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bluecongo

Take of the Fruit but Guard the Seed

40 posts in this topic

38 minutes ago, Sems Fir said:

The wonderful thing about song lyrics is that they are open to interpretation and can be seen in many different ways.  It’s no secret Carouselambra is Robert penning his point of view of living in the “fish bowl” at the time.  The lyric line “take of the fruit, but guard the seed” for me means it’s okay to indulge in sex (the fruit) but protect (i.e. guard) the seed once it’s sown (i.e. the child) that spouts from the seed.  Unfortunately, Robert is reminiscing stating he should’ve been there to guard (protect) Karac and he was not.  He was off being the rock star in Led Zeppelin away from home when his family needed him there.  For Robert I think one of the hardest things he has to live with is that he was not there to be able to say goodbye to the son he adored and loved.

For me the lyric lines that are the most haunting to him are “I heard the words, I couldn’t stay, I couldn’t stand it another day.”  I believe this references that fateful phone call he received in New Orleans with the news that Karac had passed, hence he “heard the words” over the phone.  From that point on Robert didn’t want to be in Zeppelin any longer, and “couldn’t stand it (being a member of Led Zeppelin) another day.”  Hence his thought of leaving for a teaching position, and wanting out of Led Zeppelin.

The sisters mentioned in the first line I believe are Maureen and her sister at home bidding their time in quiet peace in England away from the crazy lifestyle of living on the road.  Waiting for a call that may never come, may be Robert describing how he knew the current lifestyle of some of the members of the band and their entourage could end tragically if kept up (including maybe for Plant) hence the call Maureen may never receive stating something tragic happened to him.

Robert likes to shroud his lyrics with hidden meanings and used the “deep and meaningless” comment to deflect discussing that hard time period in his life in my opinion.  Carouselambra is my favorite Led Zeppelin song and I collect the In Through The Out Door timeframe as a focus.  I could give my interpretation of each lyric line, but they are just my opinion.  Only Robert could confirm what he was trying to state.  That’s my take on the line “take of the fruit, but guard the seed” with a little extra thrown in.

Robert

Excellent post.

I always took "Take of the Fruit, but guard the seed" as "take me, but leave my Son alone." 

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1 hour ago, Sems Fir said:

The wonderful thing about song lyrics is that they are open to interpretation and can be seen in many different ways.  It’s no secret Carouselambra is Robert penning his point of view of living in the “fish bowl” at the time.  The lyric line “take of the fruit, but guard the seed” for me means it’s okay to indulge in sex (the fruit) but protect (i.e. guard) the seed once it’s sown (i.e. the child) that spouts from the seed.  Unfortunately, Robert is reminiscing stating he should’ve been there to guard (protect) Karac and he was not.  He was off being the rock star in Led Zeppelin away from home when his family needed him there.  For Robert I think one of the hardest things he has to live with is that he was not there to be able to say goodbye to the son he adored and loved.

For me the lyric lines that are the most haunting to him are “I heard the words, I couldn’t stay, I couldn’t stand it another day.”  I believe this references that fateful phone call he received in New Orleans with the news that Karac had passed, hence he “heard the words” over the phone.  From that point on Robert didn’t want to be in Zeppelin any longer, and “couldn’t stand it (being a member of Led Zeppelin) another day.”  Hence his thought of leaving for a teaching position, and wanting out of Led Zeppelin.

The sisters mentioned in the first line I believe are Maureen and her sister at home bidding their time in quiet peace in England away from the crazy lifestyle of living on the road.  Waiting for a call that may never come, may be Robert describing how he knew the current lifestyle of some of the members of the band and their entourage could end tragically if kept up (including maybe for Plant) hence the call Maureen may never receive stating something tragic happened to him.

