Going To California

Album: Led Zeppelin 4 (1971)
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  • Jimmy Page and Robert Plant wrote this song, drawing inspiration from Joni Mitchell, specifically her song "California." Mitchell lived in the musically fertile but earthquake-prone Laurel Canyon area of Los Angeles; "California" finds her recalling her adventures on a trip to Europe but looking forward to a return home. In "Going To California," Plant plays the part of a guy who's looking to leave his no-good woman behind and make a fresh start in California.

    Page and Plant were both enthralled by Joni Mitchell's songwriting; in "Going To California," the guy in the song is looking for a girl just like her, one with "love in her eyes and flowers in her hair" who "plays guitar and cries and sings."
  • This gentle, reflective song reflects the place where it was written. To compose songs for the Led Zeppelin 4 album, Led Zeppelin retreated to a mansion in the English countryside called Headley Grange. The pastoral setting encouraged intimate acoustic songs like this one and "The Battle Of Evermore" - they also worked on "Stairway To Heaven" at Headley. Jimmy Page recalled writing it in a "late-night guitar twiddle" and recording it the next day outside on the grass using a mobile recording unit owned by The Rolling Stones.
  • This is an acoustic song with no drums, so John Bonham sat this one out. Jimmy Page played two different guitars on the track - a 12-string and a 6-string - and John Paul Jones played mandolin. Jones was the bass player in Led Zeppelin but could play a variety of instruments, expanding the band's musical range.
  • This was one of the songs Led Zeppelin played during acoustic sets at their concerts from 1971-1977. Plant would sometimes say the word "Joni" after the line, "She plays guitar and cries and sings."
  • There is some earthquake imagery with the line, "The mountains and the canyons started to tremble and shake." When Jimmy Page and Andy Johns flew to Los Angeles to mix the album on February 9, 1971, the area was still feeling aftershocks from the Sylmar earthquake, which hit that morning in the San Fernando Valley. Page got a little freaked out, and insisted on mixing "Going To California" last in case the song somehow conjured tremors.
  • This was part of Led Zeppelin's fourth album, which was untitled. The album was often called "ZoSo," which was Jimmy Page's sign, or "Led Zeppelin 4." The symbols were put in due to the lack of a title for the album. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Eric - Houston, TX
  • Robert Plant didn't start playing Led Zeppelin songs on his solo tours until 1990, and he did so sparingly. The Zep song he performed most often was "Going To California."
  • This song shows up in news programs and documentaries from time to time, but it didn't appear in a scripted film until 2019, when it was used in the movie The Friend, the real-life story of a woman with terminal cancer. Along with "Ramble On," it's part of the plotline, but Led Zeppelin songs are notoriously hard to clear and The Friend had a budget of just $10 million. Those involved in making the film, including executive producer Ridley Scott, made personal appeals to the surviving band members and managed to get the songs cleared at a deep discount.

