It’s rare not to see Robert Plant, who turns 65 tomorrow, with his hair swung back, head to the sky, and his voice shouting to the heavens. In terms of stage personas, Plant and Led Zeppelin always had a hypnotic way of bringing their fans to their knees. And their brand of songs, though rock in genre, spanned many different sounds.
From the upwards beats of “Misty Mountain Hop,” the quiet reflections of “The Battle of Evermore,” and the deep philosophies of “Kashmir,” Led Zeppelin fused rock and roll with pure poetry. And interestingly enough, some of that poetry was inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Robert Plant was known to be a fan of the books and even went so far as to name his dog Strider, which is the name the character Aragorn first called himself in The Fellowship of the Ring. The evidence of Plant’s love of Middle Earth can be seen in lyrcis like:
• Oh, dance in the dark of night, Sing to the morning light. The dark Lord rides in force tonight (“The Battle of Evermore”)
• The pain of war cannot exceed the woe of aftermath The drums will shake the castle wall, the Ringwraiths ride in black (“The Battle of Evermore”)
• ‘Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor, mm-I met a girl so fair but Gollum and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her (“Ramble On”)
People have also tried to link “Stairway to Heaven” to LOTR, but the band has denied that connection. Though lyrics like: There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west makes us wonder.