Today I learned that Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song is about Iceland. I mean, if you listen to the lyrics, it’s obvious: 

We come from the land of the ice and snow/ From the midnight sun where the hot springs flow 

Led Zeppelin

Yeah, I don’t think there’s any place on earth but Iceland that could refer to. I was mostly just surprised I’d never heard of it, the way Icelanders tend to keep track and re-iterate any ‘claim to fame’ Iceland has – that seems like it would have come up…

Apparently the story goes that Led Zeppelin were on a cultural mission to Iceland at the invitation of the Icelandic government in 1970. The day before they arrived all the civil servants went on strike and they were going to cancel the concert. But it wound up going forward and it inspired vocalist Robert Plant to write the song. They performed it for the first time live a few days later, at Bath Festival, the next stop on their tour. (source)

Immigrant Song
Led Zeppelin at Laugardalshöll, Reykjavík, Iceland (Tíminn, June 23rd,1970)

The rest of the lyrics reference Norse Mythology and apparently the line “Hammer of the Gods” became an affectionate way for fans to describe their ‘sound’.

Here are the rest of the lyrics:

Lyrics to Immigrant Song

By Jimmy Page, Robert Plant

Ah, ah,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs flow.
The hammer of the gods will drive our ships to new lands,
To fight the horde, singing and crying: Valhalla, I am coming!

On we sweep with threshing oar, Our only goal will be the western shore.

Ah, ah,
We come from the land of the ice and snow,
From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
How soft your fields so green, can whisper tales of gore,
Of how we calmed the tides of war. We are your overlords.

On we sweep with threshing oar, Our only goal will be the western shore.

So now you’d better stop and rebuild all your ruins,
For peace and trust can win the day despite of all your losing.

Rögnvaldur "Reggie" Guðmundsson
Rögnvaldur "Reggie" Guðmundsson
Categories

What's On locations in downtown Reykjavík

  • Laugavegur 5 (Main Office)
  • Laugavegur 54 (Trip)

Opening Hours:

  • Main office (Laugavegur 5) - open every day 8:30 - 22:00
    Laugavegur 54 - Mon-Fri 9:00-18:00, Sat 9:00-14:00

Contact What's On

The official source for safe adventure in Iceland is safetravel. It’s located in our Laugavegur 54 location.