Led Zeppelin’s “Misty Mountain Hop” Lyrics Meaning

It’s somewhat amusing to read Robert Plant use the term “big brother” in describing “Misty Mountain Hop”, considering that the event which inspired it transpired in 1968. That is to say that usually when we hear said term, images of incessant surveillance via the internet of things tends to come to mind. But the late 1960s predates the age of computer ubiquity.

You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Led Zeppelin's Misty Mountain Hop at Lyrics.org.

But the vocalist is speaking to what the concept of ‘big brother’ is fundamentally based on, i.e. this idea of the law always being up in your face. And concerning the event which served as the basis of this narrative, that would be a pro-pot rally that occurred in London, at a location known as Hyde Park.

Back then, weed smoking was an activity that was most notably associated with hippyism. And so we witness the vocalist interacting with such individuals, “in the park” in the first verse. By the looks of things, he didn’t actually set out to meet them. But in any event, reading in between the lines, it’s like they end up getting him stoned.

Later on, the police come around and begin to round them all up. Afterwards, the lyrics become so ambiguous that it’s hard to tell exactly what’s going down. But it seems like what the vocalist is saying is that even though he perceives the police’s behavior as perhaps being extreme considering that he and his companions are just chillin’ in a park, he’s not going to let it get to him. Indeed, the narrator comes off as someone who is turned off by the state of urban society in general.


All in all, the “Misty Mountain” can be deemed to not only symbolize freedom but also an escape into the wilderness, so to speak. The “Misty Mountains” themselves are a fictional location, one derived from the Lord of the Rings universe. But to reiterate, it isn’t as if the vocalist is actually referencing said series. Instead in his mind, said locality is one in which, most simply put, people are allowed to be free.

Led Zeppelin, "Misty Mountain Hop" Lyrics

What Robert Plant has said about “Misty Mountain Hop”

Plant said the lyrics are about the following things:

  • A group of hippies getting arrested for having fun
  • The problems the average person can find themselves in when doing something as simple and harmless as enjoying the sun in a park

According to him, these things happen a lot in England because ‘Big Brother’ (who we assume are the authorities) would do whatever they can to prevent you from freely enjoying yourself.

When did Led Zeppelin release “Misty Mountain Hop”?

“Misty Mountain Hop” alongside “Black Dog” were both released on December 2nd, 1971 as singles from Led Zeppelin’s fourth studio album. The album was released without a title but later became known as “Led Zeppelin IV”.


The following members of Led Zeppelin jointly composed “Misty Mountain Hop”:

  • John Paul Jones
  • Robert Plant
  • Jimmy Page

Page, who is also a brilliant record producer, took charge of Misty Mountain Hop‘s production duties. Page was also responsible for the production of this track’s entire album (“Led Zeppelin IV”).

“Misty Mountain Hop” is one of Led Zeppelin’s Greatest Songs

In 2019, Rolling Stone magazine made a list of the “40 Greatest Led Zeppelin Songs of All Time”. “Misty Mountain Hop” was placed at the 10th position on that list. The number 1 song on that list was the band’s 1969 song titled “Whole Lotta Love“. Their legendary song “Stairway to Heaven” of 1971 occupied the second position on the list.

The “Led Zeppelin IV” Album

“Led Zeppelin IV” was recorded at the Rolling Stones Mobile studio at Headley Grange in Hampshire and Island Studios in London.

With sales of over 37 million copies worldwide, the album did not only become the band’s most successful album, it also became one of the best performing albums in the history of music.

“Led Zeppelin IV” spent a total of 90 weeks on the UK Albums Chart, where it peaked at No. 1. Aside from the UK, the album made it to the summit of charts in the Netherlands as well as Canada. It also charted top-10 in the likes of Sweden, France, Germany, Spain and Australia.

The album’s impressive sales earned it several international certifications, including a 24x Platinum in the US, 6x Platinum in the UK, Gold in Germany, 9x Platinum in Australia and 2x Diamond in Canada.

“Led Zeppelin IV” earned several accolades including a 1999 induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame. It was placed at No. 69 on Rolling Stone’s “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time” list published in 2012. It moved several places up the said list in a revised edition, published in 2020.

In 2000, Q magazine placed the album at No. 26 on their list of greatest British albums.

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