Comments: 105

  • Fredrick Dansby Wallace from Todd, North CarolinaAlways thought it was “going to California with a LEAK in my heart”. Oh well. No one is like Led Zeppelin! Second best band ever to the Beatles. Led Zeppelin’s music is more alive, unique in texture and rawness than the Beatles but not as beautiful or as impactful to the world as the Beatles. They both vibrate deep in our DNA chain, but Led Zeppelin - lucky musical group - finds the deepest strand of DNA link.
  • Pearson Hamm from Georgia This is song is great it is relaxing Robert plant was super young
  • Lysette from Oklahoma This song made me feel nostalgic the first time I heard it. I reminisced on memories that didn’t even exist. The first time I heard it, my soulmate played it for me on my guitar and I can’t explain the warmth that this song made me feel. We are no longer together but when I play this song I feel like he’s by my side again. I thank Led Zeppelin for creating such a beautiful song and for being my old soulmate’s inspiration to play and create music.
  • Jessi from Coachella Valley CaliforniaWow.. Brings back memories from growing up in North Carolina as a kid.. I moved to California in my twenties because of these, California inspired songs. I kept thinking California must be an incredible place, people riding horses in the hills etc. Well, it is a special place... My 2 California born kids thank me all the time for being born here.. Not n. C...... Dream on.. Live on..
  • Lyss from Santa Ysabel, CaBattle of Evermore?
  • Lyss from Santa Ysabel, CaMuch as I love Joni, I think Sandy Denny made a lifelong fan of me with her strong backup singing on Going to California!
  • Robert from Ashland KySong is tremendous! It inspired my as I was going through a very difficult break up. I went to college looking for a new start. I had a definite aching in my heart. I looked for the girl with flowers in her hair but did not find her when in college. I realized I was looking for a girl who has never never been born. This is because, I realized the girl was not the girl I thought she was. I did feel like my life was an earthquake as well back then lol. I can laugh about it now, but this song is sooooo perfect!
  • Max Monteverde from Palo Alto, CaliforniaLearning this song on mandolin. Love this song and how the mandolin is used on Zep songs. It’s the mandolin sound I’m striving for. Bluegrass mandolin players are great, but they are a dime a dozen. They can’t match the mood, feeling and depth of Zep styled mandolin playing.
  • Nicole from Massapequa, NyTo Nick - Warwick, RI - Yes, this was inspired by Joni Mitchell's "California", but it was also more directly inspired by Joni's "I Had a King", ("To find the queen without a king they say she plays guitar and cries and sings") which was about Graham Nash. Nash responded with his song "I Used to Be a King" - Jerry Garcia played pedal steel guitar on that song.
  • Tammy from Laredo, Txthis song is about robert plants groupie girlfriend michelle overman... vh1 special rock tribute to the groupies "im with the band".
  • Melissa from Fairborn, OhWhen this acoustic Led Zeppelin occasionally gets play on any classic rock radio stations, or on the I-Pod, it makes me cry especially Robert Plant's calm singing voice. However there was a live version of this acoustic Led Zeppelin song from The BBC Sessions, and How the West was Won, and also they performed the acoustic Led Zeppelin song on the 1975 Earl's Court. Robert Plant performed this acoustic song from the Fate of Nations with Kevin Scott MacMichael on acoustic guitar and Phil Johnstone on mandolin, and also, Robert Plant performed this acoustic song with The Strange Sensation from 2002 to 2007 with Skin Tyson on acoustic guitar and Justin Adams on mandolin.
  • Melissa from Fairborn, OhThis is one of my persional least favorite Led Zeppelin song from Led Zeppelin IV album, because in fact, the song makes me want to cry, and also, the song puts me to sleep when every time I hear the song. The song includes a mandolin/acoustic guitar duet, and yes there is no drums on this song, and also, "The Battle of Evermore". John Bonham does not appear on this song and also, "The Battle of Evermore" . My favorite part of the song is the line including Standing on the hill in the mountain of dreams. Telling myself it's not as hard hard hard as it seems. Mmm, hmmm. I love the studio version from Led Zeppelin IV album, and I also love the live BBC version from The BBC Sessions album too. This is a beautiful and a lovely acoustic Led Zeppelin song.
  • Remmick from Indianapolis, InThis is the best song I ever heard. After hearing a couple songs by Led Zeppelin such as Immigrant Song or Black Dog, I decided to get more into them. Then I heard this song it it made me feel like i wasn't on earth anymore. The thing I like the most about this song is that it always comes back to me. most of the songs i really like usually fade away and get old, but this one never wears out. I absolutely love this song, because it puts me in an emotional mood, gives me not only musical inspiration but much other types of inspiration, and it makes my mind soar. all in all not only Led Zeppelin's best song, but in my opinion this should be the number 1 rock song. It has the classic "romance" base to it as most songs do, includes a melodic acoustic, and the best voice I've ever heard.
