Tolkien and Zeppelin-Misty Mountain Hop



"Misty Mountain Hop" Lyrics
Walkin' in the park just the other day, Baby,
What do you, what do you think I saw?
Crowds of people sittin' on the grass with flowers in their hair said,
"Hey, Boy, do you wanna score?"
And you know how it is;
I really don't know what time it was, woh, oh,
So I asked them if I could stay a while.


I didn't notice but it had got very dark and I was really,
Really out of my mind.
Just then a policeman stepped up to me and asked us said,
"Please, hey, would we care to all get in line,
Get in line."
Well you know,
They asked us to stay for tea and have some fun,
Oh, oh, he said that his friends would all drop by, ooh.


Why don't you take a good look at yourself and describe what you see,
And Baby, Baby, Baby, do you like it?
There you sit, sitting spare like a book on a shelf rustin'
Ah, not trying to fight it.
You really don't care if they're coming, oh, oh,
I know that it's all a state of mind, ooh.


If you go down in the streets today, Baby, you better,
You better open your eyes.
Folk down there really don't care, really don't care, don't care, really
don't
Which, which way the pressure lies,
So I've decided what I'm gonna do now.
So I'm packing my bags for the Misty Mountains
Where the spirits go now,
Over the hills where the spirits fly, ooh.
I really don't know.


-Led Zeppelin, 1971, from IV



"I am looking for someone to share in an adventure. . ."-page 4

Many thanks to "Hairfoot" for the correct lyrics to the song. So now we cut to the chase. We will begin with the examination of "Misty Mountain Hop," (MMH) from Led Zeppelin's 1971/1972 untitled release, which is often referred to as "Four," and "Zoso." MMH is somewhat of an allegory, I think. It talks about the first scene/chapter of The Hobbit, "An Unexpected Party," and a kid's first drug trip. An allegory, for those of you who don't know, is a piece that is entirely metaphoric, or parallel, such as George Orwell's Animal Farm.

Here we go, line by line. Firstly, "lots of people sitting in the grass with flowers in their hair" are the dwarves in the story, but in an allegorical sense, it is the kid who sees the hippies. "Hay boy, d'you wanna score?" is the hippies asking just that, or it could be Gandalf & co. asking Bilbo if he wants to come along on the journey and "score" some gold, fame, and adventure. When all the dwarves come over, they spend the night at Bilbo's, and they stay up really late, and Bilbo doesn't "know what time it was." The previously mentioned part could refer to the morning when Gandalf meets Bilbo, since, otherwise, everything would be out of order. There is no reference to time in the passages about the meeting, but there are several references to it in the party. Next, Bilbo tells Gandalf to "stay for tea and have some fun." I don't know about the policeman line in the book. It's obviously the kid and all the others getting busted in the hippy sense, though. The policeman could be Gandalf telling the dwarves to be friendly and accept Bilbo's (reluctant) hospitality. Or the policeman could be Bilbo telling everyone to shove off, but the first is more likely. Gandalf says that his friends, the dwarves, will "all drop by," but Bilbo "really don't care if they're comin'." Gandalf bades Bilbo "look at yourself and describe what you see" to persuade Bilbo to adventure with him. He sits in Bag End "like a book on a shelf." He doesn't care too much for the people in Bag End, so he is packing his "bags for the Misty Mountains." This is a very loose interpretation, so I welcome comments and/or corrections.



Here are some quotes from The Hobbit to back this up a little as well.
-"Please come for tea- any time you like" pg. 6 (They asked us to stay for tea...) (yes. . .I know that's a rather common statement in any British setting)
-"I am quite sure you have come to the wrong house" pg. 18 (Just then a policeman ...)
-"I am looking for someone to share in an adventure" pg. 4 (Hay boy...)
-"I think I am right in believing. . . that you think I am no good" pg. 18 (Why
don't you take a good look...)
-"Far over the misty mountains cold/ To dungeons deep and caverns old/ We
must away, ere break of day,/ To find our long-forgotten gold." pg. 27 (So I'm
packin'. . .)
These are the best ones I found in the first chapter that are short and descriptive, and if anyone has one to add, please send it. The page numbers are from the Ballantine version of the book, which is the "Authorised Version of the Fantasy Classic." I hope that this interpretation is helpful and easy to understand.


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