An acoustic gem from Led Zeppelin's first album, it features Jimmy Page strumming and picking an acoustic guitar, accompanied by light rhythmic tapping from Viram Jasani (not John Bonham -- sacrilege!) on tabla drums. There's at least one other instrument, almost certainly a bass picked by John Paul Jones, but it could be another acoustic guitar tuned differently to play in lower registers. Page plays the resonances of the guitar throughout the piece, giving the illusion of bells or chimes in the background. The song builds on itself, repeating the initial theme and then sliding into a short bridge, then returning to the theme and adding crashing arpeggios that, left to ring, suggest rain and thunder--you may hear someone slapping their guitar for percussion at that point--and then die down to the quiet conclusion. On the studio album, it fades in after the discordant electric organ in the last chorus of Your Time is Gonna Come, with an echoing dissonance that makes both pieces better. Led Zeppelin occasionally combined it with White Summer, one of their other instrumentals. The similarities (and contrast) between the two makes for a delicious synergy--two great tastes that taste great together. If you like it, you'll probably also like Bron-Yr-Aur, from their album Physical Graffiti.

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