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Ten Years Gone lyric interpretation -- any suggestions?


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Robertt Plant around 1975 has said this song was about a rememberance of a woman whom he ended a relationship with (in 1964 or '65 as a sixteen-year-old making it 10 years?) who made him choose between her or his music, wondering if they could relate to each other anymore, and that she would probably be more concerned with her washing machine, and he, his latest sports car (or something like that) ... I'm gonna try to decipher his (many times) obtuse lyrics:

Then, as it was, then again it will be

and though the course may change sometimes

rivers always reach the sea

What will be, will be ... que sera, sera?

Blind skies of fortune, each have separate ways

He had to take the chance for fame & fortune; she took the safe/comfortable way out.

On the wings of maybe, downing birds of prey

Taking chances, but are 'birds' --English for 'chicks' slang for women-- of prey those who want to shoot him down?

Kinda makes me feel sometimes, didn't have to go

but as the eagle leaves the nest, he's got so far to go

Wishes he didn't have to leave her, but he had to take his chance at the life of a singer.

Changes fill my time

Baby, that's alright with me

In the midst, I think of you and how it used to be

Pretty straight-forward here; he found his fame & fortune, and is currently reminiscing about her.

Did you ever really need somebody and really need 'em bad

Did you ever really want somebody, the best love you ever had

"First loves" can be pretty intense; is Plant saying she was the woman he loved most?? Or are these just some lyrics he had laying around in his notebook that he thought would fit in nice with the musical bridge? I really dont' know...(sorry, but the pun is totally unintended).

Do you ever remember me, baby, did it feel so good

'cause it was just the first time, and you knew you would

First love for the both of them? ... and is the 'you knew you would' part about (a) she would have to dump him eventually, or (b ) she knew she would fall in love? and/or have sex? I'm at a loss here ...

Do the eyes not sparkle, senses growing keen

Questioning if her life is utterly boring now.

Taste the love along the way, see your feathers preen

Whole lotta chicks for Percy, fixing up his looks before the concerts, or to 'pick up chicks.'

Kinda makes me feel sometimes, didn't have to go

We are eagles of one lair, the nest is in our soul

Lair is a resting place for an animal; we all want the same things? A happy home? This seems a contradiction to what Percy's been saying in most of the song. Is he having second thoughts?

Vixen in my dreams, with great surprise to me

Never thought I'd see your face the way it used to be

Hey, hey mama, said the way you move...; pretty straight-forward here.

Oh, darlin', oh, darlin', oh, oh darlin', hey-yeah, oh darlin'

I'm never gonna leave ya

Wh-wh-what??? In fact, he DID leave her! Or is he trying to justify things in his mind that he has indeed found his resting place with his wife at the time?

Ten years gone, holdin' on, ten years gone

Holding on to what? I know 'to hold on' means the same as 'to hang in there' against the odds, but is he pining for his first love, too? Seems to be.

I'm never gonna leave ya

Ten years gone, holdin' on, ten years gone

Ten years gone, holdin' on, ten years gone

Ten years gone, holdin' on, yeah, yeah

I said

Ten years gone, holdin' on, ten years gone

I said, I'm never, I'm never, I'm never, oh, woo, yeah, yeah

Edited by dpat
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I'm never gonna leave ya

Wh-wh-what??? In fact, he DID leave her! Or is he trying to justify things in his mind that he has indeed found his resting place with his wife at the time?

Ten years gone, holdin' on, ten years gone

Holding on to what? I know 'to hold on' means the same as 'to hang in there' against the odds, but is he pining for his first love, too? Seems to be.

She gave an ultimatum so it was probably her who left him. Regardless, I take "never gonna leave ya" and "holding on, ten years gone" to mean he cherished

his memories of her during what may have been a first love relationship and understandably reflected on it from time to time.

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Robertt Plant around 1975 has said this song was about a rememberance of a woman whom he ended a relationship with (in 1964 or '65 as a sixteen-year-old making it 10 years?) who made him choose between her or his music, wondering if they could relate to each other anymore, and that she would probably be more concerned with her washing machine, and he, his latest sports car (or something like that) ... I'm gonna try to decipher his (many times) obtuse lyrics:

Then, as it was, then again it will be

and though the course may change sometimes

rivers always reach the sea

What will be, will be ... que sera, sera?

Blind skies of fortune, each have separate ways

He had to take the chance for fame & fortune; she took the safe/comfortable way out.

On the wings of maybe, downing birds of prey

Taking chances, but are 'birds' --English for 'chicks' slang for women-- of prey those who want to shoot him down?

Kinda makes me feel sometimes, didn't have to go

but as the eagle leaves the nest, he's got so far to go

Wishes he didn't have to leave her, but he had to take his chance at the life of a singer.

Changes fill my time

Baby, that's alright with me

In the midst, I think of you and how it used to be

Pretty straight-forward here; he found his fame & fortune, and is currently reminiscing about her.

