The Time Led Zeppelin Went Reggae

Like many fans of Led Zeppelin, it used to be that when I was speaking of the sixth song of their fifth studio album Houses of the Holy, I would pronounce it “Dire Maker”, which is understandable considering its strange spelling of D’yer Mak’er.

As it turns out though, the intended pronunciation of the song is “Germaker”, which is meant to sound like a rushed, cockney attempt at saying “Jamaica”.  Now the reasoning behind this is that the song D’yer Mak’er was originally Zepps attempt at a reggae song (after all, Zeppelin were no strangers to bouncing between genres).  However, while the finished product of the song certainly has a slightly reggae flavour it didn’t quite sound like a fully reggae song, mostly due to the trademark heavy drumming of John Bonham.

Because of this, rather than going with their working title for the song (Jamaica), they did to the title what they had done to the song.  Meaning that the way it kind of sounded like reggae, but different, the title sounds like Jamaica, but different.

So next time you hear someone say “Dire Maker”, you can drop this little slice of trivia on them.


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