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If you could re-write the lyrics to "Stairway to Heaven..."


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are you just joking, or do you really think that?

because i think - just my opinion- that he left them because that's how he wanted them. it was recorded that way.

if you are talking about what he may have written/ changed in hind-sight, well that's a different kettle of fish. maybe at age, say 40+ he may have changed some here and there, but i really don't think so. i know that i would be proud to put my name to those lyrics!

No, I wasn't joking. Robert has been quoted saying he hasn't been entirely comfortable with the lyrics; I noted this is my original post for people who bothered to read it. As for changing them later, they didn't (to my knowledge he always sang it the same way or almost exactly the same way--I guess the people who are more familiar with the bootlegs might have more info).

Do you write song lyrics? I'm interested; maybe you could put them in the musician's corner section.

The lyrics were a bit different when they wrote the song (as some outtakes prove)

After recording a song it would make most sense to not change the lyrics time and again, since it's confusing.

Where can I hear the outtakes? I'm interested.

Of course I'm not suggesting that they should have re-released IV with different lyrics to STH...that would be a waste of money. But in performances Robert could have easily sung revised lyrics.

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Perhaps what we have here is a comment on the pitfalls of digital music. The lyrics to STH were printed on the original vinyl album and also on the CD.


Don't get me wrong...it took me YEARS of listening to figure out what the lyrics were. Maybe I just got used to them by then. I do like that Robert left the lyrics very vague and open to interpretation by the listener.

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It is an interesting idea rewriting any songs, thats probably partly how most musicians get inspired to write anything. I cannot think of anything for rewriting the intro to stairway to heaven, but it made me think of bob marley lyrics. Different flow/similar notion. Sorry for stalling the thread with my joke on previous post.

most people think

great god will come from the sky

take away everything

and make everybody feel high

but if you know what life is worth

you will look for yours on earth

and now you see the light

stand up for your rights

bob marley

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Dictionary definition of ballad:

any light, simple song, especially one of sentimental or romantic character, having two or more stanzas all sung to the same melody.
a simple narrative poem of folk origin, composed in short stanzas and adapted for singing.
any poem written in similar style.
the music for a ballad.
a sentimental or romantic popular song.
This is from Dictionary.com. My old hardcover suggests a ballad has a repeating refrain, which would cancel out Stairway to Heaven. I also don't think of STH as a "light, simple song" nor is it well-suited for singing. IMO, not a ballad.And neither is Free Bird, November Rain or Sweet Child O' Mine.
I've never figured out if blonde jokes are supposed to be about women who bleach their hair, in which case I can see the satire, or if they're supposed to be about blondes in general. I'm pretty sure that if you averaged IQs, blondes would score better overall. The Finnish have the highest scoring high school students with the least amount of homework. A lot of them are blondes.
I couldn't listen to STH or any song every day, but I have to say after 38 years I haven't gotten tired of it either.

It's hard to apply strict definitions to rock music, since it is of itself, a mix of original music types and forms. Led Zeppelin: a perfect example of such. But that never stops people from trying to apply nomenclature to it. Seems like they had to invent new names for things about rock music to try to categorize it. But as you point out here, STH is not in ballad form as that form defines in classical folk music idioms.

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