Over The Hills And Far Away

Album: Houses Of The Holy (1973)
Charted: 51
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This evolved from the Yardbirds song "White Summer," an acoustic solo by Jimmy Page. Many of the same riffs and chords are in it. After The Yardbirds broke up, Led Zeppelin continued to play "White Summer" live. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bartholemew - Cork, Ireland
  • This was one of the few Led Zeppelin songs released as a single in the US. It made it only to #51.
  • The music was inspired by Jimmy Page's Celtic ancestry.
  • This began as an instrumental. Robert Plant came up with backing tracks and then lyrics.
  • Plant's lyrics were inspired by the J.R.R. Tolkien book The Hobbit, and to Tolkein's 1915 poem of the same name. "Over The Hills And Far Away" describes the adventure the Hobbits embark on.
  • Page and Plant started writing this in 1970 at Bron-yr-Aur, the cottage in Wales they went to after a grueling US tour. It had no electricity or running water.
  • There's an old English song called "Over The Hills And Far Away" that dates back to the 18th century (It appears in John Gay's play The Beggar's Opera). This might be where the band got the title. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mason - Greenville, NC
  • If you listen closely, you can hear an acoustic guitar playing throughout the song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Marshall - Gallatin, TN
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Comments: 108

  • Roger from Western AuatraliaIt is great to see that I'm not the only one too who thought this was a great song. I use quotes of the lyrics all the and on my kids gets them thinking
    'Many Times I've Wondered How Much There is to Know'
  • Pedro from PortugalWow. I thought I was one of few to think that this is one of the best Led Zeppelin songs. I'm a fan, by the way.
    I was listening to White Summer, and don't see resemblances. A few chords only in first seconds , but chords are chords.
    And the rest of Over the Hills is completely different.
    Led Zeppelin were genious. Period.
    People try to get 'explanations' to that, but there are not.
    Like Tony, San Diego, who cant accept they never did backwards messages. For what? No, they were simply brilliant :-))
  • Demetrios "meter" Pappas from Atlanta , GaThey NEVER spent time at Bron-Yr-Aur cottage more than a couple hours. The reference to it was because Plant owned property near there and the general area was known by the name. Even the Vicar of the cottage has repeatedly said that he wished they hadn't because of the pilgramages the fans go on and basically tresspass on his property.
  • Tony from San DiegoIf they ever put a Satanic backwards message in a song, THIS should have been the one. Absolutely mesmerizing !
  • Zander from Los Angeles"I live for my dreams, and a pocket full of gold."
    My dreams= the dream every aspiring musician has of living off of the music you make and the live shows you play.
    Pocket full of gold= along with that it's nice to be super rich.
    That's my interpretation of at least that lyric and I think it's pretty good.
  • Anthony from Richmond, VaHow did this song only chart #51??? It's way better than that!
  • Brad K from Huntley, IlActually, Kashmir was the song that evolved from White Summer, not Over the Hills. These are both Celtic songs, so they may feel similar in that sense. But White Summer was in another tuning entirely.
  • Thomas from Roswell, NmMy favorite track from Houses of the Holy.
  • Alex from New Jersey, Njdid not know that this song was a suppose tolkien reference, but seems far more likely than an old british song. As for the "acapulco gold" they may have sung this in concert, but the line on the album version is clearly "pocket full of". Jimmy Page loved folk music, especially with celtic origins. He and Robert plant both visited scotland and wales frequently, and had houses there.
  • James from Dublin, IrelandNever thought of as, but one of zeps best songs and possibly one of THE best songs ever.
  • Ricky from Fort Worth, TxHouses was my favorite parking tape and most especially this cut. What Tolkien, read the words, this is about seduction and it did the job well, believe me.
  • Nikki from Yamba, Australiadefinitely one of their many best! love this song so much... the first time I heard it was through headphones and it scared the hell out of me when he says 'hey lady' cause I thought it was gonna be an instrumental :)
  • Rod from Edmonton, AbA superb song to play on your guitar,Jimmy is one of the best ever.
  • Olivier from Alma, QcAwesome song. The acoustic guitar owns...When electric guitar, bass and drum come in, it is kinda magical...
  • Eric from Buffalo, NyI love this song because it combines so many elements that made Zeppelin such a great band. I can never get sick of this song. "Many is a word, that only leaves you guessin'. To guess about a thing you really ought to know." I love that lyric.
  • Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiWhen they sang this live, they would sometimes sing "acapulco gold" instead of "pocket full of gold". Acapulco gold is a fabled type of (possibly deadly) marijuana. Oh, my...
  • Edal from Baltimore, MdSong is like a knife. From beginning to end it gets you with the hook and sucks you in to Robert's lashing. High Treble. Ah yea!
  • Joel from Columbia, ScAnother reference to Tolkien.
  • Melanie from Seattle, WaI love this song! Probably my favorite song ever.
