I've got Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy on the car CD at the moment, and I was intrigued by some lyrics from 'The Ocean':
Got a date, I can't be lateThat's what the sleeve says, but it isn't what it counds like (which is more or less an incoherent treble gurgle from a Robert Plant on top form). The lyrics make no sense at all, and I would guess that they were transcribed by the record company from the recording by an office junior rather then copied from Zep's original sheet music. I consulted the interwebs to see if anyone had found what was actually sung, and what it meant, and I was directed to a site called What Planet Is This? ("Periodical essays on linguistics, history, and much more, from Shakespeare to post Romano-British findings. Like Notes and Queries sans the queries and solely antiquarian disposition.") There was no definitive answer there, but some reasonable speculation. The site appears to have been defunct since 2005, which is a shame, as it was an intelligent mix of history, archaeology and philology - three topics that are a constant interest of mine.
For the high hopes hailla ball
A browse through the front page of the site led me to an essay on umbrellas, and thence to a magazine called the Female Tatler, published between 1709 and 1710. And here there was a reference to a personal advertisement from the magazine which made me laugh out loud.
Lost in last July, behind the late Sir George Whitmore's, a maidenhead, the owner never having missed it till the person who since married her expected to have had it as part of her dowry. If the pastry cook in Fleet Street, who is supposed to have brought it away out of a frolic, will restore it again to Mrs. Sarah Stroakings, at the Cow-House at Islington, he shall be treated with a syllabub.I wonder if Mrs Stroakings ever retrieved her lost innocence?