  • Joe from Winnipeg, MbAhhhhh....Led Zeppelin. I've been a "Led head" since 1968 when I was introduced to their sound. I haven't looked back. What a feel for music! what versatility! From "metal" to plaintive, beautifl ballads and hard blues! On the subject...I remember the first time I heard "Goin' to california..." A friend of mine loaned me a couple of his 331/3 vinyls. I sat in my basement one saturday afternoon with a jug of wine. I was gettin' nicely mellow when "Goin' To California" started. The LP was well worn and scratched. But make no mistake. That beautiful melody, great guitar and mandolin and Rp's haunting high loansome sound hit me. It was everything - the wine, the lyrics, the delicate melody...That was it. This is Zep's best...it transcends all. I remember I played it over and over and over. And yeah...there was a huge lump in my throat and it happens now every time I hear it. When I play the CD in my van, the first cut I go to is "Goin' To California." I can't help it. and, oh yeah. The other one is "When The Levy Breaks." Wow! Hard rockin', hard hittin' get down and get dirty blues! Plant's voice is also so incredible on this! I'll also throw in the "live" version on "The Song Remains The Same" of "No Quarter!" John Bonham's drumming is flat incredible! what a sad loss...There will never be another group like Zep!!
  • Brian from Boston, MaAnother great acoustic guitar song about California.California dreamin' Hotel California,Ventura Highway. All great songs it is amazing the lure that California has. It's not just a place but a state of mind
  • Sara from Kenosha, United Kingdomthis song is amazing to me cause it mans something, alot of songs these days are talking about nothing, and you know dam well that when when they wrote this it ment something to them. and i listened to the deep inhaling, yeah,wonder what that was. haha
  • Britt from Boston, MaDefinitely one of my favorite Led Zeppelin songs. It's so gentle, then it builds up to much more. Robert Plant's voice is soooo tranquil and beautiful and sometimes I prefer him singing softer instead of screaming Communication Breakdown. But I love anything Zeppelin. The beginning of the song just changes the mood and it calms me down a little. Only Led Zeppelin could create such a masterpiece.
  • Nicole from Alexandria, Vawhat a beautiful song! i'd rate this in my top 5 led zep tunes for sure! the mandolin is just such a beautiful intsrument, and i absolutely love the tender, balanced way that John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page play together. and has Robert Plant's voice ever sounded more beautiful? he is truly one of the most versatile vocalists of our time. I truly believe Led Zeppelin is one of the greatest bands of all time. they could play in so many styles and still sound amazing.
  • Nick from Seattle, Albaniai love the inhale of air (not weed) at the beggining...sounds like he is choking up or supressing tears. its so emotional and sets the mood perfectly. way to go Plant!
  • Zane from Kenosha, WiThis is my favorite song even though all songs by Led Zeppelin are awesome.
  • Rod from Edmonton, AbI can never help getting lost in this song.I saw plant do this at a solo show.Every member of the band picked up a guitar of some sort.Wow,i did'nt want it to end.
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InSimply gorgeous work from the boys.
    What else is there to say?
  • Elena from Paradise City, Australia, --I can't believe I haven't heard this song till today. It's been sitting in my playlist for over 2 years and today I finally listened to it, about 20 times now and I can tell it's going to be one of my favourite Led Zeppelin songs for life.
    What a beautiful song. So utterly simple and courageous, just pure and beautiful.
    The stories I've read on here, especially your's Steve from Phoenix, have made me realise the real effect music can have on people.
    But to me this song is simple, it's about the plane crash while going to California, and being grateful for what you have. It's fine for people to interpret it differently for their own sake, but it really gets to me when people over analyze songs, especially when it's fueled with religion.
    I'm sorry if this sounds shallow, I know this board to a great song isn't a place to get spiteful, and I know that there is one reference to "God" in this song, but changing all the lyrics from "sun" to "son" etc to make it more religious,is just wishful thinking. The line "The mountains and the canyons /Start to tremble and shake" isn't about a story in the Bible, it's about seeing the world around you crumble, in what you think is your last moments alive.
    If Jimmy Page and Robert Plant wanted the song to be religious they would've made it more religious.

