It’s hard not to notice that “The May Queen,” the first song released from Robert Plant‘s upcoming solo album Carry Fire, references the “It’s just a spring clean for the May Queen” line from Led Zeppelin‘s 1971 anthem “Stairway To Heaven.”
But Plant claims that it was unintentional. Talking to the BBC, he said that, “I didn’t even see it like that to begin with. It’s just there was a big hawthorn bush outside the studio. There were no spring cleans or anything. It was just, ‘Oh, it’s that time of year. The whole of life is opening up. That’s what it’s all about — the whole deal of ‘lay down in sweet surrender’ or whatever. The beginning of the years is such a great time, such an optimistic, great time even for older people.”
Pressed a bit by DJ Matt Everitt about the “Stairway” connection, Plant quipped, “I never even thought about that. Do you think anybody can remember laughter? I don’t know.”
Carry Fire, which Plant recorded with his band the Sensational Shape Shifters, is due out October 13, and he has a U.K. tour booked already with more dates to follow.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.