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different lyrics for (when the levee breaks)


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When living over seas in a country that frowns on VPN services it was hard to get information from Google about this issue. 

I was in Liwan district of Guangzhou (China). And heard "when the levee breaks" , playing out of a small little shop that sells soda's, candy, ect...ect.. At first I thought it was cool, "hearing zeppelin in china in the public" I could tell the older woman at the cashier wasn't paying much attention to the song. But I was. I noticed that the lyrics to this version were different and I stood their amazed how weird but awesome and a little bit racist the lyrics were ( Monkey Man) was in part of the lyrics. I was dumbfounded, why use such language? Well I did some research on the term "Monkey man" and it has nothing to do with race. It refers to a woman who has a loyal husband, but she just can't keep her dress down with another man. So that man is called a monkey man. That leads me to the main question. Where can I find the Outtakes of when the levee breaks.   

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There are several releases of the outtakes/alternates. I can send the tracks to you ...YouTube doesn't really have them available. I believe he said monkey man...which sounds clear on the outtake and sounds like Monk'man on the official album version. The whole lyric is an old blues lyric...."I got what it takes to make a monkey man leave his home".

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6 hours ago, Black_dog_boogie said:

that would be Awesome! I tell you the version kick my ass all over again.  WTLB is my favorite Zeppelin song. 

Zeppelin202@hotmail.com

No problem. I learned something new, after all these 40 years hearing WTLB , I always thought he was saying "mountain man"....maybe he is on the album take but now I think it must be monkey man. He also references Going to Chicago , which has the lyric "there ain't nothing in Chicago for a monkey woman to do". That makes sense about it meaning a person addicted to drugs though....monkey man or woman meaning an addicted person. Never heard the reference to a person who's being cheated on. 

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1 hour ago, EaglesOfOneNest said:

Interesting! I also thought the lyric was "mountain man".

I wonder if the term "monkey man" was the same in the Rolling Stones song?

 

+2 

I thought it was Mountain Man as well. Then again, why the hell would a mountain man have to leave his home if a levee breaks? Dirty bastard lives in the goddamned mountains!!! Or, conversely, if you "have what it takes" to make a mountain man leave his home, does that mean the mountain man wants some of your back door loving as well?

Oh the mind boggles but now it finally makes sense. 

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Robert clearly sings "mountain man" on the Led Zeppelin IV version. I'll have to listen to the three alternate takes I have to see where he sings "monkey man".

The Rolling Stones clearly had the same kind of "Monkey Man" on their mind in their song from "Let It Bleed".

There is no reference to a monkey man (or a mountain man for that matter) in the original "When the Levee Breaks" by Memphis Minnie & Kansas City Joe. What's more, every lyric site on the internet has "mountain man" in the lyrics for the Led Zeppelin version.

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7 minutes ago, Strider said:

Robert clearly sings "mountain man" on the Led Zeppelin IV version. I'll have to listen to the three alternate takes I have to see where he sings "monkey man".

The Rolling Stones clearly had the same kind of "Monkey Man" on their mind in their song from "Let It Bleed".

There is no reference to a monkey man (or a mountain man for that matter) in the original "When the Levee Breaks" by Memphis Minnie & Kansas City Joe. What's more, every lyric site on the internet has "mountain man" in the lyrics for the Led Zeppelin version.

Well of course not, as there are neither mountains nor monkeys in either Kansas City or Memphis, TN. :drumz:

Edited by IpMan
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Mountain Man makes sense.

 

"It's got what it takes to make a mountain man leave his home...."

The levee breaking will be such a huge disaster, even a tough "mountain man" will be worried and leave his home.

It could mean a million other things, but that makes sense.

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6 hours ago, rm2551 said:

Mountain Man makes sense.

 

"It's got what it takes to make a mountain man leave his home...."

The levee breaking will be such a huge disaster, even a tough "mountain man" will be worried and leave his home.

It could mean a million other things, but that makes sense.

...for example, one of those meanings could be that the flooding would be so bad that even living on a mountain wouldn't protect him from it.

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13 hours ago, Strider said:

Robert clearly sings "mountain man" on the Led Zeppelin IV version. I'll have to listen to the three alternate takes I have to see where he sings "monkey man".

The Rolling Stones clearly had the same kind of "Monkey Man" on their mind in their song from "Let It Bleed".

There is no reference to a monkey man (or a mountain man for that matter) in the original "When the Levee Breaks" by Memphis Minnie & Kansas City Joe. What's more, every lyric site on the internet has "mountain man" in the lyrics for the Led Zeppelin version.

True, although web lyrics are often very wrong.  I can't make out distinctly a "t" or a "k" in there on the album version but it sounds to me like "monk'man". However, Plant is clearly singing " MONKEY MAN" in the alternate version posted in the youtube link above  (at 55:06), so it doesn't make much sense that he would sing a different lyric on the album version.   The song has its roots in the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, and I could be wrong but I don't think it affected any mountains or mountain men. The Chicago 75 version Plant sings "monkey man" as well...not mountain man. 

Lastly, there is precedent for a lyric  "got what it takes to make a monkey man leave his home".   Here's Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks) singing the lyric. I think that Plant would have known and ...ahem, "borrowed" this lyric , given his wide knowledge of old blues artists. 

 

 

Edited by porgie66
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8 hours ago, porgie66 said:

True, although web lyrics are often very wrong.  I can't make out distinctly a "t" or a "k" in there on the album version but it sounds to me like "monk'man". However, Plant is clearly singing " MONKEY MAN" in the alternate version posted in the youtube link above  (at 55:06), so it doesn't make much sense that he would sing a different lyric on the album version.   The song has its roots in the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, and I could be wrong but I don't think it affected any mountains or mountain men. The Chicago 75 version Plant sings "monkey man" as well...not mountain man. 

Lastly, there is precedent for a lyric  "got what it takes to make a monkey man leave his home".   Here's Barbecue Bob (Robert Hicks) singing the lyric. I think that Plant would have known and ...ahem, "borrowed" this lyric , given his wide knowledge of old blues artists. 

 

 

Damn Porgie! Thats a sweet find right there. Thx

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  • 1 year later...

The original song by Memphis Minnie and hubby Joe McCoy were about the 1927 flood disaster .. well there was one here too, in 1929 .. seems they didnt get a levee system til the 60s but twice this year i've taken a short cut over it and last time ended up sliding down it like a kid - it is that steep .. not that it's a mountain home, but mebbs when RP was adapting the lyrics 'happy home' got translated to 'mountain home' .. well he could have been living up a mountain at the time

Monkey Man - The Rolling Stones

Monkey Man - The Specials , Amy Winehouse ecetera

And then there's a video of 42 yr old Acchan Miran hired to dress up as a monkey at Lucknow Train Station to scare off real monkeys !!!

 

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