    Just listen to this song with an open mind and try not to let world influences effect how you see the song, it will become more beautiful to you. =]
  • Congo from Woonsocket, Ri I still listen to this song every morning on my way into work--and I'm fifty seven. "...I wondered how tomorrow could ever follow today" gets me everytime. I love that sweet heartache feeling from a long time ago---this song brings it on everytime and for a little while,I'm tewnty years old again.
  • Fred from Seattle, Wacouple of comments. The sound at the beginning of the song is an inhale not a toke, a toke would sound like Rush's "A Passage to Bankok". This a great song. It is one of my all time favorites based on vocal delivery, lyrical content, and arrangement. The final verse leaves you hanging a bit and makes you want to listen to it all over again. Something else about the lyrical recording is that you notice sometimes that it sounds as if the vocal gain was very high and their are some saturation points, and I wonder if this is why the subtler points are captured so well with emotion. Also, I had always thought the "Children of the Sun" was a reference to men from the Silmarillian (which do "awake") but this song pre-dates that book's release, though their may be some reference to it in the LORs, but that is probably a stretch
  • Eric from Buffalo, NyThis is one of my fav's from Zep. The lyrics are some of the most touching in all of music. "Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams, tellin' myself it's not as hard, hard, hard as it seems...ooooo ahhhhooo." Greatness.
  • Chelsea from Wichita, KsSo I've come the the conclusion that its impossible to hate this song. With Led Zeppelin every song is a story and I think this is on of their most under-rated ones yet.Its so pretty, I remember someone saying that this was their favorite Zeppelin song so I decided to look it up, Led Zeppelin has a lot of good ones but this has to be at the top. And yes, I cried too, this is one of the few songs to ever touch me.
  • John from Somewhere In, MaTo me, this song means that the narrator just got dumped and needs a fresh start, so he's going to California even though he "has an aching in (his) heart"
  • Allie from Pine Knob, MiLed Zeppelin 4 is definitaly their best work!!!! All of the songs on there are beautiful and this one is one of the top ones
  • Allie from Pine Knob, MiIf i could cry every time i heard this; i would! The guitar just gives me the chills and fills me with some emotion i can't name!!
    Jenni you're right, God truly blessed Jimmy and Robert with such a beautiful song!This is one of my top Led Zeppelin songs, which is pretty high on my list of songs!!
  • John from Johannesburg, South AfricaI listened to Never the Bride covering this on the Encomium Album - awesome!!!!!
  • Nora from Small Town , FlThis song makes me feel at peace. Robert Plant's voice makes me feel sexy, it calms me down but yet peps me up at the same time. I love the part when he says : "The sea was red, and the sky was grey, I wonder however tomarrow could follow today" To me, that is the Best way to have put into words how to describe a sad or depressing day....Led Zep inspires me in so many ways...I feel their lyrics when I listen. I only hope that many generations to come share the same love that all of us on here have !!!
  • Heather from Los Angeles, CaShadowfax was male, so not a mare. But it's possible they didn't know that when they wrote it.
  • Bill from Topeka, KsAbout the only accustic song i can handle besides Friends
  • Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiVan, are you SURE Robert's puffing a joint at the beginning of the soong?
  • Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiWow, that's really awful, Steve. I feel sorry for you. The last song he ever played alive? This song would've taken on a new meaning to me, as well.
  • Steve from Pheonix, Azmy best freind and i were on a road trip to californi with nothing but our guitars when we crashed. this is the last song we played together before he died and i cry everytime i hear it. this song has more meaning to me than any song will ever have
  • Dave from Concord, MaThe line about "Find a queen without a king" points at Joni Mitchell's first album "Song to A Seagull", side one, cut one, "I Had A King".
    When the Blimp (WBLM, big Maine rock station) played it's 3 millionth song, Going to California was the one chosen by the lucky listener who was allowed to make the pick.
  • Luke from Mt. Morris, NyThe line "took my chances on a big jet plane, never let'em tell you that they're all the same" is refferring to a near plane crash that happened to led zeppelin. a reanactment for that event is scene towards the end of almost famous. oddly enough this song wasnt in the soundtrack to almost famous but several zeppelin songs are.
  • Andy from Custer, SdI'm all for Led Zep - Lord of the Rings references, but there are two problems with your Shadowfax. Shadowfax was a stallion, and was grey, not white, no matter what Peter Jackson would have you believe.
  • Alicia from Lincoln, Ne
    when i first played the song i did notice that love was a big theme in the song but i was also reminded of the 60's "the drug years" everyone was tripping on acid

    "Ill meet you up there where the path Runs straight and high."

    and as the vh1 60's drug years special notes, most people were full of love and some wore flowers in there hair. everyone loved one another and accepted one another. everything seemed so easy then and everyone was so carefree.

    "with love in her eyes, and flowers in her hair"

    also noted in the vh1 drug years special was a place in cali where alot of acid and lsd users congrigated and had park parties and such there was food, drugs, music and love. alot of music in the 60's was wrote wile under the influence of drugs or about drugs or both. thats how alot of bands got there fame also noted in the vh1 special.
  • Page from London, Canadabeautiful.
  • Guilliermo from New York, NyI agree with the songfact referring to the 1971 San Andreas Earthquake. Could that be "the wrath of the Gods got a punch on the nose ...." passage?
  • Emilia from Gdańsk, Polandstanding on the hill in my mountain of dreams... .....nothing but GREAT
  • Ed from Ottawa, CanadaIn keeping with the Lord of the Rings tradition of Led Zep I've noticed another refence in this song. 'Ride a white mare in the footsteps of doom'...Shadowfax could be the white mare...footsteps of doom could be the base of Mt.Doom
  • Ed from Ottawa, CanadaDoes anybody else notice the reference to Shakespeare. A woman who's never been born? Macduff was from his mother, untimely, ripped. That's from Macbeth. Maybe I'm wrong though.
  • Mark from Worcester, Mi"a day of choices that would never be undone" I think you're full of it but for the record, there's nothing written anywhere by man that can't be undone be the God of Hope...If that's what you were referring to.
  • Famousde from Chandler, Casome good thoughts here.

    And I agree that a timeless work will speak on many levels.

    At its root, the song is actually talking about a pretty serious event. A trip to California where the gamble was made. Where death was gambled. This song describes the day dear Robert "sold the soul," in California - a day of choices that would never be undone - and, the day that wrote Led Zeppelin's name into the world's history book and onto the wall of fame. Those reading this that have their own name in that book, know exactly what this song is describing.

  • Pat from Flagstaff, AzI love this song! It's gorgeous! And although I believe there's a deeper meaning to it, I also think it alludes to the psychedelic revolution of the late 60's. That's when everyone was stoned in California, there were a ton of hippies there (particularly in San Fransisco), and so it was said that people there had love in their eyes and flowers in their hair.
  • Kaitlyn from Jackson, NjThis is my favorite song along with kashmir. it is so great!
  • Derek from Sarnia, CanadaJohn Paul Jones is wonderful on the mandolin in this song and you can't say enough about Plant's voice
  • Ashley from Syracuse , NyI think that the best part of this song is Ride "a white mare in the footsteps of dawn
    Tryin' to find a woman who's never, never, never been born." It shows how hard he may be looking for love, and be open to love even though maybe woman have let him down before, robert Plants voice is so passionate and all the tones and melody are perfect. The perfect song to listen to when your having a bad day
  • Courtney from Cheney, KsI love this song. It is very good. It relates to me. It's one of my favorite songs.
  • Tom from East Lyme, CtI didn't like this song at first, but then it grew on me, and I've come to realize it's true beauty : )
  • Ashleigh from Augusta, GaThis is just one of my favorite Led Zepplin songs. I think this song rocks and I listen to it everytime that I have a problem with my boyfriend and I think about moving away to California. It always cheers me up.
  • Mike from Mason, OhWow this song is amazing. I love to play this on guitar. The studio version is ok, but the How the West Was Won version is so amazing! Love to play that. And this song makes you really think of what it could be about. I guess it can be about whatever you want it to be about. Thats why I love Led Zeppelin. There songs can be about whatever the listener wants them to be. I may be only 16 but i know good music, and Led Zeppelin is the BEST music.
  • Racine from Truro, MaI just saw Train last night and they did a really beautiful cover of this song.
  • Jillian from Nyc, NyIn a nutshell, I think that he's comparing the difficulty and disappointment of finding the woman of his dreams WITH the apocalypse.

    I think this is about a man who has big hopes of meeting his dream girl (he "took his chances on a big jet plane"), yet once he finds her, he sees signs that he was wrong about her ("the sea was red...sky was grey"). And he thus feels helpless ("I think I might be sinking"). He wants to be saved from his disappointment ("throw me a line . . ." and then feels hopeless about ever finding a true love ("tryin' to find a woman who's never never never been born.") He basically realizes at the end that he's blown his whole disappointment out of proportion, and at the end realizes that "it's not as hard as it seems." Seems like he realized that he's taking this one experience too seriously, and is, ultimately, not giving up his hope after all.

    This is at least my interpretation of the song, I'm sure there's tons of possibilities, and I may be 100% wrong! Nevertheless, it's a beautiful , touching song, one of my favorites of Zep.
  • Galina from New London, CtI like the way led zeppelin breaks up the word "hair" in the song.
  • John from Monvtille, NjThis is one of the best, and equally as beautiful acoustic songs ever written. "Someone told me there's a girl out there, with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair." That's my favorite line in all of Led Zeppelin's songs, and I know almost all of them.
  • Justin from Compton, MsI really like this song alot because it has alot of emotion in it but I would just like to point that the middle part of this song is about the end of the world. when he says "The children of the sun began to awake...watch out now" it should say "The children of the Son begin to awake... watch out now" Son being Jesus Christ. It's so obvious when he says "The mountains and the canyons start to tremble and shake" because that is actually from the book of revolation.
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Cathis song is reallly good on how the west was one. i like it a lot more after seeing it live.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScNever mind it is one of my favorites. I loved it when I first heard it.
  • Isabel from Rome, ItalyI love this song and I recently heard it sung by Robert Plant in his 2005 tour. What a wonderful live version...
  • Seren from Cardiff, WalesThis is one of my favourites too. I love the line "Tryin' to find a woman who's never, never, never been born". I wasn't born when the song was written & it always sends shivers down my spine when I hear that.
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Cai should've been a hippie. i really should've. i'm totally lost in the 70s, i never wear shoes, i hug trees...really i should've been a hippie.
  • Merlin from Cincinnati, OhJPJ plays mandolin in the background. Truely beautiful.
  • Michelle from Houston, TxMost people favor Stairway to Heaven to this song and yes STH is an awe-inpiring one-of-a-kind song, but this song has always been my complete favorite Zeppelin song. It was truly sung from the heart, you can feel the song (so rare anymore *sad*) It takes me through SO many emotions every-single-time I hear it, [and I too wore flowers in my hair as a child :)]...like someone said above: happy and sad. But it's like it also inspires hope...even when your feeling hopeless. Very few artists can stir that much emotion in me, especially the new ones - I WAS born past my time! I can't say it's my favorite song of all time (I couldn't pick just one), BUT I cannot emphasize enough how much I love this song - I can't see why it isn't everyone's favorite Zeppelin song!
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Cai think the best line is standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams telling myself its not as hard as it seems. i love that line.
  • Stephen from Steamboat, CoMy Faveorite Led Zeppelin song of all time. I don't live in california, but I just love that line: "Someone told me there's a girl out there, with love in her eyes and flowers in her hair." and with the children of the sun beginning to awake, it really makes you move. Coming from the heart, It is the best song to me. "Tellin myself its not as hard-hard-hard as it seems!" ahh, beautiful.
  • Gabriela from Columbia, Scthis song is memorable for me when i was in a black metal band at age 16 (im 20 now) my friends dad would show up at practice. he would be kinda drunk and he would shout out "going to california" out loud at me. i never knew what he meant. he just kept telling me if i liked the song. and told me i should learn to play it. i was like whatever. but after hearing it, i fell in love with the song. especially since im from cali. hail zep
