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 borne 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
And our mother is dead in the sea.

Do you know we are being led to
Slaughters by placid admirals,
And that fat slow generals are getting
Obscene on young blood?
Do you know we are ruled by TV?

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.

The moths and atheists
Are doubly divine and dying.

We live, we die
And death not ends it.

Journey we more into the Nightmare.
Cling to life, our passion'd flower,
Cling to cunts and cocks of despair.
We got our final vision by clap.
Columbus' groin got
Filled with green death.

(I touched her thigh and death smiled.)

We have assembled inside this
Ancient and insane theatre
To propagate our lust for life
And flee the swarming wisdom of the streets.

The barns are stormed,
The windows kept,
And only one of all the rest
To dance and save us
With the divine mockery of words.
Music inflames temperament.

(When the true King's murderers
Are allowed to roam free,
A thousand Magicians arise in the land.)

Where are the feasts we were promised?
Where is the wine,
The New Wine.
(Dying on the vine.)


Lyrics submitted by archmastermind

An American Prayer song meanings
Add your thoughts

10 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +2
    General CommentI have to disagree with you. This song is clearly about a lot more than just 'life.' A lot of it is about war and the media's coverage of it:

    "Do you know we are being led to
    Slaughters by placid admirals,
    And that fat slow generals are getting
    Obscene on young blood?
    Do you know we are ruled by TV?"

    Also, the parts that are about life aren't that simple. I think he's saying that people who are alive are not really LIVING. Jim really believed that a lot of us just go through the motions in life, and never really experience it. We are 'asleep' he would say. He even took to yelling "Wake up!" into the audience at various points throughout the doors concerts.
    Jim Youngon October 05, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentwow, this is an amazing passage from morrison, i am studying his work as a poet as part of my senior studies, American prayer seems very contextually relevant aswell in his reference to HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases, the 'guerrila warefare' referring to vietnamese conflict. it seems this serves as the first realisation of the concept of media saturation and existential angst that has become prominent in music today
    Euphemismon December 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commentohhh I love Jim Morrison. His thought process was so unique. This song is about life... nothing more and nothing less. My favorite Doors song ever!
    DaDreadlockChickon July 23, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is about life and about what isnt life. in it jim is talks about some of the issues of modern day life that drown out the real meaning to life. if you are not awake to everything beyond this life then youre probley not understanding this song really. i cant exactly help enlighten you as much as you should know but it would be relevantly summed up in the first verse of the song. that is that we exist and are beings through life and past life. time and space exist only in life and conscienceness. maybe looking up something on theosophy or so might help you know where this song is coming from. beautifully absolute song.
    PeppersPropheton March 13, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is jim using his popularity to state the injustices going on in socioty at that time, if he had recited this poem in a club, the results would have been much less then a song in every doors fans collections, this is jim trying to administer change
    jay-skateon May 17, 2007   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationSupposedly Jim started writing this whilst he was on holiday in Jamaica. It's a sort of patriotic statement to his country (even if Jim Morrison doesn't appear to be entirely patriotic).
    sexdrugsrocknrollon July 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think he means that america has some great people, but right now were all asleep and justtrying to get through life. hes asking for us to have one more chance to prove ourselves as great. & yeah its also a lot about life.
    musicmaticianon July 07, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAmazing how many musicians have issues connecting sex and death
    DeathAndSexxon May 23, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Comment'(I touched her thigh and death smiled.)'
    DeathAndSexxon May 23, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe knowledge of cancer
    is a line in an American Prayer
    as I remember
    how would that one line's meaning be defined?
    a warning on a cigarette pack
    a dreaded diagnosis
    a life newly purposed ???
    I feel the particular ambiguity is part of the meaning
    eddieson November 30, 2016   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain