Robert Plant sings “The May Queen,” a lush acoustic number off his recent Carry Fire, amid dark blue lights in the song’s new live video. He leans into the microphone, tenses his shoulders during the courses, claps along and waltzes with the mic stand as his bandmates rock back and forth with their instruments.
The performance took place late last November at the O2 Apollo Manchester in the U.K. As with Plant’s previous Carry Fire videos, filmmaker Ryan Mackfall directed.
Plant first sang of the May Queen on Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” when he sang, “It’s just a spring clean for the May queen.” In an interview with BBC6 last year, he claimed not to have realized he’d done so. “I didn’t even see it like that to begin with,” he said, according to a transcript by NME. “It’s just there was a big hawthorn bush outside the studio. There were no spring-cleans or anything. It was just ‘Oh it’s that time of year. The whole of life is opening up.’ That’s what it’s all about – the whole deal of ‘lay down in sweet surrender’ or whatever. The beginning of the year is such a great time, such an optimistic, great time even for older people.”
When the radio station pressed the singer about a connection to Led Zeppelin, he said, “I never even thought about that. Do you think anybody can remember laughter? I don’t know.”
Plant will be embarking on another North American leg of his tour this coming June. It kicks off in Atlanta on June 8th and wraps in Vancouver on June 29th. He’ll be back in September for a few more dates, too, including Del Mar, California (the 14th), Telluride, Colorado (the 15th) and Louisville, California (the 23rd.)