Did you ever really need somebody and really need 'em bad

Did you ever really want somebody, the best love you ever had

"First loves" can be pretty intense; is Plant saying she was the woman he loved most?? Or are these just some lyrics he had laying around in his notebook that he thought would fit in nice with the musical bridge? I really dont' know...(sorry, but the pun is totally unintended).

Do you ever remember me, baby, did it feel so good

'cause it was just the first time, and you knew you would

First love for the both of them? ... and is the 'you knew you would' part about (a) she would have to dump him eventually, or (b ) she knew she would fall in love? and/or have sex? I'm at a loss here ...

Do the eyes not sparkle, senses growing keen

Questioning if her life is utterly boring now.

Taste the love along the way, see your feathers preen

Whole lotta chicks for Percy, fixing up his looks before the concerts, or to 'pick up chicks.'

Kinda makes me feel sometimes, didn't have to go

We are eagles of one lair, the nest is in our soul

Lair is a resting place for an animal; we all want the same things? A happy home? This seems a contradiction to what Percy's been saying in most of the song. Is he having second thoughts?

Vixen in my dreams, with great surprise to me

Never thought I'd see your face the way it used to be

Hey, hey mama, said the way you move...; pretty straight-forward here.

Oh, darlin', oh, darlin', oh, oh darlin', hey-yeah, oh darlin'

I'm never gonna leave ya

Wh-wh-what??? In fact, he DID leave her! Or is he trying to justify things in his mind that he has indeed found his resting place with his wife at the time?

Ten years gone, holdin' on, ten years gone

Holding on to what? I know 'to hold on' means the same as 'to hang in there' against the odds, but is he pining for his first love, too? Seems to be.

I'm never gonna leave ya

Ten years gone, holdin' on, ten years gone

Ten years gone, holdin' on, ten years gone

Ten years gone, holdin' on, yeah, yeah

I said

Ten years gone, holdin' on, ten years gone

I said, I'm never, I'm never, I'm never, oh, woo, yeah, yeah

Hi 'dpat'

It starts off "Think, as It was, then again it may be" not "Then, as It was, then again it may be" it makes more sense that way and Misses BIGDAN is the one who pointed it out to me.

Good thread though. :thumbsup:

Regards, Danny

PS, I think its a Song about Maureen. :kiss:

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dpat - "Then as it was, then again it will be" - you're right.

Untill Mr Plant HIMSELF tells me otherwise and SHOWS ME the original notes of the Song as Solid Evidence and Proof I'll go with My own instincts and plum for "Think" as I can hear a "K" sound at the end of the word, and as Mr Plant proved in an interview during the page and plant era when HE coated a Led Zeppelin Song Book for misquoting HIS lyrics HE seems not to remember HIS OWN WORDS.

I always wondered why HE didn't bring out HIS own definitive song book just for HIS personal clarity then HE wouldn't have had to rely on someone else's interpretation of HIS pronunciations. And where are the original scripts or the songs themselves? I would have thought He would have cherished them as much as HIS children as we all know how the years play havoc with the memory don't we. :Thinking::o;):lol:

Regards, Danny

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I always thought it was 'We are eagles of wonder'. :huh: I guess you learn something new everyday.

I think it's a song of quiet reflection for things that have past. Maybe Robert wasn't singing about anyone in particular, but the nature of relationships and how we reflect back on how things used to be and cherish the memories.

Danny, sorry, I always hear 'Then as it was, then again it will be'. Maybe you should get your ears tested for a hearing aid! :lol:

Anyway, it's a beautiful song, and one of the few Zeppelin tunes that my partner actually likes and we can enjoy listening to together. :wub:

Edited by Magic Fills the Air
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I always thought it was 'We are eagles of wonder'. :huh: I guess you learn something new everyday.

I think it's a song of quiet reflection for things that have past. Maybe Robert wasn't singing about anyone in particular, but the nature of relationships and how we reflect back on how things used to be and cherish the memories.

Danny, sorry, I always hear 'Then as it was, then again it will be'. Maybe you should get your ears tested for a hearing aid! :lol:

Anyway, it's a beautiful song, and one of the few Zeppelin tunes that my partner actually likes and we can enjoy listening to together. :wub:

WHAT DID YOU SAY? can you speak up a bit Magic I've been a bit mutton since birth.

:Thinking: as it was, then again it may be. :thanku:

Regards, Danny

PS, I've heard nothing from Mr Plant and its been over an hour now, my guess He cant remember :wtf: He wrote.

PPS, Still :Thinking:

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I always wondered why HE didn't bring out HIS own definitive song book just for HIS personal clarity then HE wouldn't have had to rely on someone else's interpretation of HIS pronunciations. And where are the original scripts or the songs themselves? I would have thought He would have cherished them as much as HIS children as we all know how the years play havoc with the memory don't we.

