Ten Years Gone

Album: Physical Graffiti (1975)
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Robert Plant wrote the lyrics about a girlfriend who made him choose between her and his music 10 years earlier. She got the boot. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine (March 13, 1975) the interviewer, Cameron Crowe, asked Robert Plant what gambles he had taken. Plant replied: "Let me tell you a little story behind the song 'Ten Years Gone' on our new album. I was working my ass off before joining Zeppelin. A lady I really dearly loved said, 'Right. It's me or your fans.' Not that I had fans, but I said, 'I can't stop, I've got to keep going.' She's quite content these days, I imagine. She's got a washing machine that works by itself and a little sports-car. We wouldn't have anything to say anymore. I could probably relate to her, but she couldn't relate to me. I'd be smiling too much. Ten years gone, I'm afraid. Anyway, there's a gamble for you."
  • Jimmy Page used some 14 guitar tracks to overdub the harmony section on this piece, which was originally intended to be an instrumental number. He cites this track as an example of a Led Zeppelin song that wasn't riff-led, relying on orchestrated guitars instead.
  • John Paul Jones used a strange 3-necked guitar and bass pedals to play this live. It became too much of a chore and they dropped it from concerts in 1977.
  • Robert Plant: "'Ten Years Gone' has been meticulously assembled from different sections written by Jimmy. After the tremendous focus dedicated to such a song, we played anything to warm ourselves up. This is how 'Trampled Underfoot' and 'Custard Pie' were born." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • Led Zeppelin played this when they opened and closed the Knebworth Festival in 1979. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Marshall - Gallatin, TN
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Comments: 101

  • Badlands Babe from UsaPatty from the Bronx...
    How's that acid trip working out for ya?For future reference, if you MUST post such delusional, & inept commentary,
    that has absolutely NOTHING to do with Led Zeppelin, their song
    Ten Years Gone or John Lennon...
    Post it on the correct page...
    the 'Grand Illusion' by Styx.
  • Therese from Ohio, UsaI think this is one of my favorite songs. It fills me with so many emotions and feelings it's almost overwhelming.
  • Pixie from Los Angeles, CaThis song gave a lot of meaning for me about 5 years ago (2008), it had been 10 years since I was young & single (1998). I had a special guy in my life at that time that would've given me the world if I had asked, but chose to live life at it's fullest without him. I always felt it was the right person, wrong time. I wonder what would've been if I had stayed with him. This song brings me back to that time, but I know things worked out the way it was meant to. "Changes fill my time, baby that's alright with me. In the midst I think of you, and how it used to be.''
  • Steve from Trabuco Canyon, CaMy son Kevin started playing guitar on Christmas Day 2007 (age 11) when he received his first guitar which was a Yamaha classical guitar. I was commuting from Chicago to Orange County at the time and before I left home at the end of the holiday break I told him to learn Stairway to Heaven. Two weeks later when I came home he had learned most of it from using guitar tabs and You Tube videos. He then said what else can I learn and I told him to learn Ten Years Gone which he had never heard of. He is now fourteen and receiving his 6th guitar in a few days for Christmas. He plays all of both of these songs and Ten Years Gone is one of his favorites like mine. I used to listen to it skiing in the late 70's and early 80's on a Sony Walkman in Colorado which was very cool. You could ski from the top of Winter Park to the bottom and the same song was still playing. This song is very introspective.
  • Laura from Stone Mtn, GaI've loved this song since high school...it's amazing...and now @ 41 years old I still love it. It actually means sumthin to me now...it's in the top with tangerine, in the light & the rain song... 4ever music 4 the soul
  • Britt from Boston, MaThis is my second favorite Led Zeppelin song next to ' In the Light'. I think 10 years Gone is a very emotional song. I do believe Plant's voice could have been used stronger in this song, but I enjoy it how it is. This song has so much meaning and emotion it sometimes makes me cry. Robert Plant is amazing. Led Zeppelin will always be my favorite
  • David from Los Angeles , CaJimmy is amazing in this song
  • Robert from Houston, TxSure Patricia from the Bronx is in the music business. Somebody has to take the ticket stubs at the show entry door.
