Lions in the street and roaming,
Dogs in heat, rabid, foaming.
A beast caged in the heart of a city.
The body of his mother
Rotting in the summer ground.
He fled the town.

He went down South and crossed the border.
Left the chaos and disorder
Back there over his shoulder.

One morning he awoke in a green hotel
With a strange creature groaning beside him.
Sweat oozed from its shiny skin.

Is everybody in?
The ceremony is about to begin.


Wake up!
You can't remember where it was.
Had this dream stopped?

The snake was pale gold
Glazed and shrunken.
We were afraid to touch it.
The sheets were hot dead prisons.

And she was beside me.
Old, she's no young.
Her dark red hair,
The white soft skin.

Now, run to the mirror in the bathroom,
Look! She's coming in here.

I can't live through each slow century of her moving.
I let my cheek slide down
The cool smooth tile.
Feel the good cold stinging blood
The smooth hissing snakes of rain.


Once I had a little game,
I liked to crawl back into my brain.
I think you know
The game I mean,
I mean the game
Called go insane.

Now you should try
This little game.
Just close your eyes,
Forget your name.
Forget the world,
Forget the people.
And we'll erect,
A different steeple.

This little game
Is fun to do.
Just close your eyes,
No way to lose.
And I'm right here,
I'm going too.
Release control,
We're breaking through.


Way back deep into the brain,
Back where there's never any pain.

And the rain falls gently on the town.
And over the heads of all of us.
And in the labyrinth of streams
Beneath, the quiet unearthly presence of
Nervous hill dwellers in the gentle hills around,
Reptiles abounding
Fossils, caves, cool air heights.

Each house repeats a mold.
Windows rolled.

A beast car locked in against morning.
All now sleeping
Rugs silent, mirrors vacant,
Dust blind under the beds of lawful couples
Wound in sheets.
And daughters, smug with semen.
Eyes in their nipples.


Wait!

There's been a slaughter here.
Don't stop to speak or look around
Your gloves & fan are on the ground.
We're getting out of town
We're going on the run
And you're the one I want to come.

Not to touch the earth,
Not to see the sun.
Nothing left to do,
But run, run, run.
Let's run.
Let's run.

House upon the hill,
Moon is lying still.
Shadows of the trees
Witnessing the wild breeze.
Come on baby, run with me.
Let's run.

Run with me.
Run with me.
Run with me.
Let's run.

The mansion is warm,
At the top of the hill.
Rich are the rooms
And the comforts there.
Red are the arms
Of luxuriant chairs.
And you won't know a thing
Till you get inside.
Dead president's corpse
In the driver's car
The engine runs
On glue and tar.
Come on along,
Not going very far.
To the East to meet the Czar.

Run with me.
Run with me.
Run with me.
Let's run.

Some outlaws live
By the side of a lake.
The minister's daughter's
In love with the snake.
Who lives in a well
By the side of the road.
Wake up, girl!
We're almost home, yeah.

Sun, sun, sun.
Burn, burn, burn.
Moon, moon, moon.
I will get you
Soon, soon, soon.

I am the lizard king,
I can do anything.


We came down
The rivers and highways.
We came down from
Forests and falls.

We came down from
Carson and Springfield.
We came down from
Phoenix enthralled.

And I can tell you
The names of the kingdom.
I can tell you
The things that you know.
Listening for
A fistful of silence.
Climbing valleys
Into the shade.


For seven years I dwelt
In the loose palace of exile,
Playing strange games
With the girls of the island.

Now I have come again
To the land of the fair,
And the strong and the wise.

Brothers and sisters of the pale forest,
Children of Night,
Who among you will run with the hunt?

Now night arrives with her purple legion.
Retire now to your tents and to your dreams.
Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth.
I want to be ready.


Source: Aquarius Theater, Hollywood - July 1969


Lyrics submitted by yuri_sucupira

The Celebration Of The Lizard song meanings
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40 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commentyeah man its creepy and symbolic. Once I left my radio on repeat at night, and I woke up in the middle of the night and Celebration of the Lizard was playing. It was scary man.
    MushieManon December 02, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General Commentthis was jim at his best, as a poet. its about a group of people travelling through the desert, take the time to read/listen and think about it before you jugde it.
    b_afraidon December 13, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis has gotta be my favorite doors song. just gives me chills listening to it its so good.
    The_Changelingon July 20, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti absolutly love this
    theriverknowson December 22, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is how I see it:


    A man seems to be fed up with his surroundings, and after it seems he's lost everything, his mother being recently buried, he goes south of the border, Mexico, where the shaman still exists. We all know Jim was into the shaman experience.

