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Album: Physical Graffiti [released Feb 24, 1975 (US) | Feb 24, 1975 (UK)]
Credited to: Jimmy Page, John Bonham, Robert Plant
Related Songs: N/A
Whoa, let the sun beat down upon my face, with stars to fill my dream
I am a traveler of both time and space to be where I have been
Sit with elders of a gentle race this world has seldom seen
Who talk of days for which they sit in wait, all will be revealed
Talk and song from tongues of lilting grace, sounds caress my ear
Though not a word I heard could I relate, the story was quite clear
Oooh, oh, baby, I've been flyin' low, yeah
Mama, there ain't no denyin'
Oh, oooh yes, I've been flyin'
Mama, ain't no denyin', no denyin', no
Oh, all I see turns to brown
As the sun burns the ground
And my eyes fill with sand
As I scan this wasted land
Tryin' to find, tryin' to find where I've been
Oh, pilot of the storm who leaves no trace, like thoughts inside a dream
Who hid the path that led me to that place, with yellow desert screen
My Shangri-La beneath the summer moon, I will return again
Sure as the dust that blows high in June, when movin' through Kashmir
Oh, father of the four winds, fill my sails 'cross the sea of years
With no provision but an open face along the straits of fear
Whoa-oh-hoh, oh, ohh
Wha, when I'm on, when I'm on my way, yeah
When I see, when I see the way you stay, yeah
Ooh, yeah-yeah, ooh, yeah-yeah, well, I'm down, oh
Ooh, yeah-yeah, ooh, yeah-yeah, well, I'm down, so down
Ooh, my baby, ooh, my baby, let me take you there
Oh, oh, come on, come on, oh, let me take you there
Let me take you there, ooh, yeah-yeah, ooh, yeah-yeah
Let me take you there, let me take you there
Personal notes: I've long considered Kashmir to be one of Zeppelin's strongest lyrical achievements, on par with, if not surpassing, the simple yet obscure wisdom of Stairway To Heaven. To me, when I hear Kashmir, I can almost imagine a piece of myself within the song, singing about 'elders of the gentle race' and times when 'all will be revealed.' When Plant introduces the song mentioning wastelands, and when he sings of everything turning 'to brown as the sun burns the ground', I imagine the decay of the natural earth from the ancient days when nature herself was imbued with a real living energy, which has to this day been scourged and destroyed. When Plant sings of 'trying to find where I've been', I can imagine the great shifting landscapes between the ages of old, and how certain locales such as the beautiful birthland of Cuivienen were lost in space and time. All in all, Kashmir to me is a beautiful, but sad, song of longing for that which has passed, and a lament of the state of things, hoping that maybe in the future the glory can somehow be rediscovered...
Interesting Facts: This song seems to represent the height of Led Zeppelin's experimentation with Indian influences. Although the title of the song is Kashmir, Robert Plant wrote the lyrics after a trip to Morocco.
Influences: None found.