Robert Plant – “Big Log” Lyrics Meaning

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Written By Joanna Landrum

Joanna holds a BSc in English Literature and uses her expertise in literary analysis to uncover the deeper meaning of her favorite songs.

Robert Plant’s “Big Log” is a melancholic yet poetic journey of love and loneliness, set against the backdrop of endless highways and the passage of time. At its core, it’s a song about restless yearning and the emotional toll of being always on the move, searching for something elusive. With lines like “My love is miles in awaiting,” the song captures the ache of physical and emotional distance. The freeway serves as a metaphor for a love that is constantly shifting, difficult to pin down, and always just out of reach.

Ever felt the ache of distance in love? Ever found yourself yearning while on the road? Stick around. You’ll find Robert Plant’s “Big Log” more relatable than you think.

“Big Log” Lyrics Meaning

“My love is in league with the freeway. Its passion will rise as the cities fly by.” The song starts with a love affair between the narrator and the open road. The freeway isn’t just asphalt and concrete; it’s a living, breathing entity that matches the narrator’s emotional state. The passion rises, cities fly by, yet love remains elusive.

“And the tail lights dissolve in the coming of night. And the questions in thousands take flight.” Here we see the day transitioning into night, and with it comes a flood of questions. The night seems to offer the narrator a moment to pause and ponder. Those tail lights dissolving symbolize fleeting moments and opportunities that pass by.

“My love is miles in awaiting. The eyes that just stare and the glance at the clock.” The next stanza captures the feeling of waiting. Love is described as ‘miles in awaiting,’ emphasizing the sense of distance and longing. There’s a tension between the emotional and the physical, and the clock serves as a reminder of the time slipping away.

“Your love is cradled in knowing. Eyes in the mirror still expecting their prey.” Switching perspectives, the song talks about another love—the kind that’s secure, almost predatory. This love knows what it wants and waits for the perfect moment to seize it. It contrasts sharply with the narrator’s love, which is restless and unsure.

“Should I rest for a while at the side? There is no turning back, no.” Finally, the narrator grapples with the idea of taking a break, a momentary respite. But immediately, it becomes clear that stopping isn’t an option. Once you’re on this emotional freeway, there’s no turning back. The decision to keep going indicates a love that, despite its challenges, continues to propel us forward.

The Story Behind “Big Log”

When Robert Plant released “Big Log” in 1983, it was a departure from his Led Zeppelin days. This song became a defining track of his solo career and showcased his evolution as an artist. After the high-octane, mythical epics of Led Zeppelin, Plant was in a different phase of life, more introspective and focused on emotional intricacies rather than grand narratives.

This new chapter in his artistic journey reflected his own personal experiences and perhaps a mid-life contemplation. He had seen fame and adulation, and now he was looking for something more meaningful, something that perhaps can’t be found but only felt. “Big Log” delves into that search, using the metaphor of a freeway to represent a journey that’s as unpredictable as it is inevitable.

In interviews, Plant has been somewhat enigmatic about the song’s meaning, allowing listeners to apply their own interpretations. And that’s the beauty of “Big Log.” It’s open-ended enough to resonate with anyone who has felt the complex interplay of love, time, and distance.

So, next time you find yourself on a long drive, maybe give “Big Log” a listen. You might find that it speaks to your own journeys, both of the road and of the heart.