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The Battle Of Evermore by Led Zeppelin

Album: Led Zeppelin 4Released: 1971
  • Robert Plant wrote the words to this acoustic song after reading a book on Scottish history. The lyrics are about the everlasting battle between night and day, which can also be interpreted as the battle between good and evil. (thanks, Graham - Atlanta, GA)
  • This is the only song Zeppelin ever recorded with a guest vocalist. Robert Plant felt he needed another voice to tell the story that plays out in the song, so Sandy Denny from Fairport Convention was brought in. Her vocals represent the people as the town crier, while Plant's voice is the narrator. Fairport Convention was a British folk group Zeppelin shared a bill with in 1970.

    This collaboration with Sandy Denny marked the first time Robert Plant did a duet with a woman. In later years, he had tremendous success singing with Alison Krauss; their 2007 album Raising Sand won a Grammy award for Album of the Year.
  • Sandy Denny was given a symbol on the album sleeve - 3 pyramids - to thank her. The 4 members of Led Zeppelin each designed their own symbols for the album. Denny died in 1978 from a brain hemorrhage resulting from a fall down the stairs.
  • Jimmy Page wrote the music on a mandolin he borrowed from John Paul Jones. He explained to Guitar Player magazine in 1977: "On 'The Battle of Evermore,' a mandolin was lying around. It wasn't mine, it was Jonesey's. I just picked it up, got the chords, and it sort of started happening. I did it more or less straight off. But, you see, that's fingerpicking again, going back to the studio days and developing a certain amount of technique – at least enough to be adapted and used. My fingerpicking is a sort of cross between Pete Seeger, Earl Scruggs, and total incompetence."
  • Led Zeppelin rarely played this live, but when they did, John Paul Jones sang Sandy Denny's part.
  • Many J.R.R. Tolkien fans see the lyrics as a reference to his book Return Of The King, where the lyrics could describe the Battle of Pelennor ("The drums will shake the castle wall, The ring wraiths ride in black"). Plant is a huge Tolkien fan, and referred to his books in "Ramble On" and "Misty Mountain Hop." (thanks, Ollie C - Hampshire, England)
  • A lot of this fits the battle of the Pelennor fields: "At last the sun is shining, The clouds of blue roll by" - as Sauron's army and influence advanced the sky darkened and when he lost this battle it became light again. But a lot doesn't fit to that particular battle/book, including the part about the angels of Avalon, as Avalon was not from Tolkien's world but the legends of Merlin and King Arthur. The song is not completely about that battle but there are references to Lord Of The Rings things like Ringwraiths and most of the song can be interpreted to be about it if you choose. (thanks, Caleb - Christchurch, New Zealand)
  • The word "Avalon" is Latin for "place with apples," and here is the part of the song Avalon is mentioned - "I'm waiting for the angels of Avalon, waiting for the eastern glow. The apples of the valley hold the seeds of happiness," so it may just mean "I'm waiting for the angels of place with apples." (thanks, Geno - North Riverside, IL)
  • Sound engineer Andy Johns said of the recording: "The band was sitting next to the chimney in Headley, drinking tea, when Jimmy grabbed a mandolin and started playing. I gave him a microphone and stuck a Gibson echo on his mandolin. Jimmy had brought this stuff before and had asked me to take a look at it. Suddenly Robert started singing and this amazing track was born from nowhere." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
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Comments: 98

A few people have mentioned Ann and Nancy Wilson's version of this - musically - it's ok. It's not as good as Led Zeppelin's version. However, Ann and Nancy - on every version that I've ever seen - butcher the lyrics beyond comprehension. Here's the deal - I, as a professional musician, say this - it's ok to "mess up" or "screw up" or "mis-sing some" lyrics to a song - if you only play it once in a while. However, Ann and Nancy play it continually on their tours and have continually butchered the lyrics - at every singing of it !!! There is no excuse - if you choose to play someone else's song - show in and show out - you need to sing the correct lyrics !!! Their version is a joke!John Bindon - Lockport, Ny
Sean from Franklin, TN seems to have nailed it. His is long explanation is worth reading.

Some of you - are butchering the lyrics. Someone recently mentioned - Led Zeppelin rarely played this song live - they played it at every show on their 1977 US Tour ! That means that they played it 42 times live in front of an audience (Led Zep did not make it through 2 of their shows in 1977 - one on April 9th and June 3rd, so "Battle" was not played at these two shows). The last 7 shows of that tour were canceled due to the death of Robert's son, Karac.

Live John Paul Jones sang Sandy Denny's part on all nights. There is one recording where John Bonham sang Denny's part along with JPJ and it was in Maryland on May 28, 1977 - you can look it up on Youtube and listen. I'd suggest you listen to a couple of versions of just Jones singing that part first, so you can then distinguish Bonham's voice, if you don't already know what he sounds like when he sang live. IF anyone knows of another recorded version of "Battle of Evermore" that Bonzo sang on - please post it - thanks in advance.

The two singing parts in the studio version would be called this: Robert Plant sang the "narrator" part - Sandy Denny sang the "town crier" part - in the studio version.