  • Nick from Seattle, Albaniathis song is the perfect pakage! lyrics, amazing riff and solo, my lord
  • Nick from Manhattan, IlNo Joe, actually Jimmy used a Strat to record this song.
  • Luke from Dayton, OhThis song touched my heart the first time i heard it. This is like one of my most fav. songs ever.
  • Roy from Granbania, MaPatricia from the Bronx... If you weren't joking with that 'John Lennon's baby' BS then I think you have some sort of a mental problem. There is no possible way anyone could read something into this song that sounds more ridiculous than your theory. Even if this did happen, why would Robert Plant of all people write a song about it¿ And why would it be a secret if Lennon is dead¿ Your comment offered no insight and was a total waste of time. The point is this song is beautiful. Any story behind it doesn't change that.
  • Reed from New Ulm, MnLove how heavy and rockin' the bridge to this one is: 'did you ever really need somebody..and really need 'em bad'...
    One dynamo of a song!
  • Kristina from Ny, NyThis is an excellent song, one of my favorites of all time. There is a mistake in the online lyrics. If you watch Robert Plant singing on YouTube, you can clearly hear him say "Flying skies of fortune, each a separate way... On the wings of maybe and downing birds of prey." To me, this song is not about lost love so much as having to leave someone you really love to answer to a higher calling of your soul. But in the end, we're all headed to the same place again because "though the course may change sometimes, rivers always reach the sea." He's in a different place in life and can't be held back, although he still loves her, but their lives are taking different paths and they have no choice but to leave each other.
  • Oldpink from New Castle, InWho could not just love this masterpiece?
    I love how it starts off gently, then Plant and Page kick into the energetic section.
    Fantastic lyrics about regret and the price paid.
  • Olivier from Alma, QcAmazing song.
  • Reilly from Rosa , CaAmazing that a song like this comes from such a heavy band. For some reason it reminds me of a girl that I want so bad but know I can never have her.
  • Robert from Houston , Txjimmy page's solo is so transcending
  • Joe from Freeport, IlDid you know that Jimmy actually used a Fender Telacaster for all the guitar parts on the original recording. I actually learned how to play this exactlyright by ear when I was 14, only a year ago. I usualy play it on my acoustic instead of my electric though, It just has a good acoustic kinda feel.
  • Melanie from Seattle, WaThis song is so beautiful I can listen to it over and over again. Despite the fact that Robert's voice may not have been in the best condition he still sounds amazing on this song. It's so full of emotion and sadness. Darrell from KY your story made me cry..
  • Alina from Karlstad, Swedeni'm listening to it right now, crying. It's such a beautiful song and I cry even more now, when I read the story from Darrell, Williamsburg, KY.
  • Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiCraig, Zeppelin didn't exist in the '80s. They couldn't have had a new outlook BECAUSE THEY DIDN'T EXIST!
  • Jake from Birmingham, AlHey Craig, Zeppelin didn't make it very far into the 80's. John Bonham(god rest his soul) died in 1980.
  • Jacob from Fresno, CaMy favorite song. I love everything about it.
  • Rob from La, CaFavorite Song Of All Time By Any Band
  • Scott from Chicago, IlI remember LZ playing this to close the end of an
    acoustic set in Chicago in spring of '77.
    When the drums dropped in, Page sprung from a chair
    and propelled back it back (with authority) across the stage. It still is one of my favorites, and possibly one of their best songs from probably their best album.
  • Craig from Springfield, Oruhh no actually they played this in '79 as well. And I don't think it was dropped for being a hassle, they had roadies to deal with that and JPJ did a splendid job using it (he still does).. I think they just dropped it as they went into the 80's. They had a whole new outlook of what they were doing.
  • Darrell from Williamsburg, KyThis song has more meaning to me than any song ever recorded, because I listened to this song with my best friend as I gave her a ride home from work one night. She talked of how this song was her favorite song ever. 1 hour later she was killed in a car accident. She has been gone for 12 years now, and every anniversary of her death I pull along side her grave and play Ten Years Gone for her.
  • Dylan from Olmsted Falls, United StatesOne of their best!
  • Rire from Mexico, MexicoA Classic Piece From Zeppelin Really Good
  • Ortie from Chaska, MnAmazing song. Especially when done with a full orchestra. Ha and good for Plant for picking music over her. She deserved it if shes that self centered as to be jealous of music.
