Song Lyric Sunday — “Whole Lotta Love”

Song Lyric Sunday is here again, and Helen Vahdati’s chosen theme is “give/giving.”  My chosen genre is hard rock with Led Zeppelin’s 1969 song, “Whole Lotta Love.” Looking for the lyrics, I realized that lyrics sites show differing songwriting credits. One site apparently relied on an incorrect ASCAP listing that showed “Sharon” Plant instead of Robert. Although most sites correctly credit the five original band members (John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Pete Moore, Jimmy Page, and Robert Plant), many omit the sixth writer, non-band-member Willie Dixon.

Willie Dixon was an American musican and songwriter who wrote “You Need Love” for bluesman Muddy Waters, who released it in 1962. The lyrics included:”Baby, you know you need coolin’ / Woman, way down inside.”  In 1966 the English band Small Faces released their eponymous debut album containing a song called “You Need Loving.” Despite being a thinly-veiled copy of Willie Dixon’s song, the the album credited band members Ronnie Lane and Steve Marriott as the sole writers.

Are you with me so far? In 1969, Led Zeppelin released “Whole Lotta Love,”which peaked in the U.S. at number 4 on the Billboard charts. With lyrics remarkably like Dixon’s (and, of course, the Small Faces’) and with Plant’s vocals remarkably like the Small Faces’ Steve Marriott’s, the five Zeps were the only listed writers.

Dixon did not sue the Small Faces for their duplicate of “You Need Love,” and the Small Faces did not sue Led Zeppelin (a wise move IMHO). Dixon, however, did sue Zeppelin, reaching a settlement in 1985 that included giving him writing credit on all subsequent releases.

For your listening pleasure, I’m giving (see what I did?) you videos of all three songs, together with the lyrics for “Whole Lotta Love.” Links to lyrics for the other two are up in the second paragraph. But, really, don’t you think it’d be more fun to compare their vids with the Zep lyrics?


Whole Lotta Love
You need coolin’, baby, I’m not foolin’,
I’m gonna send you back to schoolin’,
Way down inside, honey, you need it,
I’m gonna give you my love,
I’m gonna give you my love.

Wanna whole lotta love [4x]

You’ve been learnin’, baby, I’ve been yearnin’,
All them good times, baby, baby, I’ve been learnin’,
Way, way down inside, honey, you need it,
I’m gonna give you my love
I’m gonna give you my love.

Wanna whole lotta love [4x]

You’ve been coolin’, baby, I’ve been droolin’,
All the good times baby I’ve been misusin’,
Way, way down inside, I’m gonna give you my love,
I’m gonna give you every inch of my love,
Gonna give you my love.

Wanna whole lotta love [4x]

Yeah! All right! Let’s go!

Way down inside… woman… you need… love.

Shake for me, girl.
I wanna be your backdoor man.
Keep it coolin’, baby. [4x]









13 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — “Whole Lotta Love”

  1. Super song! I like the Zeppelin video and version best, of course, because that’s what I always listened to. Great job of researching the beginnings of this song, though! So interesting.
    Funny note … I had this song on vinyl, and played it so much it got a glitch in the record, so it got stuck playing the words ‘whole lotta love’ over and over. I listened to it anyway, and it was so easy to get zoned out hearing it repeating. haha!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That phrase is so repetitive, it must have taken you a while to realize it was a glitch! As for the research, I’ve found discrepancies re song credits before, so I always research to get it right. The interesting thing is, if I had gone by the copyright records (as I usually do), it would have been wrong because Willie Dixon isn’t listed there! is a site that I also rely on for research & that’s where I found out about Willie.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s