1970; Bron-Yr-Aur, Wales: In a remote cottage in Wales Led Zeppelin vocalist Robert Plant is trying to knock out a swift lyric to accompany the melody lead guitarist Jimmy Page has composed for the band’s fourth studio album.  The finished song would go on to be iconic appearing in numerous listings as one of the very best of all time.  However, things did not get off to a good start on the lyrical front!  We join Messrs Plant and Page as they sit in front of a roaring fire having a chat about how things are going.

“Got the words for me song yet Robertio old chum?”

“No mate…….if the truth be told I’m bolloxed a tad……..can’t seem to get that crucial ending to what is in effect the bloody first line……..shame really Jimbo as you have writ one belter of a melody.”

“True mate I am well chuffed with it……..anyway what have you got lyric wise so far.”

“Don’t laugh mate but this is it………. ‘There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold, and she’s buying a stairway to……?’ To fucking where…..that’s the bit that I’m stuck on.  You got any ideas to throw into the mix?”

“…. and she’s buying a stairway to……..um……thinks…….what about this Robertio me old mucker. Try this one on for size. ‘And she’s buying a stairway to……..the opticians’ I mean I’m guessing here that the poor girl is a tad colour blind for it’s obvious to anyone with 20/20 regular vision that all that glitters is not necessarily gold.”

“Not bad Jimbo but you know to me ‘opticians’ – good as it is mate – doesn’t have that audience ‘hook’ factor I was after.  No…..back to square one I think.”

“OK then Robertio…….I feel another ending coming about me very personage……here we go…… ‘And she’s buying a stairway to the upstairs bog’ I’m thinking here she may live in a bedsit with shared lavatory facilities…..you know, a bit inconvenient and unhygienic if you think about it. What’s your take on that?”  

“No mate…..I mean her landlord wouldn’t allow it…..you know building a fucking great stairway to a bog that has yet to be installed…..then there’s the cost factor as well…..indeed there’s also a planning permission issue to contend with.  Nice try though.”

“Stuff me……I shall have to put me thinking cap on once more I suppose……um…..um….see what you mean Robertio this is hellish hard…….got it…….what about this? ‘And she’s buying a stairway to the bloke upstairs flat as she fancies him something chronic and with a flight of stairs straight up to his bedroom she’ll have a better chance of getting her leg across.’ That has to be it……you know this one has the romance factor…..bit of a love song if you want to call it that.”

“Dunno really…..I mean I see where you’re coming from but it is a little heavy on the number of words……..I reckon I couldn’t sing this to your melody without cocking it up.”

“Tell you what mate why don’t we take a walk down to the village pub…..you know wet the old whistle with a couple of beers and have a jolly good think……it might just sort of, kinda like, sort of, know what I mean get the old creative juices going.”

“Yeah, I’m up for that.”

“Tell you what Robertio what a beautiful cloudless night sky……..look up mate and you can see ‘heaven’…….bloody handsome.”

“Handsome as it may be Jimbo all this talk of ‘heaven’ is leading me off topic so let’s just stroll in silence while I ponder the issue at hand.”



      1. My pleasure, I appreciate your writings. I must say I rather miss my tree hugging suicidal poet! I grew quite attached to her 🙂

      1. Right. I’ve actually completely stopped reading any books or newspapers due to the endless useful information I can glean from your blog as well as a few choice others.

  1. Huh….

    It was fuck all like that when I wrote it. Page and Plant? Plagiarist and Twat, more like.

    I just sat down at my old Mum’s mixing desk, shuffled together a few chords that our kid had twanged out on a guitar he’d nicked from Dawson’s on Sankey Street , and then scribbled down some old tosh for lyrics. It was a piece of piss. Cottages in Wales – my arse! Bloody long-haired hippies and weirdos, them thieving Led Zep blokes are.

      1. Leonard Cohen? What a shyster – never paid up for that bloody lyric. I even sent my Mum round to tweak his nuts , but he still refused to pay. In fact, he left her zimmer frame propped up on bricks while she was borrowing his outside bog – the twat!

        This Suzanne down the chip shop – she’d be the one who thinks she’s Elvis, I presume?

      2. Suzanne was a big girl I’ll admit yet it is true she used to belt out a song or two down the Workings Men’s Club of a Friday night……….the maid had a heart of gold, just smelt a bit……..my God could she hum though.

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