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI love Led Zeppelin too. This isn't my favorite either, but it's a great song. For some reason, I could tell it was about Jonie Mitchell too. That was before I read it here... strange... I guess that's because I listen to her a lot too.
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Cai like joni mitchell's voice a lot, and i think shes pretty good, just not exactly my favorite. anyway for some reason i loooooove led zeppelin and i love this song, but somehow it doesn't touch me like some of their other songs do. i can see why it would touch all you, i guess its just not my song. but i still love it. i can't get enough of led zeppelin...
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScJeanette. I know you think your dad listens to Jonie Mitchell too muc, but, I think you should listen to her songs more closely. she's a great songwriter, and I can see why Robert plant and Jimmy page were fans of hers.
  • Luka from Ljubljana, EuropeIt's amazing how this band managed to create some of the most hard-rocking anthems and than at the same time such hauntingly beutifull ballads. Trully genious... I'm listening to this song right now on my computer, it's on repeat and I just can't seem to get enough of it... there it goes again...
  • Scott Moore from Boston, MaJimmy Page wrote the music to the rain song in response to George harrison ,who often partied with zep, after he said they didnt have any ballads. The first two chord to the "rain song" are the same as "something"."going to California " has a different onspiration.
  • Jeanette from Irvine, CaReading everyone else's way of interpreting it suddenly makes me appreciate it a lot more than I used to. I'm gonna listen to it right now. :)
  • Jeanette from Irvine, CaWeird... I sort of thought of Joni Mitchell. Maybe because my Dad listens to her way too much. I like this song because I live in california and my brothers a biologist and we always go do research in this meadow and thats what this song reminds me of. I love this song! It makes me sad and happy at the same time...
  • Aly from Sumner, WaThis has to be one of my favorite songs. I know it is about finding a woman but it reminds me of when i was little and i would put flowers in my hair and me and my dad would listen to this song.
  • Robert from Vancouver, Bc> Ca, United StatesIt just warms my heart reading all these comments. I saw Zep 4 times and Robert a similiar amount. Going in Sept to see him in Vancouver. I think I could not have been born at a better time then to have been there when Zep was so Mighty. I vist the Zep website from time to time and there is a whole new generation listening to Zep and they are pissed off that they were born in the wrong generation. What a tribute to Robert, Jimmy, John and John Paul. What a group... None will surmount them.
  • Buddy from Fort Lee, NjTo find a Queen without a King, they say she plays guitar and cries... ooooh and sometimes my baby sings.. Going to California Live. Truly one of the most amazing songs. I never really understood the lyrics until i smoked a joint with a friend of mine and we actually listened to it. Apparently, Plant is on his way to find a girl of his dreams and the plane crashes and there is blood in the sea...(sea was red..) and the sky was grey ( smoke from the plane). then he talks abou the wrath of god and if he can throw him a line to save his life.
  • Tina from Cuse, NyGoing to California is one of the best songs beside Tangerine by zeppelin. I love how Robert plant sings, They say she plays guitar and cries and sings, La La La La. So awesome!!!!
  • Ben from New York, NyI love how plant shouts "watch out" before certain parts of songs. He does it before the crescendo and before the solo in Since i've been loving you.
  • Ben from New York, NyThis song is so awesome, i was so upset when i couldn't learn in on the guitar becuase it is mostly mandalin
  • Sherri from Cranston, RiGeorge Harrison said that Led Zeppelin never made any ballads, not McCartney
  • Josh from Las Vegas, Nvthis is best on the BBC sessions, following Stairway and then having That's the way follow it
  • Carly from San Diego, CaIt is really interesting to see so many unique interpretations of the song. This is my favorite Zeppelin song
  • Mike from Garden City, NyI always thought this song was about Jimmy Page and The Yardbird's trip to California, and the lead guitarist had a breakdown, so Page became the led guitarist. Many of the lyrics match up to this event if you consider the girl to be the other members of the band.
    They say she plays guitar(Jones on bass) and cries(Bonham's legenedary Paiste cymbals) and sings(Plant).