  • Kristina from Albuquerque, NmAs for the bit about it being an old British song, a version of it was popular during the Napoleonic Wars, talking about going to "Flanders, Portugal, and Spain." If you get any of the TV movies from the Sharpe series, you'll hear a great version sung as the theme song.
  • Echo from Normalville, MaTim Boyd took the words right out of my mouth
  • Tim Boyd from Sydney, AustraliaThis is my absolute favorite Led Zeppelin song. Everything about it is great. Especially the version on the how the west was won. Absolutely fantastic.
  • Tim Boyd from Sydney, AustraliaMy absolute favorite Led Zeppelin song. I could listen to it over and over again. Especially the one from how the west was won. It is the greatest song ever written. I started learning it tonight.
  • Tatiana from Aiken, ScThis song is beautiful, and I love the acoustic beginning, moving to a harder middle. That was something that Zep did a lot, and it made their songs so interesting. - The vocals on this song are really positive and make your wonder how much there is to know as well . : p I love it.
  • Joshua from Chico, CaI recently bought the Led Zeppelin Remasters and I don't understand why this song is not on the album. It's a great song.
  • Andrea from Auckland, New ZealandI love the guitar in this song. I love the vocals, I love the lyrics. Many Led Zep songs I love, but if I had to choose a favourite, this would be it!
  • Spencer from Los Angeles, CaThe Hobbit is probably one of my favourite books ever...and this is one of my favourite Led Zeppelin songs ever! I hate how it seems like nobody likes it but me, and it's not included on any of the other compilations. This song is probably 65% of the reason why I actually went out and bought the entire "Houses of the Holy."
  • Jeremy from Madison, AlMany of Led Zepplin's songs either directly reference or are inspired by the Lord of the Rings books. Robert Plant was supposedly a huge Tolkien fan, even having a dog named "Strider" (so I've heard). You can hear the Tolkien references in many songs. "Misty Mountain Hop" is a direct reference to the Misty Mountains from the books. In "Ramble On", the lyrics "Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor I met a girl so fair. But Gollum, the evil one, crept up and swept away with her" is an obvious reference to the books. "The Battle of Evermore" also references the books with these lyrics: "The drums will shake the castle wall, the Ringwraiths ride in black" and also "The Dark Lord rides in force tonight and time will tell us all". The Dark Lord is Sauron from the books. Other songs seem, to me, to not directly reference the LOTR books, but seem to be inspired by them like "No Quarter", for example.
  • Jessica from Toronto, Canadaover the hills and far away has a 6-string acoustic playing the opening bit then when Plant first starts singing, there's a 12-string guitar overdub on top of the 6-string...
    (this song is awesome)
  • Max from Houston, TxI always thought this song was just about getting older. Plant is going through and telling of all the experiences he's had in his life thus far, and at the end with the "I really oughta know..." I always thought he meant because he had learned and lived that he should know better. I've read The Hobbit but I never thought to think that he was talking about that. Also, when people get old they say that they're "Over the Hills" and I thought the title was saying that the person was not only over the hills but much older than that. I don't know, maybe thats just me.......
  • Jl from Mccomb, MsI really love this song. One of my favorite LZ songs. Do any other of the band members have Celtic ancestry?
  • Greg from Oakville, CanadaWow. I've known this song for a while and i guess everybody is starting 2 hear about it now and realize its a really good song!
  • Doug from Balintore, Scotlanderm...it really isn't hard to hear the acoustic guitar playing throughout the song considering it's the only instrument used in the verse and is still quite easy to hear throughout the chorus' unless your ear is dead to music
  • Csanad from Budapest, HungaryOne of the songs I would call mainstream Zep, because it defines THE Led Zeppelin sound. Others would be Heartbreaker, Bring it On Home, Black Dog, The Ocean, to name a few.
  • Jordan from Shokan, Nywith respect to the last fact, i think its not really too hard to hear an acoustic guitar on this song. they dont consider an acoustic string steel guitar an acoustic guitar?
  • James from Toronto, CanadaI cant imagine why I used to hate this. Its my second favourite zeppelin tune
  • Mandy from Calgary, CanadaThis song is freaking awesome.
    It could probably be best described as... My Favourite Led Zeppelin Song (though it ties closely with D'yer Maker). The acoustic guitar is just so lovely- and this is just a beautifully crafted song. Its pure magic.
  • David from Monrovia, CaThe quality of Page's recorded guitar on Houses of the Holy is tremendous. Especially the crispness of the opening acoustic guitar and the following 12 string on "over the hills" has always felt personal and captivating, like it's right in the room with you.
  • Matthew from Lincoln, NeI'm pretty sure over the hills and far away kicks S.T.H.'s or Kashmir's ass any day of the week
  • Trisha from Okc, Okutterly amazing! i made my boyfriend put it as his ringtone:)
  • Trisha from Okc, Oki absolutely love this song! Led Zeppelin is the GREATEST band EVA! and plus this song is also my ringtone. i purposely dont answer my phone just so i can hear it.:)
  • Tyler B from Calgary, Canada Ac·a·pul·co gold (ăk'ə-pʊl'kō, ä'kä-)
    n.

