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Led Zeppelin - When the Levee Breaks -1970

Updated: Jun 15



"When the Levee Breaks" is a country blues song written and first recorded by Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie in 1929. The lyrics reflect experiences during the upheaval caused by the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.


Led Zeppelin recorded "When the Levee Breaks" for their untitled fourth album. When considering material for the group to record, singer Robert Plant suggested the Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie song. Jimmy Page commented that while Plant's lyrics identified with the original, he developed a new guitar riff that set it apart However, it is John Bonham's drumming that is usually noted as the defining characteristic of the song.









Lyrics


If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin' to break,

If it keeps on rainin', levee's goin' to break,

When The Levee Breaks I'll have no place to stay.


Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan,

Mean old levee taught me to weep and moan,

Got what it takes to make a mountain man leave his home,

Oh, well, oh, well, oh, well.


Don't it make you feel bad

When you're tryin' to find your way home,

You don't know which way to go?

If you're goin' down South

They got no work to do,

If you're going north to Chicago.


Cryin' won't help you, prayin' won't do you no good,

Now, cryin' won't help you, prayin' won't do you no good,

When the levee breaks, mama, you got to move.


All last night sat on the levee and moaned,

All last night sat on the levee and moaned,

Thinkin' about my baby and my happy home.

Going, going to Chicago.. Going to Chicago.. Sorry but I can't take you..

Going down.. going down now.. going down...




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