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Robert Plant dedicated this to his wife, Maureen. It was the first Zeppelin song that Plant wrote all the lyrics for - something he did at the urging of Jimmy Page.
Jimmy Page sang background on this. You can hear him sing with Plant during the line, "Little drops of rain" until the part where Plant goes "My, my, my." (thanks, Lucy - Claremont, United States)
Page played an acoustic guitar solo on this, something he rarely did.
This became a showcase for John Paul Jones' keyboard work during live shows.
This ends with a church organ that fades to silence and comes back about 10 seconds later. This creates a problem for radio stations, who must decide between accepting the "dead air" or cutting it off. Some stations run edited versions, with the silence eliminated.
In 2001, Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit and Was Scantlin from Puddle Of Mudd performed this at the MTV Europe Music Awards.
Some radio stations play this together with "The Lemon Song" because there's no pause between them on the album. (thanks, Adrian - Wilmington, DE)
Tori Amos covered this song in her piano and singing style. It is on the extended "Crucify" single along with her versions of "Smells Like Teen Spirit
" and "Angie
." Led Zeppelin was a big influence for her. (thanks, sara - pittsburgh, PA)
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant used a mellower version of this as either an opening number or encore for most of their shows from 1995 through 1998. (thanks, Chris - Whitesboro, NY)
The lyrics, "If the sun refuse to shine" and "When mountains crumble to the sea" came from a Jimi Hendrix song called "If 6 Was 9."
When Led Zeppelin played this live, John Paul Jones would improvise an extended organ intro. (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2)