    One day he wakes up (the trip has peaked!) in a green hotel (its just an image in his mind, doesnt mean he's in an actual hotel thats green), with a strange creature groaning beside him. Sweat oozed from its skin. This is what he's seeing as the trip escalates.

    He then turns to the audience, like an aside in a play, and says, is everybody in? is everybody in? Presumably, everyone says YES, in other words, we're with you, our trip is also escalating.

    The ceremony is about to begin... WAKE UP!

    And now, he AND the audience are back in that green hotel he was describing, when he says he awoke in a green hotel.

    Now he starts to describe the creature beside US (its not just him now, we're all with him), the snake. It's pale gold, glazed and shrunken, WE were afraid to touch it! The bed was hot, and SHE (now he's given female characteristics to the snake) was beside him. He describes it as young, with dark red hair and soft white skin (perhaps, this snake is symbolic of Pam to him).

    Now, run to the mirror in the bathroom, look, shes coming in, shes following him, veeeery slowly it seems (effect of psychedelic drug use is the expansion of time). He slides his cheek down the tile (of the bathroom, but to him, its the snake) feel the good, cold stinging blood (cold-blooded creature, perhaps the sting is venom). We see opposites here, the GOOD, cold, STINGING, good and stinging being opposites. The smooth, hissing, snakes of rain is simply the water running. Go in your bathroom, and turn on the shower. What sound is that? Hsssssssss as the water runs from the shower head, right?

    Now that segment is over, and he's changing paths as the trip continues for him and us. Attention span when you are tripping is limited to what your mind is concetrating on. You can work on one thought, process it through, and by the time youre done, you havent realized that you've strayed from the original topic and have now leaped to something else. He's realizing the game he's playing, he's now understanding the trip, and he wants you to continue with him, if you understand and trust him. So, let's break through, shall we?

    The hill dwellers segment is probably discussing the thoughts and images that course through your mind under the influence, when nothing can harm you (no pain). Heights, creatures, temperature. If you've tripped, you've understood what kind of world you live in. Everything seems fake. Advertisements are everywhere seducing you, houses repeat, and the hypocrisies and ironies of life show themselves. For example, dust settling under couples' beds vs daughters smug with semen, well shouldnt it be the opposite? Shouldn't couples be the ones having sex while daughters sleep?

    Hill dwellers is much like his poetry. They are aphorisms, the way Nietzsche and many others wrote, very philosophical, objective statements.

    Now we're faced with slaughter. We're not sure who's committed the act, but it may be us. Before you go on to read Not to Touch the Earth, we have to understand that this title comes from a chapter in a book written about religion and gods (google it). Basically, all groups of people have something born within them that pushes them to believe in a higher being. Whether you're a christian, jew, muslim, hindu, whatever, you have questions and a certain "being" or "beings" answers them. Jim wants to be that "being".

    Nietzsche believed that no matter who you are, or what you do, there is always someone above you. Whether you order around hundreds of people doesnt matter if theres one guy above you. You're not at the top. However, he did believe that if a person were to become so detached, so powerful, as to lead everyone yet have NO ONE above him, that man would reach immortality. Can the Lizard reach the top?

    Lets try. So we begin, but we start by running, and we're running to this mansion. He's luring us to it. The setting is night, with a still moon and a wild breeze, what a night it is!

    The version i follow is off Aquarius second performance, and the "Mansion is warm..." comes before "Dead president's". In any case, he's still luring us to the mansion, and it seems great, but we won't know what's really going on until we're inside. What are his motives, why does he want us in that mansion?

    Well he'll tell you. Dead presidents corpse in the drivers car refers to Kennedy, the President until his assassination in 1964. He was supposed to be the good guy, a Catholic Democrat that was supposed to change America and the world before his untimely death. Nothing could save him, his car, ran on glue and tar, and couldnt get him out of there. The Czar refers to Russia before the red revolution, when, as mentioned earlier, Nicholas II and his family, included poor little Anastasia, were taken to from the palace and interred in a MANSION before finally being removed and shot one after the other by the Bolsheviks, who would turn Russia into a communist state. Nicholas II, however powerful and beloved he was by his people, WAS NOT SAFE. See a theme here? What does Jim want? He wants the mansion, he wants us to follow him so he can attain the highest level in humanity, above Kennedy, above Nicholas; he wants immortality. These rulers were not looked upon as Gods, they were simple rulers. The Lizard King wants more.

