16

The songs "The Battle Of Evermore" and "Ramble On" by Led Zeppelin have references to Lord Of the Rings.

The Battle Of Evermore

The pain of war cannot exceed the woe of aftermath,
The drums will shake the castle wall,
The ring wraiths ride in black, ride on.

Ramble On

T'was in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair.
But Gollum, and the evil one crept up and slipped away with her, her, her....yeah.

I was reading this article

“In addition,” Tolkien wrote, “in a house three doors away dwells a member of Group. On days when it falls to his turn to have a practice session the noise is a group of young men who are evidently aiming to turn themselves into a Beatle indescribable.”

I understand he had reasons for not liking Beatles, my question is how did Tolkien react to the references to LOTR in work of Led Zeppelin, was he even aware of the band?

  • 15
    I believe he raised a fist into the air and extended the index and little fingers in imitation of a horned creature, while vigorously, emphatically nodding his head back and forth, tossing his hair to and fro like a fishing boat caught in a raging storm. – Paul D. Waite Feb 5 '17 at 17:48
  • 5
    Don't forget Misty Mountain Hop – Alarion Feb 5 '17 at 19:23
  • 7
    Whatever the answer may be, it's pretty surreal that Tolkien and Led Zeppelin co-existed in the same time frame. – Maksim Feb 6 '17 at 7:59
  • No wonder 60s was awesome! – Vishvesh Feb 6 '17 at 9:02
15

As suggested by a user on reddit, Tolkien had an interest in inspiring people to create illustrations or music from his work (as long as it consisted of a proper reading of the work).

Tolkien had an interest in inspiring people to create other works of art, however had minimal interest for music, especially the kind of the early 70s (as paraphrased in the article above).

You certainly have my permission to compose any work that you wished based on The Hobbit . . . . As an author I am honoured to hear that I have inspired a composer.
The Letters of J. R. R.Tolkien: Letter 260

As another user suggested in the same thread. Due to the time in Tolkien's life in which they wrote the songs ('68 - '71), and Tolkien's "lack of" interest in music, it is unlikely he was aware of Led Zeppelin. Furthermore, there is no mention in any letter or notes of Tolkien's knowledge of Led Zeppelin or his opinion of their music specifically.

  • Cool, but did Tolkien know about Led Zeppelin? – Gallifreyan Feb 5 '17 at 17:03
  • Led Zeppelin weren't the only ones that used Middle-Earth references in their music in the 60s and 70s: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Works_inspired_by_J._R._R._Tolkien#Music I really doubt Tolkien knew about any of them. – Maksim Feb 6 '17 at 8:06
  • You never know, Tolkien might have had a secret stash of Led Zeppelin vinyl records! – Vishvesh Feb 6 '17 at 9:06
  • @Vishvesh Well, as his quote about his neighbours suggests, to him it was simply noise. – Edlothiad Feb 6 '17 at 9:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.