"Doctor My Eyes" is a 1972 song written and performed by Jackson Browne which he included on his debut album Jackson Browne. Featuring a combination of an upbeat piano riff coupled, somewhat ironically, with lyric...

Doctor, my eyes have seen the years
And the slow parade of fears without crying
Now I want to understand

I have done all that I could
To see the evil and the good without hiding
You must help me if you can

Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what is wrong
Was I unwise to leave them open for so long

'Cause I have wandered through this world
As each moment has unfurled
I've been waiting to awaken from these dreams

People go just where they will
I never noticed them until I got this feeling
That it's later than it seems

Doctor, my eyes
Tell me what you see
I hear their cries
Just say if it's too late for me

Doctor, my eyes
Cannot see the sky
Is this the prize for having learned how not to cry



Lyrics submitted by kevin

"Doctor My Eyes" as written by Jackson Browne

Lyrics © Jackson Browne/Swallow Turn Music/Night Kitchen Music/Open Window Music, Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind


Doctor My Eyes song meanings
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26 Comments

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  • +4
    My Interpretation:If i imagine myself the person saying these words...

    I'm someone who always took pride in my efforts to overcome my preconceptions and aversions, and perceive everything for exactly what it is, rather than what i want it to be.
    Resisting my own prejudices and fears of contemplating what scares me or disgusts me or angers me in other people, i've focused all my life on undertanding and accepting the world no matter what.
    Over time, though, this mission has made me into someone who cannot take my focus away from all the pain i've learned to perceive so well. I compulsively observe, and feel for, and have ended up too fixated on observing and feeling =for= others to actually just participate myself.
    The shock came when I finally saw that, apparently, the very people i'd learned so well to feel for, were themselves proceeding to live their lives, and in fact, more relaxed about their place in the world than I probably was. They haven't come to see things as clearly as I probably do, but it looks to me like they've retained something I've lost - something I never intended to lose; and now that i see i've lost it it's bitterly ironic.
    In trying so long to clearly see, understand and feel the exact situation of those around me, and bravely face it, i've forfeited my own sense of living life for and as myself, and, ultimately, the ability to feel my own heart break.
    friarslanternon April 21, 2011   Link
  • +3
    My Interpretation:God, I’ve perceived the world around me, and my life
    And I’ve witnessed great hardships of a fearful humanity, and I’ve seen/understood all of these things with a lack of emotion and empathy
    Now I want to search for a different interpretation, meaning to life and suffering

    I have done all that I could
    To perceive the evil and good things in the world as an active participant, with courage and less fear
    I need Your help to be successful

    God, my perception
    Tell me how my view of the world and life is warped
    Was I unwise to get complacent with this world, and with myself?

    ‘Cause I have not lived my whole life with a concrete, meaningful purpose
    And I’ve let the moments and events in the world present themselves, instead of creating them
    I’ve been waiting for something unknown to pull me out of ambiguity, and give me meaning
    Some people truly follow their own free will
    I never noticed them until I realized
    That life is extremely short, and I’m losing time

    God, my perception
    Tell me how you see the world and me
    I hear the cries of those with great hardships and fears, as well as the cries of people who realized they've wasted part or most of their lives. I also hear cries from my former and present self.
    Can I still achieve my goals and dreams, or have I wasted too much of my life?

    God, my beliefs
    I cannot see You or find true meaning
    Is this the price for not only excessively allowing the world to shape me, but sacrificing emotion in order to be successful and strong?


    For a person struggling and in the process of getting faith... that's how I interpreted it. GB^2
    s818213Bon December 26, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Comment:"Doctor, my eyes have seen the years
    And the slow parade of fears without crying
    Now I want to understand"
    He's old enough to have experience, he's been around, and he's seen what the world is like; now he wants to understand why.

    "I have done all that I could
    To see the evil and the good without hiding"
    He tries to see both the good and bad in people, and to be truthful to himself.

    "Tell me what is wrong
    Was I unwise to leave them open for so long"
    He wonders now if those sort of people who deliberately blind themselves to the harsh truth arent happier afterall.

    "Cause I have wandered through this world
    And as each moment has unfurled
    I've been waiting to awaken from these dreams"
    He keeps waiting for things to improve.

    "People go just where they will
    I never noticed them until I got this feeling
    That it's later than it seems"
    I'm not sure about this part.

    "I hear their cries
    Just say if it's too late for me"
    he's been hardened to the horrible things in the world, and wonders if it's too late to retrieve his previous innocence.

    "Doctor, my eyes
    Cannot see the sky
    Is this the prize for having learned how not to cry"
    he's been hardened to the horrible aspects of life, and can't now see the good or beautiful aspects.
    AndreAndreon February 05, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:This song is about the loss of idealism one suffers when one realizes what the world is really like and, presumably, what life is all about. But, if you really cannot see the sky, I'd say you were better off when you were crying. Your eyes are at least meant for that, after all.
    montresoron August 11, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:For me this song has always been about loss of innocence that comes with age..."was I unwise to leave them open for so long?"...it is something we all lose over time but don't realize it's lost until we look back.
    ltienkeon May 22, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment:He's basically talking about his reaction to all the bad and injustice going on in the world. You can either 'close your eyes' and make yourself oblivious to it, you can see it and let it affect you and 'cry', or you can do what he did and see it and not let it hurt you. The problem with that is if you harden yourself to the bad things in the world, you end up hardening yourself to the good things as well so you 'cannot see the sky'.
    romulusisthewolfon January 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I heard that this song was written by Jackson Browne in regards to the Vietnam conflict.
    taffurs888on March 07, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:I have no idea but I love this song!!
    carabiner86on June 08, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:This song contains some of the best, most meaningful lyrics in rock music to date and I'm not particularly a Jackson Browne fan
    liverdudeon June 25, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment:Whether it's about the vietnam conflict i can't say, but i can say that it's about someone who has been aware of a lot of injustice that others have not been aware of, and is feeling depressed that such injustice exists in the world.
    Verison June 27, 2004   Link

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