  • Perry from Detroit, MiClassic.........This is from thier best album
  • Cody from Lititz, Pathis has to be one my favorite led zeppelins songs if not my fav
  • Elie from London*great* sorry
  • Elie from Londonpatt from bronx you dont know what youre talking about
    otherwise this song is freat and plants voice too
  • Joe from Bethlahem, PaI love when Plant sings "did you ever really need somebody, really need em bad...." Whoever says Plant doesn't sound great on this song is wrong. But I'm also tone deaf so I'm not sure.
  • Rob from Wilkes-barre, PaYou're
  • Rob from Wilkes-barre, PaPatty from the Bronx, how are you in the music industry if you cannot articulate a coherent thought. Also, making ungrounded speculations paired with old sayings does not make your statement correct. Your stupid at best, slanderous at worst.
  • David from Whittier, Cajust awesome just completely awesome, who ever says led zeppelin is not a great band, must be deaf because led zep is the greatest
  • Paul from Newfane, NyThis is one of those songs that you listen two 50 thousand times and it seems to get better every time.
  • Pete from London, EnglandOne Of Led Zep's best. Plants vocals rule, Bonhams drums are awesome, Pages guitar work is incendiary, and Jones is just....there.
    Anyway, Patricia from Bronx USA.....just....shut up. You have NO idea what you're talking about. Do us all a favor and get a life.
  • Frank from Corpus Christi, TxI love this song. Kinda reminds me of a cruise around the cotton fields in South Texas.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaLyric story kind of like Elton john. Who would've thought elton john and robert plant would have something in common.
  • Amy from Silver Spring, MdThis song was written (along with What is and What Should Never Be, Rain Song, and several solo Plant songs) for his 1st and true love, whom he met in 1965. They went their separate ways and he married her sister later. Robert pined for this woman for years, and had a child with her in 1991. I have met him, and at different times both women. She is well-deserved of this song-a lovely gal. His wife put up with his lifestyle, whereas the sister would not. That's fact.
    I would agree that his vocals are not the best, but if you have a listen to Dallas March 1975 or even "Destroyer" in 1977, his vocal performance is remarkable. Patricia in Bronx, NY, darlin' I'm sorry but you're totally off-base about the John Lennon thing!
    Amy/Silver Spring MD
  • David from Monrovia, CaAmazing song. Consistent with Page's Light and Shade vision.
  • Elaine from Spokane, WaThis is my favorite Led Zeppelin song, although it was pretty tough to narrow it down to one. For awhile it was tied with "Achilles Last Stand" and "Going to California". This song has so much emotion that it almost makes me cry every time I listen to it. I found the live version on the internet. Here's the link:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rlvTP8yhccE
  • Trisha from Okc, Okwhat the heck is mike from PA talking about? someone else HAS to agree with me!
  • Spencer from Richmond, Vadoes anyone know where you can hear a live version of this song? im dying to hear one if recordings exist
  • Mike from Saint JohnWay Underated, but i love this song.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaJeez, kinda like the Elton John song, "Someone Saved My Life Tonight" never woulda thought Elton and Robert Plant had something in common.....
  • Greg from Erie, PaRock and Roll got me interested in Zep a few years back. Ten Years Gone made me absolutely love them.
  • Marlon from Brooklyn, NyKiller Solo, Great Guitar Piece, and Great Vocals by Plant.
  • Julian from Anaheim, CaMy favorite Zep song along with Misty Mountian Hop and Trampled Underfoot.
  • Ryan from Bethlehem, PaThe Black Crows covered this on their '05 tour.
  • Jordan from Shokan, Nyone of ny top 5 favorite zeppelin songs. probably right after stairway. what a great song.
  • Kika from Nyc, NyThis song is definatly one of my favorites. It makes me feel like sitting down on a curbside despairing while watching water flow into the gutter. Maybe i mean that it's a little overdone, but i don't think so. i love it.
