On Wednesday evening I took a nap. Immediately before I woke up, I heard the following words sung very distinctly:If there's a bustle in your hedgerow
Don't be alarmed now
Just that. The lines, of course, are from "Stairway to Heaven"; the singer is Robert Plant; the band is Led Zeppelin. Even after I'd woken up fully the words resounded through my mind. I was rather bemused. Why did I dream those lines? Why only those lines? Why right then? Granted, I don't dislike Led Zeppelin; I actually like a lot of their stuff. I don't have any of their albums, however; more importantly, I don't have a copy of "Stairway to Heaven" and I can't remember when I last heard it. For various reasons I doubt that I heard the song playing while I slept. In addition, if you'd asked me before I went to sleep to sing "Stairway to Heaven," I wouldn't have remembered half of the lyrics; heck, I probably wouldn't have remembered a tenth of the lyrics. In particular, I doubt that I would have remembered the two lines in question so perfectly.
Since then I've tried to imagine why I dreamed the lines. Was there a reason that I could trace down? Was it instead simply one of those strange events? Even now I can hear the words and the tune:If there's a bustle in your hedgerow
Don't be alarmed now
Though it's a bit of a reach, I was compelled to wonder whether this was the result of my recent perusing of the Internet for spooky stories to add to my hyakumonogatari kaidankai thread
. While I was looking through stories I came across several references to Satanists; Led Zeppelin, as you'll recall, were one of the first bands to be accused of incorporating Satanic messages into their music. And you know how the subconscious mind words. I don't know: Maybe that's the reason, maybe not. I'm not coming to any conclusions; I just consider the possibility an interesting one.
All of this reminded me that a couple of years ago -- yeah, years
-- I considered starting a thread on Elliquiy about possible subliminal messages in backmasking in music. You're familiar with backmasking: recording something in one direction for play in the other direction. I declined to start the thread because I didn't want it to become contentious. I mean, yeah, some people did accuse some musicians of hiding evil messages in their music; that's true. I didn't want a debate about whether the musicians or their accusers were really the evil ones to consume the thread, however, because I was only interested in the possible subliminal messages in the backmasking itself. Was any given "message" intentional, whether consciously or subconsciously? Were listeners instead experiencing pareidolia?
It seemed to me to be a fascinating topic. It still does, in fact. Therefore, I've decided to change my mind, to trust in the maturity level of the members of Elliquiy, to start the damned thread
.Ladies and gentlemen, maidens and monsters, what do you think about the purported "messages" that musicians seem to have incorporated into their songs through backmasking?
Which messages do you think are genuine? Which of those do you think were consciously intentional and which of those do you think were subconsciously intentional? Which "messages" do you think aren't there at all -- that is, which "messages" do you think we
create out of a coincidental collection of sounds? Do you yourself have any interesting examples of backmasking?
For some well-known examples, please check out the following sites:Reverse SpeechBackmask OnlineJeff Milner's Backmasking SiteAlbino Blacksheep
So, what about "Stairway to Heaven"? Well, it contains the most famous example of what is perceived to be a Satanic message incorporated into a song through backmasking. When reversed, thisIf there's a bustle in your hedgerow
Don't be alarmed now
It's just a spring clean for the May queen
Yes, there are two paths you can go by
But in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on
becomes something like thisO here's to my sweet Satan!
The one whose little path would make me sad, whose power is Satan
He'll give those with him 666
There was a little toolshed where he made us suffer, sad Satan
The lines that I heard in my dream, when reversed, specifically become -- you guessed it! --There was a little toolshed where he made us suffer, sad Satan