taking led zeppelin out of the context

in the beginning…

there was some Dude and some Dudette. And Dude saw Dudette from far away, and he felt like all those butterflies he swallowed long time ago weren’t already dead and shat away. Au contraire mon ami, they were quite alive and having a very lively Lepidopteran party in his stomach.

It is the springtime of my loving
The second season I am to know
You are the sunlight in my growing
So little warmth I’ve felt before
It isn’t hard to feel me glowing
I watched the fire that grew so low, oh
[
the rain song]

It is a strong feeling for Dude, but he knows no way how to convey his message to her. All he knows is how he feels:

Hey lady, you got the love I need
Maybe more than enough
Oh darling, darling, darling
Walk a while with me
Ohh, you’ve got so much, so much, so much
[over the hills and far away]

If you’ve ever been feeling in love, you should be familiar with the anxiety that stops you from being able to share your feelings. It’s that little voice in your head that whenever you want to say something, it yells back — “The fuck you doing mate?” (the voice is an odd aussie fella):

Hey, girl, I got somethin’ I think you oughta know
Hey, babe, I wanna tell ya that I love you so
I wanna hold you in my arms, yeah
I’m never gonna let you go, ’cause I like your charm
Communication breakdown, it’s always the same
Havin’ a nervous breakdown, drive me insane, ow, suck
[communication breakdown]

This comes hand to hand with analysis paralysis. Instead of taking a step, Dude overthinks about everything that might (and most likely will) go sideways, sometimes under the effect of legal — and maybe illegal — mind-altering substances:

I got a woman, want to ball all day
I got a woman, she won’t be true, no no
I got a woman, stay drunk all the time
I said I got a little woman and she won’t be true
[hey hey what can i do]

But one good day under the sun, Dude takes the big step. He says “fuck it, what’s a Dude’s gotta lose?” and he goes for it. He goes on a limb and does what his gut tells him to do:

And if I say to you tomorrow
Take my hand, child come with me
It’s to a castle I will take you
Where what’s to be, they say will be
[what is and what should never be]

And low and behold, shit doesn’t go sideways. They so become Dude and Dudette, a couple of dumb-for-each-other people, happy to cherish each-other’s presence.

And so, today my world it smiles
Your hand in mine, we walk the miles
Thanks to you, it will be done
For you to me are the only one
Alright, there
Happiness, no more be sad
Happiness, I’m glad
[thank you]

Isn’t this beautiful. Maybe even more beautiful than the song itself, but that’s how beginnings usually are. They smile, they dance under the moonlight, stare at the starry sky feeling this feeling will never end. They get drunk under each other influence, they taste bits of heaven on each other’s lips. Like two lost souls swimming in a fishbowl… wait, no, that’s another band. Let’s not get sidetracked and get on with what happens next:

Squeeze me, babe, ‘till the juice runs down my leg
Do, squeeze, squeeze me, baby, until the juice runs down my leg
The way you squeeze my lemon-a
I’m gonna fall right outta bed, ‘ed, ‘ed, bed, yeah
[the lemon song]

This whole song is a 6+ minutes long euphemism about having secks. Well maybe not 6 minutes, but the whole gist of the song is mainly secks, and the lemon refers to what almost sounds like “pennies”. There’s one verse about him being used for cash (take my money / give it to another man). But hey, that’s almost all their songs, or at least the ones that follow.

Hey hey baby when you walk that way
Watch your honey drip, can’t keep away
[…]
Eyes that shine, burnin’ red
Dreams of you all through my head
[black dog]

For the uneducated among you that don’t already know, the Black Dog has since been a euphemism for depression. But who would blame him:

You hurt and abuse,
Tellin’ all of your lies
Run ‘round, sweet baby, lord, how they hypnotize
Sweet little baby, I don’t know where you been
Gonna love you, baby, here I come again
[dazed and confused]

Dude makes an attempt to fix things, because that’s what you do for people you want to keep in your life. You don’t just push them away. You make an effort, sometimes going well out of your way to amend what was broken and keep them part of your future. But it doesn’t seem to work. It only makes things worse for him:

I’ve really been the best of fools
I did what I could, yeah
’Cause I love you, baby
How I love you, darling
How I love you, baby
My beloved little girl, little girl
But baby, since I’ve been loving you, yeah
I’m about to lose my worried mind, oh yeah
[since i’ve been loving you]

And on a final attempt to save the whole thing, Dude takes another big step in his life. This time, to save himself:

Do what you want, I won’t take the brunt
It’s fadin’ away, can’t feel you anymore
Don’t care what you say, ’cause I’m goin’ away to stay
Gonna make you pay for that great big hole in my heart
People talkin’ all around
Watch out, woman, no longer is the joke gonna be on my heart
[your time is gonna come]

And he knows this is going to be hard, because after all, he’s leaving someone he loved. It’s years of his life he’s throwing away, his dedication to Dudette, and just because he says the word doesn’t mean everything will turn to normal overnight. The future is dark, unknown and unsure.

Oh, I miss you, baby
It was really, really good
You made me happy every single day
But now I’ve got to go away
Oh, oh, oh
[babe i’m gonna leave you]

And so he does. He leaves her, but this time as a grown dude. He knows in his heart that he will never feel the same way for another dudette. Not just the way he falls in love, but even the way his heart gets broken will no longer be the same. His way of loving is no longer the same:

Good times, bad times
You know I’ve had my share
When my woman left home
For a brown-eyed man
Well, I still don’t seem to care
[good times, bad times]

and life goes on

After ten years gone, sometimes Dude thinks of her:

Thinking how it used to be
Does she still remember times like these?
To think of us again?
And I do
[tangerine]

It’s sad to see how things rolled but in the end, you have to imagine both Dude and Dudette happy. Life’s full of lessons, sometimes you have to fall and scratch your knee in order to learn how to ride a bike. After all, they are the reasons why we got some of the best arrangements of musical notes in guitar solos and amazing songs to listen to and share with other Dudes and Dudettes.

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