Led Zeppelin, ‘The Ocean’ – Lyrics Uncovered
Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant exudes gratefulness for both his young daughter and the seas of happy concert goers in front of him every night throughout the lyrics of 'The Ocean,' the closing track of the legendary band's 1973 album, 'House of the Holy.'
Over the song's jagged, stop-start rhythms, ably counted in with drummer John Bonham's most famous lyrical contribution ever -- "We've done four already but now we're steady and then they went: One, two, three, four" -- Plant looks forward to getting out of the house and hitting the road once again:
"Got no time to pack my bag, my foot's outside the door / Singing to an ocean, I can hear the ocean's roar / Play for free, play for me and play a whole lot more / Singing about the good things and the sun that lights the day"
There's not much to divine, except for a sense of wonder and happiness, from the song's famous "la la la la la la la la la" vocal breakdown section, which, as you can imagine, got those oceans of fans singing along with the band every night. On the final verse, after a cool doo-wop bit and another typically ragged but right guitar solo from Jimmy Page, Plant gets to explaining his newest life motivation:
"Sitting round singing songs 'til the night turns into day / Used to sing on the mountains but the mountains washed away / Now I'm singing all my songs to the girl who won my heart / She is only 3-years-old and it's a real fine way to start."
He's referring to his daughter Carmen, who was 3 years old when this song was recorded in 1971. In future years, Plant would update the song by singing her current age, as you can see below in this clip from their concert film 'The Song Remains the Same,' which was recorded when she was 4.
The song doesn't get played much anymore -- Zeppelin didn't perform it at their 2007 reunion show, and Plant rarely chooses it for his solo shows. But you can still hear it on the radio and if you're old and lucky enough, remember back to when you were part of 'The Ocean' at a Zep show and realize how jealous we are of you.
Watch Led Zeppelin Perform 'The Ocean' Live From 'The Song Remains the Same'