There are many Tolkien LOTR references in the song, but remember artists plug their own lyrics into the mix as well.
John Bindon - Lockport, Ny
Robert Plant must be laughing his ass off all these cooments...that is, if he ever spend any free moment reading this stuff.Saulo - São Paulo, Brazil
The late Sandy Denny's role was then reinterpreted by Indian vocalist Najma Akhtar on the Unledded tour.
"She sang the Battle Of Evermore in a totally different way. But those were accidental harmonies and drifting of vocals," -nods Robert Plant in October 2007 MOJO Interview.- "This is completely different. It's the first time in my life I have ever actually thought: I'm going to try to do something with somebody I hardly know, who I believe in, but I don't know, I may have to face the fact that I can't do this."
Deethewriter - Saint Petersburg, Russia Federation
On the third song from Led Zeppelin's epic IV, Robert Plant introduces his Queen of Light character, who will become so central for the album's pièce de résistance, Stairway To Heaven. (Read the recent Behind The Song for Stairway and our Legends profile of Robert Plant, both from the Jan/Feb 2011 issue.) Like Stairway and so much of Zeppelin's imagery, Evermore is influenced by Celtic mythology and, according to Stephen Davis' biography Hammer Of The Gods, also by works like Robert Graves' White Goddess and Lewis Spence's Magic Arts In Celtic Britain.

Evermore is even more directly inspired by the fifteenth and sixteenth century Anglo-Scottish wars, mostly fought along the border of the two countries, which Plant had been reading about prior to writing the lyrics. While the lyrics can today seem a tad cliché, they very much recreate the stark space of a battle song. Most Zep enthusiasts already know the story of the song's creation — a chance incident of guitarist Jimmy Page picking up bassist John Paul Jones' mandolin at the band's rented country house-cum-studio, Headley Grange, in East Hampshire, England, during the recording sessions for what would become the band's fourth album. Sandy Denny, the one-time singer of Newport Convention, was invited to play the role of the Queen of Light. The archetype re-emerges in Stairway as the May Queen and seems to also pervade Going to California (itself an homage to Joni Mitchell).

In the Continuum book series 33 1/3 on Led Zeppelin IV, author Erik Davis says gender also plays a role in the song. Davis sees Plant's Prince of Peace and Denny's Queen of Light as a real masculine/feminine dynamic, whereas the rock and roll archetype of Page and Plant and the Rolling Stones' Mick Jagger and Keith Richards represented androgyny and gender blurring. Denny, on the other hand, balances the masculine warrior Plant. She tells of the coming battle and urges the prince to action with lines like Dance in the dark night, sing to the morning light and throw down your plow and hoe, race now to my bow. Significantly for her involvement, Denny broke into Zep's male 'division-of-four' that was the band's trademark - literally. She was awarded a symbol of three pyramids by her name in the credits of the album sleeve. Denny also cements the band to the contemporary '60s English folk scene, by which Zeppelin, and Page especially, were very much influenced. Groups like Fairport, Incredible String Band, and Pentangle - with it's dual guitarists Bert Jansch and John Renbourn - provided much early inspiration for Page's conception of Zeppelin.

- DAVIS INMAN
Bri - Las Vegas, Nv
The song is definitely about Tolkien/LOTR, Plant is a BIG fan of Tolien/LOTR and English lore, old knights and kings stuff. It's not that Plant is a Christian and intended to conceal Christian references in the song (as Plant is actually into Zen Buddhism), but rather that Tolkien mimicked a lot of the Biblical good vs evil in his LOTR writings. However that being said I would still encourage you to believe in Jesus and the Bible (John 8:24), as it's the only true path. The song is a great song, true genious lyrically and musically. The use of a mandolin rather than a guitar is genious. Led Zeppelin is truly the greatest rock n roll band the world has ever known. I would disagree with an earlier post that "Zeppelin never created anything as good after the IV album" - check out Physical Graffiti, probably one of the greatest albums of all time.Larry - Sacramento, Ca
This song is about the battle between good and evil, the battle of evermore. This battle is mainly fought in the spiritual world around us that mortals never see. Spiritual warfare, if you will. There is only one who can do battle with the prince of darkness. Add whatever mystical tales you will, but for me the words speak a much deeper and profound meaning. One that speaks of the very essence of our existence.David - Willoughby Hills, Oh
OK. Great song with very definite Tolkien references. But so much more here for the spiritual cognoscenti. The inclusion of Avalon confuses those who only see Tolkien, and do not understand the old religion. The isle of Avalon is an ancient place of worship which was subsequently christianised, but in ancient times the Goddess was worshipped here. The apples refer to the original fall of mankind as well as being rather obvious symbols of fertility, the point of the old religion. The Queen of Light is synonymous with the Biblical 'Queen of Heaven' and also the 'Virgin of Israel'. The Prince of peace is as already noted Jesus, and these 2 are in opposition, so whatever name you attribute to the enemy of Jesus is what you'd call the the Queen of Light. The song lays out the struggle between the forces of good and evil from the pagan view. It inevitably leads to the next song on the album, the most recorded/played/loved song in History...'Stairway to Heaven' which for those who understand the prophetic language is a revelation of the 'Queen of Light''s gameplan. Think about this...if Zepp had released 'Stairway' as a single it would have been the biggest ever. They must have been under pressure to do this. They never did...because the 2 songs are part of one whole. Zeppelins music reached its zenith with these 2 songs and nothing they did after 4 had the compulsive intensity of 4, or the raw hunger of previous albums. Their muse had accomplished the desired result. Evermore is eponymous, it is the story of the battle of evermore, the battle for your soul. Stairway identifies the false church clearly for those who care to understand, and moves from a hauntingly beautiful description of that church ( in prophecy a woman is a church or religion, so a Lady who knows is a church which has the understanding promised by the serpent to Eve )through to a reference to the Piper (another name for Lucifer) and the idea that we should not be alarmed by local events which are happening, and eventually climaxes with the full power of the end of time. If you wish to arrive at that imminent end of time with a shade (ghost, dead spirit) longer/greater than your soul, keep pursuing the Queen of Night. It is all about you, your soul, your eternal life. I love the music but hate the real author, Plant has clearly said that he only held the pen...the words wrote themselves. Make no mistake they are the words of the enemy of souls, the enemy of your soul. Happy to explain more to anyone interested.Leroy - Port Macquarie, Australia
Heart, I believe, does a great cover of this. And this is definitely about LOTR, read the lyrics and it'll make sense. I'm pretty sure there are no Ringwraithes in Scottish history, but please correct me if I'm wrong.Davíd - Woburn, Ma
On Napster about 8 yrs. ago. I downloaded a version of this song. It was very scratchy, the sound of a burning fireplace is distinct, Page and Jones are tuning their instruments as they play, the verses are sung out of order and with other words than the final version.Thomas - Nyc, Il
I always thought the song was taken from The Lord of the Rings (ring wraiths)and the Hobbit (Smaug).Deano - Dfw, Tx
Several commentators have stated their belief that much of this song is inspired by the Battle of Helms Deep, however, I believe that it relates more to the siege of Minas Tirith and the subsequent Battle of the Pelanor Fields. (Don't mark me down for spelling; I haven't read these books for a decade or two. Primarily I base this on the frequent references to darkness and the hopeful wait for sunrise. If I recall, Sauron created some sort of "smoke screen" that blotted out the sun, simultaneously strengthening his armies and sapping the moral of the "good guys." I believe that at the climatic moment, the sun shone through, thus blinding the eyes of "the dragon of darkness."

