Returning from the tour of the United States, which Led Zeppelin was in 1973, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant went to Morocco for the National Folk Festival. It was there that the history of the Kashmir song began, although the region of Kashmir is located in the northwest of Hindustan, and none of the members of the group has ever been there.
Let’s try to figure out why the composition got such a name, and what its authors wanted to say.
The history of creation and the meaning of the song Kashmir – Led Zeppelin
The song’s lyrics describe Plant and Page’s journey through the Moroccan desert under a hot sun. The narrow path wound between sandstone cliffs, giving the impression that they were driving through a tunnel.
As Plant recalled:
The inspiration came from the fact that the road went on and on and on … And it seemed that there would be no end to it.
But why “Kashmir”? Most likely, this area, about which there are so many legends and legends, attracted Plant with its mysticism and mystery. He perceives her as the embodiment of an earthly paradise, to which he heads through the deserted desert. Besides, Kashmir is just a beautiful word. It is possible that this also played an important role in choosing the name.
Kashmir’s melody is based on a chord progression that Page came up with long before it was recorded. It is played on a guitar with an unusual tuning. The song has many borrowings from Indian, Moroccan and Arabic music, which appeared after Page’s experiments with the sitar. Mellotron also sounds in some parts of the composition. Parts of wind and string instruments were performed by guest musicians, which was not typical for Led Zeppelin.
Release and achievements
Kashmir was included on the album Physical Graffiti, which was released in 1975 and became the sixth in the group’s discography. The song is almost eight and a half minutes long, but this did not prevent its active rotation on the radio.
Led Zeppelin considered Kashmir to be one of their best works and played it at almost every gig. The same opinion is shared by critics and fans of the group. The composition is ranked 141st in the list of the 500 greatest songs of all time (Rolling Stone) and 62nd among the 100 greatest rock songs of all time (VH1), and is also included in many other authoritative ratings.
- Initially, they wanted to call the song Driving to Kashmir (“On the road to Kashmir”).
- In 1994, Page and Plant, along with an Egyptian-Moroccan orchestra, recorded a longer version of the song.
- The song was often heard in the famous British TV show Top Gear.
Kashmir – Led Zeppelin Lyrics
Oh let the sun beat down upon my face
Stars to fill my dreams
I am a traveler of both time and space
To be where I’ve been
Secret elders of the gentle race
This world is seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait
All will be revealed
Talk and song from tongues of lilting grace
Whose sounds caress my ear
But not a word I heard could I relate
The story was quite clear
Ooh, oh baby I’ve been flying
Lord yeah mama, there ain’t no denyin’
Oh, ooh yes, I’ve been flying
Mama, ain’t no denyin’, no denyin’
Oh all I see turns to brown as the sun burns the ground
And my eyes fill with sand as I scan this wasted land
Trying to find, trying to find where I’ve been
Oh, pilot of the storm who leaves no trace
Like thoughts inside a dream
Heed the path that led me to that place
yellow desert screen
My Shangri-La beneath the summer moon
I will return again
Sure as the dust that floats high in June
When movin’ through Kashmir
Oh, father of the four winds
Fill my sails across the sea of years
With no provision but an open face
‘Long the straits of fear
Oh let the sun burn my face
The stars fill my thoughts
I travel through time and space at once
To be where I’ve already been
Secret Elders of the Noble Race
This world is rarely seen
They talk about the days they sit waiting
When everything is open
Speech and song in elegant dialects,
Whose sounds caress my ears
But I can’t retell a single word I’ve heard
Although the story was quite clear
Oh baby I’ve been flying
Lord, yes, mama, it’s undeniable
Oh yes, I’ve been flying
Mom, it’s undeniable, undeniable
Oh everything I see turns brown as the sun burns the ground
And my eyes are full of sand when I look at this emaciated land
Trying to find, trying to find the places I’ve been
Oh, he who directs the storm, leaving no trace,
Like thoughts in a dream
Show me the path that led me to the place
Through the yellow desert
My Shangri-La under the summer moon
I will definitely come back again
Like the dust that flies high in June
When you travel to Kashmir
Oh father of the four winds,
Fill my sails on the sea of years
No stock but open face
Along the Strait of Fear
Possibly the most progressive and original track Led Zeppelin has ever recorded.
On Blimey, readers cannot download the Kashmir song in mp3 for free, but on the site you can listen to the song online and watch Led Zeppelin clips.