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

Fathers are cackling in trees of the forest
Our mother is dead in the sea
Do you know we are being led to slaughters by placid admirals
And the fats slow generals are getting obscene on young blood

Do you know we are ruled by TV?
The moon is 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

Oh, great creator of being grant us one more hour
To perform our art and perfect our lives
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 passioned flower
Cling to cunts and cocks of despair
We got our final vision by clap
Columbus's 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 were promised?
Where is the wine?
The new wine, dying on the vine

Lyrics submitted by yuri_sucupira

An American Prayer Lyrics as written by John Paul Densmore Jim Morrison

Lyrics © Doors Music Company

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An American Prayer song meanings
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  • +1
    General Comment

    I 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 Comment

    wow, 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 Comment

    ohhh 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 Comment

    this 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 Comment

    I 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 Interpretation

    Supposedly 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 05, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    i 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 Comment

    Amazing 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 Comment

    the 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

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