Stairway to Heaven

Friday, April 28, 2017




Some days ago I had this conversation with my partner. Like always, it was our routine heart-to-heart and mind-to-mind conversation. It was about insecurity and anxiety we have as a human, but what makes it different is that we particularly discussed about how small we feel when we see other people’s life and compare ours to theirs. It turned out that we both have similar inferiority complex regarding to this matter. It seems like other people at our age were born with some kind of manual book like a guidance of “how to live your life properly and be a successful person”. And during a hard time like this, thought like that is making us feel small and inferior and unworthy. It makes us wonder: how come they were born with this some kind of manual book of life? How come they never suffered and always get what they want? How come everything always comes easy for them? How come they always learn it the easy way? And suddenly this one classic hit that we both like was echoing in my head: “Stairway to Heaven” by Led Zeppelin.
This song makes me wonder about life and the world we are living in. What do people search in life? What do we search in this world? What do people want to achieve in life? What do we want to achieve in this world? Do we to that for the afterlife? Is the afterlife really existed? Is heaven really existed? What is heaven anyway? Lately there were things happened that make me wonder. And it seems like universe is trying to tell me something, particularly to write something out with Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”. I was in a coffee shop having some meeting with my crew, and there were some young girls sitting next to our table. They were talking out loud (like the whole world has to know their story, which is mostly about boys, sex, party, and stuffs), gossiping their friends, laughing, smoking, playing cards; and it makes me think “what a great life you guys have, right?” And it makes me wonder “what a great life you guys lead that you do not even think about how chaotic and messy the world is out there”, and “what an easy life you guys lead that you do not have to think about how cruel and problematic the system in the society we are living in now”. They were just there spending their parents’ money without even thinking about how to repay their debt or how hard it is to work to get money. Well, God is fair but life is never fair, right? What an irony. The world is spinning, and you may keep on winning right now; but, what will happen when it stops? Well, maybe it was just me who thought too much. Maybe they are just too young. Maybe everyone has their own way to buy a stairway to heaven.

There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven. When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed, with a word she can get what she came for, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.” –Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven

Written by guitarist Jimmy Page and vocalist Robert Plant, “Stairway to Heaven” is Led Zeppelin’s signature song that was first released on November 8th 1971 as a promotional single taken from the band’s fourth studio album. The album was actually released untitled, but it is commonly known as “Led Zeppelin IV”. “Stairway to Heaven” is often referred to as one of greatest rock songs of all time. The lyrics take some pretty wild turns, but the beginning of the song is about a woman who accumulates money, only to find out the hard way her life had no meaning and will not get her into heaven. This is the only part Plant would really explain, as he said it was “some cynical aside about a woman getting everything she wanted all the time without giving back any thought or consideration.” Indeed, women like this can be found anywhere now: those (sorry to say) beauty without brain who keeps waiting for a Prince Charming to come, and that is all their greatest problem of all.


