The Doors, Waiting for the Sun: behind the meaning of the lyrics

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“I’d like to do a song or a piece of music that’s just a pure expression of joy. Pure like a celebration of existence, you know? And like the coming of spring, like a sun rising. Just pure unbounded joy. I don’t think we’ve really done that yet.”

This is what Jim Morrison had in his mind. Apparently, in 1970 he wanted to abandon the gloomy moods of his previous compositions.

His Los Angeles had never been the solar city sung by The Beach Boys. More than a “land of the Sun”, of beaches and surfers, in his compositions the city appears always in the darkness. A city made of shops, colorful signs and artificial lights. So a vampire like him suddenly feels the urge for natural light. He craves it, he desires it. No wonder: every one of us waits for the morning after a long night.

A symbolic and deep message from Jim. Everything starts at dawn. Here come from the east (direction that recalls the biblical Eden) the first gleams of light. Hope comes, and with it the expectation that, after the first flares, the sun is so strong and warm that it can keep alive our new life.

The world needs light and answers. Jim sends his prayers directly to the sun. Why does everything seem to go so bad? Poverty, war, misery, suffering… only the sun can give him the answers, the sun that regulates everything, from life to death. Jim, like all of us, waits to be woken up, seeks an explanation for the universal disillusion in which we all find ourselves, which quickly transforms dreams into nightmares.

Jim doesn’t get the answers he was looking for. Perhaps the mystery of life shall remain a mystery. In front of the raw reality, in the end, he can only give up. The last sentence includes his discouragement and his impotence: this is the strangest life I’ve ever known. He talks about this life… as if he had seen and lived other ones. Maybe that’s exactly how it went.

At first flash of Eden we raced down to the sea,
Standing there on freedom shore.
Waiting for the sun, waiting for the sun,
Waiting for the sun.

Can’t you feel it, now that spring has come;
That it’s time to live in the scattered sun.
Waiting for the sun, waiting for the sun,
Waiting for the sun, waiting for the sun.

Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting,

Waiting for you to come along,
Waiting for you to hear my song,
Waiting for you to come along,
Waiting for you to tell me what went wrong.

This is the strangest life I’ve ever known.

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