Saturday, March 1, 2014

Over the Hills and Far Away - Led Zeppelin

    The third single from the Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy album, 'Over the Hills and Far Away' is one of my favorites by them, but then there are not many of their songs that are not my favorite. The song just really gets to me in a way in which I may be too polite to try and articulate. Of course I may not be the only one that 'Over the Hills and Far Away' gets to in that way. Damn Page and Plant. ♥

 Anyway, originally called 'Many, Many Times", 'Over the Hills and Far away' was the first US single from "Houses of the Holy" album. Reaching #51 on Billboard Hot 100 chart, it became a staple on classic rock radio stations.

  'Over the Hills and Far Away' was originally constructed in 1970 by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant at the small Welsh cottage, Brom-Yr-Aur, where they stayed after a particularly punishing American tour.A six-string acoustic guitar introduction is played by Page with a melody recollected of Jimmy Page's guitar instrumental 'White Summer'. Page repeats the theme with a 12-string acoustic guitar at the same time.

  On the next repetition Robert Plant's vocals appear, where he tenderly offers himself to a "lady" whose "got the love I need". The acoustic guitars build in crescendo toward the abrupt infusion of Page's electric guitars along with John Paul Jones' and John Bonham's rhythm accompaniment.

  'Over the Hills and far Away' stands out as an example the tight interplay between Bonham and Jones and is shown through the preverse intervals and instrumental bridge. Following the final verse, the rhythm section fades out, gradually being replaced by the echos of Page's electric guitar and a few chords from Jones' harpsichord. Page executes a linearly descending/ascending sequence and ends with the authentic V-I cadence on syth imitating a pedal steel guitar.


  Because 'Over the Hill and Far Away' was introduced on stage well ahead of it's studio release it was part of Led Zeppelin's concert set list. In his spoken introduction before the song on June 27,1972 in Long Beach, California, Robert Plant said that Led Zeppelin had performed 'Over the Hills and far Away the night before the Forum. The band continued to play it for the rest of their 1972 concert tour of  North America. Keeping it consistently through 1979, before they omitted it from their final tour of Europe in 1980.


Hey lady, you got the love I need
Maybe more than enough
Oh darling, darling, darling walk a while with me
Oh you've got so much, so much,  so much.

Many times I've loved, many times been bitten
Many times I've gazed along the open road.

Many times I've lied, many times I've listened
Many times I've wondered how much there is to know.

Many dreams come true and some have silver linings
I live for my dream and pocketful of gold.

Mellow is the man, who knows what he's been missing
Many, many men can't see the open road.

Many is the word that only leaves you guessing
Guessing 'bout a thing you really ought to know
Really ought to know, I really ought to know.

You know I should, you know I should 
You know I should, you know I should. 

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