The Battle of Evermore
Writer(s): Jimmy Page, Robert Plant (see lyrics here)
Released: November 8, 1971 (album cut on Led Zeppelin IV)
First Charted: --
Peak: 9 CL, 11 DF (Click for codes to charts.)
Sales (in millions): --
Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 6.99 video, -- streaming
Click on award for more details.
About the Song:
Led Zeppelin’s “The Battle of Evermore,” an acoustic track from their fourth album, is unique in the band’s catalog in that it is the only song to enlist an outside guest vocalist. UCR Singer/songwriter Sandy Denny, from the British folk-rock band Fairport Convention, duets with Robert Plant on the “elegiac folk ballad” UCR “about the everlasting battle between night and day, which can also be interpreted as the battle between good and evil.” SF
The song was inspired by a book Plant was reading about the Scottish wars. UCR There are also various lines which fans have interpreted as allusions to J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings with references to the Dark Lord and the Ringwraiths and potentially the elf-queen Galadriel (“Queen of Light”). Plant is a Tolkien fan, having also referenced his work in “Ramble On” and “Misty Mountain Hop.” There are also references to King Arthur in lines like “I’m waiting for the angels of Avalon.” SF
Guitarist Jimmy Page came up with the music on the spot when he picked up John Paul Jones’ mandolin, an instrument he’d never played before. UCR He said, “it sounded like an old English instrumental first off. Then it became a vocal.” UCR Plant explained that it was a story with two parts, an “impending sort of travesty” and “the triumph and the rallying.” UCR
His initial effort to sing both parts didn’t sound right, so they recruited Denny. As he “narrates the battle…Denny…serves as the town crier, interjecting in her haunting croon.” UCR Denny said, “We started out soft, but I was hoarse by the end trying to keep up with him.” UCR
Last updated 1/13/2023.
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