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Dance In The Dark Of Night, Sing To The Morning Light

Note: This post was originally published on my peachybooks.ca Wordpress site on March 23, 2022, and has been very slightly edited.


 

Song lyrics for Battle of Evermore by Led Zeppelin in white lettering: Dance in the dark of night, sing to the morning light overtop a background of a tree losing its leaves, with the right side in black and white and the left side in red.

During one of my dark periods a few months ago, as fate would have it, I had the fortune of hearing one of my all-time favourite songs, Battle of Evermore by Led Zeppelin.


Whilst listening intently to its words and harmonies in my hyper focused and dreamy state, the magical song assisted in pulling me out of the depths of my despair.


I concluded there had not been enough music in my life across the last decade, which may have contributed to my perpetually shrouded mind.


Without a doubt, the absence of melody harmed my psyche; how could it not when it was once an ever-present part of my life?


I have been trying to do better by incorporating music into my posts, but it is not enough, as I still find my soul pining for more.


From now on, I will put forth a concerted effort to switch at least 50% of the time once spent listening to podcasts to playlists; fingers crossed that it works this time, haha. [In the interest of honesty, I have failed miserably in this regard since first posting this entry last year and am making a promise to try again.]


I am not naïve enough to presume music is a panacea, that with a queue of the right hits, one is smooth sailing for paradise, but if I look to my roots, I know that it will help.


Early years spent wearing out a crate of 45s, childhood permanently connected to a Walkman, emotionally mixed tapes, and breakup songs in my youth were my forever companions through the loneliness of isolation and the terror of too many storms.

The effortless caress of a familiar riff or a passionate voice often helped me tolerate the challenges of dark days, like musical angels sharing unconditionally, as they lent me the strength I lacked to lift myself up and out of a depression, their arms outstretched and steering me back towards the light.


Music was one of the only consistent friends I knew during my beginnings and was by my side in good times and bad, extra loud when things were exceptional.


Artistically speaking, singing will remain my first true love, but I had always wanted to learn to play instruments.


I had engaged in half-hearted flirtations in my past, playing the cello in the middle grades and the flute as a teen, but sadly, I stopped short of going all the way and dropped the class a few years into high school.


Now, married to my forever love and in middle age, I have been overcome by a mid-life desire to learn the Ukulele.


Thrilled to receive her for my birthday in 2020 from my unenvious husband and son, I crowned this beauty Mea Hoola, meaning healer in Hawaiian.


Progress is slow, but I prefer it that way, savouring the humility that comes with any learned skill and cherishing the gift of personal growth.


After years of typing and working with yarn, I now suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome, so my practice sessions do not last as long as I would like, but every time I pick her up, I escape to a newly liberated space in my mind.


Revitalising, fun, and creatively therapeutic, Mea Hoola is just another example of how art continues to help me unload the baggage of a pressing day.

 

With a vast and eclectic musical appreciation, there are not many songs that I refuse to listen to, but seventies rock and roll is where my rhythmic core resides.


Mega-stars like Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, Janis Joplin, and David Bowie were gifting endless amounts of timeless talent, and I truly loved them all, but Led Zeppelin was tops for me.


Over a decade behind what my schoolmates were into, I did not care. Of course, countless hours were exhausted listening to the radio and soaking up the modern fare, but preference always had me return back to rock out in falsetto with my cassette tape on repeat, memorising every ooh and ahh, that Robert Plant would purr.



Led Zeppelin IV was my introduction to the band, and I still do not know how I managed not to lose or break that cassette. Popular charts revere Stairway to Heaven as the best of the album, but it is my least favourite, if I am honest; sorry to those that might take offence, lol. The true masterpiece, and my number one song of all time if I had to pick, is Battle of Evermore.


With Plant being an avid Tolkien fan, many assumed the song to be about Return of the King and its Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Some inconsistencies would suggest otherwise, though. I am more inclined to believe the story that Plant wrote the song after reading a book about Scottish history and that it represented the battle between night and day, darkness and light, or good and evil.


The Celtic folk sound and the fingerpicking of the mandolin hit me in some unknown yet eerily familiar place in my soul, as though ancestral awakenings have come to bear. Add to this the harmonious marriage of Plant and Sandy Denny’s angelic voices, and I transcend into greatness as the emotionally charged song reverberates through my body.


The stars aligned in 2011, and I was lucky enough to see Heart, another of my top bands, on tour with Def Leppard. It was a phenomenal show, quite frankly, one of the best I have seen, but a lot of that, I know, has to do with nostalgia.


Not only did I dance like nobody was watching in my aisle seat, singing loud and proud to every beloved Def Leppard song of my younger days, but I got to hear Heart perform Battle of Evermore. One thing I can say for sure, on that glorious day, it was clear that good had won the battle, as the song never sounded more beautiful.


Click on the song title to hear the original Led Zeppelin track, along with the lyrics.


Battle of Evermore - Led Zeppelin


The Queen of Light took her bow

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, oh, oh


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


Dance in the dark of night

Sing to the morning light

The apples turn to brown and black

The tyrant's face is red


Oh, war is the common cry

Pick up your swords and fly

The sky is filled with good and bad

That mortals never know, oh


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 (ride on)

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

Ah, ooh, oh, ooh, ah


Bring it back, bring it back, bring it back, bring it back

Bring it back, bring it back, bring it back, bring it back


Oh now, oh now, oh now, oh, oh now, oh now, oh now

Bring it back, bring it back, bring it back, bring it back

Oh now, oh now, oh now, oh, oh now, oh now, oh now

Bring it, bring it, bring it, bring it, bring it

Bring it, bring it, bring it, bring it

Bring it, bring it, bring it


 

In this unique version of the classic song, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant welcome Najma Akhtar, a well-loved British singer of Indian ancestry. The added Eastern instrumental influence and her captivating voice make this a performance to behold and only elevate the richness of the music; a real treat!



 


As a proud mama, it would be remiss of me not to include a photo of the best Led Zeppelin-themed gift I have ever received in this post.


Here is a picture my thoughtful son drew me for my birthday last year. He is also a fan of the band, excellent taste that he has!




 

What are your thoughts on Led Zeppelin’s catalogue? Do you have a track that you like the best off of Zeppelin IV or any of their other Internationally bestselling albums?


What music, if any, helps provide you the light to dig yourself out of the dark?

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