Ramble On

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Ramble On
Appears on Led Zeppelin II
Published by Superhype Music
Registration ASCAP 480095609
Release date 22 October 1969
Recorded June 1969 at
Juggy Sound Studio, New York.
Mixed at A&R Studios, New York.
Genre Hard rock, folk rock
Language English
Length 4 minutes 35 seconds
Composer Jimmy Page, Robert Plant
Label Atlantic Records
Producer Jimmy Page
Engineer Eddie Kramer

'Ramble On' is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin from their 1969 album Led Zeppelin II. It was co-written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, and was recorded in 1969 at Juggy Sound Studio, New York, during the band's second concert tour of the United States.

The guitar's jangly introduction employs a classic Jimmy Page technique: using regular open chords superimposed higher on the fretboard. Often mistaken for bongos, drummer John Bonham is actually hitting a bodhran throughout the song. The song also serves as a classic illustration of the tight interplay between bassist John Paul Jones and drummer John Bonham. Jones' light, melodic bass phrases give way to a clever ascending motif which follows Bonham's bass drum.

Tolkien influence

The song's lyrics were partly influenced by The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.[1] The opening lyric ('Leaves are falling all around') is probably inspired by the opening line of Tolkien's poem 'Namárië'. The Tolkien references later in the song refer to the adventures of either Frodo as he travels to Mordor, or that of Aragorn as he has to choose between staying with his love Arwen (Elrond's daughter) or going to destroy the Ring in Mordor:

Mine's a tale that can't be told,
My freedom I hold dear;
How years ago in days of old
When magic filled the air,
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.

Live performances

Until 2007 'Ramble On' was never performed live in its entirety at Led Zeppelin concerts.[2] However, part of the song was performed by the band in the middle of 'Babe I'm Gonna Leave You' at a concert at Toronto on 2 November 1969, as can be heard on the Led Zeppelin bootleg Listen to my Bluebird. The full version of the song was played at Led Zeppelin's reunion show on 10 December 2007, at the O2 Arena in London.

In 2004, the song was ranked number 433 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Chart positions

Single (Digital download)

Chart (2007) Peak position
Canadian Billboard Hot Digital Singles Chart[3] 66

Credits

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

References

  1. Lewis, Dave (2012). Led Zeppelin: From a Whisper to a Scream. London: Omnibus Press, 34. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1. 
  2. Lewis, Dave (2012). Led Zeppelin: From a Whisper to a Scream. London: Omnibus Press, 35. ISBN 978-1-78038-547-1. 
  3. Hot Digital Singles - 1 December 2007. Billboard. Retrieved on 2009-04-20.