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"What Is and What Should Never Be" is a song by English rock band Led Zeppelin on their 1969 album Led Zeppelin II. It was written by Jimmy Page and Robert Plant. This song is the album's second track.HistoryWhat is and What Should Never Be was one of the first songs on which Page used his soon-to-become trademark Gibson Les Paul for recording. The production makes liberal use of stereo as the guitars pan back and forth between channels. Robert Plant's vocals were phased during the verses.This was also one of the first songs recorded by the band for which Robert Plant received writing credit. According to rock journalist Stephen Davis, the author of the Led Zeppelin biography Hammer of the Gods: The Led Zeppelin Saga, the lyrics for this song reflect a romance Plant had with his wife's younger sister."What Is and What Should Never Be" was performed live at Led Zeppelin concerts between 1969 and 1972 (and played once in 1973). A live version taken from a performance at the Royal Albert Hall in 1970 can be seen on the Led Zeppelin DVD. Another was included on disc two of the live triple album How The West Was Won.