Jeff Lybarger's Song OF The Day

Subj: Song of the day XXXII
Date: 97-02-20 06:40:13 EST
From: OUTRIDERJL@AOL.COM (Jeff Lybarger)

HeeHeeHeeHeeHee!!! Ah, a little humour can be so fun. Told you all eventually I'd get around to doing a very SHORT song of the day, and yesterday I finally achieved that. So welcome back from Stonesville, today we'll visit a very beautiful place. A place where only a select few are allowed entry. It takes a special person to go here you see, because this is the land where hearts and dreams get crushed. Why does it take someone special? Because you have to be willing to open your heart, and so few have that desire anymore. Our society believes in looking out for numero uno, screw the other guy, and whatever happens, never become emotionally involved. Such a sad statement. See, those people will never be here, they'll never invade our special island, our place for those who dare...

So journey with me my friends, back to Led Zeppelin III, side two, track two, clocking in at 3:12, the theme song for the broken-hearted, "Tangerine".

A bizarre count in from Jimmy, and then, one of this musical genius' finest acoustic moments in all his storied career. The guitar that he provides for us is stunningly simple, amazingly beautiful, and all the while conveying the emotion that we'll later hear in the words. A true masterpiece from the man who has written so many.

       "Measuring a summer's day
        I only find it slips... away, to grey
        The hours they bring me pain

        Tangerine, Tangerine
        living reflections, from a dream
        I was her love, she was my queen
        and now a thousand years between

        Thinking how it used to be
        does she still remember times like these
        To think of us again
        ... And I do"

Robert's vocal performance on this track is superb. Such emotion, the pain is in his voice, and I mean that in the most generous sense. He really FEELS this song. What some may not realise is that Robert didn't write the lyrics in this song. Jimmy did. Yes, the man who prefers to let his guitar do the talking, penned these beautiful heart-felt words.

After " and I do", Jimmy introduces yet another facet to his incredible talents, the slide guitar. His lyrical solo is picture perfect. Not one note too much, not one too little, simply perfect. Jimmy's sense of knowing exactly what a song requires is amazing. The fact that he's always had this uncanny ability is what is so impressive. He didn't develop this along the way, it was already there.

The song slips back into the chorus following Jimmy's solo, and then, just as quickly as it started, it's over. But in 3:12, Zeppelin say more than just about any other band could in an entire album.

One must also comment on the subtle yet effective organ work from John Paul Jones. You almost don't notice it with all the guitars, the beautiful lyrics and Robert's excellent performance, but take out Jones and the track would suffer.

The manner in which Jimmy chose to close this song out is another example of pure musical genius. Such a gorgeous, and off the wall ending.

Zeppelin performed this live in the acoustic set in September of 1971 in Japan, and it stayed in the set until the summer of 1972. Brought back for Earl's Court in 1975, where Jimmy chose the famous double-neck to do the honours. Page/Plant also performed this on a few of the dates on their tour.

"Tangerine" is a prime example why all other bands that try to be like Zeppelin will always fall short. The diversity of the talent in the group is what made songs like this possible. Nobody else has that, plain and simple.

As for Jimmy writing the lyrics, one reason is that "Tangerine" is a song leftover from the Yardbird days. Thankfully they didn't get around to recording this, and it was saved for Zep. And as far as Jimmy writing lyrics altogether, I believe the next time he wrote words to a song with no help from anyone wasn't until "Death Wish II", and the song "Who's To Blame", some 12 years later.

A sweet, intense song of love, of love lost, and reflecting on those feelings. A touching and inspiring moment, from the archives of Led Zeppelin. Untill we meet again, have yourselves a wonderful day...

Rock on,


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