Jim Morrison performed in one of the most well-known rock bands of all time, but he was also a musician. He was more than simply a hypersexualized, leather-trouser-wearing figure of the 1960s. Jim Morrison was undoubtedly both of those things and more, but the reality is that he was, above all, a profoundly original and sensitive poet.
The Doors distinguished themselves from other blues-rock groups of the 1960s thanks to Morrison’s effortless verbal prowess and his keen interest in subjects of inquiry that lie beyond our normal human perceptions. In this sense, Morrison is a poet of the eternal, and it’s possible that his tragically early death has given him eternal life in the pantheon of the greatest poets.
Morrison was the leader of a rock band rather than a poet “proper,” therefore his name isn’t always spoken in the same sentence as some of his literary inspirations. Morrison has had an unmatched skill, a strong ear for a phrase, and lyrics that combine beauty with a political sensibility: everything a poet should possess. However, given Bob Dylan’s recent receipt of the Nobel Prize for Literature, it would be difficult to claim that he lacks these qualities.
The best lyrics by Jim Morrison:
‘Riders on the Storm’
“Into this house we’re born / Into this world we’re thrown / Like a dog without a bone / An actor out on loan / Riders on the storm”.
Morrison seems to be bemoaning the nature of fate and the futility of trying to control our lives in any way, shape, or form in these specific lyrics. After all, we were thrust into the world against our will to live a solipsistic existence. Even if we succeed in achieving our career goals (in this case, as an actor), in the grand scheme of things, we are mere “out on loan.”
“Like some new language, reaching your head with the cold, sudden fury of a divine messenger / Let me tell you about heartache and the loss of god / Wandering in the hopeless night / Out here in the perimeter there are no stars / Out here we is stoned immaculate”.
On “Stoned Immaculate,” Morrison is in excellent condition and may be channeling William Blake, one of his lyrical heroes. Morrison has a lifelong fascination with the realms beyond of our normal physical comprehension. In truth, there are many of his hobbies in these words, including nature, religion, language, and, of course, doing drugs.
“Well, I got into town about an hour ago / Took a look around, see which way the wind blow / Where the little girls in their Hollywood bungalows / Are you a lucky little lady in the City of Light? / Or just another lost angel? City of Night”.
The first line of the song implies that Morrison has arrived in town intending to cause trouble. Thankfully, he is probably in the proper spot. These lyrics demonstrate that Morrison was able to use his writing skills to write about both the mundane and the magical, even if they may be the least poetically beautiful of those on this list.
‘When The Music’s Over’
“What have they done with the earth? / What have they done with our fair sister? / Ravaged and plundered and ripped her and bit her / Stuck her with knives in the side of the dawn / Tied her with fences and dragged her down / We want the world and we want it now”.
The band’s use of a simmering buildup to the crescendo is one of the song’s most engaging moments. Morrison bemoans the harm civilization has done to the environment at this period. He yearns for change and ultimately issues the rallying cry, “We want the world and we want it now.”
“Lost in a Roman wilderness of pain / And all the children are insane / All the children are insane / Waiting for the summer rain”.
Morrison wasn’t exactly sure what the phrases meant, though (like many other great poets). He previously remarked, “Every time I hear that song, it means something else to me. I really don’t know what I was trying to say. I could see how it could be goodbye to a kind of childhood. I really don’t know. I think it’s sufficiently complex and universal in its imagery that it could be almost anything you want it to be.”
“A vast radiant beach and a cool jewelled moon / Couples naked race down its quiet side / And we laugh like soft mad children / Smug in the woolly cotton brains of infancy / The music and voices are all around us”.
Morrison turns up some of his best verses here. In the only manner, he can honestly, he creates the vision of a fantasy setting or an other reality. The absurdity of society and the splendor of nature are still present. One of the Doors’ greatest (and maybe least well-known) songs is “Ghost Song.”