I don't think every line of the song pertains completely to LotR, but there is no doubt at all that Tolkien was Plant's inspiration.
Andy - Las Vegas, Nv
Just a few quick notes on some earlier comment...in referencing "The Queen of Light took her bow" The final word is bow as in Take a Bow as in an Actor taking a bow after a performance, not the archaic middle english weapon bow (as in Longbow) as some folks seemed to infer. The plow refence comes in a slightly later (in fact the following) stanza of the song.

As was noted in an interview with Robert Plant several years ago, the song is, indeed, a dedcication from him to JRR Tolkien, as Robert actually began reading his works at a young age. Keep in mind, JJRT did the VAST majority of his writings in the late 50's and early 60's. LotR was originally published from 1963-1965.

The reference to angels of Avalon were indeed referring to Gandalf and his ilk (called the Maiar, servants to Middle Earth for Illuvatar and the Valar) As far as waiting for the Eastern Glow, it references the BIG finale, The Battle of the Five Armies, when Gandalf was leading the gathered armies to the rescue of Helm's Deep.

Other minor corrections....Morgoth's original name was Melkior, not Melkor. He was originally a fallen Valar whose power were stripped by his peers, tho they were never able to fully destroy him and he managed to retain powers at least equivalent to the most powerful of the Maiar. (references can be found in The Silmarillion as well as the Book(s) of Lost Tales I & II).

Hmmm...I'll have to read more comments and catch up later...:)
Hi all....I'm a BIG Zep fan!
Jeffrey - Vancouver, Wa
Last time i checked, the prince of peace is J.C. make what you want of the lyrics great song!Mem - Melbourne, Australia
Its Because of this song that i love Zeppelin so much. I liked Lord of the rings alot when i was younger, and i found this vid this one guy made with this song and scenes from the movie. I loved the song so much, i went and bought an album. Ever since, I have been a Led Head.Luke - Dayton, Oh
Nice folky feel, entirely appropriate to a song about about Tolkien and other classic British storytellers.
Love the lyric about the "Ringwraiths ride in black."
You can just SEE the Nazgul swooping overhead.
Oldpink - New Castle, In
I never saw this as being anything other than a tribute to Lord of the Rings, with a few references to Arthurian legend thrown in for good measure. The band has referenced LotR in several other songs, as many of you have mentioned. To answer Peter Griffin's question, other rock and pop groups that reference LotR include Summoning (nearly all their songs are based on it) and The Fall of Troy ("Last March of the Ents"), and of course there's Charles Grean's bizarre "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" thing that Leonard Nimoy let himself get talked into.Ekristheh - Halath, United States
I've been listening to this song since the 80's - on my parents RECORD! No one else knew what song I was talking about back then. All my friends listened to Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. Thanks Zeppelin I wasn't like them!Mel!ssa - Pittsburgh, Pa
I totally agree with you, Sean...from Franklin, TN. Oh, and Zachbon, the "big evil tower" that you're talking about isn't called Mordor, it's called Cirith Ungol. Morder is the land itself. Also, Zachbon, why don't you go out and buy the album, Led Zeppelin IV, and look at the lyrics list for this song. IT IS BOW, NOT PLOW! And you, Patrick Hamilton, what's your deal?! This song is NOT drivel! It's incredibly deep! I'm ashamed to share the same last name with you!Rowena - Bath, United Kingdom
Directed to D-Yes, I'm aware of Eru, a.k.a. Iluvatar, and the plot for the whole of the Silmarillion as well as all of Tolkien's other works. I wasn't saying that "Avalon" was the creator of Morgoth and so on, I was merely remarking upon one of the basic translations of the word Avalon. Earlier, someone had said that it was Latin for "place of apples" and I simply wanted to set him straight, as a Language scholar, that Avalon is not Latin at all, nor does it mean "place of apples." Oh, and Morgoth's original name was Melkor.Sean - Franklin, Tn
First of all, the word "Avalon" is not Latin for "place of apples" In fact there is no singular word for such a phrase in Latin, unless you know of some bizarre form of the locative case that I'm not aware of. Even then, it would still have to use the word "malum" (Latin for apple) as a principle part. Never would it form "Avalon." The word Avalon actually comes from Old English, which is a Germanic language, not a Romance language (languages derived from Latin). Avalon is seen mostly in Arthurian legends and Celtic Myths, which were dread fascinations of Tolkien's, and in it's simplest context it could used as a reference to a place of peace, or even creation. The line in the song states, "I'm waiting for the angels of Avalon" In Tolkien myth, Gandalf's kind were angels. Of course, Avalon could also be applied to the corruption of creation, as it is more frequently, making it's reference to fallen angels, like Sauron, Morgoth, and the Balrog, but that interpretation wouldn't make as much sense, unless you were talking about the Biblical Apocalypse. Even then, though, large chunks of the song couldn't correspond properly. Also, this song was not written as a correlation to Scottish History. The first line, "Queen of light took her bow and then she turned to go," Is a reference to Galadriel. In Passing the last test of the ring, Galadriel hasn't taken the ring for her own power. All Elves time in Middle Earth is coming to an end and one of the last strongholds of the Elves in Middle Earth, Lothlorien, must decay. They must return to the Undying Lands. "The prince of peace embraced the gloom and walked the night alone," is a reference to Aragorn, having taken responsibilty of his Kingship, as well the oath of the dead army. "The dark lord rides in force tonight and time will tell us all," is an obvious reference to the forces of Sauron that were to storm Minas Tirith, and how none were certain of the outcome, but only of fear. Furthermore, this line disproves any theories about this song being about the battle of Helms Deep. The 10,000 Uruk-Hai that stormed Helms Deep were under the control of Saruman, not The Dark Lord, Sauron. "Oh, throw down your plow and hoe rest not to lock your homes," refers to the mobilizing of the armies of Rohan. "I hear the horses' thunder down in the valley below," obviously refers to the charge of the Rohirim. Several of the lines following this are things that people wouldn't get unless they had read the books, like the scouring of the Shire, or "the woe of aftermath" as it is called in the song, this referring to those things that are discovered once the battle of Pelenor Fields ends. Of course, there's also that reference to Ring Wraiths, which never appeared in any other peace of literature besides those of Tolkien's works. Finally we have, "The magic runes are writ in gold to bring the balance back bring it back at last the sun is shining the clouds of blue roll by with flames from the dragon of darkness the sunlight blinds his eyes bring it back." This, I've noticed seems to throw a lot of people off, but it's really quite simple. First of all, the magic runes are the engravings writ in the gold of the One Ring that must be destroyed to bring the balance back. The dragon of darkness is Mount Doom, and the flames from it are those that destroy the One Ring . The sunlight is the dawn of the Fourth Age at the destruction of the ring, which blinds "his eyes" Whose eye? The eye of Sauron, of course, thus bringing his own doom. For those saying the song is based on Celtic myth, and not Tolkien, read his works. Parts are largely based on Celtic myth in name. In symbol, however, they represent parts of Christianity. So, for those who believe it is based upon the Apocalypse, and not Tolkien, I say again, read his works. I have also read someones interpretation being that of this song representing the movie Kingpin...that movie was made long after this song, and was far too stupid for Plant to even consider writing a song about it, much less a song of this much beauty and depth. Some people take music very seriously, so don't be an ignoramus.Sean - Franklin, Tn
How many rock songs do you know that are about the LOTR?Peter Griffin - Quahog, Ri
This is a cool song one of my favs, and yea it seems to be based on Lord of The Rings but does every word have to have a meaning? Kinda sad that people are turning this into a LOTR debate...Dan - Manchester, United Kingdom
Great version is the Page/Plant live concert "No Quarter". Version will blow you away!!Jesse - East Setauket, Ny, Ny
According to Ask the Experts on about.com, Robert Plant played acoustic guitar on this song on the album.
He wasn't comfortable playing on stage; therefore John Paul Jones played the guitar during the concerts.
Bill in Sarasota
Bill - Sarasota, Fl
you forget in the book Return of the King (wich this had to be based off seince the movie came out later Aragorn takes Legolas, Gimli, Elronds sons, and alot on Dunidane on the paths of the dead. and it sais the Queen of light took her PLOW not bow. I think the is is about Frodo and Sam in mordor (the big evil tower after shelob(spider) that Sam resques Frodo From) and BLack Gate Ringwraths, Good and evil in the skies? that is ringwrathes and the egles! and runes in gold flame from dragon of darkness is blinded by the sun Orcs! Still an awsome song!Zachbon - Okemos, Mi
they were big fans of lord of the rings books. its pretty cool that they use a lot of references to the books in their songs.Erik - Knoxville, Tn
Drivel? This song is not drivel..not even close Mr. Braintree...imo.Heather - Los Angeles, Ca
Not only is Led Zeppelin good, but I think this song just takes the cake as for being the greatest.Daniel - Falcon, Co
I love zeppelin, and this song is 'good', but highly overated. they rock, but this particar one is drivel, imo. i suppose lovely melody though.Patrick Hamilton - Braintree, England
If you look at this song from a war tactical point, it is pure genius.

'Queen of Light took her bow, And then she turned to go,' this means it's the night before the battle and 'The Prince of Peace embraced the gloom, And walked the night alone.' Is the last of peaceful times.'

'Side by side we wait the night
The darkest of them all'

This references no moon, if you were going to attach, one would not like the moonlight to show your position.

'I hear the horses' thunder down in the valley below,'

This means they are on top of a ridge waiting to attach below and

'I'm waiting for the angels of Avalon, waiting for the eastern glow.'

Waiting for the Angles of Avalon, could mean to draw courage from immortal hero's from Celtic mythology, but more importantly waiting for the eastern glow means that they will attach at dawn. (and 'Tired eyes on the sunrise, waiting for the eastern glow') Here is were we see the tactical strategy, If you are on top of a ridge with the sun coming up behind you, your enemy would have to look up the ridge to see you and with the sun behind you this would blind their eye's as referenced in 'With flames from the dragon of darkness, the sunlight blinds his eyes.'

