How Elements of the Classic Hero’s Journey Live Within the Iconic Led Zeppelin Song ‘Stairway to Heaven’

Noah LeFevre of Polyphonic has taken an extensive look into the iconic Led Zeppelin song Stairway to Heaven. Despite its somewhat ubiquity throughout the years, the music and lyrics are those of absolute transcendental genius. LeFevre reads the song as an abstract interpretation of the classic hero’s journey as defined by author Joseph Campbell in his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces. The combination of the lyrical story, parting musical modes, strumming styles and Jimmy Page‘s legendary solo all combine to create the necessary forward-moving motion within the song.

Now Stairway to Heaven doesn’t tell the story overtly in its lyrics. Instead, the music and the lyrics work together to conjure the feelings of the hero’s journey. …It makes you feel like you’re part of a prophecy, a myth, something bigger growing beneath the surface.