Bron-Yr-Aur (instrumental)

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"Bron-Yr-Aur"
Song by Led Zeppelin from the album Physical Graffiti
Released 24 February 1975
Recorded 1970
Genre Folk, instrumental music
Length 2:06
Label Swan Song
Writer Page
Producer Jimmy Page
Physical Graffiti track listing
"In the Light"
(7)
"Bron-Yr-Aur"
(8)
"Down by the Seaside"
(9)

"Bron-Yr-Aur" (Welsh pronunciation: [brɔn.ər.aɪr]) is an acoustic guitar instrumental tune by English rock band Led Zeppelin, and, at two minutes and six seconds in duration, is the shortest studio recording under the band's name.

Production[edit]

The song was initially recorded by Jimmy Page during the sessions for the album Led Zeppelin III in 1970, but was eventually released in 1975 on Physical Graffiti. It was named after Bron-Yr-Aur, a cottage owned by Plant's parents near the village of Furnace in North Ceredigion, Wales, where Jimmy Page and Robert Plant spent time during the writing of Led Zeppelin III.[1] ("Bron-Y-Aur Stomp" is a different song from Led Zeppelin III.)

Musical structure[edit]

"Bron-Yr-Aur" is a reflective and relaxed piece, and one of the last acoustic tunes released under the band's name. It features a characteristic open C6 tuning (C-A-C-G-C-E) and is played on a 1971 Martin D-28.[2] This same tuning was also used by Page on the tracks "Poor Tom" and "Friends".[3]

Live performances[edit]

The tune was rarely performed live at Led Zeppelin concerts, but it can be heard on some bootleg recordings from their sixth American concert tour in August–September 1970, when it was sometimes played as part of their acoustic set.[3] It can be heard on the famous bootleg album Live on Blueberry Hill, on which Led Zeppelin singer Robert Plant explains the origins of "Bron-Yr-Aur":

This is a thing called 'Bron-Yr-Aur'. This is a name of the little cottage in the mountains of Snowdonia in Wales, and 'Bron-Yr-Aur' is the Welsh equivalent of the phrase 'Golden Breast'. This is so because of its position every morning as the sun rises and it's a really remarkable place. And so after staying there for a while and deciding it was time to leave for various reasons, we couldn't really just leave it and forget about it. You've probably all been to a place like that, only we can tell you about it and you can't tell us.

The studio version of "Bron-Yr-Aur" is played in the concert film The Song Remains the Same, at the point when the band members are shown driving through New York City in a limousine (although it is not featured on the accompanying soundtrack album). A snippet of the tune can also be heard in the film Almost Famous, one of the rare instances when the band allowed part of their catalogue to be used for a motion picture.

Personnel[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

Though not a cover, Coheed and Cambria performed a tribute to the song on their album Good Apollo, I'm Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness as a hidden track.

Sources[edit]

  • 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

References[edit]

  1. ^ Phil Sutcliffe, "Back to Nature", Q Magazine Special Led Zeppelin edition, 2003, p. 34.
  2. ^ Tolinski, Brad, (Jan. 1998) It was recorded in 1970. "Jimmy Page's Guitar Army: Backstage 1973". Guitar World, p. 107 (fold out).
  3. ^ a b Dave Lewis (1994), The Complete Guide to the Music of Led Zeppelin, Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-3528-9.