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Why Is The Stairway To Heaven Riff Forbidden?
The iconic “Stairway to Heaven” riff is a source of controversy for many different reasons. One of the biggest reasons is that it is forbidden in many religious communities due to its association with paganism and other unorthodox spiritual ideologies.
The “Stairway to Heaven” riff was written by Led Zeppelin’s lead guitarist Jimmy Page in 1971. Since then, it has become one of the most beloved and widely recognized riffs in popular music. However, many religious communities, especially those that are rooted in Christianity, have forbidden this particular riff. The reason for this is because the riff has come to be associated with paganism, which is a spiritual path that is widely considered to be unorthodox and is even denounced by many religions.
Paganism is a set of religious beliefs and practices that includes an array of spiritual paths such as Asatru, Wicca, and Druidism. These paths often involve nature-based rituals, the worship of multiple gods, and other practices that do not align with the teachings of Christianity. The “Stairway to Heaven” riff has been associated with paganism due to the nature of the lyrics, which reference many spiritual concepts such as “the May Queen” (a goddess of the Wicca religion) and “the lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold” (a reference to the legendary King Midas of Greek mythology). In addition, the lyrics also contain a few references to the “Arcadian Shepherds” (a reference to the Greek god Pan) and the “Land of Shades” (a reference to the underworld in Greek mythology).
For these reasons, the “Stairway to Heaven” riff is often seen as an homage to paganism, and many religious communities have forbidden it as a result. For example, the Catholic Church specifically bans the song in its Catechism, which states that “all forms of magical or superstitious practices, . . . and all forms of divination and sorcery, which are attempts to tame occult powers, constitute a serious offense against the virtue of religion.” Other Christian denominations such as the Southern Baptist Convention have also included the song in its lists of forbidden music alongside other songs such as Madonna’s “Like a Prayer” and Ozzy Osbourne’s “Crazy Train.”
The “Stairway to Heaven” riff is a beloved and timeless piece of music, but it is also a controversial one. Many religious communities have forbidden the song due to its association with paganism, which they find to be deeply offensive. For these communities, it is seen as an act of disrespect towards their faith and its teachings. As such, it is important to be mindful of the consequences of playing or singing the “Stairway to Heaven” riff, and to respect the beliefs of those who find it offensive.