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The Meaning of Led Zeppelin’s “All of My Love”

Robert Plant with his son Karac and daughter Carmen Jane in the 1970s.

On the surface, Led Zeppelin’s “All of My Love” sounds like a straightforward love song, with lyrics that express romantic dedication through Robert Plant’s signature poetic phrasing. However, “All of My Love” carries with it a much heavier meaning for the vocalist, as it was written to honor his five year old son Karac after his sudden passing in 1977.

In the summer of 1977, the band had reached their peak in terms of fame, as they had just returned to touring following taking 1976 off to allow Plant time to recover from a serious car accident he was in with his wife Maureen in August of 1975. They were bringing nearly 80,000 people out to their shows during this time.

It was near the end of their 1977 North American tour when Robert Plant received a phone call that would ultimately cut the tour short, and make their July 24th show in Oakland the band’s final live performance in the United States. Before their show scheduled for July 30th in New Orleans, Robert Plant received tragic news that his son had died from a stomach illness. The band immediately canceled the rest of their tour and didn’t play another show for two years.

Led Zeppelin live in Los Angeles, 1977. Photo by Neal Preston.

“All of My Love” was written by Robert Plant not long after this as he mourned the loss of his son, and it appeared on Led Zeppelin’s final album, In Through The Out Door (1979). It is one of only two songs in Led Zeppelin’s catalogue that Jimmy Page had zero input on during the songwriting process (the other is “South Bound Suarez” off the same album).

The song serves as a beautiful tribute to Karac Plant sung from a place of genuine love and feelings of uncertainty and regret. One of the few slow-burners in Led Zeppelin’s repertoire, “All of My Love” is one of the most deeply touching songs created by a band that was otherwise known for heavy rock & roll.

Led Zeppelin broke up in December 1980 after drummer John Bonham drank himself to death that fall, making their European tour in the summer of 1980 their last-ever tour. As a result, “All of My Love” and many of the other songs on In Through The Out Door were only performed live on this tour, though Plant has performed the touching song with his solo projects.

Watch a fan-made music video for “All of My Love” by Led Zeppelin below.