    A potent Mexican-grown marijuana.



    *Wink*
  • Elizabeth from New York, Kythis song is amazing and we all know this.
    and its me and my boyfriends song. =)
    yeah and it makes it that much better.
    peace homies
  • Keewa from Fairbanks, Alin reference to the acapulco gold, there's a line in the Rush song "A Passage To Bangkok" which goes "Sweet Jamaican Pipedreams, Golden Acapulco nights..."

    and that song is about smoking drugs around the world, so maybe Acapulco gold is some kind of drug, like cannabis?
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Careally? they don't feel that meaningful or mysterious to me. when i want meaningful i listen to pink floyd...i think its the pure beauty that comes out in all their songs in different ways that makes them so freakin awesome.
  • Amber from Sturbridge, MaThe first time I ever heard this song, I went out and bought the cd at the store. I think I heard it on the radio or an old tape. That was like 3 years ago. I havent gotten sick of it yet. I havent gotten sick of led zeppelin at all. And thats saying something. The is an amazing song. It just makes you happy no matter when you listen too it, and great driving music.
  • Michael from Lafayette, InLed Zeppelin is the best rock band ever in my opinion. What draws you to them is that in a way they seem mysteryious. All of there songs seem to have some hidden meaning to them which is what makes them so interesting. And I never knew some of there songs were referenced to LOTR, which makes it more interesting.
  • Bill from Bedford, NhWhen they played it live Plant would say "..and a pocket full of gold.. Acapulco gold!". I checked several of my bootlegs ('73, '75, and in later '77 when this song replaced In My Time Of Dying on the set list), and the How The West Was Won CD set. Could this be a reference to the Bob Dylan song titled "Acapulco Gold"?

    Awesome song. If you can find them, listen to the 2/12/75 and 5/13/73 bootlegs. Amazing solos by Jimmy..
  • Matt from Brandon, CanadaThis is Zep's 3rd best song behind Stairway and Kashmir, Most people would change the song after the first minute but they are missing out on one of the best songs ever!
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScNaver mind, they are Tolkien references. i didn't notice them though. I haven't read "The Hobbit" though.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI can't believe I didn't notice the LOTR references.
  • Nick from Houlton, Meits good but not better than stairway to heaven
  • Matthew from Sarasota, FlThis song is what influenced me to start playing guitar, and liking led zeppelin.I like it more than STH; in fact i realy dont care for STH, too mainstream for me.
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Cai think it ties with STH. i don't really know anyone else who agrees. i think usually this is kind of an alternative to STH, and people that like this don't generally like STH. but i love them both!!!
  • Paulo from India, United StatesAgreed with e, vancouver and SJB that the version on How the West was won is superior. Also agree that the song is about a gazillion times better than STH.

