Jeff Lybarger's Song OF The Day

Subj: Song of the day XLII
Date: 97-03-24 18:28:13 EST
From: OUTRIDERJL@AOL.COM (Jeff Lybarger)

Good day fellow Zeppelin fanatics. How was your Monday? Mine was, uh, rather interesting, but anyway, onward. Today I thought we would take a look at the first song that Robert wrote lyrics for, or so he has said. A simple song really, a sweet song, an intense song, a song, of love. From the Zeppelin II album, track four, clocking in at 4:46, "Thank You".

Jimmy begins things with a very delicate guitar passage, setting the mood for one of Zeppelin's more personal musical statements. As Bonzo and Jonsey enter, the song kicks in a little, just before Robert gives us these beautiful lines:

      "If the sun refused to shine,
       I would still be loving you...
       When mountains crumble to the sea,
       There would still be you and me...

       Kind woman I give you my all,
       kind woman, nothing more...

       Little drops of rain,
       whisper of the pain...
       tears of loves lost in the days gone by,
       My love is strong,
       with you there is no wrong...
       together we shall go until we die,

       Inspiration's what you are to me,
       Inspiration... look... see...

Wow, what do you say after that? Absolutely beautiful. First song he ever wrote words for? Oh man. The passion in his voice is real, the words flow from the heart, the music, in this case, almost an afterthought. You almost don't notice it, because the words speak volumes, and you the listener are so caught up in those words. But then, just as a subtle reminder, Jimmy kicks in with a very beautifully executed acoustic solo. And then we are swept away in the music, almost forgetting the lyrics, Jimmy reaches for, and hits notes that ring out of true happiness, almost a "sigh" of relief, yes, finally, love has found it's way to my heart.

Perhaps that doesn't happen to you, but I'll never forget that feeling when I first heard this song. And it continues to make me feel this way, so many years down the road. Bonham is so good here, laying back for the most part, but when he explodes, man the dynamics are awesome. And what about Jonsey? That subtle and mellow organ work keeps everything right in place. He never steps on Robert's toes here, just adding to the beauty of the song, like the genius that he is.

      "And so today my world it smiles,
       your hand in mind...
       we walk the miles,
       Thanks to you, it will be done,
       For you to me are the only one...

       Happiness, no more being sad,
       Happiness, I'm glad...

       If the sun refused to shine,
       I would still be loving you...
       Mountain's crumble to the sea,
       There would still be you... and me..."

Ahhhh, is that not one of the most beautiful songs you've ever heard? The outro shows that arranger side of Jonsey, the music drifting away, slowly, hypnotically, till it fades out completely, then re-enters in the last few seconds with a glorious return. How many DJ's were fooled by that ending do you think?

"Thank You" is Robert's song to his wife at the time, Maureen, and what a statement it was. All four members of the group contribute heavily to this song, making it one of their many timeless classics. Consider where it appears on the album for a moment, following "Lemon Song", and three songs after the ultimate sex song, "Whole Lotta Love", to drop this tender ballad in took some guts, but what perfect placement.

Performed live first in the UK in 1970, then remaining in the set throughout the 1970-1973 shows, this was a highlight featuring Jonsey's keyboard solo's. Why they dropped it after that is anybody's guess. Most likely "No Quarter" took it's place. Jimmy and Robert revived it on the "Unleded" tour, and they changed it a bit, Jimmy playing the Gibson, and taking two solo's, this song was always a treat at their shows. They opened with it here in Kansas City, and it was quite an emotional moment, to say the least.

A very deep and personal statement from Led-Zeppelin, Robert in particular. Very inspiring, very touching, as usual, just what we have come to expect from them. Check it out, won't you. I feel like playing my guitar now...

Rock on,


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