Stairway to Heaven

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"Stairway to Heaven" is part of the Canon at most sites and is usually one of the last songs played, most commonly directly preceding "American Pie."

"Stairway" has a duration of 8 minutes exact, second only to "American Pie" at 8 minutes 34 seconds, making it the second longest Canon song, not-so-closely followed by "Rock Lobster" at 6 minutes 51 seconds.

Tradition

After the line "Your stairway lies on the whisperin' wind," the song's tempo and mood changes and many people break out of the circle to headbang and/or play air guitar. Traditionally, Satan does the drum solo with glowsticks, originally with an ally of his choosing to do guitar.

After the line "And the forests will echo with laughter," it is traditional to call out, "Does anybody remember laughter?" However, in recent sessions, this callback has declined in prevalence, although pockets of the hardcore still chant it.

These traditions are most devotedly followed at Lancaster. In LAN.06.2, some students decided to lie face down on the hardtop during the first part of the song. They would then jump up and join the rest of the populace when the headbanging section began.

In Lancaster session 1 it is traditional for the Trinity to form a small circle on their own while holding their grails, rejoining their friends during the following canon song.

In some sites, including Saratoga Springs these traditions are not followed, and students slow dance instead. At LOS, some people will form large circles while others slow dance with whoever they wish.

Lyrics

There's a lady who's sure all that glitters is gold
And she's buying the stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows, if the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.
Ooh, ooh, and she's buying the stairway to heaven.

There's a sign on the wall but she wants to be sure
'Cause you know sometimes words have two meanings.
In a tree by the brook, there's a songbird who sings,
Sometimes all of our thoughts are misgiven.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it makes me wonder.

There's a feeling I get when I look to the west,
And my spirit is crying for leaving.
In my thoughts I have seen rings of smoke through the trees,
And the voices of those who stand looking.
Ooh, it makes me wonder,
Ooh, it really makes me wonder.

And it's whispered that soon if we all call the tune
Then the piper will lead us to reason.
And a new day will dawn for those who stand long
And the forests will echo with laughter.

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now,
It's just a spring clean for the May queen.
Yes, there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run
There's still time to change the road you're on.
And it makes me wonder.

Your head is humming and it won't go, in case you don't know,
The piper's calling you to join him,
Dear lady, can you hear the wind blow, and did you know
Your stairway lies on the whispering wind.

And as we wind on down the road
Our shadows taller than our soul.
There walks a lady we all know
Who shines white light and wants to show
How everything still turns to gold.
And if you listen very hard
The tune will come to you at last.
When all are one and one is all
To be a rock and not to roll.

And she's buying the stairway to heaven.