We recently wrote about staircases that have featured prominently in films. It was clear that a staircase could easily make a dramatic backdrop for a scene or even be used as the focal point of a particular piece of action.
So many films sprang to mind – too many to include in a single blog post, so we may have to do another in the near future. But it also got us thinking about other art forms and how they feature stairs, so today’s blog concentrates on stairs and music.
One of the most famous examples is Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’. The song, taken from the band’s untitled fourth album is regarded as one of the most influential and acclaimed tracks of all time and often features highly in polls and on lists of classic tracks, particularly those geared towards rock music. Its success is even more remarkable, given the fact it was never officially released as a single.
So where do the song famous lyrics come from? Singer Robert Plant has stated in interviews that the song’s opening line is a cynical aside about a woman who always gets what she wants, without any thought or consideration for others, suggesting the stairway she may never reach the top of her stairway, no matter how much she demands or tries to buy it.
Nevertheless, the song’s title and enduring appeal have ensured many staircases around the world have been named after it, due to their wondrous setting or their length – in keeping with Led Zeppelin’s eight-minute epic.
Stairway To Heaven might be an obvious classic but what other musical gems have used stairs as their inspiration?
In somewhat stark contrast to the rock legends, one of the biggest stair-related hits is Halfway Down The Stairs by the Muppets – or Kermit the Frog’s nephew Robin, to be more precise. Although the song is a memorable Muppet classic, it’s actually based on a poem by Winnie the Pooh creator AA Milne. The verse, featured in the collection ‘When We Were Very Young’ is written from the perspective of a child who has found their favourite spot where they can stop and contemplate life whilst a fast-paced and confusing world continues to operate around them.
Other staircase related tunes include ‘Three Steps To Heaven’ by Eddie Cochran and later Showaddywaddy, and Underworld’s ‘Push Upstairs’, though what exactly they were trying to push up the stairs was never made clear. Let’s hope it wasn’t a piano.