Jeff Lybarger's Song OF The Day

Subj: Song of the day XVIII
Date: 96-12-18 09:59:50 EST
From: OUTRIDERJL@AOL.COM (Jeff Lybarger)

Well good morning. I see we're all present and accounted for. So, shall we begin? With winter kicking in full force I thought it fitting that we should journey back to the days of vikings, wandering oe'r the land and fighting battle after battle. Tough fellows they were, and you have to be tough when you hail from the land of ice and snow. So follow me won't you, as we revisit Led Zeppelin III, track one, clocking in at 2:26, "Immigrant Song"

THE RIFF! James, Jonsey and Bonham locked together like battering rams, while Robert cries out a classic call to the gods.

      "Ahh a ahhhh    AHH
       Ahh a ahhhh    AHH
       We come from the land of the ice and snow
       from the midnight sun
       where the hot springs glow

       Hammer of the gods
       will drive our ships to new land
       fight the hull, sing and cry
       Valhalla I am coming"

Well, Zeppelin sure knew how to grab someone's attention. The imagery they could create in their music was incredible. There's something eerie and mystical about this track. That driving riff, Plant's vocals wailiing above. The power of this group in new found glory, coming into their own in a way only hinted at before. And people call this their "mellow" album.

It was this song that Robert really started to develop a style with his lyrics. Rising above the simple love/lust songs, and exploring foreign territory. And we get to tag along for the ride. 2:26, that's about as short a song as they ever did, and yet the lasting imprint was and is still felt. How many metal bands have tried, in vain, to duplicate that power?

Led Zeppelin premiered this song at the Bath festival in 1970. Jimmy would add a solo, and the verse section would vary a little compared to the album version that had yet to be released. "Immigrant Song" would open every show from Bath to the ' 72 U.S. tour. In the UK and Japan shows in ' 72-' 73 it would be used as an encore. Robert would revisit this track in his solo shows circa ' 88 and ' 90. On the Page/Plant tour and it's succesive legs, they would employ this as an intro/kickstart to "Wanton Song", adding tension in the key shift from F# to G major.

A classic piece of Zeppelin history, another I would have loved them to play live more frequently. Jimmy? Robert? Are you listening?

       "Tonight you better stop
        and repent of all your ruin
        peace and justice can win the day
        despite of all your losin' "

Till tomorrow...

Rock on,


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