I recently found this band that plays Jewish folk songs or uses motives from them in their own material. They're called Black Ox Orkestrar. One of their songs called "Tsvey Tabelakh" seemed very familiar to me and it turns out, it's very similar to Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir". The harmony is the same and both repeat similar melody variations on top of it played in what seems to be the same scale (some typical Jewish folk music scale - I'm not able to identify it, I'm not really good in music theory) and at the end of Kashmir they even play almost exactly the same melody as in Tsvey Tabelakh.

Obviously, I'm not accusing Led Zeppelin of plagiarism. BOO's song was released long after LZ's one, but it's probably based on some Jewish folk song, that's way older than both BOO and LZ. So my question is: Is there any official information on the origin of LZ's "Kashmir"? Is it possible that they were inspired by some Jewish folk song?

1 Answer 1


These are two different songs, although a lot of the elements (key, scale, harmonies, melodies) are quite similar in places.

Led Zeppelin's song was originally titled "Driving to Kashmir", and had begun as a lyric Plant had been inspired to write in the autumn of 1973 after a drive through southern Morocco.

The music evolved in the studio:

Musically, the juddering rhythm had erupted out of a late-night session involving Page and drummer John Bonham during one of the band’s regular stays at Headley Grange, the haunted mansion in East Hampshire where they recorded so many tracks in the early 70s.

“It was just Bonzo and myself,” Page said. “He started the drums, and I did the riff and the overdubs, which in fact get duplicated by an orchestra at the end, which brought it even more to life. It seemed so sort of ominous and had a particular quality to it. It’s nice to go for an actual mood and know that you’ve pulled it off.”

Source: https://www.loudersound.com/features/the-story-behind-the-song-kashmir-by-led-zeppelin

The song had nothing to do with Jewish folk music (and nothing to do with Kashmir in India).

Black Ox Orkestar's music is heavily influenced by Jewish folk music. "Tsvey Tabelakh/Tabelech" (two little turtledoves) is a traditional Yiddish love song. Here's a recording from 1957 by Ruth Rubin.

  • It looks like Tsvey Tabelakh is actually based on a folk song Tsvey Taybelekh (probably just some different Yiddish spelling versions). I've only heard Tsvey Taybelekh sung without any accompanying instruments, and it wasn't obvious at first, that it's even the same song. So maybe BOO took the melody, that's sung in Tsvey Taybelekh and added their own harmony, which might have been influenced by LZ's Kashmir. Just guessing though...
    – egst
    Dec 21, 2019 at 0:53
  • And yes, the two songs are quite different. The main riff of Kashmir isn't similar to Tsvey Tabelakh at all. I mean only the other part of the song (it's basically just two parts repeating - the main riff and the part that's similar to Tsvey Tabelakh) especially when Plant sings "All I see turns to brown. As the sun burns the ground..."
    – egst
    Dec 21, 2019 at 0:59
  • 1
    @egst I found the original song, and I added links to your question.
    – PiedPiper
    Dec 21, 2019 at 10:19

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