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I liked rock n roll as much as the next kid did, but their lyrics seemed overtly sexual in nature.
At 16 I was still a virgin and I found them to be just a little too in your face.
It sounded as if a lady who had money wanted to buy her way into heaven -- with that said, that's about all I understood of the song that seemed rather dark at the seams, with it's mystical, ambiguous language, all the while speaking about "heaven".
Led Zepplin became popular when I still in high school and I was rather off put by their lyrics and their on stage persona...
The first time I heard it, I was thought it pretty cool, but didn't understand it.
That being said, some meanings embedded in this song became obvious to me in the mid 1970s.
Surprisingly, the comments do not address some metaphorical or metaphysical aspects, and do not consider important cultural movements that were contemporaneous during the time of the initial creation and release of Stairway to Heaven.
That means it was impossible to write and record and release it in late 1971. Likewise, music reflects the consciousness of its Creator(s) at the time it was created, along with their past experience and their intention, as expressed in the lyrics or performance.
then I think that they happened to get the same idea of the writing of the lyrics of the song. So, in some sense, this song means something different to everyone.