The riff for the song uses a non-standard guitar tuning, influenced by Page's interest in modal tunings and Arabic and Eastern music. The song combines different rhythmic meters: the guitar riff is in triple meter, while the vocal is in quadruple meter. Plant felt that the drumming was an important component of the song and that Bonham did not overplay his part.
Rock icons -- Jimmy Page, the Edge and Jack White -- from three different generations come together to discuss the electric guitar and their musical influences, Jimmy Page explains with his Danelectro double cut-away 3021—the same one he used in his Led Zeppelin days—the roots of the Roots of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir", a highlight of Led Zep's 1975 Physical Graffiti album.
Played in DADGAD tuning, which Page had previously used on the Yardbirds’ “White Summer” and Led Zeppelin’s “Black Mountain Side,” “Kashmir” is built around four mesmerizing riffs, three of which involve the use of open-string unison- and octave-doubled notes, which create a natural chorusing effect and a huge wall of sound.
Led Zeppelin - Kashmir
Oh, let the sun beat down upon my face
Stars fill my dream
I'm a traveler of both time and space
To be where I have been
Sit with elders of the gentle race
This world has seldom seen
They talk of days for which they sit and wait
All will be revealed
Talk in song in tongues of lilting grace
Sounds caress my ear
There are not a word I heard could I relate
Story was quite clear
Oh yeah I been flyin'
Love oh ain't no denyin', no
Oh, ooh yea, I been flyin'
Mama, mama, ain't no denyin', no denyin'
All I see turns to brown
As the sun burns the ground
And my eyes fill with sand
As I scan this wasted land
Try to find, try to find what I feel
Oh, pilot of the storm who leaves no trace
Like thoughts inside a dream
Heed the path that led me to that place, yellow desert stream
My Shangri-La beneath the summer moon, I will return again
Sure as the dust that floats high in June, when movin' through Kashmir
Oh, father of the four winds, fill my sails, across the sea of years
With no provision but an open face, along the straits of fear
When I'm on, when I'm on my way, yeah
When I see, when I see the way, you stay-yeah
Tryin' to find, tryin' to find where I been yeah, yeah Ooh, yeah-yeah, ooh, yeah-yeah, when I'm down Ooh, yeah-yeah, ooh, yeah-yeah, well I'm down Ooh, let me take you there
Songwriters: John Bonham / Robert Anthony Plant / James Patrick (Jimmy) Page
Kashmir lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc