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Trampled Underfoot

by

Led Zeppelin



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

The lyrics were based on Robert Johnson's 1936 "Terraplane Blues." A Terraplane is a classic car, and the song uses car parts as metaphors for sex: "pump your gas," "rev all night," etc. (thanks, Kevin - Dover, OH)
This evolved out of a jam session. It became a concert favorite and a popular song on Rock radio. When Led Zeppelin played it live, they would often jam on it, extending it with guitar and keyboard solos. (thanks, Donovan Berry - El Dorado, AR)
Regarding the innovative guitar sound on this track, Jimmy Page told Guitar Player magazine: "It's sort of backwards echo and wah-wah. I don't know how responsible I was for new sounds because there were so many good things happening around that point, around the release of the first Zeppelin album, like Hendrix and Clapton."
This is one of Robert Plant's favorite Zeppelin songs. He sang it on his 1988 Now and Zen tour.
Led Zeppelin performed this at Carmen Plant's 21st birthday party in 1989 with Jason Bonham on drums. Carmen is Robert's daughter.
The "Talkin 'bout love" part was most likely nicked from the song "Love" by Curtis Knight and Jimi Hendix. (thanks, Tin Ear - Fullerton, CA)
Led Zeppelin did not release any singles in the UK until 1997 when "Whole Lotta Love" was released 18 years after it was written. There were several pressings made of "Trampled Underfoot," but they were all shelved before being released, and are, today, viewed as highly collectable.
Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin Artistfacts
More Led Zeppelin songs
More songs that were adapted from early Blues songs
More songs inspired by cars
More singles that are now collectors items
More songs about sex

Comments (70):

I came here also to read about the "Long Train Running" similarity. Wow.
- a, Istanbul, Turkey
Am I the only one who thinks that this song would be "less" without those grunts at :33 and :35?
- Collin, Rochester, MN
I don't think Plant lost his voice at all. He might not have the same power but he is getting old now. I saw him live in Phoenix in 2009 or 2010 with The Band of Joy. He sung Zeppelin classics like 'Misty Mountain Hop' and 'Over the Hills and Far Away', along with some of his new songs which are not that bad. P.S. the concert was amazing considering his age: I'm only 17 so it is all I got :(
- Kyl, Mesa, AZ
Just one of those songs a buncha guys would make...it is kinda weird that he sang it at his daughters b-day party though! All I like about it is the SWEET keyboard skills by John Paul Jones. Is his real name John Baldwin, because I thought he changed it to John Paul Jones?? I don't know.
- Jane Doe, NJ, NJ
Kevin, Dallas, TX. While I completely agree with what you said, you've got a few mistakes in Zeppelin's lyrics, as well.

Plant does, in fact, say "body". Also, "Baby I can work all night, even got the power tools" is actually "Baby I can work all night, I've even got the perfect tools".
- Robert, Hesperia, California, CA
ANY ZEPPELIN SONG RULES. IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE SOUND, DON'T LISTEN TO IT. BUT DON'T EVEN TRY TO CONVINCE ME OR OTHERS AS TO WHY AND WHEN PLANT LOST HIS VOICE OR WHATEVER DUMBASS CRAP YOU HAVE TO SAY............PAGE, PLANT, JONES, BONHAM. THE END. ZEP RULES!!
- Linda, Lakeland, FL
It's a shame the lyrics on this site (and others) are so off base. Don't start singing these lyrics w/out being prepared to be snickered at.

For example: there's no word "body" in the first line - doesn't need it. Why'd someone add that in there?

And "touble free transmission, helps your oil's flow" is actually "trouble free transmission, hope she don't explode"

"Baby I could work all night, leave a big pile of tubes"???? HAHAHA It's actually "Baby I could work all night, even got the power tools"

"Special is tradition, mama, let me feast my eyes" is really "special extra edition, mama let me feast my eyes". Back then, there were often luxury 'special' or 'extra' editions of many car makes.

"Come down on my gasoline is even gonna conk your hair"??? would be a departure from the metaphor if that was really the line. It's actually "Come down on my gasoline, believe I'm gonna crack your head" - an engine's 'head' is actually part of the engine block and makes a really greate double entendre here.

Many more mis-heard lyrics in this representation of the lyrics. Led Zep really should have published the actual lyrics to avoid this type of butchery.
- Kevin, Dallas, TX
This is just one of the song that exemplifies the spirit of the 70's to me. Great song, great riffs and great vocals.
- Elsa, Los Angeles, CA
I am quite pleased to see that I am not the only one on here who found the riff to the Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Running" right here in this excellent song.
It is so obvious, in fact, that I remember hearing them at different times as a very young kid, thinking that they were alternate takes by the same band.
I seriously doubt that the Doobies would have even bothered suing for copyright infringement, as riffs are not really in that category of violation.
Now, take what Coldplay did with Joe Satriani, for instance...now THAT is outright THEFT, nothing less, period.
- oldpink, New Castle, IN
Awfully similar to The Wanton Song, which I like somewhat better than this song.
- Peter Griffin, Quahog, RI
If you don't understand all of the figurative language, you could come to the conclusion that this song is about having sex with a car, but it isn't. It's kinda funny though.
- Carlota, Ankara, Turkey
This song is amazing. The bass really puts it together
- Lisa, Toronto, Canada
Being Led Zeppelin is my favorite band I think this album and this song in particular represents their peak. Just listening to this song all 4 band members are on the top of their game. Great album, great song and the greatest band, plain and simple.
- Jesse, East Setauket, NY
When I first heard this song, I thought it was about having sex with a car. I am dead serious... No, I do not believe that now.
- Peter Griffin, Quahog, RI
It does indeed sound similar to the Doobie's "Long Train Runnin'," close enough for lawsuit territory, which Zeppelin had suffered before. But you gotta admit, lots of blues songs sound alike. Probably both Zeppelin and Doobie were basing the melody on some earlier source.
- N.I., Baltimore, MD
The George Case book on Page also related this as a song in which Page was credited as introducing a "new" guitar sound. Page was answering a question as to whether he laid claim to any "new" sound, not forwarding the idea. That's a pretty good book. Case pulls together info from a lot of different sources. There's nothing new in it, but it is packed with Page info, and any fan of Jimmy Page will learn something and enjoy it.
- mark, worcester, MI
this song is awsome it is a hard rocker with plant whailing on guitar and JPJ keeping a nice steady bass and bonham just playin' his heart out on his ludwigs
- Bill, Topeka, KS
Elyssa from NY! I love that recording on the DVD, i think it's well ace and shows just how well the band actually played together. i Have no doubt watching them live, there would be no comparison but i have no choice! :( Anyone who doesn't know how John Bonham continually changed his plaing style to suit Jimmy's playing or how JPJ's bass playing fits so well with JB's drums watch this, their musicianship is what lacks in modern music.
- Mark, Manchester, England
Just read the Jimmy Page book by George Case. This song was listed as one with a heavy John Paul Jones influence.
- mark, worcester, MI
this song is awsome
- jimi, marshamellow, VA
By far my favorite Led Zeppelin song. My first husband was a huge LZ fan and in 1975 when he bought the Physical Graffitti album, aside from playing with the sliding album cover, this album was on our record player and Trampled Underfoot was blasting all the time. Great album, fabulous song. Equating cars with sex........how can you miss. P.S. Seeing it live @ Earls Court in the 5.5 hour 2 Disc DVD set was disappointing. They were playing it way too fast, and it lost it's appeal that way.
- Elyssa, NY, NY
amazin album phygraff this song used to be my fav until i heard "the girl i love"
- Steve, Winnipeg, Canada
Does this song sound similar to Doobie Brothers Long train runnin or is it just me?
- sean, amarillo, TX
The lyrics to this song are pretty clever. I love the whole feel and sound of the song, it's probably my favorite Zep song.
- Tatiana, Aiken, SC
Watching this song live makes me a little sad. Plant and Page dominate center stage, while the best live rythm section in the world get almost no face time.
- mark, worcester, MI
Plant quit smoking "for the rest of my life" round about his late 30's.
- mark, worcester, MI
There is no way that Robert Plants voice was shot by 1971. He kicks ass at Knebworth in 1979. I'm actualy really suprised he can still sing because he's getting old AND he smokes.
- Joe, Oakdale, MN
good jpj kills in this song, great bass and keybord,

And page bonzo and percy kill aswell :)
- Niall, Dublin, Ireland
This lyric inspiration is Terraplane Blues,the instrumental arrangement is Superstition, and long train running is the lyrical tempo. As to Plants voice, I believe his voice didn't just suddenly die off, because he has really good moments on Houses of the Holy, such as the Ocean which is extremly high, and then even on Physical Graffiti, his voice is very matured and controlled, Night Flight is excellent vocally and so is Ten Years Gone, Wanton Song is a much more controlled falceto, but still good, and I really enjoy In My Time. As for Kashmir, give him a break he was sick when the vocal track was recorded. I would also like to say I recently saw him in concert and I have never heard Whole Lotta Love done as well live, and I have alot of bootlegs.
- Garrett, Orange , CA
Simple and driving, pages guitar work at some if its best. john paul jones demostrates his mastery of the keyboard on this and other songs like No Quarter
- Kurdt, Concord, NH
Well... the songs aren't about exactly the same things, but close enough.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
I have a couple of Robert Johnson cd's, King of the Delta Singers Volume 1, and the Complete Recordings to be more exact. Both of these collections contain "Terraplane Blues" and from reading the lyrics for "Terraplane Blues" and having litened t both "Terraplane Blues" and "Trampled Under Foot," the lyrics to both songs are very similar. They aren't, however the same. In other words, the songs are pretty much about the same thing, and use the same kinds of metaphors.
- Stefanie, Rock Hill, SC
I just watched Plant live in Victoria also. It was amazing! His voice is great! Personally i think the live version of this song on the dvd is definately the best Zeppelin song. The beat is basically twice as fast and its amazing.
- Zep, Seattle, United States
Actually, I just found a bunch of good bootlegs from the '72 tour and it seems to me that Plant lost the capabilities for holding high notes around the summer of '72, thus the whole band had to drop many of the songs in the setlist something like half an octive to compensate. I'm as much of a Plant fan as anyone, but I've got to agree that nothing after the California shows of '72 can compare to Zeppelin in their hayday in '69 or '70. The albums may sound great, but remember that Plant openly admitted that he used a lot of vocal tricks in the studios, most notably on The Song Remains the Same, where he sped his recorded tracks up to make them sound higher pitched.
- Chris, Whitesboro, NY
whole lotta love was realesed as a single 28 years after it was written not 18
- Wil, Lake Point, UT
all right peter here's the deal: you record a song by led zeppelin, a later one, one where you think his voice is shot. then send it to me and if you can sing better than plant start a band and give me free tickets!
- Jeanette, Irvine, CA
who ever says robert plants voice is shot must have had a serious blow to the head, i just watched him live in victoria. he was awsome
- matt, nanaimo
Dan: My point exactly. I don't get that comment either, and I saw some of their live performances on DVD's.
- Stefanie magura, Rock Hill, SC
Peter, how would he still be able to sing if he lost his COMPLETE vocal ability?
- Dan, Lee, NH
Jeanetter, Irving, CA:

Plant lost his complete vocal ability in late 1971. I guess you've never heard any of thier live performances? Most notably the 1972 Japanese tour.
- Peter, Everett, MA
why do you continue to say that plant's voice was shot? his voice is only starting to become shot NOW, and that is because hes fifty something! he has GREAT vocals in achilles last stand (he even said so) and that was after physical graffiti so that means he had a shot voice for one album and then went back to astonishing vocals! if you can sing kashmir and sound better than plant, please create a band or something! your voice is probably waaaaaay awesome and i would love to hear it!
- Jeanette, Irvine, CA
if you ever need to convert your non-zep listening friend into a fan: this song works like a charm! perfect for converting people who listen to even the crappiest music! and okay i don't tend to listen to christina aguilera so i don't know if she did rip dirrty off of trampled underfoot, but hey don't get all mad about she probably did its not like she writes any of her songs anyway! this song is awesome! :)
- Jeanette, Irvine, CA
I think i know what you mean from that post Ashley from Canada. You mean that "Trampled under Foot' and "Take Me out" have the same feel or vive. The beats are a little the same. I hope that all makes sense.
- Stefanie magura, Rock Hill, SC
Jones plays the clavinet at the beginning
- Brian, Corpus Christi, TX
I will find, kidnap, torture, and kill (if they're luck) anyone who ever uses the phrases "Led Zeppelin" and "Christina Aguilara" in the same sentence (this doesn't count: they're in quoptes @:) ever again, except to say that Zeppelin rules and C.A. doesnt deserve to even be in the presence of a picture of them.
Take me out is slightly similar in sound, but not a rip off.
- Greg, Erie, PA
It's ashame Plant's voice was shot on the whole Physical Graffit record. He wrote some great songs like this one, "Custard Pie", "Ten Years Gone", and "Kashmir." Great set of lyrics here in this song. I know Plant never thought of himself as a great lyricist but he's one of my favorites.
- Mike, Emmaus, PA
It should read "Trampled Under Foot".
- Peter, Everett, MA
Okay, Trampled Underfoot's riff isn't very close to Franz Ferdinand's riff. They don't even sound that much alike, but they do in a way, I'ts hard to explain. Anyway, Take Me Out did not steal the Trampled Underfoot riff. Also, I had no idea ever, that anyone would think Dirrty sounds like this. She doesn't sing "dirty" the same way as "love". Christina Aguilara makes me angry. Also, to quote Otto from The Simpsons, "Zeppelin rules."
- Ashley, Moncton, Canada
The recorded version of this song is great, but the live version of it on the Led Zeppelin DVD is even better. Page jams for like 5 minutes and its a really great sight. The Led Zeppelin DVD is a must have if you are a Led Zeppelin fan.
- Kurt, Flemington, NJ
sounds like a disco song
- Blake, fullerton, CA
I actually thought it sounded somewhat like the Doobie Brothers' "Long Train Running". Yes, I know the two bands are nothing alike, but listen before you flame.

They could've stolen the whole thing for all I care. I still think this is one awesome song.
- Isabella, Tucson, AZ
why do we even have to compare a song done by Christina Aguilera to a song by Led zeppelin. there is no competition or comparison. She's probably heard of Led zeppelin, but I'd be supprised if she had heard "Trampled Underfoot" before. "Trampled Underfoot" is a cool song though, and it's on the best Zeppelin album in my oppinion, 'Physical Graffiti".
- Stefanie magura, Rock Hill, SC
Not alone man, after listening to take me out, I thought they took the riff. But its probably just a coincidence. Still wierd though.
- Nick, Richmond Hill, Canada
11th Commandment: Thou Shalt not command the great Led Zeppelin sent as a gift from God himself to Christina Aguilera.
Honestly, its just wrong. completely different plane. Its like comparing AC/DC to Modest Mouse. NO. JUST NO.
- Mike, Louisville, KY
awesome bass/keyboards, jpj is soooo underrated
- Brian, Corpus Christi, TX
Man this song just sounds like they are having a load of fun playing it.
- Marcus, Tigard, OR
mama let me pump your ass.. whoops i mean gas ;-)
- josh, montrose, MI
I find this a little odd that Robert Plant sang this at his daughter's birthday party
why do popstars insist on makin crap songs out of mad ones. i mean i have nothing against the vid clip of aguileras dirty but the actual song is crap
- Sam, Sydney, Australia
I thought I was the only one who thought it sounded like Dirty! When he says, "Talkin bout, Lo-ove! Talkin bout, Lo-ove!" It sounds like, Gonna get, Dirty!

Zeppelin owns.
- Mike, A place, Canada
oh good...thanks chris, i was wondering if i was the only one who thought there was a similarity to "take me out."
- Rizwana, Montclair, NJ
I listened to the guitar riff on Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out" and definately could sense some similarity.
- Chris, Whitesboro, NY
I'm guessing JPJ had his keyboard set to 'Clavichord', because that's what it sounds like. Great song!
- James, Bransgore, England
Now that you mention it Allen it does sound like Dirty.
- Nathan, Brisbane, Australia
My favorite of all time...This was the one I used to test out my new 600-watt system. Shook the bricks!!!
- Rob, Brooklyn, NY
A Zeppelin classic that gets the adrenalin pumping. John Paul Jones's solo both rocks and "funks" on!.
- Adrian, Wilmington, DE
talkin bout love...drives me to the brink does this baby !
- terence, mumbai, India
Am I the only person who's noticed that Christina Aguilara's song Dirrty completely ripped off the musical track, and some of the lines from this song? Go ahead, compare them, I want to know if I'm just insane or not.
- Allen, St. Charles, IL
isn't jpj's keyboard great? this song makes you dance.
- kelly, los angeles, CA
This is one Led Zeppelin song you can get down and shake your booty to.
- Gerald, Stockton, CA
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