“Sick Again” by Led Zeppelin

At the time “Sick Again” is set, the Led Zeppelin crew would have been in their twenties. Meanwhile, they had underaged groupies, and the homeys did at times interact with them. 

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

But that said there was a feeling of uneasiness that ultimately accompanied such exploits by the time events had run their course, as illustrated by this song.

The Addressee

Said groupies are personified as the addressee, and it can be said that the vocalist is speaking to such young ladies in general. And what he’s basically saying is that they are caught up in some type of a star-chasing lifestyle. Such would explain why they’re so fascinated with celebrities like Led Zeppelin. But at the same time, a young girl putting herself out there like that is concluded to be akin to a road to nowhere – or a “downhill slide”, as Plant himself puts it.

But that is not to imply that he doesn’t enjoy their company. To the contrary, albeit metaphorically the vocalist does make it quite clear that he gets a thrill out of fooling around with such ladies.

But at the end of the night, the groupies’ laughter rather becomes tears. And as implied, the reason for such is that they come to the realization that their moment with Led Zeppelin is exactly that, just a moment. 

Perhaps it can be said that a groupie shouldn’t realistically expect a long-term relationship with a music star in the first place. And reading in between the lines, that seems to be exactly the point the vocalist is trying to get at. He is trying to say that these girls are too young to fully comprehend what they’re getting themselves into, until after it has transpired. And by then, it’s too late to backtrack.

In Conclusion

The above said, it isn’t like the vocalist is saying that he’s not going to mess with groupies anymore. But concurrently, he doesn’t seem like the type who is out to exploit them. Indeed, as inferred earlier, Led Zeppelin is speaking to a reality that extends beyond their own stardom. 

And in the grand scheme of this song, the vocalist is serving more of the role of a participant than an analyst.

Finally, it should definitely be noted that the title of this song never actually appears in the lyrics. So it really takes a bit of imagination to conceptualize what the term “sick again” is supposed to mean in this context. And one theory, all lyrics considered, is that said ‘sickness’ may allude to the vocalist’s lust.

Led Zeppelin's "Sick Again" Lyrics
Led Zeppelin's Robert Plant discusses "Sick Again"

Facts about “Sick Again”

This song was written by Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, both of whom, alongside bandmate John Bonham, remained members of Led Zeppelin throughout its years of existence. Said years consisted almost exclusively of the 1970s, with the band’s fourth member, John Bonham, dying in 1980, and Led Zeppelin more or less disbanding in the aftermath.

Jimmy Page, who primarily serves as the group’s guitarist, also produced this track.

This is the closing track on Led Zeppelin’s album “Physical Graffiti”, which Swan Song Records put out on 24 February 1975. 

And to note, said album was a major hit which topped the Billboard 200 and UK Albums Chart and has been diamond+ certified in the US.

Sick Again

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