Kashmir: the meaning of Led Zeppelin’s most representative song

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Oh, let the sun beat down upon my face
And stars fill my dream
I’m a traveler of both time and space
To be where I have been
To sit with elders of the gentle race
This world has seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait
All will be revealed

Robert Plant once said: “I wish we were remembered for Kashmir more than Stairway To Heaven“. Kashmir, contained in the album Physical Graffiti, released in 1975.

Avoiding as usual to comment about any obscure meanings on Stairway To Heaven lyrics, he explains the dark period that gave birth to Kashmir, almost like a mission to accomplish, a task to complete. Factors that reflected in the cohesive effect that this song had for the band, and in the power that made Kashmir the real Led Zeppelin monument.

Their ability to project dreamlike visions, ethereal and poetic worlds, formal sublimations.

Kashmir is the region where the band imagines to converse with the old local prophets, about the messiah of awaited revelations.

The sun burns, the sand dries their face.

Led Zeppelin are in a dreamlike delirium, in a mystical reality. The revelation will then become prayer, invocation, awaiting a direction.

And that’s exactly what the guitar riff does. It is repeated with no end, giving the pace, marking a path that meets also mystical delusions, when violins start to mock Robert Plant. As in the ancient iambic poem, the melody in the bridge seems to become playful, making fun of this delirium. At the same time, the violins keep together the lyrics: lapidary, solemn, visionary.

Like in trance.

The voices give echo to mythological words.

Oh, pilot of the storm who leaves no trace
Like sorts inside a dream
Leave the path that led me to that place
Yellow desert stream
Like Shangri-la beneath the summer moon
I will return again
As the dust that floats finds you
We’re moving through Kashmir

Kashmir is probably Led Zeppelin’s most representative song.
Kashmir is power.

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