Oh here's to my sweet Satan.
The one whose little path would make me sad, whose power is Satan.
He will give those with him 666.
There was a little toolshed where he made us suffer, sad Satan.
– Most popular version of the lyrics to Stairway to Heaven played backwards
Critics of rock and roll songs (and of Led Zeppelin in particular) have alleged that a backmasked message is recorded into "Stairway to Heaven." The message, which allegedly occurs during the middle section of the song ("If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now..."), is purported to contain Satanic references
The controversy originated from a prominent Baptist, who, in 1982, preached on the radio that "Stairway to Heaven" contained subliminal backward messages. This theory was later primarily advanced by Michael Mills, Jacob Aranza, and Jeff Godwin, who offered detailed analyses of the hidden meanings of both the "backwards" and actual lyrics. In 1982, the Consumer Protection and Toxic Materials Committee of the California State Assembly held a hearing on backmasking in popular music, during which "Stairway to Heaven" was played backwards. William Yarroll, a self-identified neuroscientist, claimed that "Stairway to Heaven," when played backward, contains a similar message: "I sing because I live with Satan. The Lord turns me off — there's no escaping it. Here's to my sweet Satan, whose power is Satan. He will give you 666. I live for Satan. Other versions of the alleged message include "Here's to my sweet Satan, no other made a path. For it makes me sad. Whose power is Satan? Oh, my number, 666", and "Oh, here's to my sweet Satan. The One whose little path has made me sad. Whose power is Satan? Oh, my number, 666".
Led Zeppelin has for the most part ignored such claims; for years the only comment came from Swan Song Records which issued the statement: "Our turntables only play in one direction—forwards". Zeppelin producer Eddie Kramer confirmed this, calling the allegations "totally and utterly ridiculous. Why would they want to spend so much studio time doing something so dumb?" Robert Plant expressed frustration with the accusations in an interview: "To me it's very sad, because 'Stairway to Heaven' was written with every best intention, and as far as reversing tapes and putting messages on the end, that's not my idea of making music."
An informal experiment by scientist Simon Singh suggested that listeners only hear the message after prompting
this is sooo stupid...