Even for those who aren’t fans of classic ‘70s rock, Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” is instantly recognizable. It starts off with driving drums and rousing guitar chords that build into its iconic battle howl, “Ah-ah, ah!” Originally inspired by the band’s time in Iceland, the lyrics spin a tale of Norse mythology and viking fantasy involving great battles and the Hammer of the Gods. “Valhalla, I am coming!” wails Robert Plant.
It sounds like a perfect fit for Marvel’s blockbuster Thor movies about the hammer-wielding Norse thunder god, which is why Thor: Ragnarok director Taika Waititi was so insistent about getting it in his film — but landing the rights was no easy feat. It took the film’s music supervisor Dave Jordan the entire length of the production to get the go-ahead from Led Zeppelin, Waititi told Business Insider.
Led Zeppelin is notoriously selective about licensing its songs for films and television, and “Immigrant Song” has only made its way into a select few, including School of Rock. (That also took some doing.)