  • Kurdt from Concord, NhNonetheless on of their best songs, top four of five at least
  • Kurdt from Concord, NhIm pretty Sure there are more emotional moments in Zep songs, like "All of my love" when plant is singing about his dead 5 year old son
  • Francisco from Cudahy, CaThis one is one my fav led zeppelin songs also the rain song both songs make me feel diffrent,
  • John from Kalgoorlie, AustraliaI would have chosen the music. I mean, a ten year commitment, she's not the one.
  • Kyle Delmuro from Huntington, NyAbout 3:20 into this song where plant sings the verse with "Did you ever really need somebody, And really need 'em bad
    Did you ever really want somebody, The best love you ever had" i think thats the most emotional point in any led zeppelin song ive ever heard, alot of people really can relate and this is my favorite zep song overall
  • Kurt Bain from BracbridgeThis song good but when it was made Page was almost drugged out one of his last of his great pieces.
  • Poo from Poo, GreenlandOne of the greatest songs of all time. I can definitely relate to it in so many ways. Sounds corny, but it's true. Beautiful in so many ways.
  • Ryan from Brentwood, CaThis song makes you feel so good.
  • Joe from Bethlahem, PaThe most underrated Zep song ever, it's in my top 5 for sure.
  • Chad from Reading, PaPlant's not saying Jean and John holding on, he's saying Ten Years Gone, Holding on. I love Plant's voice on this song.
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Cathis song is my only favorite song by led zeppelin that i actually understand! (except no quarter...) it actually makes perfect sense yay!
  • Steve from Oroville, CaMy favorite Zep song for sure!!!
  • Scott from Childersburg, AlAll I can say is, unimaginable talent goes into all Zeppelin songs. You just don't see lyric and music writing like that anymore. Long live Led Zeppelin. Teenagers are still listening to their music today, 25 years later. That says alot about the talent these guys really had. I believe they were really ahead of their time.
  • Mike from Emmaus, PaAgain, terrible singing by Plant. He had a great voice but sadly he just doesn't come through on this album. Not one song on Physical Graffiti was sung right by Plant. He admitted his voice was shot and it shows.
  • Patricia from Bronx, United StatesYes, hi how are you? I have a problem believing that this song is for Robert Plant. If you listen closely at the end of Ten Years Gone you hear Geane and John are still holding on. Well, Robert would be Bobby not John. I am in the music business. I'll let you in on a secret. I believe he wrote it for John Lennon. In 1963 John slept with a beautiful american woman who just happened to get pregnant. She was married to someone else. She gave birth in 1964 to a girl child. John Lennon's. 10 years later John found out and wanted to see this child. He was forbidden by the woman. A real scandal. Led Zepplin people saw John cry about this. The music bus. knows all too well. That why it says eagle leaves the nest. You know baby. A nest is a mother bird with her babies. Child got big. When he saw this mother he begged her. She was still married and afraid her husband would find out!!!!! Wake up and smell the coffee. Listen for Gean and John still holding on. You will surely hear it. Robert Plant cannot say it's for John because today it is a hidden kept secret. Only other musicians close to John know. That why he was in a depression. He never got to see this daughter. What a hearbreak. That's why in 1973 Yoko kicked him out. She couldn't take it anymore. Led Zepplin doesn't tell the truth here. It would have read Geane and Bobby still holding on. But no it doesn't say that. The mother's name is June. Very close to Jean. Maybe the English pronounce June like Jean. You see you can catch people in a lie. Let the truth be known!!!!! Patty
  • E from Vancouver, CanadaAh I remember now... The song 'Black' by Pearl Jam borrowed the riff from 'Ten Years gone'
  • E from Vancouver, CanadaHas this song ever been covered? I just know I've heard this riff before in another song recently. either its been covered or the riff had been ripped off. Anybody know?
  • Swansong200 from Calhoun, GaOne of my top all-time favs, with incredible and passionate guitar playing. As much as i love the studio version, the live versions are incredible also, with Page showing off with blistering solos on his B-Bender Telecaster.
  • Todd from White Plains, KyThis song is a magical journey into love lost and the ultimate source of remembrance. The song is a lyrical work of art with Jimmy, Bonzo, and John Paul floating Plant's mystical words into an orgasmic flowing cadence. The words hold a special feeling for me. Feelings about being young and blown away by a dark haired girl with worldly knowledge capped off with just the right amount of innocence. It has been over ten years but still as Robert says holding on ten years gone.
  • Rob from Vancouver, CanadaI have a live version of this that Plant introduces
    as "a proper love song". I love so many Zep songs but i think this is my all time favorite. I almost never listen to it though, because i never want to get tired of it.
  • Josh from Puyallup, WaThey actually played this song live in 1979 in Knebworth...Great song...Definately a favorite
  • Samantha from Jackson, TnTen years gone..wow..gives an amazing feeling every time i listen to it..i could listen to it for hours..the lyrics, the rythmn of the instruments..all of it combined creates one amazing song.
  • Adfaldf from Happy Vill, Oraccualy jpj uses the triple neck in 77 and 79 as well
  • Jim from Seattle, WaTen years gone and The Rain Song. The two best Led Zepplin songs period.
  • Ari from Manhattan, NyThis song for me is very special. I can relate personally from this song and what plant went through. I had to choose about a woman I loved and saw for 7 years and had to choose froma promotion and move across the country or to stay in ny and be with her. I chose the promotion (Youngest VP in company history atage 24). Anyways, I guess for me it just seems to remind me of what I had..butI don't regret the choice...
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScYeah, it's a beautiful song. It's so haunting, and sad, too.
  • Ashley from Moncton, CanadaThis is one of my all-time fave songs, and my favourite Zeppelin song. It's so awesome. and awesome. and did I mention awesome? I'm obsessed with music...
  • Jude from Szombathely, HungaryMy fave Zep song, and that's a big thing for me b/c I'm normally unable to choose favourites... I could listen to it for a thousand times over and over and never get bored of it for a second.
  • Brian from Corpus Christi, Txthe lyrics are chilling, and the song is beautiful. the lyrics ar amazing, i bet almost everyone can relate
  • Leah from Houston, TxMost definetly my favorite Led Zeppelin song. It's the most haunting and meloncholy and yet undeniable beautiful
  • Paul from -mankato, MnI think Page uses a phaser during the solo
  • Michael from Atlanta, GaBest Song of all time, nothing short.
  • Dave from Winnipeg, CanadaThis is probably one of the best guitar sounds ever. Can someone tell me how page gets the effect for it?
  • Daniel from New York, NyI think this is my probably my favorite led zep song.
  • Julie from Marquette, MiWhat a hauntingly beautiful piece of work...I'm sure most all of us can look back on a long lost love with such mourning and wonder.....this is just gorgeous..
  • Robert from Atlanta, GaNot true! They did not drop it in 1977! The last time they played it was on August 4, 1979 at the Knebworth Festival.
  • Janelle from New York City, Nywhat a heartbreaking song! plant sings so wonderfully in it
  • Ac from Winnipeg, Canadaone of my all time favs. sooooo beautiful, so sad...a masterpiece.
  • Pants from Calgary, CanadaPlant 1975: Let me tell you a little story behind the song '"Ten Years Gone" on our new album. I was working my ass off before joining Zeppelin. A lady I really dearly loved said, "Right. It's me or your fans." Not that I had fans, but I said, "I can't stop, I've got to keep going." She's quite content these days, I imagine. She's got a washing machine that works by itself and a little sports- car. We wouldn't have anything to say anymore. I could probably relate to her, but she couldn't relate to me. I'd be smiling too much. Ten years gone, I'm afraid. Anyway, there's a gamble for you.
  • James from San Francisco, CaI'm not sure where you got your information, but if you've ever been to a Zeppelin concert, you'd know the truth. It's not a personal experience, it's about the feeling of an affair. Here are Plant's words, directly: "If you've ever had an affair with a member of the opposite sex, or a member of the same sex--and you realize years later that there was something more there, then you've experienced the feeling of lost love. And this is a song about that, it's called Ten Years Gone"
  • Kabrams from Dallas, TxThank god she got the boot
  • Will from Portland, Orits a good thing that Plant picked the music over the girl!
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DeA painfully personal song for Plant. Zeppelin's best ballad by far.
  • Susan from Tampa, Fldefinately, one of the most lyrically talented songs.
  • Farzad from Gainesville, FlLyrically, one of Plant's best
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