Brilliant song, this strategy is also referenced in the Bible.
Stephen - Ponchatoula, La
Check out: http://youtube.com/watch?v=X4kkD31p8_4
I think it's Nigel Eaton playing hurdy-gurdy. This is quite exotic, almost a bit psychedelic version of this song as besides mandolin there are older instruments such as hurdy-gurdy (what a drone) and some Indian and/or Celtic drums, such as bodhran (I guess) played. The female background has beautiful looks and voice, but the main singer's voice sounds a bit rusty, like it was not easy to sing that high anymore.
Perttu - Jyväskylä
this song is definatly about the battle of night and day becaues it last "evermore"... its not lord of the ringsw because tht is not evermore


evermore = last forever, ever lasting
Stephen - Claymont , De
i have no idea what this song is about, but the second i heard it something about how beautiful it is captivated me! i thought the lady singing it with him was his wife til i came to this sight. lol...im 14 but i am a BIG zeppelin fanNicole - Los Angeles, Ca
I'm not even a hardcore Led Zeppelin fan at all (sacrilege, I know, please don't burn me at the stake), but I've always thought from the very first time I heard it that this is a beautiful, haunting, atmospheric song; it seems to be strangely underrated or altogether overlooked by Led Zeppelin fans (at least the ones I know). Maybe because it's so different? At any rate, what a fine piece of music! It's one of my all-time favorites.Nick - Los Angeles, Ca
Being located right before Stairway I get the feeling that people just skip over this one to quickly get to the big boy. MISTAKE! Evermore is a perfect example of what i call "a hidden gem". A wonderful original idea set to a fine melody and as far as i can tell...a perfectly executed arrangement. Boy I wish Zep had spent more time doing stuff like this.Richard - Nyc, Ny
Merry Clayton sang on Gimme Shelter, NOT Sandy Denny.Jon - Andover, Ma
This doesn't have to be ABOUT the battle of Pellenor fields. It's just an isolated allusion. It can be interpreted any way you want, but I think to generalize the whole song as an allegory for a Tolkein story is a bit much. After all the Tolkein refences on Ramble On made Plant embarrased.Ed - Ottawa, Canada
sandy denny also was in gimme shelter by the rolling stonesAlex - New York, Ny
jimmy page was a huge lord of the rings buff so this is about lord of the ringsAlex - New York, Ny
Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart have closed with this song in all three of their shows I've attended. Gotta love a girl who will sing LedZep!Bob - Santa Barbara, Ca
The Queen of Light, in my opinion, seems to be Galadriel. Oromet could very well be on the right track with the Avalon/Valinor theory. That is, if the Avalon reference is coinciding with the LotR references. The song very well could be a mixture of references...Loony Moony Lupin - Virginia
I'm doiong a research assignment on this song at school, so a lot of your comments have been very helpful. However i would like to add a few things to the mix! I belive that this song is about the Return of the King. i think the Queen of Light is Galadriel and the Prince of Peace is most likely Aragorn but it could be Frodo. Now for the Angels of Avalon, which you all seem to be having trouble with. I think they are either the elves or the Valar and Maiar. As for the people that have been saying that Avalon is the name of the being that created Middle Earth, and then criticising everyone who says otherwise, telling they're not tolkien fans, GO READ THE BOOKS! The name of the being that created the world was Eru, and it was also Iluvatar. I will even add a quote from the Tolkien Bestiary by David Day: "In the very beginning their was Eru, the One, who dwelt in the Void, and whose name in Elvish was Iluvatar. As is told in the "Ainulindale", Thoughts came forth from Iluvatar to which He gave eternal life through the power of the Flame Imperishable. Iluvatar named these creations Ainur, the "holy ones". They were the first race and they inhabited the Timeless Halls that Iluvatar had fashioned for them." Got that everyone? Good. As for Avalon, the closest thing to that that i have found is: Avallone- Haven and city of the Eldar on Tol Eressea, so named, according to the Akallabeth, 'for it is of all cities the nearest to Valinor.' Sorry but there is no Avalon in Lord of the Rings. I believe that Avalon is supposed to be Valinor. In the King Arthur stories, Avalon is supposed to be this wonderful, mystical, magical place, which is exactly what Valinor is. Therefore the Angels of Avalon could be either the Elves or the Valar and Maiar, as they are the only beings in Valinor.Oromet - Christchurch, New Zealand
This is a great song, but people The queen of light is definetly not Eowyn or Arwen (which is not spelled Arowyn, it is a sindarin name)
I always thought it was Elbereth (Varda), was the Queen of Light and Ilúvatar(Eru) was the Prince of Peace, because they are both Valar. But Galadriel & Aragorn make sense to.And David, Glorfindel was not Arwens brother, Elrohir & Elladan. And the battle they are discribing is most certainly the Battle of Pelennor Fields. Please, children read the books.
Lothriel - Caras Galadhon , New Zealand
Directed to Sean.
Avilwho? No, the head of all of them were Eru, pretty much the guy who orcistated the melodies that created Middle Earth, and the whole world. Before the world was made, Morgoth(forgot his real name)and Eru pretty much had a little battle of the bands thing, I kid u not, and with their music, Eru showed all the Valar the world they created, and shall rule. The things Eru played were all the good things that happen. What Morgoth played was all the bad things that happen. Eru never went into the world of Middle Earth. But I am getting off topic a bit

This song is definatly about LotR, during the Battle of Helm's Deep. The throw down your plow referes that the peasants must drop their stuff, and pick up swords and fight. And the Queen of light being Arowyn? pfft. Her role in the book is insignificant. Who are they talking about, I have no clue. My interpetation of this, "The price of peace embraces the gloom, and walks the night alone" (I think that is how it goes) referes to Aragorn, who must hold out the night alone, while Gandalf tries to find the riders of Rohan. For "Oh, well, the night is long, the beads of time pass slow, Tired eyes on the sunrise, waiting for the eastern glow," is that the fight, even though is only 1 night, seems like an eternity, and they're waiting for Gandalf to come with the riders of Rohan.