    My favorite Zep song along with "Hey Hey What Can I Do?"
  • Bryan from A Town, NjDefinetly more better than Stairway to Heaven. More interesting.
  • Sammy from New York, NyI'm really surprised lyrics for this wonderful song were not posted. So, I decided to post them myself. I'm quite proud to have my name up there. Let's hope the legacy of Led Zeppelin lives on for centuries.
  • Pete from Oak Park, Ili love the little hollow organ that plays the original guitar riff throught out the song, but you can't really hear it til the end when the song is fading out.
  • Phil from Niagara Falls, Canadahaha, its awesome how the song starts slow..... then goes right in the beat and lyrics, awesome song
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Cai wouldn't say it beats stairway, but its tied with it. the special thing about stairway is that its...stairway. i don't know...its just grood. great-and good.
  • Kika from Nyc, NyI think this song beats out stairway any day. I don't know why stairway to heaven is so special anyway.
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Cakika i see what you mean. its just that most people aren't listening because they're blown away. they are listening because led zeppelin is such a big rock icon and you have to admit it does look impressive when you tell someone you are a led zeppelin fan. so i'd be fine if they actually did like a couple of songs its just that if zep wasn't so popular they probably wouldn't. i used to only know a couple of zep songs but was blown away by them, so i know what thats like. when you like one zep song it doesn't take long to realize you like other ones too is all i'm saying.
  • Kika from Nyc, Nyhow can you sing along with communication breakdown? as much as i do it, you can't avoid looking silly. But criticizing people for only knowing a couple zeppelin songs isn't exactly fair either, if they were so blown away by a songs magnificance, then that's ok too, you should be happy that led zeppelin had a chance to have their feelings expressed. You might be a bigger fan, cause you've memorized the chords of every song, but it doesn't make a difference, cause they can like zeppelin all the same.But getting back to the song, this song is amazing, and so is kashmir.
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Cahey jaron over the hills is great to sing along with, which is why its also the best for roadtrips like i said earlier...
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Cahey jerad! i know how you feel! everyone at my school does that too! they call themselves "fans" and occasionally sing the immigrant song or stairway but its not like they know ANY other songs. i always base whether or not someone is an actual fan by telling them that over the hills and far away is a good song and seeing if they even recognize the song. it works well cuz i mean if you are a zep fan you probably have houses of the holy. other songs work well to test out someones fanship, but this one works best for me! o and remember those people say they are zep fans because it is AWESOME to be a zep fan those people were just too lazy to listen to an album i don't know but this website is awesome because now i know there are other people out there that face the same dilemma as me!
  • Sjb from Waco, Tx"The How The West Was Won version is better, I think.
    - e, vancouver, Canada"

    Agreed. Plain, flat-out, categorically agreed. The original cut has nothing on the How the West version.
  • Jim from Dennis, NjLED Zep is the best band of all time personally my favorite is Stairway but it could easily be a fifty-way tie. They've never wrote a bad song Plant and Page are geniuses.
  • Kika from Nyc, Nyeven though this song is amazing, led zeppelin II is clearly a better album than house of the holy. House of the Holy can even begin to lean on popish, as much as i like led zeppelin, annnd house of teh holy, Led Zeppelin II is better. But the transition from the accoustic and tyhe build to the electric is wonderful, and exciting.
  • Jeanette from Irvine, CaHey everyone who likes this song! I am trying to do a study on what this and a few other Led Zeppelin songs are interpreted by different people so if you always imagine the same thing when you hear this song or think you know what its about please tell me! I know it has some Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit influences in it, but that can't be COMPLETELY what its about because it has other references too! Please help me out I really would like to know what you think its about! Thanks!
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Cayou're right tyler, I've noticed theirs two versions too. And Juan from Miami I completely agree! It is the third best song after stairway and kashmir! That's awesome!
  • Jeanette from Irvine, CaI love this song! This song is the best song ever made to sing on roadtrips *learned from personal experience* and it is one of my favorite songs ever. It's just so beautiful and I actually like the reference to Lord of the Rings I think that Led Zeppelin and Lord of the Rings are kind of the same. They are both masterful things of their field that have meaning far beyond what anyone would see without looking closer and are so great they both give me reasons for living! I love Over the Hills and Far Away!
  • E from Vancouver, CanadaThe How The West Was Won version is better, I think.
  • Tyler from Edmonton, CanadaIm might be tripping out man but i was listing to this song man and I herd them sing "I live for my dream and a pocket full of gold....acapulco gold" and the lyrics dont back this up so is there a different version. plz help this has beent bugging me for 13 years
  • Michael from Atlanta, GaYou are so right Izzie, Led zeppelin was masterful at transitions i hear it in everyone of there songs. And as hard as it is to pick a favorite zeppelin song i place this one at #2 behing ten years gone.
  • Izzie from Lala, Hii love the quick change from acoustic guitar to rock with electric guitars. it like sneaks in there and catches you by surprise. this song is sooo good!!
  • Ashley from Moncton, CanadaThe first part where the guitar's just coming on is the best part and then, yeah the song's, good and all that. It's my favourite Zeppelin song, after
    10 Years Gone.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScYeah. It is an amazing song. My favorite version is the live one on "How The West was Won." The thing about Led Zeppelin is they have so many great songs, you can't choose just one!
  • Juan from Miami, FlI never though in liking this song. Now that I even know the lyrics,I found out that it was good. At first I saw the title and though that it was a ****. This is the third song I like of Led Zeppelin, after stairway and Kashmir.
  • Josh from Las Vegas, Nvgod I love this song
  • Brian from Corpus Christi, Txthe guitar intro is how i judge a guitar player's skill; if a player i know can play it, i consider them good
  • Justin Mcshea from Columbia, MoI have no favorite of a Zeppelin song, but I have all the albums, and I am confident in saying Houses of the Holy is their best album, hands down.
  • Kika from Nyc, Nythis song is simply great, musically, and just makes me happy, that's what lifes about anyway isn't it?
  • Rob from Santa Monica, CaUnfortunately, bad guitarists seem compelled to play this song even more than Stairway to Heaven.
  • Mallory from Sarasota, Flluv this song. it makes me cry b/c of how real it is. sometimes i get real mad and play this song and then all of a sudden it makes me wonder that maybe i am the one who is being talked about in it. i cant say this is the best..b/c all led zep songs are the best. please, even though im 13, i luv led zep. and ppl should at least sit down and listen to them when they have a chance.
  • Mason from Greenville, NcThis was the first Led Zeppelin song I loved. I bought a compilation called "Remasters", which didn't have this song. I was pretty upset about it. Instead of buying another compilation, I bought all the albums (I got that box set), and I've never been happier!
  • Kevin from Los Gatos, Cathis is the greatest led zeppelin song. It makes me feel warm inside like a three year old girl...
  • Matt from Prior Lake, Mnthis song is freakin awesome but there's no "best" zeppelin song.
  • Carolina from London, EnglandI LOVE THIS SONG. i vote best zeppelin song ever, although fool in the rain was amazing as well
  • Sal from Ny, NyI love this song so much. this is definatly one of my favorite led zeppelin's if not my favorite. it's soothing dramatic, yeah about the hobbit, but i liked that book, and it's just a great song!and it ends sooo nicely
    -kika
  • Geoff from Nacle, NjGood Stuff.
  • Steve from Wallingford, PaThis is by far one of my favorite Led Zeppelin songs, and one of their best. I just have a correction to make on one of the facts:

