The Lemon Song – Squeezing Out the Blues


You can view the lyrics, alternate interprations and sheet music for Led Zeppelin's The Lemon Song at Lyrics.org.
Article Contents:
  1. Music Video
  2. Lyrics
  3. Song Meaning
  4. The Inescapable Grip of the ‘Killin’ Floor’
  5. Dueling Desires and the Struggle Within
  6. A Caustic Take on Love and Dissatisfaction
  7. The Raw Virility of ‘The Lemon’ Metaphor
  8. Uncovering the Wails Within ‘The Lemon Song’

Lyrics

I should have quit you long time ago
Ohh yeah, long time ago
I wouldn’t be here, my children
Down on this killin’ floor

I should have listened, baby, to my second mind
Ohh, I should have listened, baby, to my second mind
Every time I go away and leave you, darling
You send me the blues way down the line, ohh

Babe, yeah
Treat me right baby
Oh my, my, my
Alright, take it down a bit
People tellin’ me baby can’t be satisfied
They try to worry me baby
But they never hurt you in my eyes
Said, people worry baby, I can’t keep you satisfied

Huh, let me tell you baby
You ain’t nothin’ but a two-bit, no-good jive
I wwent to sleep last night, I worked as hard as I can
I bring home my money, you take my money, give it to another man
I should have quit you, baby
Oh, such a long time ago
I wouldn’t be here with all my troubles
Down on this killing floor

Squeeze me baby, ’till the juice runs down my leg
Squeeze me baby, ’till the juice runs down my leg
The way you squeeze my lemon, I
I’m gonna fall right out of bed, bed, bed, bed, yeah

Hey
Hey
Hey
Hey
Hey, hey, hey, hey, you
Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby
Hey, babe, hey, babe, babe

I’m gonna leave my children down on this killin’ floor

Full Lyrics

Led Zeppelin’s 1969 hit, ‘The Lemon Song’, remains one of the most quintessential blues rock tracks in the history of rock ‘n’ roll. The song, which appears on the band’s seminal album ‘Led Zeppelin II’, is notable for its raw energy, improvised feel, and sexual metaphors.

But beyond its blistering guitar licks and Robert Plant’s urgent vocals lies a complex tapestry of emotion and implication. While many may get caught up in its overt sexual references, there is a nuanced underbelly to the lyrics that warrants a deeper dive into themes of betrayal, dissatisfaction, and the human experience.

The Inescapable Grip of the ‘Killin’ Floor’

The recurring mention of the ‘killin’ floor’ ties the song to a long blues tradition, referencing a space of hardship and desperation. This metaphorical floor is a battleground where the protagonist faces his struggles with love, illustrating the emotional slaughterhouse of a painful relationship.

It’s a place from which he feels he should have escaped ‘a long time ago’, indicating a wistfulness for the freedom he once had. The regret expressed shows a desire for what might have been, painting a picture of a life weighed down by the wrong choices.

Dueling Desires and the Struggle Within

A key conflict in ‘The Lemon Song’ arises from the singer’s internal debate, mirrored in the lyrics ‘I should have listened, baby, to my second mind.’ Here lies the essence of human dichotomy: the visceral versus the rational, the immediate versus the prudent. Zeppelin captures this eternal struggle, underscoring the blues tradition of expressing the rawness of human emotion.

The singer’s self-reproach suggests a deep self-awareness and understanding that his heart’s desire may not be what’s best for him. It’s a reflection on temptation and the often ignored wisdom that whispers caution in moments of passion.

A Caustic Take on Love and Dissatisfaction

Led Zeppelin doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of love gone sour. Plant’s lyrics take a sharp turn with, ‘You ain’t nothing but a two-bit, no-good jive.’ The accusation is fierce, reflecting the bitterness of feeling deceived and used within the confines of a distorted relationship.

This line isn’t just about romantic failings; it speaks to the existential anger of investing oneself fully, only to be exploited. In true blues fashion, the song conveys the context of a hardworking individual who is met with disillusionment when loyalty is not reciprocated.

The Raw Virility of ‘The Lemon’ Metaphor

Perhaps the song’s most famous lines are the unabashedly sexual ‘Squeeze me baby, ’till the juice runs down my leg.’ The vivid metaphor captures the visceral, almost animalistic, drive behind human desire. It’s a brazen embrace of sexuality, characteristic of the late ’60s rock culture.

The imagery not only speaks to the sensuous nature of the song but also aligns with blues’ penchant for using fruit as symbols. The sense of yearning and need for physical connection is palpable, as is the song’s connection to the roots of blues music.

Uncovering the Wails Within ‘The Lemon Song’

In true Led Zeppelin fashion, ‘The Lemon Song’ serves as more than a platform for foul-mouthed grievances or mere sexual innuendos. It echoes the blues tradition of storytelling through pain and life’s vicissitudes. The song taps into an emotionality that transcends the literal and ventures into the poetic.

This sonic journey through the bitterness of a man’s experience stands as a testament to the genre’s ability to elicit a deep response from listeners. It’s an immersive experience that comforts those who have tasted life’s sour moments and assures them that they are not alone in their blues.

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