I guess that battle scene in the 3rd book is in here. My dad suggests that it is a lot of pictues. I guess there is some truth to this; However I believe the bulk of it is the Battle of Helms Deep.
D - Lake Forest, Il
didnt the god of middle earth start with like an "I" or something?Jordan - Shokan, Ny
Well I think there was like only one guy who got this... this song is totally about Lord of the Rings! I dont need to restate the obviouse ones that a thousand other people noticed... but the part "angels of avalon" is the one that gives it away Avalon was the main God of middle earth and he created it! So ya I like the booksSean - Kansas City, Mo
I have this Pix of Jimmy Page playing the Mandolin,
and John playing the acoustic guitar.
Seraphina - Hanover, Pa
Queen of light is not galadrial, it is eowyn, in. The first lines talk of eowyn meeting aragorn at dunharrow, she takes a bow not the weapon but the action like to bow down. Therefore, aragon is the prince of peace, who goes into the paths of the dead
None of this has anything to do with the battle at helms deep. First off, helms deep is not a castle. Second the term of the sunlight at the end of the battle is not only in helms deep but it is also in gondor, Sauron extends clouds and darkness over where he is about to attack. When the sun comes it means that he was defeated
Whylocke - Seattle, Wa
The song is about The Lord Of The Rings, no doubt.It contains references not only about the battle of Pelennor but also about the Helm´s deep battle, as some of you have rightly commented. The Queen of light might be Galadriel, but she is not a daughter of the Valar as David says. She is just an elf come to ME from Aman after partt of the elves who lived there rebelled against the Valar. Her Parents were Finarfin and Eärwen, both elves, not Valar. Read well the Silmarillion!Oskar - Bilbao, Spain
yep i'm sorry arwen is in approximatetly 3 sentences of lord of the rings. and i tried reading silmarillion...too hard. i'm trying again in a year. i must achieve it. anyway...yeah i agree the movie was pretty good but uh...not the books. thats impossible. so cheers the movie was as good as it could possibly be peter jackson but...it just can't be the books.Jeanette - Irvine, Ca
Yeah, this is actually my favorite Led Zeppelin song...and that's hard to say. It's just so different and it makes me so happy for some reason, I guess just because it's so peaceful sounding... damn...I love Led Zeppelin!Dhani - Orlando, Fl
The first stanza i will not argue with, in regards to the inference of others. But in my opinion this song speaks of The Battle of Helms Deep. There is the reference to "throw down your plow and hoe" that seems to clearly represent the peasants coming to guard against the "drums" that "will shake the castle walls."
The line "dance in the dark night, sing to the morning light," seems to imply that at Sunrise the dance, or that the dance of battle, will be over, and that here the narrator knows this in the present state of battle. "The sunlight blinds the eyes" of the red faced tyrant, or that of the orcs, and the "Angels of Avalon" fall upon the enemy with the advantage of the "eastern glow" at their backs. The "eastern glow" that is being waited for during the Battle at Helms Deep, Aragorn knows this to be a fortold advantage, whereas in the battle of Pallenor Fields there was no prophecy of similar surcumstance.
Jason - Mebane, Oh
One of the goofiest/most awesome songs I've heard. Zeppelin rule.Danny - Sydney, Australia
Ryan C is much more on point here. But, Moonunit, after reading your post, I relize that Jackson's movies, although spectacular, have seriously misguided you. Just to clear a few "random facts" as you put it, up for you.
The queen of light is absolutely Galadriel, the only true daughter of the Valar living in ME. If in doubt please verse yourself on who Feonor, Finarfin and Fingolfin were. Arwen, although a roundabout descendant on Fingolfin, actually isn't even 100% pure Elven or "first born". She is a Numenorian blood mix as is her father Elrond. Hey I like Liv Tyler too, but Hollywood seriously rewrote her character for us. It was actually her brother Glorfindal who rescued the hobbits in Eriador and the flight to the ford (sorry for the bubble burst).
Arwen's significance replays the lei of Beren and Luthien, significant, but certainly does not make her the queen of light.
And, the lyrics are correct. It is not Bow as in weapon or plow as you assume, but the word is as it sounds, bow. She took her bow, took her leave, she is sailing for the undying lands, leaving ME, the last of the pure Valar to return, the last of the kind in ME.
Moon, do yourself a favor, actually read the books. You will need Silmarillion if you really want to know about the history.
Let's give Peter Jackson his credit, but be careful to remeber that Hollywood is Hollywood.
David - Ft. Lauderdale, Fl
The song is about the struggle between good and evil, not in any specific work of fiction but at a more universal level.. Plant alludes to characters from Tolkien's work because it's about the same subject. He also references celtic mythology (Avalon) and if you choose to view it that way, Christianity as well (Prince of Peace).. the message is that we exist in the middle of a universal struggle between good and evil and you can see the ebb and tide of this conflict in everything around us... in the setting of the sun and the onset of night (Queen of Light took her bow, And then she turned to go), and the sun's eventual victory over darkness each morning.. in the story told in Tolkien's books.. in the Celtic myths or the teachings of Christianity.
Listen to the song and think of it in terms of an ongoing battle between light and dark, good and evil. The battle is occuring at a level that we may not always be directly aware of, either above or below our notice, but it's played out each day all around us and it can be argued that any human war or conflict is just one aspect of, and resonates with this larger campaign. The people described here are archetypical: the Tyrant, the common people forced to become soldiers and faced with hardships, the sounds of riders, armies moving, all scenes which have occurred over and over again, repeated throughout time and history... the tyrant from the song could be any of them because in the end they are all iterations of the same force- chaos. In the song, Plant seems to describe a specific human event, but the idea is that every human strife mirrors this larger ongoing battle, this struggle for balance.. which is what the battle of evermore is.
Ryan - Cary, Nc
It wasn't "rare", it was a staple in the acoustic set for thier 1977 tour.Peter - Everett, Ma
Stairway's partially about LOTR as well... for you non believers, go read my comments there.Justin - Pittsgrove, Nj
i think this song also reffers to the battle of helms deep

