Bron-Y-Aur Stomp

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Bron-Y-Aur Stomp
Appears on Led Zeppelin III
Published by Superhype Music
Registration ASCAP 320165013
Release date 5 October 1970
Recorded May 1970
Genre Folk-rock
Language English
Length 4 minutes 20 seconds
Composer Jimmy Page, Robert Plant, John Paul Jones
Label Atlantic Records
Producer Jimmy Page
Engineer Andy Johns

'Bron-Y-Aur Stomp' is a song on English rock band Led Zeppelin's third album, Led Zeppelin III, released in 1970.

Overview

Jimmy Page and Robert Plant constructed the song in 1970 at Bron-Yr-Aur, a small cottage in Wales where they stayed after completing a gruelling concert tour of the United States.[1][2] John Paul Jones also received a writing credit for the song. It was later recorded at Headley Grange in May 1970, using a mobile studio belonging to the Rolling Stones. It was finished off at Island, London and Ardent Studios, Memphis, Tennessee.

Drummer John Bonham played spoons and castanets on the recording.[3] Bassist John Paul Jones played an acoustic five-string fretless bass. Jimmy Page's guitar for this song had an open tuning.

Led Zeppelin also recorded the song as an electric instrumental, 'Jennings Farm Blues', which later surfaced as a studio out-take on a number of Led Zeppelin bootleg recordings.[4] Jennings Farm is the name of the property in which the Plant family stayed in the early 1970s.

Origin of the name

The song is named after Bron-Yr-Aur, a house in Gwynedd, Wales, where the members of Led Zeppelin retreated in 1970 to write much of Led Zeppelin III after having completed a gruelling concert tour of the United States. Bron-Yr-Aur means 'golden breast' or 'breast of gold' in Welsh, as in a hillside of gold. Its pronunciation is [brɔn ər aɪr]. The cottage had no electricity or running water, but the change of scenery provided inspiration for many of the songs on the album, including 'Bron-Y-Aur Stomp'.

The song's title was misspelled on the album cover during initial printing, it should read 'Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp'. This error can be contrasted to another Led Zeppelin track, 'Bron-Yr-Aur', a two-minute instrumental featured on their later album Physical Graffiti, which was spelled correctly. When the song appeared on the 2003 DVD, it was spelled correctly both on the back cover of the set and the DVD's menu, although without the hyphens ('Bron Yr Aur Stomp'), and on the live album How the West Was Won it was spelled 'Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp'.

Lyrics

In 'Bron-Y-Aur Stomp', a country music-inflected hoedown, singer Robert Plant waxes lyrically about walking in the woods with his blue-eyed Merle dog named Strider.[5] Plant reportedly named his dog after Strider, from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The lyrics also make reference to the 1934 film Old Shep, where a man has to decide whether to put down his old faithful dog Shep[6]: When you're old and your eyes are dim / There ain't no Old Shep gonna happen again.

Live performances

This song regularly appeared in Led Zeppelin's acoustic set from the second UK tour in 1971 to the 1972 North American Tour. When the band performed the song live at Led Zeppelin concerts, John Paul Jones played an upright bass and Bonham sang harmony vocals with Plant (always stopping in the middle of the third verse). This can be seen in the footage from the Earls Court concerts in May 1975, featured on the Led Zeppelin DVD. On the band's 1977 North American tour, the song 'Black Country Woman' was merged into a medley with Bron-Y-Aur Stomp. At one Californian show, 'Dancing Days' also featured in the acoustic medley. In some shows, Page sings harmony vocals with Plant instead of Bonham (Seattle in 1977, for example). It is also notable that the song was always performed a whole step higher than the album version.

Credits

Personnel
  • Musicians:
    • Jimmy Page – acoustic guitar, producer, remastering, digital remastering
    • Robert Plant – vocals
    • John Paul Jones – acoustic bass
    • John Bonham - drums, percussion
  • Production:
    • Peter Grant – executive producer
    • Andy Johns - engineer, mixing
    • Joe Sidore - original CD mastering engineer (mid-1980s)
    • George Marino - remastered CD engineer (1990)

References

  1. Sutcliffe, Phil (2003). "Special Led Zeppelin edition". Q Magazine: 34.
  2. Lewis, Dave (2012). Led Zeppelin: From a Whisper to a Scream. London: Omnibus Press, 44. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1. 
  3. Welch, Chris (2009). Led Zeppelin: The Stories Behind Every Led Zeppelin Song, Revised. London: Carlton Books, 60. ISBN 978-1-84732-286-9. 
  4. Shadwick, Keith (2005). Led Zeppelin: The Story of a Band and Their Music 1968-1980. London: Omnibus Press, 93. ISBN 978-0-87930-871-1. 
  5. Sutcliffe, Phil (2003). "Special Led Zeppelin edition". Q Magazine: 35.
  6. TCM: Old Shep (1934). Retrieved on 30 September 2013.