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Gallows Pole - Led Zeppelin

Gallows Pole

Led Zeppelin III
classic rock rock hard rock 70s Led Zeppelin


This is based on an old Blues song called "Gallis Pole," which was popularized by Leadbelly. The song is considered "Traditional," meaning the author is unknown. Jimmy Page got the idea for this after hearing the version by California folk singer Fred Gerlach. The lyrics are about a man trying to delay his hanging until his friends and family can rescue him. Although there are many versions of this song, Led Zeppelin's is unusual in that it ends with the hangman hanging the protagonist despite all of his bribes. Most other versions end with the hangman setting the protagonist free. A similar folk song called "Slack Your Rope" was sung by an Arkansan named Jimmie Driftwood. He adapted the words from a fifteenth century British Ballad when any crime could be paid off with money right up to the last step of the gallows. In his version, the criminal is definitely a woman and her lover rides up and pays her fee. This is the only Led Zeppelin song that features a banjo. Jimmy Page wrote it on a banjo he borrowed from John Paul Jones. He had never played the banjo before. Page played the 6 and 12-string guitars as well as the banjo on this. Jones played mandolin and bass. This is Page's favorite song on Led Zeppelin III. The band used some lines from this on their 1975 song "Trampled Underfoot." This is a rare Led Zeppelin song that speeds up as it goes along, a technique Jimmy Page also used on "Stairway To Heaven." In 1994, Page and Plant re-recorded this in Wales for their album No Quarter. On that version, Page played a hurdy-gurdy, an odd instrument resembling an organ grinder that sounds like a bagpipe. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant teamed up again to record this song for an MTV Unplugged set. It's featured on the The Very Best of MTV Unplugged album and the duo are listed simply as Page and Plant. 104 BPM


Led Zeppelin were an English rock band originally formed in 1968 by guitarist Jimmy Page under the name "The New Yardbirds", based on Page's previous band, The Yardbirds. The band formed when Jimmy Page (guitar) recruited Robert Plant (vocals, harmonica), John Paul Jones (bass guitar, keyboards, mandolin), and John Bonham (drums). With their heavy, guitar-driven blues-rock sound, Led Zeppelin are regularly cited as one of the progenitors of heavy metal and hard rock music. Show more ...

Gallows Pole - Led Zeppelin

(Trad. Arr. Jimmy Page)

Hangman, hangman, hold it a little while,
Think I see my friends coming, Riding a many mile.
Friends, did you get some silver?
Did you get a little gold?
What did you bring me, my dear friends, To keep me from the Gallows Pole?
What did you bring me to keep me from the Gallows Pole?

I couldn t get no silver, I couldn t get no gold,
You know that we re too damn poor to keep you from the Gallows Pole.
Hangman, hangman, hold it a little while,
I think I see my brother coming, riding a many mile.
Brother, did you get me some silver?
Did you get a little gold?
What did you bring me, my brother, to keep me from the Gallows Pole?

Brother, I brought you some silver,
I brought a little gold, I brought a little of everything
To keep you from the Gallows Pole.
Yes, I brought you to keep you from the Gallows Pole.

Hangman, hangman, turn your head awhile,
I think I see my sister coming, riding a many mile, mile, mile.
Sister, I implore you, take him by the hand,
Take him to some shady bower, save me from the wrath of this man,
Please take him, save me from the wrath of this man, man.

Hangman, hangman, upon your face a smile,
Pray tell me that I m free to ride,
Ride for many mile, mile, mile.

Oh, yes, you got a fine sister, She warmed my blood from cold,
Brought my blood to boiling hot To keep you from the Gallows Pole,
Your brother brought me silver, Your sister warmed my soul,
But now I laugh and pull so hard And see you swinging on the Gallows Pole

Swingin on the gallows pole!



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