If the stores are all closed…

Stairway to Heaven is one of the songs released with the untitled studio album, known as Led Zeppelin IV, on November 8, 1971. 50 years ago! That’s why it is today all over the place.

Stairway to Heaven is often rated among the greatest rock songs of all time, and I want to confess it is one of my favourites songs. It is one of those music pieces which, somehow, gets tied to your (mine in this case) consciousness and which you cannot hear or sing without a special feeling.

However, and this makes the question more intriguing, it is clearly the music, because the lyrics is… well, incomprehensible?

Let me concentrate on these 3 verses:

When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for
Ooh, ooh, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven

What the hell do they mean? That Heaven is a 24/7 supermarket? That “the lady” chooses to buy a stairway to Heaven because the stores are all closed and she knows this is not a problem in Heaven? And what about the stairway? Did she buy it before and then climbed to Heaven, or is she going to Heaven to buy the stairway there because the stores are closed? In this case, how did she arrive in Heaven?

I have never managed to settle these questions, and they are like a disturbing humming when you (me) are trying to merge with the music… Not surprisingly, Robert Plant can’t relate to Stairway to Heaven anymore.

Can you help me?


Feature Image: Led Zeppelin IV

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