JRR Tolkien’s trilogy The Lord of the Rings was published in the 1950s, which made it the perfect fantasy fodder for young Baby Boomers. Some of them went on to become songwriters and entertainers who used the world of Middle Earth for inspiration. It wasn’t just Led Zeppelin, although a list of 11 songs could be dominated by the group. No, this list only features one song per artist, and for Zep, that one song is “Ramble On.”
“’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.”
If Plant’s Middle-earth references in “Ramble On” seem a bit too blatant, he has a ready-made defense: “I just want to hold up my hand and say, ‘OK, I was 21 when I wrote that,’” he told the Santa Barbara Independent in 2013. Plant has also expressed some regret that he didn’t leverage his rocker chops for important causes more often during the band’s heyday. “My peer group were writing substantial pieces of social commentary, and I was willowing along the Welsh borders thinking about Gollum,” he told Planet Rock Magazine in 2019. He still likes “Stairway to Heaven,” though.
The list has songs from Joni Mitchell, Rush, Megadeth, and more, all with music videos. You’ll find it at Mental Floss.
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