I don't hear the intro picked on a 12 string guitar. I hear is one an Acoustic. The Middle section is arpeggiated on a 12 string guitar.

-- (talk) 03:07, 6 February 2009 (UTC)

Not disputing what you're saying but do you have a 3rd party citation to back you claim? MegX (talk) 03:18, 6 February 2009 (UTC)
No citations? Means the edits will get reverted. MegX (talk) 03:11, 14 February 2009 (UTC)
A 12 string guitar may also be an acoustic guitar. They are not mutually exclusive. --Candy (talk) 21:29, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Disputed accuracy of chart positions section

This article claims that "Stairway to Heaven" was the number-one song on the "Charly 1300 Top 10" chart in 1972. The web page cited as a reference, is part of, a web site created by Charles Pons that collects and disseminates chart information from various sources. The page in question is titled "Top 10 TMP" (Top Musique Personnels). The disclaimer at the bottom of the page states:

This hit parade is a personal chart corresponding to the musical tastes of the webmasters, it cannot be considered an official ranking of sales or airplay. The dates correspond to the release dates in the country of origin or in France, according to sources.

In other words, it is simply a list of someone's personal favorite songs arranged chronologically to coincide with the time period when those records were released. No such chart called "Charly 1300 Top 10" existed in 1972, it is a present-day creation reflecting one person's musical tastes and is completely made up. (talk) 16:28, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

Stairway to Heaven single

Over the years I've heard alot about "Stairway to Heaven" never being released as a single but I have one in my possession and am wondering how common or rare it may be! It was released by Atlantic Records, and is called "Led Zeppelin Acoustically" and I aquired it in the 70's . It is a 45 r.p.m. 7" single, (code EPA 228) and has a maroon cover with a black and white photo of some of the band live in concert on the front. The 'A' side features "That's The Way" and "Going To California" and the 'B' side features "Stairway To Heaven" Does anyone out there have any info on this particular version that could help me out eg. when was it released and was it only limited? Lahne8 (talk) 10:02, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

It was never officially released as a single, meaning a version that was sold in retail stores and distributed to radio DJs. I suspect that your disc was a special promo item of some sort, maybe for a foreign market. You may or may not have a big-time collectible on your hands. I don't know for sure, but there's a big community of collectors out there and someone might know something about your disc. Browse this: Zep collectibles search. Doomsdayer520 (Talk|Contribs) 23:25, 2 January 2010 (UTC)

Similarities to Taurus

This page says S to H "bears a close resemblance" to Taurus by Spirit, but the page for the Spirit page says that it is "now widely accepted" that Zeppelin copied the baseline. It seems like either the Zep fans are underplaying this or Spirit fans are exaggerating it. There should be more consistency between the pages. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:32, 29 August 2009 (UTC)

Actually, the current Spirit page says finger-picking not bassline. However, point taken. It's worth referencing in the article. --Candy (talk) 21:27, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Not banned on radiowaves

I just heard this song on the radio a few nights ago. There is no way it could be taken off the air.

And your point is? --Candy (talk) 22:04, 24 September 2009 (UTC)

Pink Floyd?

Someone played a version to me they told me was Pink Floyd and Led Zepelin playing this together. YouTube seems to have a number of uploads containing this as well, although all of them have their claims disputed in the feedback? Is there a definitive answer on whether this recording ever happened? MrMarmite (talk) 08:32, 19 October 2009 (UTC)

I have read most of the books about both Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd and can't remember any mentions that the two bands ever did anything together. If the claim that "someone" made to you is true it would be a major blockbuster for rock history, but then why isn't it common knowledge? Doomsdayer520 (Talk|Contribs) 19:19, 2 January 2010 (UTC)