5 Poems From Jim Morrison That Became Songs After His Death

5 Poems From Jim Morrison That Became Songs After His Death | I Love Classic Rock Videos

The Doors for the Light My Fire music video - The Doors / Youtube

Jim Morrison, famously known as the Lizard King and frontman of The Doors, left an indelible mark on the world not only through his electrifying stage presence but also through his profound poetry. As we explore Morrison’s literary prowess, we uncover five of his poems that evolved into timeless songs, a testament to his enduring influence.

Despite his untimely departure, Jim Morrison’s words continue to resonate, immortalized not only in poetry but also in the haunting melodies of The Doors. These poems turned songs stand as a testament to Morrison’s enduring legacy as both a rock icon and a poetic visionary.

1. Ghost Song

Morrison’s enigmatic poem, “Ghost Song,” hints at themes of loss of innocence and the inexorable passage of time. The verses paint a vivid picture of a vast radiant beach and couples racing down its quiet side. The poem’s essence is encapsulated in Morrison’s words:

Shake dreams from your hair my pretty child, my sweet one
Choose the day and choose the sign of your day
The days divinity
First thing you see
A vast radiant beach in a cool jeweled moon
Couples naked race down by its quiet side
And we laugh like soft, mad children
Smug in the wooly cotton brains of infancy
The music and voices are all around us
Choose they croon the ancient ones
The time has come again
Choose now, they croon
Beneath the moon
Beside an ancient lake
Enter again the sweet forest
Enter the hot dream
Come with us
Everything is broken up and dance


2. An American Prayer

Anticipating the impact of technology, “An American Prayer” delves into the pitfalls of being ruled by television. Morrison’s prophetic words question political rule, the obscenities of war, and the need for a cultural revolution:

Do you know the warm progress under the stars?
Do you know we exist?
Have you forgotten the keys to the kingdom?
Have you been born yet, and are you alive?

Let’s reinvent the gods, all the myths of the ages
Celebrate symbols from deep elder forests
Have you forgotten the lessons of the ancient war?

We need great golden copulations

The fathers are cackling in trees of the forest
Our mother is dead in the sea

Do you know we are being lead to slaughter by placid admirals
And that fat slow generals are getting obscene on young blood?

Do you know we are ruled by T.V.?

The moon is a dry blood beast
Guerrilla bands are rolling numbers
In the next block of green vine
Amassing for warfare on innocent herdsman who are just dying

O’ great creator of being, grant us one more hour to perform our art and perfect our lives

3. The Hitchhiker

Interwoven into The Doors’ classic “Riders on the Storm,” “The Hitchhiker” portrays Morrison’s encounter with a hitchhiker confessing to a desert murder. This narrative poem enhances the haunting atmosphere of the song:

Thoughts in time and out of season
The Hitchhiker
Stood by the side of the road
And leveled his thumb
In the calm calculus of reason
Hi. How you doin’? I just got back into town L.A.
I was out on the desert for awhile
“Riders on the storm”
Yeah. In the middle of it
“Riders on the storm”
“Into this world we’re born”
Hey, listen, man, I really got a problem
“Into this world we’re thrown”
When I was out on the desert, ya know
“Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan”
I don’t know how to tell you
“Riders on the storm”
But, ah, I killed somebody
“There’s a killer on the road”
“His brain is squirming like a toad”
It’s no big deal, ya know
I don’t think anybody will find out about it, but…
” Take a long holiday”
Just, ah…
“Let your children play”
This guy gave me a ride, and ah…
“If you give this man a ride”
Started giving me a lot of trouble
“Sweet family will die”
And I just couldn’t take it, ya know
“Killer on the road”
And I wasted him

4. Curses, Invocations

“Curses, Invocations” showcases Morrison’s provocative imagery and unique wordplay. The poem touches on diverse characters and societal issues, culminating in a powerful conclusion:

Curses, invocations
Weird bate-headed mongrels
I keep expecting one of you to rise

Large buxom obese queens
Garden hogs and cunt veterans
Quaint cabbage saints
Shit hoarders and individualists
Drag strip officials
Tight lipped losers and
Lustful fuck salesmen
My militant dandies
All strange order of monsters
Hot on the trail of the woodvine
We welcome you to our procession

Here come the comedians
Look at them smile
Watch them dance an Indian mile
Look at them gesture
How aplomb
So to gesture everyone

Words dissemble
Words be quick
Words resemble walking sticks
Plant them they will grow
Watch them waver so

5. Lament

Lament, a more metaphorical piece, hints at struggles and desires. Morrison’s reading on the “An American Prayer” album adds a layer of intensity:

Lament for my cock Sore and crucified I seek to know you
Acquiring soulful wisdom
You can open walls of mystery, Stripshow
How to acquire death in the morning show, TV death which the child absorbs
Deathwell mystery which makes me write
Slow train, the death of my cock gives life
Forgive the poor old people who gave us entry
Taught us god in the child’s prayer in the night
Guitar player Ancient wise satyr
Sing your ode to my cock
Caress it’s lament stiffen and guide us, we frozen
Lost cells The knowledge of cancer
To speak to the heart And give the great gift words power trance
This stable friend and the beast of his zoo
Wild-haired chicks Women flowering in their summit, monsters of skin
Each color connects to create the boat which rocks the race
Could any hell be more horrible than now and real?
I pressed her thigh and death smiled
Death, old friend Death and my cock are the world
I can forgive my injuries in the name of wisdom luxury romance
Sentence upon sentence words are the healing lament For the death of my cock’s spirit Has no meaning in the soft fire
Words got me the wound and will get me well I you believe it
All join now and lament the death of my cock a tongue of knowledge in the feathered night
Boys get crazy in the head and suffer I sacrifice my cock on the altar of silence