    Plant's lyrics were inspired by the J.R.R. Tolkien book The Hobbit. The title refers to the adventure The Hobbits embark on.

    The book "The Hobbit" is only about one Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, and his adventure with 13 Dwarfs.
  • AnonymousThis song is probably led zepp's best and is very satisfying to play on guitar
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DeI can't say enough about this song! It's diverse with its folk-rock combo and somewhat psychadelic guitar solo. For a minute-and-a-half you think it's a pleasant Zeppelin acousting number and then BAM! It breaks off into a hard rock fury that really gets the blood flowing. Definitely one of Zeppelin's best!
  • Jon from Chicago, IlThe version on How The West Was Won is, by far, my favorite Zep song ever.
  • Tim from Menifee, CtDefinatly one of my favorites. My favorite part is when it is mellow then it goes into a rock beat with Bonham's drums. The best band and one of their best songs ever
  • Joey from Seattle, WaThis is such an amazing song-I just totally love it, no words to describe it! :'D
  • Spencer from South Kingstown, RiThe version of this song on How The West Was Won is amazing. This song is awesome, one of their bests.
  • Jango from Chennai, IndiaLive versions r amazing...u gotta love this song.
  • Will from Portland, OrI just decided that this is my new favorite Led Zeppelin song.
  • Ac from Winnipeg, Canadai love the ending...brings me to tears.
    it is impossible to say what song is the best zeppelin song...i just say they are the best band ever and leave it at that.
    ya..what is up with only being 51...they really oughtta know...zeppelin doesnt always get the credit they deserve
  • Will from Portland, OrThis is great in concert. Zeppelins best acoustic song.
  • Cassie from Detroit, Mithis just might be my favorite Zeppelin song of all time. the accoustic is awesome, and the lyrics apply to alot more than "The Hobbit". a work of art...
  • Paulo from India, United StatesInteresting that this song was inspired by Tolkien's Hobbit because there's a poem in Tolkien's posthumous Book of Lost Tales that has a poem entitled "Over Old Hills and Far Way." Not sure but I think Zeppelin's song predates the publishing of Lost Tales.
  • Jes from Canal Fulton, OhDuring this song Plant says "i live for my dreams and a pocket full of gold" and on How The West Was Won Plant Follows this line with him repeating the words Acopuco Gold
  • Ben from New York, NyThis just edges out Ramble on as my favorite of the LotR songs Led Zeppelin did. It starts out nice and soft with the acoustic guitars , picks it up to the kind of sound you expect from Led Zep, but trails off nicely at the end. Great Song.
  • Kelly from Los Angeles, Cahow could this song only have reached 51? this is a true classic.
  • Brian from Paoli, InThis is such a great song, makes the perfect driving song. And the beginning with the accoustic guitar, and then it speeds up and has that rolling bass line. A master-piece.
  • Ryan from Albany, OrThis is a very good song. This is a song to blow out a few speakers on.
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