"The Prince of Peace embraced the gloom
and walked the night alone"
i think this is about aragorn he was a ranger and wandered alone

"Oh, dance in the dark of night, sing 'till the mornin' light
The Dark Lord rides in force tonight
and time will tell us haw-all"
i think this is about how they had to battle the armys of saruman at night

"Oh, throw down your plow and hoe, rest not to lock your home
Side by side, we await the might of the darkest of them all
Oh-ooh-whoa, ooh-whoa-oh-oh"
i think this reffers to how anyone that could bear arms had to fight even the farmers and junk

"I hear the horses' thunder down in the valley below
I'm waitin' for the angels of Avalon
Waitin' for the eastern glow"
this to me sounds like when gandelf showed up in the morning("eastern glow")with all the guys on horses and rode them down into the valley

it all makes sense to me
Zak - Ft. Myers , Fl
Hmm, it could be named Evermore to sound like "Pellenor" to avoid copyright issues, or just to sort of refer to Tolkien. Led Zeppelin is awesome.Andrew - Costa Mesa, Ca
'The Queen of Light' is Galadriel, 'Prince of Peace' is Aragorn and the 'Angels of Avalon' are Maiar and Valar...the whole song is refering to the Battle of Pelannor(battle for the fort/city of Minas Tirith in Gondor).John - Zagreb, Croatia
For everyone who is a little bit confused, this is what Robert Plant said about the Battle of Evermore.." I'd been reading a book on the Scottish wars just before going to Headley Grange . The number ('Battle of Evermore') is really more of a playlet than a song. After i wrote the lyrics, I realised that I needed another completely different voice as well as my own to give the song it's full impact. So i asked Sandy Denny to come along and sing on the track. I must say i found it very satisfying to sing with someone who has a completely different style to my own. So while i sang about the events in the song, Sandy answered back as if she was the pulse of the people on the battlements. Sandy was playing the role of the town crier,urging people to throw down their weapons."Jack - Birmingham, England
Freekin sweet song. I never picked up on the LOTR part. I new that about ramble on and misty. AWSOME SONG. Led Zep RULES!!!!!!!!11Sean - Pa, Pa
In my opinion, this is one of the best songs ever written.Alper - Istanbul, Turkey
I don't understand how ignorant people are ..to say that "Stairway" has nothing at all to do with Lord of the Rings. There are loads of references in there! And, if Plant was such a huge fan of the books, you'd think, even if he wrote a reference subconsciously, that after he read over what he'd just written he'd think to himself, "Hey, that kinda sounds like a Lord of the Rings reference." It's like ..say you're a huge Poe fan, and you're just writing ...a story. And you write someting like "his heart told all"...you'd think, "Hey, that's almost like a Poe reference there." Gah, it just gets me gassed when people say "Stairway" has absolutely nothing to do with Lord of the Rings.Isabella - Tucson, Az
this song inspired me to learn the mandolin...led zep rule...and my stepdad was rob plants best friend as school :p so there!!!hahaRich - Exeter, England
The guy who said that Page is an over rated guitarist doesn't understand that we're talking about a man who is so tight he deserves to have personal assistants for shifting his balls at his discretion.Kaleo - Los Angeles, Ca
Sometimes you just exclude usual aspects like Bonzo's drumming, and that's the point of an acoustic song. I love Bonzo but I agree with Zeppelin's decision to leave him out of this one, especially since this song is acoustic and Bonzo was a loud, hard hitting power drummer. It is probably the most amazing song i've ever heard in my life.Yolanda Morphinite - Bountiful , Ut
I totally agree man. Bonzo is a god, how could they leave him out? I think he plays the spoons or something. :PNick - Richmond Hill, Canada
eru was the creator of middle earthJesse - Gold Beach, Or
Great song. But the begining is annoying because it takes to long to fade in.Taylor - Austin, Tx
Pip's right the "queen of light" is obviously Galadriel, just read the books, it's obviously not Arwen (who was almost unnoticable in the books), or - Ã?owyn(????) C'mon!
Wonderful song, I wouldn't place it above Stairway, but would send anyone to hell for doing so either :)
Jude - Szombathely, Hungary
Where's Bonzo on this song?!?!?!?!?!?!?Ryan - Los Angeles, Ca
the battle of evermore is referring to tolkein's influence on plant.examples of this are ringwraith,queen of light,eastern glow,magic runes writ in gold,drop your plow drop your hoe,and so on.allow me to explain first the prince of peace, it is aragorn.zep was not religious.second the queen of light is galadriel,sorry moon unit.third and lastly, is anybody a real tolkien fan here?avalon is the creator of middle earth and the general deity of tolkein's universe.although tolkien meant no allegorical or religious binding in his books his christian worldview showed through.

ps lauren of maryville,MO u r goin to hell for placing stairway under evermore

Pip
Pip - Bag End, Scotland
I think that there are a lot of refrences to the battle of helm's deep in there. "Oh, throw down your plow and hoe," Could be how all the farmers and pesants had to defend the fortress (been awhile that I've read the book and very recently I saw the movie so what I say might match the movie more which couldn't have inspired Zepp so don't mind them)
"I hear the horses' thunder" When the Riders of Rohan come to the rescue
"Waiting for the eastern glow"
waiting for the sun to rise for gandalf to come

"Oh, well, the night is long, the beads of time pass slow,
Tired eyes on the sunrise, waiting for the eastern glow."