Robert likes to shroud his lyrics with hidden meanings and used the “deep and meaningless” comment to deflect discussing that hard time period in his life in my opinion.  Carouselambra is my favorite Led Zeppelin song and I collect the In Through The Out Door timeframe as a focus.  I could give my interpretation of each lyric line, but they are just my opinion.  Only Robert could confirm what he was trying to state.  That’s my take on the line “take of the fruit, but guard the seed” with a little extra thrown in.

Robert

In all fairness, Karac got sick and passed very quickly - so to say Robert was not there when his family needed him, well maybe to a point in general. But it wasn't as if Karac was sick and Robert just left to tour anyways. 

 

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7 minutes ago, tenyearsgone21 said:

In all fairness, Karac got sick and passed very quickly - so to say Robert was not there when his family needed him, well maybe to a point in general. But it wasn't as if Karac was sick and Robert just left to tour anyways. 

 

I'm well aware of that, and didn't state that in my explanation.  My point is Robert wasn't home to "guard" his son from the illness that set upon Karac.  He was away on tour.  I feel Robert is stating protect (guard) your children as they are the most precious gift.

Robert

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Posted (edited)

On 6/19/2017 at 10:58 PM, Strider said:

I wonder if subconsciously Plant didn't start to have doubts about Page and Grant? They had allowed money to come before family and that must have been cause for Plant to question their priorities.

Now I've got friends who will give me their shoulder,
Event I should happen to fall
Time and his bride growing older
I've got friends who will give me fuck all

Hots On For Nowhere

 

I think you may be right Strider but they might not be subconscious anymore but a direct shot at the band and management . . He was clearly pissed about the aftermath of Greece as I think he was voicing on HOFN. . This was G and JP's baby from the start and expectations were exceeded 1000000 fold . . They werent family men like Percy and Bonzo per say because LZ was their family. . Their EVERYTHING. .  It was more than just a business to these two. . And while Percy probably had all the $ he would probably ever need by the age of 24 family was top priority. . Many have said he was done after his son died and Carouselambra TO ME was the notice given to the landlord. . Def one of Robert's finest moments that didnt come out of the squeezing of a lemon. . 

 

What a great thread:)

PS Do you think Robert's vocals were buried because of the message within the song?  And to fall to fate and make the 'status plan'. . What is said after this??

Edited by Bozoso73

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On 6/20/2017 at 0:58 AM, Strider said:

I wonder if subconsciously Plant didn't start to have doubts about Page and Grant? They had allowed money to come before family and that must have been cause for Plant to question their priorities.

to me it all started and ended with Grant, it was his bloody act.

Given how much money was already committed when Plant left to attend family, Grant held out hope and even gave assurances that Plant would return and the tour would resume at some point.

..."They had to stay...." was directed at Grant's leverage on the band and crew to stay, that business is business. The crew were required to stay.  Dunno about JPJ whereabouts but Page was reputed to be indisposed and missing. Since I was not there it would be poor form to state he was is an opium den with TVs and other and that he was a soul obedient to a master.

The havoc surrounding the band from '75 forward was a management decision. It was allowed and encouraged.
The event becoming about the event rather than the music was a management decision. [this prevents LZ to this day]
Presence recording was a management decision.
ITTOD was a management decision.
Knebworth was a management decision.
Over Europe was a management decision.
America was a management decision.

Peter Grant... where was your helping
Jimmy Page...where did you go where was your bow

 

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Posted (edited)

The lyric "Take of the fruit but guard the seed" can mean several things, however, one thing it does not, cannot mean is a reference to his son Karac. Karac was Robert's son, the "fruit" of his loins and Robert would be the seed, not the other way around. So, unless Robert is the most narcissistic douche on the planet, that lyric cannot reference Karac.

Given what comes before and after, the most likely interpretation would be that the fruit would be Robert's gifts as a vocalist and a songwriter. The seed would be Robert himself, his friendship, his trust. Jimmy and Grant not showing up for the funeral of Karac likely wounded Plant deeply as Jimmy & Grant were his mentors. As was pointed out with HOFN, Plant likely felt slighted after the accident on Rhodes though I am not really sure how. However, not showing up for your bandmates son's funeral is a pretty shitty thing and if that were me I would be quite upset unless there was a damn good reason.

