Записана в 1971 в Headley Grange, Hampshire
на передвижной студии The Rolling Stones Mobile Studio.
Инженер Энди Джонс (Andy Johns).
Смикширована Джорджем Шкианцем (George Chkiantz) на студии Olympic Studios.
Впервые выпущена 8 ноября 1971 на альбоме «[untitled]» (Atlantic 19129).
Выпускалась также 6 мая 1990 года на сборнике «Box Set» (Atlantic 82144) , 6 октября 1993 года на сборнике «The Complete Studio Recordings» (Atlantic 82526) , в 1994 году на альбоме Пейджа/Планта «No Quarter» и 5 августа 1997 года на сборнике «Remasters» (Atlantic).
With some imagery borrowed from Tolkien and lyrics inspired by a book Robert was reading at the time about Scottish border wars, it is likely that the song is a compilation of elements of these two sources. The lyrical reference to `ringwraiths’ is an indication of the use of some middle earth imagery. The actual ringwraiths reference, «The ringwraiths ride in black…» refers to the Nazgul in Tolkien’s middle earth. The Nazgul were evil servants of the Dark Lord, also referred to in the song, Sauron, who roamed the earth in search of the one ring to rule them all, the magic ring of invisibility found by Bilbo Baggins in _The_Hobbit_. The Nazgul were referred to as «Ringwraiths» by common peoples. Another line from the song «Bring it back, bring it back…» is interpreted by some as the rapidly fading links between England and the magic of the past. The lines «The magic runes are writ in gold, to bring the balance back» are interpreted by some as meaning the band had found or regained some sense of balance, although this is very probably not what Plant was singing about. Additionally, the Queen of light referred to is Galhadriel, and a ringwraith is a human that fell under the power of Sauron and now lives as a «shadow» or being on another plane of existence. A ringwraith is essentially one of Sauron’s henchmen and were dedicated to finding the ring and to bring it back to Sauron. They also dress in black. Some other lyrical ideas are supposed to have come from «The Magic Arts In Celtic Britain» by Lewis Spence.
Queen of Light took her bow, And then she turned to go, The Prince of Peace embraced the gloom, And walked the night alone. Oh, dance in the dark of night, Sing to the morning light. The dark Lord rides in force tonight, And time will tell us all. Oh, throw down your plow and hoe, Rest not to lock your homes. Side by side we wait the might of the darkest of them all. I hear the horses' thunder down in the valley blow, I'm waiting for the angels of Avalon, waiting for the eastern glow. The apples of the valley hold, The seas of happiness, The ground is rich from tender care, Repay, do not forget, no, no. Dance in the dark of night, sing to the morning light. The apples turn to brown and black, The tyrant's face is red. Oh the war is common cry, Pick up you swords and fly. The sky is filled with good and bad that mortals never know. Oh, well, the night is long the beads of time pass slow, Tired eyes on the sunrise, waiting for the eastern glow. The pain of war cannot exceed the woe of aftermath, The drums will shake the castle wall, the ring wraiths ride in black, Ride on. Sing as you raise your bow, shoot straighter than before. No comfort has the fire at night that lights the face so cold. Oh dance in the dark of night, Sing to the morning light. The magic runes are writ in gold to bring the balance back. Bring it back. At last the sun is shining, The clouds of blue roll by, With flames from the dragon of darkness, the sunlight blinds his eyes.
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