    Now the finale! The outlaws living by the side of the lake could refer to the band, the Doors, where Jim channels all his lyric energy through amazing musical prose. They were from Cali, next to the Pacific, which, to a God, would be nothing but a lake. How ironic that a minister's daughter would be in love with a snake? The snake signifies evil in almost all religions, or, if not evil, the defiance of whatever "being" as savior for another one (in our case, a Lizard is the snake. I'm not saying a snake is a lizard, i'm saying the Lizard King, is the snake...) This snake, our Lizard King, arose from near homelessness! Now, he's converting you, we're almost home: the mansion.

    We should see the gates of the mansion by morning, and we'll be inside by the evening. Remember this mansion is on a hill, and if it took that long to go from the gates to the mansion (morning to evening), imagine how far up the mansion is! Why, it must reach somewhere in the heavens (get where this is going yet??). In fact, the mansion reaches out to the moon, the most prominent object in the night sky. Night, as opposed to day, ties in with the snake, as opposed to good. The minister's daughter having been converted, as are we, the task is complete.

    The end is him describing a following, coming down the rivers and highways, forests and falls. All the creatures of the Earth are lured in. He can tell you everything, even the things that you know, even the many names of the kingdom which we all seek and he has found. Listening for a fistful of silence relates to cognition and human awareness of our senses, and how much of an impact they play on us (remember, we're still tripping here!). Climbing valleys is an allusion to the hill dwellers, because you must climb hills to get into the shade, since the sun shines down into the valley's center. We are hill dwellers during the day, and at night we come out and run around, praising the moon (Lizard King).

    And in the end, when the trip subsides, and we've come to accept this new "being", we will retire to our tents and dreams, for tomorrow, the Lizard King, as we've come to exalt him, will be born human again.


    So in the beginning he is a man alone experiencing something strange. He asks if were in, and it begins. Now we're ALL experiencing something strange, and he's going to use this to gain power no mortal could ever achieve. And that's it! He is simply a shaman, a medicine man who delves into the spiritual world for many native Indian tribes through the use of substances that most people in the world deem "evil", drugs like mescaline, psilocybin, lsd, but these are the substances that STIR the spirit within our minds that forces us to find that "being". So, the Lizard King takes advantage of this and reaches the moon when most men are struck dead.
    samsaumaon June 09, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOh my Lord. These are incredible lyrics.
    TheShillon April 25, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI haven't heard anything regarding the lyrics, but I've made my own speculations that its an overall reflection on how easily people are manipulated. Or maybe just a warning of the cunningness of false prophets. The song starts out with the campfire song, and slowly degrades into an angry and twisted tempo until it lets up in a moment of clarity. Then Morrison talks in the first person and says "I am the Lizard King". Then he goes on to add how all the people there came from all around, and he gives some backstory on his exile and return. The last line, "I want to be ready", echoes a chilling tone to me. Ready for what? Probably the slaughter of those who wronged him in the past. It would seem that murder was the reason he was exiled in the first place (We're going on the run). So if this were true, then bloody vengeance to those who wronged him is not out of the question. Whether this song reflects something in the real world at the time it was made or it was meant as a timeless message, I don't know.
    phalanxon May 28, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentLions in the street and roaming,
    Dogs in heat, rabid, foaming.
    A beast caged in the heart of a city.
    The body of his mother
    Rotting in the summer ground.
    He fled the town.

    He went down South and crossed the border.
    Left the chaos and disorder
    Back there over his shoulder.

    One morning he awoke in a green hotel
    With a strange creature groaning beside him.
    Sweat oozed from its shiny skin.

    The beginning-He is on the run for murder.

    Is everybody in?
    The ceremony is about to begin.


    Wake up!
    You can't remember where it was.
    Had this dream stopped?


    The snake was pale gold
    Glazed and shrunken.
    We were afraid to touch it.
    The sheets were hot dead prisons.

    And she was beside me.
    Old, she's no young.
    Her dark red hair,
    The white soft skin.

    Part 2-He is in denial.

    Now, run to the mirror in the bathroom,
    Look! She's coming in here.

    I can't live through each slow century of her moving.
    I let my cheek slide down
    The cool smooth tile.
    Feel the good cold stinging blood
    The smooth hissing snakes of rain.

    Part 3-Another murder.

    Once I had a little game,
    I liked to crawl back into my brain.
    I think you know
    The game I mean,
    I mean the game
    Called go insane.

