I’ve always loved, loved, loved Led Zeppelin’s “Misty Mountain Hop,” on their 1971 smash untitled album also known as Led IV.
To me, it represents an escape to a more spiritual state of mind. The never-ending repetitive beat lasts nearly from beginning to end. It’s catchy for sure, but it also kind of stultifies the human sense of wonder that the lyrics try to take you to. Singer Robert Plant, who, it has been said, had the most “flower power” sensibility among the quartet, sings about a pscyhedelic-fueled kind of day common in, say, late 1960s Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
The children “with flowers in their hair” are hanging and not really caring much about anything, including the policemen who will also be over later for some tea (or, T, if you will). But the real zest of the message comes later on, with a hint of the end of that era and the decadence that followed: “Take a good look at yourself and describe what you see and baby do you like it” AND “There you sit and stare like a book on a shelf, rusting, and not trying to fight it” AND “If you go down in the streets today, you better open your eyes. Folk down there really don’t care which way the pressure lies.”
But then the ultimate prize is there for the picking for those who heed the advice. “So I’m packing my bags for the misty mountain, where the spirits go now, over the hills where the spirits fly.”
It’s as if to say the way to spiritual bliss is not through the drug “score” or getting “really out of my mind” from the early part of the song — or by going along with the crowd of people (who really don’t care). It’s by heading off by yourself — perhaps to the misty mountain — and actively pursuing your own enlightenment.
Take a listen by clicking on the album cover below. Brought to you by 97X, The Future of Rock and Roll, a division of Bedrock Sports.