Jeff Lybarger's Song OF The Day

Subj: Song of the day LII
Date: 97-05-20 07:12:38 EDT
From: OUTRIDERJL
To: zeppelin-l@listserv.acsu.buffalo.edu

Greetings all. Hope every one of you is doing fine and well. With summer just around the corner, the time is perfect for sunshine, good music, long talks with those close to us and the promise of brighter tomorrows. Also the perfect time for complete silliness. So today we shall take a look back to the 4th wonder of the world, Zeppelin 4 that is. Untitled, Runes, Zoso or the one between III and Houses. HaHa! Track five, clocking in at 4:39, a truly wacky song, "Misty Mountain Hop."

Jonsey gets everything started on his electric piano, then Jimmy joins him, doubling the riff on the Gibson. A catchy, goofy kind of riff, with an infectious groove to it. One simply cannot sit down when listening to this song. You just have to get up and move, dance, jog, jump, roll around on the ground or go jump on a swing and let your spirit soar high into the sky.

     "Walking in the park just the other day baby,
      waddya, waddya think I saw...
      crowds of people sitting on the grass with flowers
         in their hair said,
      "Hey boy, do you wanna score?"
       ... and you know how it is
       I really don't know what time it was,
       woah oh oh
       so I asked them if I could stay awhile"

Once you can figure out what the heck he's singing here it makes the song so much more enjoyable. These lyrics are so... what's the word? Funny? Off-the-wall? Just a typical day in the park in the late '60's early '70's I suppose. It just kills me at the "do you wanna score" part when he says, "and you know how it is." The way he says that line is hilarious. The next part gets better.

       "I didn't notice but it had gotten very dark and I was
           really, really out of my mind
        Just then a policeman stepped up to me asked us said
           "please, hey, would we care, to all get in line, get in line"
        Well ya know...
        They asked us to stay for tea, and have some fun
        whoa, oh oh
        He said that his friends would all drop by
        whoo hoo hoo"

You following this story? A party in the park, people wasted and having tea with the police? Ok. Hmmm. This is what I love about Robert's lyrics, his tongue is so far in his cheek at times you don't know when to take him serious. A good, upbeat, fun song like this shouldn't be about the enviornment though, which is why the lyrics fit perfectly.

Then Robert gets serious, changes direction and hits on some interesting points.

       "Why don't you take a good look at yourself and describe 
            what you see, and baby baby baby do you like it?
         There you sit sitting spare like a book on a shelf rustin',
         ahhh, not trying to fight it
         You really don't care if their coming,
         whoa oh oh
         I know that it's all, a state of mind...
         whoo ooh ooh"

Jimmy embarks on a very melodic solo, short and to the point and we're back to Robert and his words of wisdom.

        "If you go down in the streets today baby you'd better,
            you'd better open your eyes
         whoa ohh yeah
         folk down there really don't care really don't care, don't care, really don't
         which, which way the pressure lies
         ... So I've decided what I'm gonna do now,
         So I'm packing my bags for the Misty Mountains...
             where the spirits go now
         Over the hills where the spirits fly
         ooh ooh ooh"

Bizarre, sometimes hard to understand lyrics, but yet fun. Gotta love that "really don't care" section. The neat thing about Robert's vocals on this song is the way he doubles, maybe even triple tracks some of the parts, and doesn't sing in the conventional way, kind of talk-singing if you will, then when he enters with just the one single track he does so with much force. The vocals, the way they were recorded, and the effect they have are such a vital part to this song. Jonsey and Page lock in on the riff, and Bonzo plays some very cool drum patterns, but the vocals really grab your attention... and hold it.

Zeppelin didn't really pull this one out on the raod that much. The European 1971 tour being an exception, as well as the Japan 1972 tour and the US 1973 shows. The wouldn't bring it back out until much later, at Copenhagen and Knebworth in 1979. Robert loves this song and jammed on it on his last few solo tours. Post Zeppelin airings with Jimmy included the Knebworth 1990 show, a one-off at the Hammersmith 1988 show, and of course the Atlantic 40th birthday party.

So throw some flowers in your hair, crank up the stereo, and let the music be your master. "Misty Mountain Hop" allows us to see that humourous side of Zeppelin, a side they allowed us to see every so often. Great groove, great vibes, the perfect tonic for anyone needing the right pick-me-up. Till the next time...

Rock on,

Jeff

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