Monday, 8 September 2008

Lyrics & their meaning Part 16- Riders of the storm

Ever wondered what your favorite song was about? Probably not, which is good because a nice melody and tune are far more enticing than words. Church hymns have truly inspiring lyrics and meaningful messages but don’t really jump out of the record stores. At last a biased attempt is being made to determine what some of the best-loved tunes are really about. We will have a look at the background of these songs and see if history can tell us if any light can be shed on these cryptic verses, poignant prose or just Grade Two poetry.

Riders On The Storm (1971) The Doors

The Doors and in particular Jim Morrison have for unknown reasons established Godhead status in some quarters, but since the majority of these people still think it’s the sixties explains a good chunk of that reasoning.
Riders on the storm was the second single lifted from the L.A Woman album in 1971.It was the last studio album the band would record together prior to Morrison’s death in Paris in July 1971.
Riders of the Storm is also believed to be the last song recorded by Morrison.
Riders on the Storm is a moody piece of music with sinister overtones mixed with thunderclaps and heavy reverb guitar passages. Then the cabaret brooding of Morrison with his inane lyrics add a touch of stupidity to an atmosphere that begs something dire.
 ‘There’s a killer on the road, his mind is squirming like a toad’.
It’s almost as if the band thought of a good line to start the song  and then totally lost interest.
There doesn’t seem to be anyone game enough of Morrisons fan base to stop praising his so called genius and explain what the hell he was singing about.
In fairness to Morrison, the song was created as a group composition and compared to the way Morrison was writing, it would be probably more apt to lay the blame on Robby Krieger, the one who stated the song was originally inspired by Ghost Riders in the Sky.
If we compare lyrics from the Doors first single from 1967 Light my Fire from their debut album The Doors with lyrics from “Riders”:

Light My Fire
You know that it would be untrue,
You that I would be a liar,
 If I were to say to you,
Girl we couldn’t get much higher.

Riders Of The Storm
Riders on the Storm, Riders on the Storm,
Into this house we’re born, Into this world we’re thrown,
Like a dog without a bone an actor out on loan ,
Riders on the storm

Typical Moon, Spoon, June drivel Kreiger had written before.

By the time LA Women was released Jim had had enough of the adulation of fans and being hassled by authorities he had moved to Paris to be in an artistic environment, not realising they all left decades ago.

Morrison’s early death made him a mythical figure as stories got twisted and the need for the devoted to keep the memory of their hero alive. The rumours that Morrison hadn’t died but had gone into hiding to concentrate on his art started before he was cold on the slab.

Thus starting a Morrison sighting spree that predated Elvis by 6 years. (One wonders if these people would spend as much time searching for their Nanna if they didn’t see her in the coffin) This in turn created a demand for more Morrison scribbles and the search for meaning in words that added up to nothing. Morrison was a good looking, passable singer with great charisma who believed his own publicity and it killed him. At the end of his career he was reduced to flashing his dick and ruining performances for the band. He wasn’t a mad genius he was just mad at the end and it reflects in his words, even the ones he probably didn't write..
© 2004 Shidot Prod.

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