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In My Time Of Dying is an 11 minute song written and released by Led Zeppelin in 1975 on their album Physical Graffiti. It is a gospel blues song that was originally released by Blind Willie Johnson in early 1928. Originally recorded in 1927, the song was played in open d tuning and was originally 3 minutes long. It was recorded by Willie singing and playing his guitar by himself, making this a solo accompaniment. Led Zeppelin recorded the song in open a, with vocals, drums, a fretless bass and slide guitar, basically instrumental accompaniment, which was drastically different to what the original song sounded like. The tempo changes throughout the song, starting slow in the beginning and gradually speeding up faster and faster, until the end. It was recorded in a similar style to their other cover song, When The Levee Breaks, with an instrumental jam in the middle of the song. This song would fit in Chapter 5 of this unit, Song, because it is a story that is being told with instrumental accompaniment. The story itself is of a man on his deathbed praying to Jesus to take him to Heaven. It’s the same story as Blind Willie Johnson’s, however the chorus is much longer than his, which takes up 1-2 minutes of the song. The song is very different than what WIllie Johnson recorded in 1927 and it shows. Despite that, both versions of the song tell the same story, albeit very differently from each other, so it would also be able to teach more about cover songs and how they can be different from the original song.

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April 2024

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