"Stairway to Heaven" single cover | source: en.wikipedia.org

I guess some people were just born lucky with silver spoon on their mouth. They get everything they wanted all the time, without giving back any thought or consideration. They value everything based on material things; money, power, position, possession of things. They naively think that those material things would buy them a stairway to heaven; eternal happiness, joy, pride, glory. “There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven. When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed, with a word she can get what she came for, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven.” What they consider as a problem is actually a simple matter. Other than those simple matters, their entire world is just a glittery gold. It makes me wonder though, am I just being cynical or they are just that ignorance? “There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure, ‘cause you know sometimes words have two meanings. In a tree by the brook, there’s a songbird who sings, sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven. Oh, it makes me wonder.”
I tend to see that people like them are not that grateful for everything they got. They got everything they wanted yet they still seem to feel lacked about anything. They do not even think or give consideration towards other people who are not as lucky as them. It makes wonder whether they still have conscience or not. “There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west, and my spirit is crying for leaving. In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees, and the voices of those who stand looking. Oh, it makes me wonder.” It makes me wonder whether someday I will find a rational explanation upon their behavior. “And it’s whispered that soon, if we all call the tune, then the piper will lead us to reason. And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo with laughter. If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now, it’s just a spring clean for the May queen. Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run there’s still time to change the road you’re on. And it makes me wonder.”
It makes me wonder whether people like them are aware that there is more to life than just superficial material things. It makes me wonder whether people like them understand that there is more to life than just a glittery gold. It makes me wonder how they would be if they stop winning. “Your head is humming and it won’t go, in case you don’t know, the piper’s calling you to join him. Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know your stairway lies on the whispering wind?” And the most unbelievable thing is that people like them have tendency to show their glittery gold life to the world. It is like everybody else has to know what they do, what they have, and what happens in their life. “And as we wind on down the road, our shadows taller than our soul; there walks a lady we all know, who shines white light and wants to show how everything still turns to gold. And if you listen very hard, the tune will come to you at last; when all are one and one is all to be a rock and not to roll. And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.”


"Led Zeppelin IV" album cover | source: en.wikipedia.org

There are people who get everything they wanted all the time, without giving back any thought or consideration. They value everything based on material things; money, power, position, possession of things. They naively think that those material things would buy them a stairway to heaven; eternal happiness, joy, pride, glory. They have tendency to show their glittery gold life to the world. It is like everybody else has to know what they do, what they have, and what happens in their life; like it is the most important thing of all things in this world. I feel pity for people like them. They make me wonder, though. Are they aware that there is more to life than just superficial material things? Do they understand that there is more to life than just a glittery gold? How would they be if the world keeps spinning but they stop winning? We can find people like them everywhere now. They can be found particularly on social media; Instagram. The closest rational explanation I can get right now is that “people will kill for recognition”.
And what people like them search for is actually a recognition; from other people that they are better than anyone else. In my humble opinion, that is just pathetic. Ironically, they think that they buy a stairway to heaven yet they actually gain nothing more than just superficial and artificial heaven. Hence I think that it is pathetic. As a human, we are blessed with intellect and mind. And we should use them to think deeper about everything; beyond superficial and artificial. And with that ability in mind, we are free to choose whether to be like those people or more than just like those people. Well, maybe it is all just me being cynical and skeptical, or perhaps I am just jealous. Otherwise, maybe I just have to face the reality that this world is full with those ignorance people. And maybe it is true that ignorance is bliss. However though, I believe that we are free to choose. And I choose to keep on questioning. I choose to keep on believing that this world we live in is not as fine as it may seem. I choose to be critical.

And as we wind on down the road, our shadows taller than our soul; there walks a lady we all know, who shines white light and wants to show how everything still turns to gold. And if you listen very hard, the tune will come to you at last; when all are one and one is all to be a rock and not to roll. And she’s buying a stairway to heaven.” –Led Zeppelin, Stairway to Heaven




There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for, ooh, ooh, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven
There’s a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure, ‘cause you know sometimes words have two meanings
In a tree by the brook, there’s a songbird who sings, sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven
Ooh, it makes me wonder, ooh, it makes me wonder

There’s a feeling I get when I look to the west, and my spirit is crying for leaving
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees, and the voices of those who stand looking
Ooh, it makes me wonder, ooh, it really makes me wonder

And it’s whispered that soon, if we all call the tune, then the piper will lead us to reason
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long, and the forests will echo with laughter
If there’s a bustle in your hedgerow, don’t be alarmed now, it’s just a spring clean for the May queen
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run there’s still time to change the road you’re on
And it makes me wonder

Your head is humming and it won’t go, in case you don’t know, the piper’s calling you to join him
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know your stairway lies on the whispering wind?

And as we wind on down the road, our shadows taller than our soul
There walks a lady we all know, who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold
And if you listen very hard, the tune will come to you at last
When all are one and one is all to be a rock and not to roll
And she’s buying a stairway to heaven

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