The Rover

Album: Physical Graffiti (1975)

Songfacts®:

  • "Rover" is old British slang for a wanderer. The lyrics are fitting to this definition. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Mason - Greenville, NC
  • This began life as an acoustic piece. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant started writing it in 1970 at Bron-yr-Aur, the cottage in Wales they went to after a brutal US tour. The cottage had no electricity or running water.
  • Led Zeppelin recorded this at the Houses Of The Holy sessions. They didn't use it on that album, so they remixed it for Physical Graffiti.
  • Led Zeppelin never played this live, but during their 1977 tour of the United States, the band would often use the opening riff to segue into "Sick Again." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Chris - Whitesboro, NY
  • The intro is very close to the Kinks track "Wicked Annabella" from their Village Green album. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    John - Waterford, Ireland

Comments: 49

  • Moj from Atlanta “I used to rock it, sometimes I’d roll it”

    Refers to a human body part. :/
  • Robert from Johns Creek, GaI love this song and consider it as one of Zeppelin's finest. I personally believe it is about the privateering ship, The Rover which was commissioned from Liverpool in April 1800. She is famous for capturing the Spanish Schooner, Santa Rita, and three gunboats, making the captain Alexander Godfrey a British hero. Plant would have been well-versed on its history during his school years. The lyrics are very fitting. The wind will shake'em down (sails), will the plunder leave anything to show, the flat world is dying, hear the rested rivers call, etc. Fabulous song, great for cruising with a great car stereo with subs in the trunk. :)
  • Aj from Another Town In MichiganI agree w/ Allie from "A Little Ol' Town in Michigan" wholeheartedly--the entire song and chord structure gives me chills, not to mention the lyrics. I first discovered it during the spring of '86 which was a very tempestuous season that year: black clouds, blinding sunlight, warm tornado-force winds and the odd rainbow. A weird juxtaposition/transition of seasons and this song was my soundtrack, giving me goosebumps in the midst of the atmospheric moodiness.
  • Bob from San DiegoGreat song for sure. That said, I don't think it is underrated anymore than Custard Pie, Houses of the Holy, Night Flight, Sick Again, Wantin Song, Down by the Seaside, or Ten Years Gone (most other songs off Physical have gotten their due).

    These songs all fit into a category I would call "overlooked," which is how I would categorize most Zeppelin songs found on Physical, Presence, In Through the Outdoor, and Coda as well, and to a lesser extent on Houses of the Holy albums. So many great songs have been overlooked.

    As for Physical...I would say Custard Pie is the most overlooked (underrated, if you must) song on the album. The guitar work is hands down my favorite from Page, especially the solo.
  • Tony from San DiegoCant ya just see Pagey with sunglasses, ciggy and dragon outfit? Great stoner solo! Probably most underrated Zep cut ever.
  • Bertrand from Paris, FranceOn the original vinyl sleeve of the album, it was written: "Guitar lost courtesy of Nevison. Salvaged by the grace of Harwood." Ron Nevison (sound engineer) was hauled over the coals on this one!
  • Thomas from Roswell, NmOne of my favorites from Zeppelin. The following lyrics really stood out to me when listening to this for the first time; "If we could just join hands" and "You got me rockin' when I ought to be a-rollin' Darlin', tell me, darlin', which way to go You keep me rockin', baby, then you keep me strollin' ".
  • Doug from Whittier, CaI posted this earlier, but it hasen't shown up for some reason? Now I'm not 100% sure but I think it says? "I USED TOO BONG IT, SOMETIMES I'D ROLL IT. I ALWAYS KNEW WHAT IT WAS FOR".. Anyway that's my opinion and I have been wrong once or maybe twice in the past?? Either way, great song!!
  • Ace from Otaki, New ZealandWhere and why do people get their ideas? There is no way this song sounds like that Kinks song, I seriously doubt even wasted on the weirdest drug that anyone could find any link between the two songs. I think it's just a way to appear knowledgeable whilst being clueless. Seriously, whoever wrote that needs a hearing aid
  • Ken from Philadelphia, PaI agree that this is an under-rated song. IMHO, it is the best song the band produced post Led Zeppelin IV.
  • Tom from Shelbyville, InI had a killer sound system in my car, had bought this cd for a trip north. crusin at night this came on and I was ducking down, it was like getting hammered.I thought my god! what the hell,geeze this is heavy
  • Tom from Shelbyville, InBless the Zeppelin faithfull
  • Rahul from Chennai, Indiaawesome guitar solo...woot woot...jimmy page we bow down to u..!
  • Alan from Rochester, NyI agree with a lot of the comments here.
    Now, I'm a big fan of Stairway, Kashmir, Whole Lotta Love, et cetera, but this one *should* be considered up there with those.
  • Daniel from Montreal, Qcmy lover she is lying, on the dark side of the globe- This is the best rock song of any band of all time.