Yes, this has been my complaint for many a-year ... Plant should realize the musically historical significance of the Led Zeppelin catalog (being that it hovers very close to that of the Beatles and Rolling Stones in the rareified air of REALLY "classic rock") and set the record straight for once and all ... he says he's forgotten some of the lyrics, but if he sat down and took to the task seriously, I'm sure he could remember most --if not all-- of what he wrote. Otherwise, he's gonna end up with lunkheads like myself trying to guess at what he was singing ... :blink:

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Yes, this has been my complaint for many a-year ... Plant should realize the musically historical significance of the Led Zeppelin catalog (being that it hovers very close to that of the Beatles and Rolling Stones in the rareified air of REALLY "classic rock") and set the record straight for once and all ... he says he's forgotten some of the lyrics, but if he sat down and took to the task seriously, I'm sure he could remember most --if not all-- of what he wrote. Otherwise, he's gonna end up with lunkheads like myself trying to guess at what he was singing ... :blink:

Hi Depat,

Dont worry yourself mate, I've listened to All of Led Zeppelin Songs, and Many More Times than anyone I know, on here or anywhere else for that matter, How Many More Times I cant imagine but its true, so if you get stuck, as George the Junkie Michael would say "I'm Your Man". ;)

As always, Robert will be saying its "Nobodys Fault But Mine" or maybe its because He lifted so many lyrics He doesn't know His Bottle (arse) from His Spanish Archer (elbow). :o

Regards, Danny

PS, Still :Thinking::lol:

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A very nice topic if I do say so myself dpat! :D

This song always makes me a bit teary-eyed! So beautiful! :wub:

I actually find it to be pretty poetic just like "Stairway To Heaven" and it to me is one of Zep's best works. To me, this song takes the listener on a journey which is pretty much all about love and friendship! Well, that's what it sounds like to me! :D

And yep! The very first word I hear Robert sing is "then" too! :D

And dpat, thank you for your interpretation of the song! I always wondered if there was some sort of story behind it! ;)

Right, seeing this thread, I have decided to listen to "Ten Years Gone" right now before I hit the sack (it's time I did too because it's 3:22 AM here in New Zealand! :o I am indeed an owl! :lol:

Carry on the debate about "Ten Years Gone" ;)

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This song always makes me a bit teary-eyed! So beautiful! :wub:

Me Too. :boohoo:

And yep! The very first word I hear Robert sing is "then" too! :D

Is it a Statement? "Then"

Or a Question? "Think"

I know what I want to hear, how bout you?

I am indeed an owl! :lol:

Yes, you are a "Hoot" Kiwi, or a even "Screech" and by the way do you live in a "Barn". :lol:

Kind Regards, Danny

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I've always thought it was "then". It sounds nothing like "think" to me. Plus, all of the live recordings suggest it is "then". Some live recordings are actually much clearer than the studio version and they make it obvious that it is in fact "then". Come to think of it (not that they are pieces of hard evidence), not one transcript I've seen deviates from the lyric being "then"....Unless it's "Zen" :P

Edited by Aligula
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Me Too. :boohoo:

Is it a Statement? "Then"

Or a Question? "Think"

I know what I want to hear, how bout you?

Yes, you are a "Hoot" Kiwi, or a even "Screech" and by the way do you live in a "Barn". :lol:

Kind Regards, Danny

Yeah! Is it one beautiful song isn't it? :wub:

Danny, last night, while listening to "Ten Years Gone", I heard "Then As It Was". Yep! That's a statement! ;)

LOL! Yeah! My sleep patterns do resemble that of an owl! LOL! :lol:

:hysterical: Danny! I do not live in a barn! :lol: I in fact live in an apartment on the 15th floor! :lol:

But I have on two occassions have had encounters with other birds! :lol: I attempted to chase out a fat pesky piegon who came in cheekily through my balcony door when I had opened it to get some fresh air and the cheeky creature was there right in the middle of my living room floor starring at me with a sort of smug look on its face! It took me half an hour to drive it out with a very large saucepan! Pesky creature! :lol:

Edited by Kiwi_Zep_Fan87
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  • 10 years later...

Wow!!!!

"Funny as it was - then again it may be."

I've just dropped by to check if the "vixen" in the lyrics was related to a female fox - meaning beautiful and charming girl - or an unpleasant woman - meaning he was rather bothered by the vision of her in his dreams. 

Couldn't find anything about this one verse,  but JUST REALIZE this post was created TEN YEARS AGO!

🤷‍♂️ (<- something that would have never been posted ten years ago)

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On 11/5/2010 at 3:04 AM, SteveAJones said:

 

She gave an ultimatum so it was probably her who left him. Regardless, I take "never gonna leave ya" and "holding on, ten years gone" to mean he cherished

his memories of her during what may have been a first love relationship and understandably reflected on it from time to time.

Yes. That.

And to the original poster, thanks for reminding me of (probably) my favorite LZ ballad, some of RPs best lyrics, AND I think Page’s early use of the Telecaster with B string bender. Is is the first? 

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10 hours ago, Brigante said:

He'd been shagging two sisters. Then he got one of them pregnant and had to give the other one up. But he thought about her and would be with her again in future. You all know what I'm saying...
 

Timeline doesnt add up. . He met Maureen in 66 at a concert and Carmen was born in 68. . TYG is 64-65. . Look into What is and what should never be. . Ive heard that is about Shirley. . It is clear he loved both sisters and I think he even had a boy with Shirley as well. . 

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