Jeff Lybarger's Song OF The Day

Subj: Song of the day VII
Date: 96-12-03 22:16:15 EST
From: OUTRIDERJL@AOL.COM (Jeff Lybarger)

Well, jolly good evening to all. Hey, no problems getting on-line tonight. YEAH! So, you ready? Let's get this thing rollin'. This evenings little gem comes to us via the "Brown Bomber", Led Zeppelin II, track 2, clocking in at 4:47, "What Is And What Sould Never Be".

     ..."And if I say to you tomorrow...
         take my hand child come with me
         it's to a castle I will take you....
         what's to be they say will be

What an opening to a song. The soft music and the fantasy lyrics instantly transport us to a dream-like state. There are a lot of people who would pay good money to feel like this, and Zeppelin takes us there in song. The lazy (in a good way) feel of this tune, that "everything is cool" atmosphere, the way the thing just GLIDES off of the disc and into our ears, so difficult to achieve and yet they make it seem so simple.

Considering this track follows "WLL" where we feel like we're in the middle of the Hindenburg crash with that wild mid section makes this all the more amazing. Jimmy lays back and plays so delicately as Robert weaves this tale of love and castles, and then Bonham just explodes into the chorus, and just as quickly, we're back to dream land. Jimmy plays a beautiful slide solo before yet another lift off.

Classic Zeppelin, the "light and shade" Jimmy always refers to. Robert really shines vocally and lyrically, hard to believe this was one of his first attempts at song writing. It is also the first of the "fantasy, Tolkien" type songs. Up to now the lyrics dealt with love, relationships, sex, broken hearts etc. And though the reference is short, it's like a prelude of things to come. Castles, Tolkien, Misty mountains, these and other references would find their way into Roberts words, but the seed was planted here.

As we wind and glide our way along we come to the famous "echo" section. Jimmy in the studio doing a rather simple thing, using stereo to it's full effect, but the impression has lasted over all these years. That simple riff: Duhnant, Duhnant then bouncing to the other speaker: Duhnant, Duhnant. Then full frontal assault: Duh na na nant. Please forgive the really wretched way of trying to TYPE Jimmy's riff, but you know what I mean here.

The outro has Robert adlibbing all over the place while the band just wails behind him. Riffs spew to and fro and capture the essence of how good they were at just jamming within the framework of a song, yet still stretching the boundaries.

Interestingly, this song was played at the "UnLeded" shows and left off the "No Quarter" disc. I've got a copy on a single for "Gallows Pole", and they do a very nice version. In Zep this song was only played live for a few years, mainly late ' 69 U.S. up to June of ' 72. If they had played EVERYTHING though, the shows would have been about eight hours long, of course we wouldn't have complained. This is another example of Zeps diversity, mellow, rocking, light, shade, it finds the band hitting another of those peaks they seemed to hit whenever they felt like it.

For tomorrow, I've got a very special song of the day planned. These will come up occaisionally, certain things and events dictate when, so, till tomorrow...

Rock on, Jeff

back to the SotD Home Page