Evermore Versions

I have always loved Led Zeppelin’s Battle of Evermore, a song full of Tolkienesque imagery and mythic allegory. But I never knew until recently that Sandy Denny, the woman who sang the original backing vocal with Robert Plant, was the only backup singer ever featured on a Zeppelin album.
I listened to this song often when I was  high in school in high school, but somehow the magic of it has intensified with the passing of time. I have been recently obsessed with rediscovering many Led Zep songs. The mandolin melody that begins this one has been pushing me to the brink of melancholic crisis in the last several days, and my esteem for the musical prowess of the band has grown. My eyes fill with tears at times and I feel like a neurotic fool but it is all redeemed by the magic of this song; something about the progression of the chords and plucked strings in the first bars sends me over the edge.

The mandolin melody calls to mind E.A. Poe’s Israfel . . .

I bring to your attention three versions of this song.
But first (since this is a poetry blog) the LYRICS:

The Queen of Light took her bough, and then she turned to go
The Prince of Peace embraced the gloom, and walked the night alone
Oh, dance in the dark of night / Sing to the morning light
The dark Lord rides in force tonight, and time will tell us all
Oh, throw down your plow and hoe, rest not to lock your homes
Side by side we wait the might of the darkest of them all . . .
I hear the horses’ thunder, down in the valley below
I’m waiting for the angels of Avalon, waiting for the eastern glow
The apples of the valley hold the seeds of happiness
The ground is rich from tender care; repay, do not forget no, no
Oh, dance in the dark of night / Sing to the morning light
The apples turn to brown and black, the tyrant’s face is red
War is the common cry, pick up you swords and fly
The sky is filled with good and bad and mortals never know
Oh, well, the night is long, the beads of time pass slow
Tired eyes on the sunrise, waiting for the eastern glow
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
Sing as you raise your bow, shoot straighter than before
No comfort has the fire at night that lights the face so cold
Oh dance in the dark of night, sing to the morning light
The magic runes are writ in gold to bring the balance back
bring it back . . .
At last the sun is shining, the clouds of blue roll by
With flames from the dragon of darkness the sunlight blinds his eyes

O Lucky Man! (Finale)

If you have a friend on whom you think you can rely, you are a lucky man
And if you found the reason to live on and not to die, you are a lucky man

The preachers, and the poets and the scholars don’t know it
The temples, and the statues and steeples don’t show it
If you’ve got the secret, just try not to blow it
Stay a lucky man / Stay a lucky man

Because on and on and on and on we go . . .
And it’s around the world in circles turning
Earning what we can
While others dance away
The chance to light your way

So you know that if you have a friend
On whom you think you can rely, you are lucky man
And if you’ve found the reason to live on and not to die
You are lucky man

You know the preachers, and the poets and the scholars don’t know it
The temples, and the statues and steeples don’t show it
If you’ve got the secret, just try not to blow it
Stay a lucky man / Stay a lucky man

And it’s around and round and round and round and round we go we go . . .
And it’s around the world in circles turning, earning what we can
While others dance away
The chance to light your day . . .

O Lucky Man!
watch it HERE

directed by Lindsay Anderson, 1973 (183 min.)
soundtrack by Alan Price of The Animals

 

O Lucky Man: “Justice”

 

We all want justice but you got to have the money to buy it
You’d have to be a fool to close your eyes and deny it
There’s a lot of poor people who are walking the streets of my town
Too blind to see that justice is used to do them right down

All life from beginning to end
You pay your monthly installments
Next to health is wealth
And only wealth will buy you justice

There’ll always be a fool who insists on taking his chances
And that is the man who believes in true love romances
He will trust and rely on the goodness of human nature
Now a judge will tell you that’s a pathetic creature

All life from beginning to end
You pay your monthly installments
Next to health is wealth
And only wealth will buy you justice

Money, justice
Money and justice
Money, justice

A FANTASTIC FILM !
watch it HERE

directed by Lindsay Anderson, 1973 (183 min.)
soundtrack by Alan Price of The Animals

O Lucky Man: “Pastorale” and “Look Over Your Shoulder”


When there’s a bluebird singing by your window pane
And the sun shines bright all day through
Don’t forget boy, look over your shoulder
‘Cause there’s always someone coming after you (la la la la)

When everything in life seems just as it should be
At last success seems just around the door
Don’t forget boy, look over your shoulder
‘Cause things don’t stay the same forever more (la la la la)

Hope springs eternal in a young man’s breast
And he dreams of a better life ahead
Without that dream you are nothing, nothing, nothing—
You have to find out for yourself that dream is dead (la la la la)

Dead (la la la la) repeat to fade . . .

A FANTASTIC FILM !
watch it HERE

directed by Lindsay Anderson, 1973 (183 min.)
soundtrack by Alan Price of The Animals