Waiting of the night waiting for the sun rise

There are other refrences to the return of the king but those were mentioned so I won't repeat them.

LOVE THIS SONG!!!
Eo - Vancouver, Canada
"The Prince of Peace embraced the gloom, And walked the night alone." This line could also be referring to Aragon embracing the gloom of the Paths of the dead.Jake - Cederville, Il
"The part at the start that says "Queen of Light" is reffering to Arwyn, the elven princess from Lord of the Rings. It says "took her bow" but it sounds like "took her plow". Just some random facts. Also, I think the part right after that that says "The Prince of Peace ebraced the gloom, and walked the night alone..." is reffering to Jesus taking up our sins on to the cross with him. Because "Prince of Peace" is obviously Jesus.
- Josh, Orange County, CA"

Please kid. The Queen of Light is Eowyn. This is decribing when Aragorn leaves of the "Eve of Battle" (Hence the battle of EVErmore). The Prince of Peace is describing Aragorn, thinking he will leave by himself, but Legolas and Gimli end up going with him
Moonunit - Greensboro, Nc
The New Zealand band 'Evermore' got their name from this song.Woody - Sydney, Australia
actually, Live both Page and Jones played the Mandolin, Jimmy Page on the normal mandolin and John Paul on the Tripleneck Mandolin he had custom-made.Keewa - Fairbanks, Al
josh.. of orange county... please tell me why 'the prince of peace' is obviously jesus?
c'mon.. most of zeppelins songs are based around folklore, or fantasy. in which case order of authority is based around royalty. not religon or politics.
Marlow - Perth, Australia
I think it also shows some relations with The Two Towers; such lines as "waiting for the eastern glow," as Aragon was told to look east at sunrise, as well as "At last the sun is shining, The clouds of blue roll by," which describes the end of the battle when the sun rises and gandalf takes on the army.Mike - Pittsburgh, Pa
At the risk of being sacriligeous (sp?), I think this song is better than "Stairway to Heaven".Lauren - Maryville, Mo
another unique effort conquered by zep.
has any other band come close?
ever?
Amanda Craigie - Winnipeg, Canada
Page played mandolin on this track, Jones played acoustic guitar.Pants - Calgary, Canada
The fact about "Scottish History" should be removed while the Tolkien fact should remain. Here are just a few of the references to prove that this is definitely about LotR:
-The term "wringwraith" is used. Tolkien coined that word.
-Aragorn is "The Prince of Peace" and his trip to the dead army is described in the song.
-The citizens of Gondor in the Fields of Pelennor are those told to "Throw down you plow and Hoe" in the song.
-And "The magic runes writ in gold" are obviously the Elvish Mordor language written on the ring and the destruction of the ring will "Bring the balance back"

Interpretations of the other Plant-Tolkien songs (Ramble on, Misty Mountain Hop, and Over the Hills and Far Away) are somewhat looser. Especially "Misty Mountain Hop" but there are still very strong clue in that song for those who have read "The Hobbit".
Ben - Punxsutawney, Pa
This song is more reminiscent to me of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings(whether it's directly inspired by them or not) than the Peter Jackson movies.Paulo - New York, Ny
this song is good, i like the mandolinWill - Portland, Or
The part at the start that says "Queen of Light" is reffering to Arwyn, the elven princess from Lord of the Rings. It says "took her bow" but it sounds like "took her plow". Just some random facts. Also, I think the part right after that that says "The Prince of Peace ebraced the gloom, and walked the night alone..." is reffering to Jesus taking up our sins on to the cross with him. Because "Prince of Peace" is obviously Jesus.Josh - Orange County, Ca
I also needed a few listens to start appreciating this song, but it really is deserving of credit. It's a complex song as far as Zep goes, and I give them credit for doing such an unexpected type of song, and pulling it off so well, as they always do. In the studio that is, they just posed for pictures in their concerts instead of showing any musical brilliance. Page was over-rated as a guitarist, but he deserves heaps of credit for the time and effort he put into the studio albums, and cover sleeves among others things. He was a great studio technition, and could make magic playing in the studio, but alas not in a live setting, but that's okay, I am a diehard Zep fan, and love all their albums since I was a kid and just as much now at 35 years of ageDave - Oshawa, Canada
Ann and Nancy Wilson of HEART recorded this as The Lovemongers. It's featured on the "Singles" soundtrack.John - Seattle, Wa
Led Zeppelin is the Bee's KneesMatt - Newfoundland, Canada
The Tolkein reference is key. The "Ring wraiths", the "eyes on the sunrise". Again Plant is giveing love to Tolkein, who was something of a muse for Plant. This song is fantastic. I also love the sitar version on No Quarter.Kenneth - New York, Ny
Great song. I really didn't like it at first, but it grows on you. Sandy's vocals are beautiful and the mandolin fits in perfectly. Two thumbs up.Ben - New York, Ny
this song is awesome. sandy denny's voice adds such a presence.Kelly - Los Angeles, Ca
Led Zeppelin is the greatest band that we as human beings have had the pleasure of hearing.Jeff - Bakersfield, Ca
I second that Guy, great song.Brian - Paoli, In
Second best song on one of the greatest albums of all timeGuy - Decatur, In
led zeppelin rocks my socksCody - San Antonio, Tx