Sunday, October 25, 2015

To be a Rock and Not to Roll

Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin iwas released in late 1971. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant composed and sang, for many of us, an anthem and a background soundtrack for moments in time with friends as we came of age during our high school years. It could be heard coming from Nick the Greek car parked in front of Manners Restaurant on a Friday night. It was playing at an impromptu party at Pat McCarthy’s house. It was playing at Megan Hilti’s house as we made the kitchen our own.  Our parents were reasonably comfortable in knowing we’d all return home eventually. Fast forward thirty years and the lyrics appeared on the wall in my son’s room next to a poster of Fifty Cent. Fast forward again another dozen years and the sound of those subtle and familiar notes can be heard in the air while waiting for an airplane in St. Louis the week of my daughter’s wedding. 

And if you listen very hard/The tune will come to you at last/When all are one and one is all/To be a rock and not to roll. 

Stairway To Heaven
There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven
(And) when she gets there she knows if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for
Ooh ooh ooh…ooh…ooh ooh ooh
And she's buying a stairway to heaven
There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In the tree by the brook there's a songbird who sings
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven
Oooh…It makes me wonder
Oooh…It makes me wonder
There's a feeling I get when I look to the west
And my spirit is crying for leaving
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees
And the voices of those who stand looking
Oooh…It makes me wonder
Oooh…And it makes me wonder
And it's whispered that soon, if we all called the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forest will echo with laughter
Woe woe woe woe woe oh
If there's a bustle in your hedgerow
Don't be alarmed now
It's just a spring clean for the May Queen
Yes there are two paths you can go by
but in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on
And it makes me wonder…ohhh ooh woe
Your head is humming and it won't go - in case you don´t know
The piper's calling you to join him
Dear lady can you hear the wind blow and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind
And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our souls
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last
When all are one and one is all, yeah
To be a rock and not to roll

And she's buying a stairway to heaven

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