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Moonlight Drive song meanings
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  • +2
    My OpinionSo I've been going thru these coments on a lot of the songs today. I've ponderd long and hard on the fact that the very first time I heard a Doors song (summer of 67) I was immediately taken away, somewhere other than where I actually was. There was great power in the songs.

    Much of Morrison's stuff is just poetic musing--much is not, like Cobain, autobiographical. All four Doors were college boys, and at least Morrison and Manzarek graduated from UCLA (Krieger may have graduated from UCSB, for all I know). So what you had here was a bunch of fairly literate guys exposed to a lot of art and even European Romantic/Post Romantic/Decadent poetry and literature.

    Now as the years went by and I really started to look at Morrison's poetry and lyrics, I realized that, really, they can be pretty immature.

    Yet here we are, he's been dead 40 years and more, and we're still talking about him, and there's still a boatload of mystique. Some of this is just plain circumstance, like with James Dean, dying young, but still, there's more to it.

    What we had was a literate competent band led by a tremendously charismatic and confident character who came to think of himself as a hybrid of Dionysus, Blake, Byron, and some kind of new age shaman. And it looks to me like he kind of believed it.

    Bands I saw at that time were closer in stage persona to shoe-gazers--maybe "rockin' out" a bit more, but there was not a lot of "perfromance art", which is what it looks to me like the Doors' live performances were: early experiments with spontaneous performance art, like rituals, done to music and chanting. They predated a lot of the very theatrical stuff of the 70s, like Alice Cooper, but they were more spontaneous and here's the important part: unlike the acts that followed, I think that Morrison bought this: he felt that he was the Lizard King--whatever that was supposed to be.

    So he wrote about very vague, but powerful, emotions, like fear of an apocalyse, death, dissolution, losing one's self in the dissolute luxury of the senses.

    Again, I think that there are *some* autobiographical lyrics, but many of the others were like the prose peom genre, as done by Blake, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, etc. His songs sound like a Gustav Klimt or Aubrey Beadsley painting *looks*--kinda scary and yet fatally attractive. Once you understand that this is where a lot of Morrison's work is coming from, you'll stop thinking that he's writing a wistful song about a cute girl he'll never get over, and instead he's trying to do archetypes: Alexander, Dionysus, every great volatile, flawed hero. And he should get credit for trying, even if he's pretty immature in how he's doing it. But the guy died at 27: what could he actually know of life?

    He is really a decent raw intellect who had been exposed to a fairly good education in the wesern artistic tradition, who was absorbed by pagan spiritualism, and was trying to write poetry. There is a lot of fairly sad output (low quality, immature), but mixed with an undeniable power that grips you, at the level described by Karl Jung.

    That's his legacy, I think. The last truly commited adherent to Romantic decadence, and almost entirely untainted by cynicsim.
    sawfish666on September 12, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is one of the first songs Jim wrote. Pure poetry.
    OceanOfChaoson May 08, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentjim wrote this song in his lsd days on the roof an abandoned beach house in venice beach where he also wrote the material for the first 2 albums. like a shaman the music just came to him supossedly.
    Danfrogon August 28, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI heard it was about killing a girl, which kinda makes sense. If you read the lyrics over, thinking that it's about kidnapping a girl, it makes sense. But.. i dunno really.
    Salinaon May 07, 2003   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationTo understand this brilliant song, you first have to understand Jim Morrison...because to be able to make much sense of his brilliant & suggestive lyrics you need to comprehend the concept of the INFINITE. Now, I realize that for most people in the Western world this word sounds "out there", odd, perhaps even outlandish...but I assure you it isn't.

    We are, simply put, whatever we believe in...and since we come into this world knowing (or more accurately, REMEMBERING) virtually nothing, our beliefs are determined by our Parents, relatives, schools, government, television, movies, etc. In general, for MOST people in the Western world, we are the products of SOCIETY...and that's NOT a good thing.

    Society is OWNED and RUN by what are called the ruling elites...the secret owners of all the Corporations that dominate every single aspect of humanity, including religion. Now, how can a few families dominate seven billion people? There's only one way...to convert society into the STATUS QUO.

