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"Let me tell you a little story behind the song ‘Ten Years Gone’ on our new album. I was working my ass off before joining Zeppelin. A lady I really dearly loved said, ‘Right. It’s me or your fans.’ Not that I had fans, but I said, ‘I can’t stop, I’ve got to keep going.’ She’s quite content these days, I imagine. She’s got a washing machine that works by itself and a little sports car. We wouldn’t have anything to say anymore. I could probably relate to her, but she couldn’t relate to me. I’d be smiling too much. Ten years gone, I’m afraid. Anyway, there’s a gamble for you."

Lyrics are About a Girlfriend Who Made Plant Choose Between Her and His Music Ten Years Earlier 

 

Robert Plant wrote the lyrics about a girlfriend who made him choose between her and his music 10 years earlier. She got the boot. In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine (March 13, 1975) the interviewer, Cameron Crowe, asked Robert Plant what gambles he had taken. 

This was a Led Zeppelin Song That Wasn't Riff-led, Relying on Orchestrated Guitars Instead

 

Jimmy Page used some 14 guitar tracks to overdub the harmony section on this piece, which was originally intended to be an instrumental number. He cites this track as an example of a Led Zeppelin song that wasn't riff-led, relying on orchestrated guitars instead.

Assembled from Different Sections Written by Jimmy

 

Robert Plant: "'Ten Years Gone' has been meticulously assembled from different sections written by Jimmy. After the tremendous focus dedicated to such a song, we played anything to warm ourselves up. This is how 'Trampled Underfoot' and 'Custard Pie' were born."

Then as it was, then again it will be
And though the course may change sometimes
Rivers always reach the sea
Blind stars of fortune, each have several rays
On the wings of maybe, down in birds of prey
Kind of makes me feel sometimes, didn't have to grow
But as the eagle leaves the nest, it's got so far to go

Changes fill my time, baby, that's alright with me
In the midst I think of you, and how it used to be

Did you ever really need somebody
And really need 'em bad
Did you ever really want somebody
The best love you ever had
Do you ever remember me, baby
Did it feel so good
'Cause it was just the first time
And you knew you would

Through the eyes an' I sparkle
Senses growing keen
Taste your love along the way
See your feathers preen
Kind of makes makes me feel sometimes
Didn't have to grow
We are eagles of one nest
The nest is in our soul

Vixen in my dreams, with great surprise to me
Never thought I'd see your face
The way it used to be
Oh darlin', oh darlin'

I'm never gonna leave you
I never gonna leave
Holdin' on, ten years gone
Ten years gone, holdin' on, ten years gone
Ten years gone, holdin' on

TEN YEARS GONE