    Now you should try
    This little game.
    Just close your eyes,
    Forget your name.
    Forget the world,
    Forget the people.
    And we'll erect,
    A different steeple.

    This little game
    Is fun to do.
    Just close your eyes,
    No way to lose.
    And I'm right here,
    I'm going too.
    Release control,
    We're breaking through.

    Part 4-He realizes his own insanity.

    Way back deep into the brain,
    Back where there's never any pain.

    And the rain falls gently on the town.
    And over the heads of all of us.
    And in the labyrinth of streams
    Beneath, the quiet unearthly presence of
    Nervous hill dwellers in the gentle hills around,
    Reptiles abounding
    Fossils, caves, cool air heights.

    Each house repeats a mold.
    Windows rolled.

    A beast car locked in against morning.
    All now sleeping
    Rugs silent, mirrors vacant,
    Dust blind under the beds of lawful couples
    Wound in sheets.
    And daughters, smug with semen.
    Eyes in their nipples.

    Part 5-He's running, and starting to notice a pattern.

    Wait!

    There's been a slaughter here.
    Don't stop to speak or look around
    Your gloves & fan are on the ground.
    We're getting out of town
    We're going on the run
    And you're the one I want to come.

    Part 6-Another murder has happened in the communities described in part 5, and he wants the murderer to run with him.

    Not to touch the earth,
    Not to see the sun.
    Nothing left to do,
    But run, run, run.
    Let's run.
    Let's run.

    House upon the hill,
    Moon is lying still.
    Shadows of the trees
    Witnessing the wild breeze.
    Come on baby, run with me.
    Let's run.

    Run with me.
    Run with me.
    Run with me.
    Let's run.

    The mansion is warm,
    At the top of the hill.
    Rich are the rooms
    And the comforts there.
    Red are the arms
    Of luxuriant chairs.
    And you won't know a thing
    Till you get inside.

    Part 7-Still running, and planning another murder..

    Dead president's corpse
    In the driver's car
    The engine runs
    On glue and tar.
    Come on along,
    Not going very far.
    To the East to meet the Czar.

    Part 8-Another murder.

    Run with me.
    Run with me.
    Run with me.
    Let's run.

    Some outlaws live
    By the side of a lake.
    The minister's daughter's
    In love with the snake.
    Who lives in a well
    By the side of the road.
    Wake up, girl!
    We're almost home, yeah.

    Part 8-He begins his run to his birthplace, after being discovered.

    Sun, sun, sun.
    Burn, burn, burn.
    Moon, moon, moon.
    I will get you
    Soon, soon, soon.

    I am the lizard king,
    I can do anything.

    We came down
    The rivers and highways.
    We came down from
    Forests and falls.

    We came down from
    Carson and Springfield.
    We came down from
    Phoenix enthralled.

    Part 9-Seeing all who have followed him, he gains power

    And I can tell you
    The names of the kingdom.
    I can tell you
    The things that you know.
    Listening for
    A fistful of silence.
    Climbing valleys
    Into the shade.

    Part 10-He just wants peace, and enters self-exile.

    For seven years I dwelt
    In the loose palace of exile,
    Playing strange games
    With the girls of the island.

    Now I have come again
    To the land of the fair,
    And the strong and the wise.

    Brothers and sisters of the pale forest,
    Children of Night,
    Who among you will run with the hunt?

    Now night arrives with her purple legion.
    Retire now to your tents and to your dreams.
    Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth.
    I want to be ready.

    The Finale-Talking to his followers, the other exiled murderers, he asks who will stay with him on the final part of the journey. The last 2 lines say everything left:
    "Tomorrow we enter the town of my birth.
    I want to be ready."
    TheZRyderon November 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIm not really surpised no one has posted anything. Lizards and Snakes are symbols of evil. Jim wanted to scare the audiece with creepy soudns and lyrics.
    Reigenborn1223on November 26, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti think jim is telling males how 2 live. we cant be warm like the women, we need to sometimes be cold to the world. and he who can be most cold, most detached, most serpentine can do anything. he is the king of all others...the lizard king.
    its a guy thing.

    but damn that mofo can write poetry tho huh?
    shadows of the trees, witnessing the wild breeze...
    2 bad peeples get all caught up in morrisons bullshit, im sure he was just fucking with people w/ all his off the wall shit -- the indian story, the stage antics, the drugs and shit--
    that was xtraneous. he was a genius with words and dangerously deep.
    theRickon December 20, 2004   Link

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