Bron-Yr-Aur (instrumental)

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Not to be confused with Bron-Y-Aur Stomp.
Song by Led Zeppelin from the album Physical Graffiti
Released 24 February 1975 (1975-02-24)
Recorded June 1970
Studio Basing Street, London
Genre Folk, instrumental music
Length 2:07
Label Swan Song
Writer(s) Jimmy Page
Producer(s) Jimmy Page

"Bron-Yr-Aur" (Welsh pronunciation: [brɔn.ər.aɪr]) is an acoustic guitar instrumental by English rock band Led Zeppelin. It is their second song to reference Bron-Yr-Aur, a rural retreat in Wales where Jimmy Page and Robert Plant wrote much of Led Zeppelin III. At two minutes and six seconds in duration, is the group's shortest studio recording.

Bron-Yr-Aur was a holiday cottage used by Plant's parents near the village of Furnace in North Ceredigion, Wales. Page and Plant spent time there after their Spring 1970 North American Tour, preparing for a follow-up album to Led Zeppelin II.[1] The instrumental is a reflective and relaxed piece, and one of the last acoustic tunes released by the band. Page uses an open C6 tuning, played on a 1971 Martin D-28.[2] "Poor Tom" and "Friends" also use this tuning.[3]

As a solo piece, Page receives the sole writer's credit. Writer Mick Wall notes in his biography When Giants Walked the Earth that it was recorded during "the original June 1970 Basing Street [Island Records Basing Street Studios] sessions for the third album."[4] However, it does not appear on Led Zeppelin III, although the album includes a country music-inspired song with Plant's vocal titled "Bron-Y-Aur Stomp". When preparing their sixth album, Physical Graffiti, in 1975, several songs recorded during sessions for earlier albums were chosen;[4] "Bron-Yr-Aur" was the oldest of the recordings to be selected.[4]

Live performances[edit]

Page occasionally performed the instrumental at Led Zeppelin concerts, sometimes as part of an acoustic set.[3]. Some bootleg recordings from their sixth American concert tour in August–September 1970 include it, such as Live on Blueberry Hill, with Plant explaining 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.

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ Phil Sutcliffe, "Back to Nature", Q Magazine Special Led Zeppelin edition, 2003, p. 34.
  2. ^ Tolinski, Brad, (Jan. 1998) "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.
  4. ^ a b c Wall, Mick (2010). When Giants Walked the Earth: A Biography of Led Zeppelin. New York City: St. Martin's Griffin. p. 321. ISBN 978-0-312-59039-0.