Great Forgotten Songs #33 – Led Zeppelin “Bron-Yr-Aur”
“Bron-Yr-Aur” is an Led Zeppelin classic forgotten song, played on acoustic guitar by Jimmy Page. It is their second song to reference Bron-Yr-Aur, a rural retreat in Wales where Jimmy Page and Robert Plant wrote much of Led Zeppelin III. The track has only two minutes and seven seconds, is the group’s shortest studio recording.
Bron-Yr-Aur was a holiday cottage used by Plant’s parents near the village of Furnace in North Ceredigion, Wales. Page and Plant spent time there after their Spring 1970 North American Tour, preparing for a follow-up album to Led Zeppelin II. The instrumental is a reflective and relaxed piece, and one of the last acoustic tunes released by the band. Page uses an open C6 tuning, played on a 1971 Martin D-28. “Poor Tom” and “Friends” also use this tuning.
Hear the song below:
“Bron-Yr-Aur” by Led Zeppelin
Physical Graffiti (1975)
As a solo piece, Page receives the sole writer’s credit. Writer Mick Wall notes in his biography When Giants Walked the Earth that it was recorded during “the original June 1970 Basing Street [Island Records Basing Street Studios] sessions for the third album.” However, it does not appear on Led Zeppelin III, although the album includes a country music-inspired song with Plant’s vocal titled “Bron-Y-Aur Stomp”.
When preparing their sixth album, Physical Graffiti, in 1975, several songs recorded during sessions for earlier albums were chosen; “Bron-Yr-Aur” was the oldest of the recordings to be selected.
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