    All the lyrics in the song could be a reference that his trip to California was the reason why he was able to create "The New Yard Birds"
  • Will from Mobile, AlThe studio recording of this song is great, but if you would like to hear MUSIC OF THE ANGELS, listin to this song on "How the West was Won", it sounds awesome live!!!!
  • Jude from Los Angeles, Cathis song reminds me of looking for a woman to love i love this song so much i think it's their best work!
  • Pedantic Wit 02 from Madison, WiCompare this beautiful song to Pearl Jam's Given to Fly. I find some striking vocal similarities.
  • Sam from Sydney, WaIt seems that it is about a plane crashing...then maybe he drowns?

    Then he says "Throw me a line if I reach any time
    I'll meet you up there where the path runs straight and high." which is reffering to heaven.
  • Billy Ross from Hagerstown, Mdthis song was covered on disc 2 of Fuel's Something Like Human cd.
  • Janelle from New York City, Nyrobert plant is such a great singer. I believe this is one of his greatest vocals
  • Janelle from New York City, Nybeatuiful! i love it! my favorite led zeppelin song tied with immargart song and stairway!
  • Ac from Winnipeg, Canadaya...thanks jimmy and robert...yet another amazing song.
    It captures the essence of the soul's endless search for something more.
    It made me cry too.
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DeObviously Paul McCartney had not listened to Led Zeppelin II and III when he criticized Robert Plant's lack of ballads.
  • Dino from Bandung, IndonesiaI think what makes this song sounds great is the unique guitar tunings used by Page, very unusual tuning's technic for that time (1970's) and it's called Open G. The same tune used for the studio version of "That's The Way" (with a semi-tone down). D G D G B D.
  • Zack from Chehalis, WaI think that the song starts out how you were saying about leaving the annoying housewife to look for his "dream girl". But then I think the song is saying that while on the plane, it crashes. First he makes reference to the "Big jet plane", then says to "never let them tell you that they all are they same" meaning that his plane may have had a flaw in its design? Then all of a sudden "the sea was red (with blood?) and the sky was gray (with smoke?)" Then he's "wonderin' how tomorrow could ever follow today" meaning that he thinks he will die. So maybe the moral is, be grateful for what you have.
  • Ryan from Menominee, WiPlant wrote this song after being criticized by Paul McCartney for not writing a enough ballads...
  • Matt from Chicago, Ili am with you guys on the line "standing on a hill in the mountain of dreams." "Telling myself its not as hard hard as it seems" Truly the best line. I think everyone has been there atleast one time in there life
  • Jon from Mountain Home, Idha ha van! I have to listen for that. Well my sister is going to Cali for about her life, so I gave her a cd starting out with this song and it broke into some more love songs since she going there cause her friend got bone cancer, gave her a little something for the airplane trip there.
  • Farzad from Gainesville, FlMore than any other love song, this one seems so genuine and just straight-up self-expression. This was the first song I ever liked by Zeppelin and remains my fave to this day four years later. From reading "Hammer of the Gods" by Stephen Davis, Plant says he actually wrote it to document a duality in their lives...their annoying wives at home and the ideal girl out there who they would occassionally meet on the road. Since it's on Led Zep IV or Zoso, it kinda follows in the tradition of "Stairway to heaven" (and any other piece of good art) as the listener can fill in what they want the song to mean. Whether that be the search for one's ideal soulmmate or the nagging anchor who smokes all your stuff and drinks all your wine. By far my fave line in any medium, "Standing on a hill in my mountain of dreams...telling myself it's not as hard as it seems." I'm with Jenni from Spain, this song touches me like no other...like it was sent down from heaven or something. Thank you Jimmy and Robert.
  • Jenni from Bilbao, Spainthis is such a beautiful song, it's one of my favourites. i cried the first timed i actually listened to it and i was only five years old.
  • Van from Tampa, FlThe sounds at the beginning of the song are subtle, but you can hear the sound of an airplane overhead, and the sharp inhaling sound is Robert Plant taking a 'hit' off a joint
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