JPJ gets a pass because before the NO date, there was a break. As a result, Jones took the family and went camping for a week in Northern California if memory serves. 1977 was not 2017 or even 1997, there were no cell phones, no computers. If you were not at home or at a known location with services you were off the grid for all intent and purpose. Jones likely did not even know what happened until after Karak's funeral. 

Regarding Jimmy, I have no clue what happened to him during the planned band respite between the Oakland gig's and the scheduled NO gig on July 30th. Grant however had no excuse.

The lyrical point of Carouselambra seems pretty obvious to me, nothing veiled, it's in your face. Plus with Jimmy being smacked out he likely had no clue the lyrics were referencing him directly. As was pointed out on an earlier post, Page possibly took the meaning of the lyrics as references to esoterica instead of the more likely, and obvious true meanings. After all, esoterica was Jimmy's thing, not Robert's, so unless Robert all of a sudden decided to dive into obscure occult studies, the possibility of such is highly unlikely. Plant is a historian, not an occultist, and from those lyrics a rather pissed off historian at that.

 

Edited by IpMan

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17 minutes ago, IpMan said:

The lyric "Take of the fruit but guard the seed" can mean several things, however, one thing it does not, cannot mean is a reference to his son Karac. Karac was Robert's son, the "fruit" of his loins and Robert would be the seed, not the other way around.

 

I have been thinking the same thing! 

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A topic never mentioned as far as the Page/ Plant relationship that went afoul. Did Page feel any resentment toward Robert Plant about Scarlett Page potentially being killed in the accident in Greece?

Just because Jimmy doesn't write the lyrics how does anyone know how he felt about that situation.

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8 hours ago, porgie66 said:

I have been thinking the same thing! 

"Take of the Seed, but guard the fruit" would be a pretty tough lyric to pull off though. I think the intention and meaning is still there. 

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Posted (edited)

Plant is being made out here to be some kind of saint, preaching the rights and wrongs of morality to bandmates within this song. Meanwhile, not only is he fully indulging in the spoils of success to his hearts delight, he's also had serious affairs (not just groupies) and went as far as to actually writing several songs about them including one after his sons death (Hot Dog). So, on one album we have Carouselambra where he is supposedly reprimanding the band for whatever, and another song (Hot Dog) where he is bemoaning the loss of one of his girlfriends. Talk about having your cake and eating it too...

JPJ was given a pass by IpMan for missing the funeral "he was on family vacation, no cell phones" :lol:. But that dirty Jimmy Page doesn't get one :(

Its all pure conjecture...isn't it?

Edited by blindwillie127

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1 hour ago, blindwillie127 said:

Plant is being made out here to be some kind of saint, preaching the rights and wrongs of morality to bandmates within this song. Meanwhile, not only is he fully indulging in the spoils of success to his hearts delight, he's also had serious affairs (not just groupies) and went as far as to actually writing several songs about them including one after his sons death (Hot Dog). So, on one album we have Carouselambra where he is supposedly reprimanding the band for whatever, and another song (Hot Dog) where he is bemoaning the loss of one of his girlfriends. Talk about having your cake and eating it too...

JPJ was given a pass by IpMan for missing the funeral "he was on family vacation, no cell phones" :lol:. But that dirty Jimmy Page doesn't get one :(

Its all pure conjecture...isn't it?

Believe it or not a human being can actually have more than one thought and emotion going simultaneously. Further, Plant is not, IMO, lashing out at the whole band but rather Page & Grant exclusively. Of course by your train of thought every album made must be a concept album because, heaven forbid, more than one topic or idea is expressed.

