|Song by Led Zeppelin from the album Led Zeppelin III|
|Released||5 October 1970|
|Led Zeppelin III track listing|
Jimmy Page and Robert Plant constructed the song in 1970 at Bron-Yr-Aur, a small cottage in Wales where they stayed after completing a gruelling concert tour of North America. John Paul Jones also received a writing credit for the song. It was later recorded at Headley Grange in 1970, using a mobile studio belonging to the Rolling Stones. It was finished off at Island, London and Ardent Studios, Memphis, Tennessee.
Drummer John Bonham played spoons and castanets on the recording. Bassist John Paul Jones played an acoustic five-string fretless bass. Jimmy Page's 1971 Martin D-28 guitar, in this song, is tuned to open D with a capo at the 3rd fret.
Jennings Farm Blues
Led Zeppelin also recorded the song as an electric blues rock instrumental, "Jennings Farm Blues (Rough Mix of All Guitar Overdubs That Day)", which later surfaced as a studio out-take on a number of Led Zeppelin bootleg recordings. Jennings Farm is the name of the property on which the Plant family stayed in the early 1970s. "Jennings Farm Blues" was released on 2 June 2014, as part of the remastering process of all 9 albums. The released version of "Jennings Farm Blues" was recorded around the time when Led Zeppelin's fourth album was being recorded.
Origin of the name
The song is named after Bron-Yr-Aur, a house in Gwynedd, Wales, where the members of Led Zeppelin retreated in 1970 to write much of Led Zeppelin III after having completed a gruelling concert tour of North America. Bron-Yr-Aur means "golden breast" or "breast of gold" in Welsh, as in a hillside of gold. Its pronunciation is [ˈbrɔn ər ˈaɪr]. The cottage had no electricity or running water, but the change of scenery provided inspiration for many of the songs on the album, including "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp."
The song's title was misspelled on the album cover during initial printing; it should read "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp." This error can be contrasted to another Led Zeppelin track, "Bron-Yr-Aur", a two-minute instrumental featured on their later album Physical Graffiti, which was spelled correctly. When the song appeared on the 2003 DVD, it was spelled correctly both on the back cover of the set and the DVD's menu, although without the hyphens ("Bron Yr Aur Stomp"), and on the live album How the West Was Won it was spelled "Bron-Yr-Aur Stomp".
In "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp", a country music-inflected hoedown, singer Robert Plant waxes lyrically about walking in the woods with his blue-eyed Merle dog named Strider. Plant reportedly named his dog after Aragorn (often called Strider) from J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. References to the work of Tolkien exist in some other Led Zeppelin songs, such as "Ramble On," "The Battle of Evermore," and "Misty Mountain Hop". However, there are no explicit references to Tolkien works in "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp". The lyrics also make reference to the song "Old Shep": When you're old and your eyes are dim / There ain't no "Old Shep" gonna happen again.
This song regularly appeared in Led Zeppelin's acoustic set from the second UK tour in 1971 to the 1973 European Tour. When the band performed the song live at Led Zeppelin concerts, John Paul Jones played an upright bass and Bonham sang harmony vocals with Plant (always stopping in the middle of the third verse). This can be seen in the footage from the Earls Court concerts in May 1975, featured on the Led Zeppelin DVD. On the band's 1977 North American tour, the song "Black Country Woman" was merged into a medley with "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp". At one Californian show (6/27/77 LA Forum), "Dancing Days" was also featured in the acoustic medley. In some shows, Page sings harmony vocals with Plant instead of Bonham (Seattle in 1977, for example).
- Lewis, Dave (2004) The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9
- Welch, Chris (1998) Led Zeppelin: Dazed and Confused: The Stories Behind Every Song, ISBN 1-56025-818-7
- Shadwick, Keith (2005). Led Zeppelin: The Story of a Band and Their Music 1968–1980 (1st ed.). San Francisco: Backbeat Books. p. 138. ISBN 0-87930-871-0.
- Phil Sutcliffe, "Back to Nature", Q Magazine Special Led Zeppelin edition, 2003, p. 34.
- Dave Lewis (1994), The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.