Stairway to Heaven

Our living room is light and airy but rather bland: magnolia walls, white ceiling, beige carpet. A raspberry red sofa and a matching armchair add a big dollop of colour but they are old and the covers become increasingly shredded each time our beloved cat uses the furniture as a scratching post. The time has come to re-think the colour scheme and freshen up the room.

Two new sofas are on order. They are a duck egg colour (a delicate blueish green), which will go well with the carpet, but we will need some deeper, bolder colours somewhere in the room to add variety and interest. We have lots of swatches of curtain material but it’s hard to imagine what those designs would look like on a pair of floor-to-ceiling curtains.

We considered adding some bright scatter cushions and a few colourful pictures on the walls. We thought about slapping on some designer wallpaper. Then, browsing online, we saw some stunning wall murals and our imaginations started to run away with us. Mrs Crotchety liked the idea of a fantasy bookshelf wall. Alternatively, there are lots of lovely floral designs. There are also beautiful landscapes, lush green forests, shimmering fish, chirpy garden birds, wild animals, classical paintings and abstract art.

We must have spent a couple of hours sifting through several catalogues of murals without seriously considering whether anything we’d seen would actually work in our living room. Most of them were the wrong colour, the wrong shape or far too overpowering to live with. Of the rest, no one picture particularly appealed to us. Taking a break, Mrs C noticed that there’s a large, empty wall space rising up beside the stairs; a mural there would have quite an impact.

I imagined a wild-flower meadow at the bottom, a few trees in the distance and above them a deep blue sky that grew darker as you looked up the staircase, fading to coalface black overhead and studded with tiny white stars. It would look like a mountain path climbing up into the sky, our very own stairway to heaven.

Instantly, the Led Zeppelin track came to mind, popping up like a rocky outcrop in a grassy plain. Familiar songs have a habit of intruding into everyday life like that. Coming to mind unbidden is reason enough to be added to the Crotchety Man blog, so Stairway to Heaven is my track of the week this time.

Led Zeppelin

The Hindenburg, 1937

Led Zeppelin was one of the biggest rock bands there has ever been and Stairway to Heaven must be their best-known song. I don’t need to say anything much about it. I will say, though, that I’ve never been a fan of Led Zeppelin. They wrote some really good songs but they spoiled them with vocals that scrape and scratch at the ears and loud guitars that crash like an old metal trashcan thrown across a cobbled street. Whole Lotta Love, for me, is just a whole lotta noise. (I’m with Cerwin Vega, the speaker manufacturer, whose motto used to be: “Loud is beautiful … if it’s clean”.)

Stairway to Heaven suffers from the scratched-ears-and-trashcan sound slightly near the end but, overall, it’s a fine example of early seventies rock and deserves to be on all the ‘Best Of’ lists. Better yet, as I listened to it again today, I realised there’s a bit at the end of Stairway that sounds a lot like Jimi Hendrix’s version of All Along the Watchtower and you can’t get better than that!

2 thoughts on “Stairway to Heaven

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