Led Zeppelin vs. Dolly Parton


Submitted by Alexis


I guess the guitar shop in “Wayne’s World” should add Dolly Parton to the sign… (video: Wayne’s World “No Stairway to Heaven” scene)

I’m not sure how Dolly Parton got away with using Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” in her song “We Used To“. For more Led Zeppelin on this site click here

Led Zeppelin - "Stairway to Heaven" (1971)
Dolly Parton - "We Used To" (1975)

Update: On June 23,2016 Led Zeppelin was cleared in court for the similarity of “Stairway to Heaven” and Taurus’ “Spirit”. Have a listen.

Spirit - "Taurus" (1968)
Led Zeppelin - "Stairway to Heaven" (1971)

Read more about that case here


BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! This is not the only song Led Zeppelin has been accused of ripping off. And on the other side of things, Many artists have borrowed from Zeppelin.

Led Zeppelin vs. The World

Led Zeppelin vs. Chicago vs. Green Day vs. The White Stripes

Coheed and Cambria vs. Led Zeppelin

Devo vs. Led Zeppelin

Led Zeppelin vs. Rage Against the Machine

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16 Replies to “Led Zeppelin vs. Dolly Parton”

  1. Peanut

    You can add The Animals version of ‘The House Of The Rising Sun’ to this page, which sounds a lot like the verse part of the Dolly Parton song. Although I’d imagine it’s a pretty standard eastern folk/rock chord progression…. Still, good find!!

  2. Kyle G.

    You can add “Taurus” by the band Spirit as well

    And then further:

    “There is a claim made that the intro of “Stairway to Heaven” was influenced by Spirit’s “Taurus”. OTOH there is evidence that Spirit themselves nicked their song from Davey Graham’s acoustic version of “Cry Me a River”. Graham’s song was issued in 1958, ten years before “Taurus” came out. The video clip for “Cry Me a River” can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tWeejHJxGjs It is quite clear that large sections of “Taurus” was taken from Graham’s song without credit.”

    1. Keith Post author

      Kyle, Thanks for the Davery Graham link. This is really great. I also came across the Spirit track a while back. I’ll be sure to update this post soon!

  3. Travis

    why is it that whenever a band or someone does a cover of something they usually end up making something that directly copies it

  4. Joel

    I’d have to throw another one on the pile here. Eric Clapton’s song “Let It Grow” (ca 1974) borrows heavily from the “Stairway” chord progression in the fade in the final 90 seconds of the song. In fact, every time I hear the Eric Clapton song I can’t help but sing “Stairway” over the top of that chord progression.

  5. Tonya

    There are only so many chords out there, some of them are bound to end up sounding alike. How many original songs have you written lately? I’m sure that if any one person out there tried to write an original song right now, it would end up sounding similar to any number of songs that already exist. It’s almost inevitable.

    1. Keith Post author

      Thanks for your comments Tonya. I agree! The goal of this site isn’t to necessarily call out artists on their originality (although sometimes it’s unavoidable) but to help people find these similarities and/or influences in modern music. Sometimes you hear a song and it just sounds like something else. Google it! And you just might end up back here!

    2. Mark Adams

      It’s certainly happened to me. The first five or six compositions of mine sounded unique to me, but after that, I usually found similarities to other songs.


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