    I know to trip is just to fall!
  • Rachel from Bristol, TnI agree, one of the most underrated Led Zeppelin songs. I love the lyrics, the dirty guitar tone he gets in this one, and just everything. In fact, I think I'm off to listen to it right now, hehe.
  • Mikey from Anywhere, CaGreat vocals, instrumental, etc... but but yr bollocks all caught up in Browny Hour find'n the river on the dark side of the globe spot on while a new world rises from the latest earthly plunder shakin and plaguen the land. Get yr arse holdin hands together rockin and rollen. That's all it takes ooh yeah darlin, you keep me rockin there can be no denyin, roll it again from a love that won't grow cold.
  • Dj from Chicago, IlI think this song defines what led zeppelin is... the beautiful guitar solo, the howling vocals, this is rock.
  • George from Little Rock, ArThe fact that this is known as one of Led Zeppelin's underatted songs is what make you realize how great Zeppelin was. If any other band had sung this song, it would have been their signature song. Everything about this song is perfect.
  • Jesse from East Setauket, Ny, NyHands Down, Led Zeppelin's MOST underrated song.
  • Allie from A Little Ol' Town In, MiThe guitar gives me chills. They don't play it on the radio enough, excellent song. Roberts wailing and singing give it an eery touch to it. UNDERRATED which is sad because its total led zep in the whole song, awesome guitar, intricate bass, wonderful singing and of course; epic drumming by the wonderful mr. bonham
  • Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiI think there is a bootleg of the acoustic recording.
  • Brett from Morristown, TnMost underated Zeppelin song of all time..."You got me rockin when I a ought to be rollin"...brilliant!
  • Dave from Ocala, FlMost likely, Matt, your version is by Heart, who, along with several other Zep tunes, played The Rover spot on during their shows, and there's one from 1976 that's all over the webernet.
  • Paul from Columbia, Scthis is my favorite zeppelin song.
    great song.
    "if we could just join hands" great line
  • Melanie from Seattle, Wa"Is the new world rising, from the shambles of the old?" = my favourite Led Zeppelin lyric ever.
  • Tim Boyd from Sydney, AustraliaThe best song from physical graffiti. The song that got me into Led Zeppelin.
  • Mike from Scituate, Ma
    "I used to rock it, sometimes I'd roll it I always knew what it was for. " Wat does that mean

  • John from Redditch, EnglandMASON from san antonio tx you are a idiot, a complete idiot. it is spelt BRON-YR-AUR i will repeat BRON-YR-AUR you are the stupistekfhj person ever.
  • Eric from Warwick, Riok, to settle this.....its Bron-Y-Aur Stomp, and Bron-Yr-Aur.....both pronounced Brawn-Rey-Air, and you roll the R's kinda like spanish...
  • Chris from Whitesboro, NyThere are two different rehearsals of The Rover circulating as of now as well as a short acoustic outtake. The rehearsals are from Chicago in 1973, one being the normal version we all hear on the album and the other an instrumental medley containing A Quick One by The Who and All Along the Watchtower by Bob Dylan/Jimi Hendrix. They are both very intriguing and well worth a download.
  • Kurt from Flemington, NjThe small guitar solo abuot 3:14
    into the song is great...its short and sweet and i don't know if it's me or not, but it sounds like the same style of the beginning of the Stairway to Heaven solo. It definitely has somehwhat of a resembelance to the STH solo.
  • Jeanette from Irvine, Caaah...this song reminds me of my 5-7 year old days for some inexplicable reason. i LOVE it.
  • Jimmy from La, CaYou think the name is also a reference to "the rover" from the British TV series "The Prisoner"?
  • Ryan from Brentwood, CaThe guitar in this song is even cooler than In My Time Of Dying.
  • Dan from Lee, NhOk you know things are bad when the majority of the comments posted are about how to spell Bron Yr Aur. I mean come on guys that has nothing to do with this truly great Led Zeppelin song. But back on topic I agree with Kelly I think that Led Zeppelin was so great no one could truly appreciate them.
  • BrynjÃ?lfur from Hafnarfjörður, IcelandActually.... it's Bron-Yr-Aur (the instrumental on Physical Graffiti) and Bron-y-aur Stomp, on their third album.
  • Reed from Hagerstown, Inactually, there are two seperate spellings that Zeppelin use for "Bron-Yr-Aur" (the actual place in Wales they recorded):

    First, there's the song "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp", which uses the correct spelling, and "Bron-Y-Aur", which is the 12-string Acoustic Instrumental from "Physical Graffiti."
  • Anthony from Melbourne, AustraliaITS BRON-YR-AUR idiot! even led zeppelin themselves spell it like that.
  • Mallory from Sarasota, Flgreat song. when i heard this i thought it sounded a lot like this wrestlers intro. and it does. i guessed it would have to meaning that this guy was a lone wolf and was often called bret "the hitman" hart. its underrated. and is great b/c its meaning affects us now. " If we could just join hands" now, thats deep...and only it were that simple......
  • Todd from Philadelphia, Pa"I used to rock it, sometimes I'd roll it
    I always knew what it was for. " -Damn, thats powerful and innocent at the same time"
  • Chris from Npt, NyI think this is the best Led song there is. Just everything about it.
  • Fabrice from Berlin, GermanyI also have a 'live version'. In fact it's just a rehearsal. The song wasn't ever played to an audiance.
  • Ron from Folly Beach, ScIt was never played live.
  • James from San Francisco, CaThe *entire* song was never played live, but the intro was used for Sick Again in the 1977 American tour.
  • Seth from Caerleon, WalesActually Mason is wrong, in the Cymraeg or Welsh language "Yr" is used before a vowel, otherwise just "y" is used. The word "Aur" is a vowel meaning "gold" So it is Bron Yr Aur after all.
  • Terence from Mumbai, Indiaone of page's best tunes, its definitely under rated.its up there, ll which led zep track isnt????
  • Kelly from Los Angeles, Calove this song!! the bass rocks. everything in this song rocks. another underrated classic.
  • Matt from Chicago, Ili have a live version of this song on my computer and to the best of my knowledge its real. sounds alot like led zeppelin.
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