The JPJ pass is legitimate for reasons so obvious nothing further needs explanation. Page does not necessarily get a pass if the reason he was incommunicado was due to his indulgence in substance abuse. Page was supposed to be the leader of the band, not Jones, and thus while on the road or in the studio should have been in control and available. The fact that Page (leader) could not be reached is sad. However, again IMO, Grant was the most to blame as he was the damn manager. As much as I don't like Richard Cole at least HE was available and was gracious enough to attend the funeral. For all the dropped balls and screw ups on the 77' tour, Grant should have been fired and new, capable management found. In 77's Grant was a coked up, drug addled behemoth with serious anger management issues. He could not even manage himself much less the band.

Robert indeed had quite a bit to be upset about however one also needs to get over it and move on. Looks like he did both.

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11 minutes ago, IpMan said:

Believe it or not a human being can actually have more than one thought and emotion going simultaneously. Further, Plant is not, IMO, lashing out at the whole band but rather Page & Grant exclusively. Of course by your train of thought every album made must be a concept album because, heaven forbid, more than one topic or idea is expressed.

The JPJ pass is legitimate for reasons so obvious nothing further needs explanation. Page does not necessarily get a pass if the reason he was incommunicado was due to his indulgence in substance abuse. Page was supposed to be the leader of the band, not Jones, and thus while on the road or in the studio should have been in control and available. The fact that Page (leader) could not be reached is sad. However, again IMO, Grant was the most to blame as he was the damn manager. As much as I don't like Richard Cole at least HE was available and was gracious enough to attend the funeral. For all the dropped balls and screw ups on the 77' tour, Grant should have been fired and new, capable management found. In 77's Grant was a coked up, drug addled behemoth with serious anger management issues. He could not even manage himself much less the band.

Robert indeed had quite a bit to be upset about however one also needs to get over it and move on. Looks like he did both.

No reason to get bent out of shape dude. Its just my opinion on the matter. Obviously, a little pushback on the topic is unacceptable to you. Since this topic is much more important to you than me, I will discontinue my comments on this subject. On with the polemic...

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8 hours ago, blindwillie127 said:

No reason to get bent out of shape dude. Its just my opinion on the matter. Obviously, a little pushback on the topic is unacceptable to you. Since this topic is much more important to you than me, I will discontinue my comments on this subject. On with the polemic...

You were the one who directly called me out in your post yet you feel my response was outrageous? Here is a suggestion: Don't treat people like an ass and then try to gaslight them when they respond.

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I always felt that Robert's niche as an artist/vocalist was finding a sound first and somehow matching words to it.
That's what this song sounds like to me, all of his work actually but this song in particular, which is one of my favourites,
and one of the most amazing vocal performancses I've ever heard.

So while it's fun and interesting to hear everyone's interpretation of the lyrics, I think that's all it is.
Everyone's interpretation is just a reflection of their own thoughts and feelings on...I guess Zep? Or their drama? Obviously it's what
ever you want it to be.

These lyrics, imo, are so far out there that I think even Robert himself would have trouble connecting them from his own sub-conscious to some sort of
concrete meaning, because at best that's all it is. Like any dream, it might mean this or that or nothing at all.

It's the complete opposite of say, Ted Hawkins' Sorry You're Sick or Woodie Guthries' This Land Is My Land.
Not much mistaking what those songs mean. Personally I would throw Caraselll-how the fuck do--you spell it--in the same bin as
I Am the Walrus and Come Together. Pretty sure we all know what those songs mean by now.
 
Anyways, great thread.

 

 

 

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Everybody can have their own interpretations of lyrics. But without rehashing many previous posts, there are just too many

lyrics on Presence and Carouselambra that point to Robert's disenchantment with the band. Although the seed and fruit thing

really seems like a clever, multilayered line that can't be easily pinned down. But isn't that the best poetry ? Some may prefer

much more direct "real life" lyrics, without analogies, metaphors, or allegories, blah, blah. Or mix everything together, some

real life and some speculative meanings ? No right or wrong.

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