Jeff Lybarger's Song OF The Day

Subj: Song of the day XXV
Date: 97-02-03 07:37:20 EST
From: OUTRIDERJL@AOL.COM (Jeff Lybarger)
Sender: zeppelin-l@LISTSERV.ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU (DIGITAL GRAFFITI)
Reply-to: OUTRIDERJL@AOL.COM
To: ZEPPELIN-L@LISTSERV.ACSU.BUFFALO.EDU

Good morning all. One thing I've noticed as of late, it seems DG is getting more new people on the list everyday and so much of the posts are centered around the music. It's really been such a blast to read everybody's thoughts lately. DG is a pretty special place, ya know? Anyway, onward! This morning we will take a look back to 1975, the Physical Graffiti album, and disc two, track one, clocking in at 8:46, "In The Light".

From the opening notes we have a sense that something special is happening. No ordinary song, this. John Paul sets the mood instantly, creating a breathtaking landscape of sound while a trance like peace fills the air around us. The music in these opening moments is so calming, you can feel you are losing yourself at once, and yet the feeling is a very positive vibe. To lose one's self in music, to block out all that is around you, and to become one with your thoughts, what better way for an artist to share their gift than to create this atmosphere.

As Robert enters the mood continues, his vocal soothing and reassuring, almost like the comforting of a close friend. The message here is simple, and straight to the point:

       ...And if you feel that you can't go on
          and your wheels sinking low
          just believe and you can't go wrong
          In the light, you will find the road
          you will find the road...

There is much to be admired in those words. "Just believe and you can't go wrong", very powerful message there. The mood suddenly changes course, as Bonzo blasts in and lifts everything up, then as they settle into the next verse section Jimmy plays a rather ominous sounding riff. What Robert sings in the first two lines of the verse are some of his most beautiful lyrics.

       Hey Ooh, did you ever believe that I could leave you
       standing... out in the cold
       Hey yeah baby, I know how it feels
       cause I've slipped through to the very depths of my soul

Here he speaks as someone who's been there and done that, and not to worry, though things may be trying sometimes, I won't leave you, and you can make it through. He ends the verse by asking to share the load. "Let me share your load..."

A quick note on the lyrics. In the opening I always thought he said " and your will's sinking low". In the Physical Graffiti song book they list it as I have above. To me, this makes more sense. "and your wheel's sinking low". Somehow, this just seems more like what Robert might say. It could very well be "will's", but I like the way "wheel's" sounds. It adds to the meaning. On the "share your load", I always thought he said "share your love", but that really doesn't make sense, "load" makes more sense. Just file this under more MisLED lyrics. Now, back to the song.

After the verse we are taken back to Jonsey and that peaceful organ work. Robert repeats the opening lyrics and once again the song kicks back in. At this point Robert brings us some more beautifully written lines.

      Hey Oh oh the winds of change may blow 'round you
      but that will always be so
      Oh whoa whoa
      when love is pain it can devour you
      but you are never alone

At this point the song really lifts up, Robert singing how we all need the light, and the interplay between Jimmy and Bonzo is absolutely incredible. Jimmy has overdubbed guitars all over the outro, each playing little lead lines, complimenting each other and adding to the good feeling in the music, while Bonzo again shows his diversified talents. As if the entire song isn't good enough, what they do on the outro just makes it that much better. Quite a special song.

Certainly John Paul is the focal point here, his playing so inspiring, and the band compliment each section so well. This is a perfect example of four musicians working as one. Sadly, Zeppelin never offered a live reading of this number. How special that could have been on the 1977 tour. Take out "No Quarter" and insert this one. Many would complain because "No Quarter" was such a live staple, but this would have made for a very interesting concert song.

Several tidbits about "In The Light". Originally this song started out as "In The Morning". Certainly different than "Light", and the CD that I have of them working on this song is extremely interesting. A neat insight to the Zeppelin way of songwriting.

Though I've never heard Bach's Cantata No.140: Wachetauf, Ruft uns Die Stimme, 4th movement, it is said to bear an uncanny resemblance to the opening of "Light".

To me "In The Light" represents Zeppelin at their most positive. The main point of the song, as I see it, is that we all go through trying times, struggles, and bouts of questioning things in our life, but keep faith in one's self and know that your true friends are there. The "winds of change" will always be around us, but greet them and conquer them and learn from them. This is how we grow spiritually, and in the end, it makes us as people, the better for it.

Quite a lot of heavy stuff in an eight minute song, huh? This is one more reason that Zeppelin are so special to me. Because every once in a while they took a moment to reflect on life and sometimes provided answers, sometimes they just told us that hey, ya know, we go through the same stuff as you, the fan. And that's why we feel such a close bond to this group of musicians.

One final thought: If "Kashmir" is the great "Sex Song", that love-making romp to the land of blissful ecstacy, then "In The Light" is the cigarette afterwards. Another case in point that the running order on Physical Graffiti is perfect, as is.

Till we meet again...

Peace and love all,

Jeff

Dedicated to the loving memory of Marilyn Overall- May 23, 1940- January 31, 1997.
A loving wife and mother, a friend, an inspiration.

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