    Everything (and I literally mean EVERYTHING) in this Universe is constant change. The ONLY thing that bucks this reality is human society. So why is that? Because the only way that a handful can rule the many is by creating and then controlling a never-changing narrative. Who knows how old the Universe is? We are told that our Earth is at least 4.5 billion years old. The average human being on Earth now only lives to an average age of 60. Against the backdrop of BILLIONS of years, that number doesn't even register on the largest of graphs. Thus, in this narrative, we are a BLIP of reality. So, if that is true, then WHY for God's sake are the majority of the people on this planet working at JOBS??? Low-paying, unchallenging, unfulfilling, monotonous jobs for 40+ years??? If this isn't the ultimate definition of insanity, then I don't know what is.

    By creating a society that lashes out at and ridicules alternative ideas and broad, sweeping changes, the ruling elites have brainwashed us into becoming our own police force...constantly patrolling our own minds with a club made out of Fear, that is designed to squash us from saying or doing anything that will "draw attention to ourselves", or get us into trouble with authority figures and/or bullies. We have become the character "Evie" from the Novel/movie, V for Vendetta. Governments don't need to create massive surveillance systems to monitor our thoughts and words, we do it ourselves for Free and for THEIR BENEFIT!

    Jim Morrison KNEW this reality...he lived it growing up in a Military family with a Father who sold his soul to advance within the status quo. Thus, growing up, Morrison's DIVERGENCE butted heads with his Father's need for CONFORMITY. It was a battle that could not be won by his Father, and thus, Morrison left his family, severed all ties, and literally considered them as strangers, aliens. Morrison possessed a spirit that needed to live in TRUTH. Sadly, like in the wonderful movie, Divergents only comprise a small % of the population, with most humans content to live like Sheeple.

    Thus, Morrison began to educate himself...he cast out of his mind all the absolute BULLSHIT and outright lies that we are taught by our Parents and our schools. He discovered Eastern Philosophies, the ancient Sanskrit texts, the writings of Lao Tzu, Confucius, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Paramahansa Yogananda...great, truthful writers like Homer, Virgil, Shakespeare, Poe, Twain, Wilde, Hesse, Joyce, Kafka, Orwell, Rand...even Quantum Physicists like Max Planck and Einstein.

    Morrison OPENED his mind up to the concept of the Infinite...the idea that we are all actually NON-PHYSICAL beings of eternal energy, experiencing ourselves in a 3-Dimensional, Holographic Universe...where things like Matter and Linear Time were nothing more than mere abstractions...necessary beliefs to give us the sense, or ILLUSION, that we were "solid", 3-D beings living in a construct outside of the Unified Field. Thus, these ideas became Morrison's "set of beliefs", the construct from which he operated his decision-making. THIS IS WHY JIM MORRISON wrote the things he did and behaved the way he did...he knew the truth that we EXIST, and thus, we can never NOT exist. That our experience here "on Earth" is just part of the great game...the Samsara...the great re-birth of all living things.

    Most people belief in a reality where we are born, we live and then we die...and that's it. If you want to believe in this, that's fine, but it simply isn't true. All life is part of the great cycle, which is birth, life, death and re-birth...a reality where FEAR is merely an illusion as we can NEVER "end", get it "wrong" or commit "bad"/"immoral" acts. Again, Morrison believed that we are all merely beings of Light experiencing ourselves within this holographic, illusive reality. That our THOUGHTS created our reality...this is why he pushed his personal boundaries as far as he could, and this is why he wrote songs like, Moonlight Drive.

    So why were the first two lines of the song, "Let's swim to the moon, uh huh
    Let's climb through the tide"??? Because Morrison KNEW that we are actually beings of light in the two-dimensional Unified Field. Our 3-D Universe/Earth is the Illusion, the Maya. Thus, through our thoughts we can "swim to the moon, or climb through a tide". This wasn't merely abstract poetry, Morrison was educating us to his personal beliefs...his truth.

