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Led Zeppelin
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Led Zeppelin

The lead singer of Led Zeppelin Robert Plant has admitted to being a fan of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings Trilogy and has claimed to have derived inspiration for his songwriting from Tolkien’s writing. The Battle of Evermore from Led Zeppelin IV speaks to Plant’s inspiration. In the Battle of Evermore Plant and his accompaniment tell a story with elements of Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings shining through and in this case specifically the Return of the King. In the Return of the King there is the Battle of Pelenor which the song attempts to make a reference to. The lyric “The drums will shake the castle wall, The ring wraiths ride in black” speaks to the sense of foreboding the men going into battle must feel and really places Plant’s songwriting within the realm of Tolkien’s writing. There have been other instances in Plant’s songwriting which allude to Tolkien’s trilogy. In Misty Mountain Hop Plant sings “So I’m packing my bags for the Misty Mountains where the spirits go now, over the hills where the spirits fly.” This is meant to be an allusion to the Misty Mountains located in Wales that Tolkien also mentions in his books. My sense was that Plant may have been talking about Bilbo specifically who ends up leaving his home in the Shire to live with the Elves in the mountains. Plant references Tolkien again on Led Zeppelin II on their song “Ramble On.” On this song more than others it is made clear of Plant’s intent to incorporate Tolkien into his songwriting. Plant sings T’was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair…But Gollum, and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her.” Mordor and Gollum are clearly taken from the Lord of the Rings trilogy meant to accentuate the circumstances of Plant’s love story.