Robert Plant Admits He Struggles To Sing Only One Song

Robert Plant Admits He Struggles To Sing Only One Song | I Love Classic Rock Videos

Robert Plant with the Band of Joy - Robert Plant /YouTube

When we think of Robert Plant’s iconic vocal performances, songs like “Whole Lotta Love,” “Immigrant Song,” “Rock and Roll,” and “Stairway to Heaven” immediately come to mind. His signature wails and vocal versatility have become synonymous with the legendary rock band Led Zeppelin. However, there is one song that Plant struggled to sing, and surprisingly, it isn’t one of Led Zeppelin’s tracks. In fact, it was a song released on his 2007 debut album with Alison Krauss, titled Raising Sand.

The Challenging Song: “Polly Come Home”

On Raising Sand, Plant and Krauss covered “Polly Come Home” and “Through the Morning, Through the Night,” both songs written by the late Gene Clark, co-founder of The Byrds, for his early country-rock duo Dillard & Clark. Out of the two, “Polly Come Home” proved to be the most vocally challenging for Plant.

Originally released as a soft acoustic ballad on Dillard & Clark’s 1969 album, Through the Morning, Through the Night, Plant and Krauss decided to slow down the tempo even further for their rendition. The result was a slow simmering and intoxicating version of the song that transformed its energy.

Plant’s Vocal Struggles

Describing “Polly Come Home” as the most difficult piece of music to sing at the chosen tempo, Plant revealed, “It’s one of the toughest calls I’ve had, apart from my audition in the Yardbirds”. The song’s poignancy, combined with its slow pace, posed a unique challenge for the artist.

Plant further elucidated, “The song itself is just, it’s so poignant. And it’s so slow, so the very opening line of the song – in my chest, my lungs, my vocal cords, in my sense of timing – it was, ‘How am I gonna get these words right to the end of that bar without collapsing?’ It was just such a beautiful lilt”.

Recognition and Success

Plant’s struggles with “Polly Come Home” did not go unnoticed. Raising Sand climbed to No. 2 on both the Billboard 200 and Country charts, topping the Rock chart as well. The album’s success was further solidified when it earned Plant and Krauss five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year and Record of the Year for their collaboration on “Please Read the Letter.”

Reflecting on his struggle with the song, Plant humorously remarked, “So this is the guy that sang ‘Immigrant Song.’ He’s just gonna go and sing this song here where I need an iron lung to give me a little more air to get the song out”. The challenge of capturing the song’s languid tempo is what made it both magnificent and daunting for the artist.

Even for a legendary vocalist like Robert Plant, certain songs can present unexpected challenges. “Polly Come Home” from his album Raising Sand, a departure from Led Zeppelin’s catalog, proved to be one such hurdle. Its slow tempo and the lyrics pushed Plant to the limits of his vocal abilities, showcasing the depth and versatility of his artistry. This struggle, however, did not hinder the success of Raising Sand, as it continues to be celebrated as a remarkable collaboration that earned well-deserved recognition and accolades.