    "Penetrate the evenin' that the City sleeps to hide"...here, Morrison was suggesting to us that the Sheeple (the huddled masses of the Cities) had been taught to see the night as darkness...as the unknown...thus, an agent of Fear that needed to be "penetrated" (an act of violence) rather than loved or embraced. People slept at night to hide from the darkness (the unknown), rather than seeing it's infinite beauty. As Joe Rogan says, "people drive thousands of miles just to look down and see the Grand Canyon, instead of staying at home and looking up at the sky. In comparison to the brilliant Stars in the ever-expanding Cosmos, what's the Grand Canyon but a ditch in the ground?" Again, the ruling elites teach us NOT to wonder about the unknown and speculate, not to look up and hope, but rather to look down and despair.

    Thus, what was Morrison's retort to society's construct of limitation???

    "Let's swim out tonight, love
    It's our turn to try
    Parked beside the ocean
    On our moonlight drive"

    FOCUS upon the KEY words in this brief, but salient passage...SWIM, LOVE, TRY, OCEAN, MOONLIGHT DRIVE. What was Morrison clearly telling us? That we must fight against our oppressors, which by this time had become our OWN MINDS. The lies that we have been taught work against us, creating a reality where you and I only experience limitation after limitation, instead of ABUNDANCE. What did Morrison paint within this small picture? Escapism, Freedom, Choice, Beauty, Love and endless abundance within the Cosmic Ocean. Don't view life by the limitations of Newtonian Physics; rather, see all life through the eyes of Quantum Physics...where Matter is nothing but EMPTY SPACE that only appears as solid and 3-Dimensional whenever we focus our thoughts upon it...because when we don't, all matter is merely INCORPOREAL waves of infinite possibilities endlessly traversing the Cosmos, just waiting for us to "think it" into "existence"...so THINK BIG and GRAND.

    Morrison wrote the 2nd verse as such...

    "Surrender to the waiting worlds
    That lap against our side
    Nothin' left open
    And no time to decide
    We've stepped into a river
    On our moonlight drive"

    Again, focus upon the key words...SURRENDER (letting go), WAITING WORLDS (other realities that await us), LAP, SIDE, OPEN, NO TIME & RIVER. What is the Unified Field? An endless river within the Cosmos, where waves of infinite possibilities exist just so that we can play with them. When we "let go" to the wonder and lure of all the waiting worlds (read Realities), we are choosing to step into this Cosmic river of infinite possibilities and out of the limitations of our illusory 5 senses where "nothing is left open and there's no time to decide".

    Again, which reality would you prefer? One where you are "mortal" and constantly being driven by the construct of Linear Time (tick, tick, tick), or one where you are eternal, capable of going anywhere, in any moment, with no limitations because LINEAR TIME CANNOT EXIST when matter simply pops in and out of existence based solely upon whether we are focusing upon it or not???

    And finally with his last verse...

    "You reach your hand to hold me
    But I can't be your guide
    Easy, I love you
    As I watch you glide
    Falling through wet forests
    On our moonlight drive"

    This is all about FREE WILL. Morrison can suggest to us to explore our inner minds, but he can't do it for us, he can't "be our guide"...WE must do it for ourselves. This is precisely why no Alien race, or subterranean culture is going to come to our rescue on this Earth and magically "fix" everything for us. WE must do it ourselves. He loves us, and will lovingly watch us as we individually try to "glide", (fly) freely, for the first time, but again, we must do this for ourselves.

    This was, and is, the reality of Jim Morrison's mind. He spoke from the perspective of up on the mountain top, seeing everything, instead of stuck down in the valley, with no great vision and no idea of what even lies over the next horizon. One is the realm of abundance, while the other defines limitation. As Morrison was very fond of saying, Life is only ever just a choice between Love or Fear in every moment...so let's all choose the Moonlight Drive!

    Thanks for reading!
    CharlieFreakon December 01, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General Commentalright....the doors. hail the lizard king.
    deddyarifon April 24, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentrare and excellent... is the a sexual or morbid reference i spy?
    seaaubadeon June 02, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is great. Great song to smoke to.
    BigMac72on July 05, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song is about a tryst by the sea, but i always made it out to be about getting high. Cause if your going to the moon your high. just what i thought
    JimMorrisonon March 04, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI have been onthat same roof , where Jim wrote in venice beach, there is a mural in his memory on that buildng, very very nice view
    The Lizard Queenon April 04, 2003   Link

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