Moonlight Drive – The Doors

jim morrison cosmic gif

When you think of the American Psychedelic Rock Band, “The Doors”, “Moonlight Drive” may not be the first song that comes to your mind. It wasn’t actually released as a single. Yet it was the first song written by lead singer Jim Morrison.

It was the B Side to “Love Me Two Times” released in 1967 by American Record Label, Elektra. The full length version of the song featured on The Doors, second album, “Strange Days”. Despite being the first song ever recorded by The Doors and regularly performed on the bands early live sets, it was omitted from their first album.

moonlight drive gif

“Moonlight Drive”

Let’s swim to the moon, uh huh
Let’s climb through the tide
Penetrate the evenin’ that the
City sleeps to hide

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

Let’s swim to the moon, uh huh
Let’s climb through the tide
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

Let’s swim to the moon
Let’s climb through the tide
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, baby
Moonlight drive

Come on, baby, gonna take a little ride
Down, down by the ocean side
Gonna get real close
Get real tight
Baby gonna drown tonight
Goin’ down, down, down

When Moonlight Drive was written, Jim Morrison was living in Venice Beach, Los Angeles, California enjoying the Bohemian Hippie lifestyle there amongst the artists, musicians and drifters. He had dropped out of University and had started writing poetry and song lyrics. Once he had written them he said “I had to sing them”. He got his chance in August 1965 when he bumped into Ray Manzarek on Venice Beach. They caught up and Ray asked him what he’d been doing. Jim said he’d been writing some songs and Ray asked to hear them. He closed his eyes and recited the first verse of Moonlight Drive.

moonlight drive meme

“When he’d finished, Ray said, “Those are the greatest fuckin’ song lyrics I’ve ever heard. Let’s start a rock ‘n’ roll band and make a million dollars.’

‘Exactly’, Jim said back. That’s what I had in mind all along.'”

(“No One Here Gets Out Alive – Jim Morrision Biography – Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman”)

moonlight drive doors meme

It was while living in Venice that Jim decided that he wanted to be in a rock band. He told his friend from Florida State University, Sam Kilman while lying in bed one day; “Do you know what we oughta do?…Start a Rock Group”. His friend told him he hadn’t played drums in years and asked him what he was going to do. “I’m gonna sing”, said Jim. “Can you sing”, Sam asked. “Fuck no! I can’t sing!” Jim barked. Sam asked if they had a rock band and if he could sing then what would they call it. He answered…

“THE DOORS. There’s the known. And there’s the unknown. And what separates the two is the door, and that’s what I want to be. Ahh wanna be th’ dooooorrrrr…”

(“No One Here Gets Out Alive – Jim Morrision Biography – Jerry Hopkins and Danny Sugerman”)

music is moonlight

“THE DOORS. There’s the known. And there’s the unknown. And what separates the two is the door, and that’s what I want to be. Ahh wanna be th’ dooooorrrrr…”

JIM MORRISON – Lead Singer of The Doors

Jim Morrison Doors Quote

The meaning of the song lyrics for Moonlight Drive are open to interpretation ranging  from the obvious, lovers on a road trip under the Moonlight driving to the beach for a romantic interlude under the Moonlight. Drug experimentation opening doorways to other dimensions, a song about pushing the limits of reality or injecting excitement to escape the mundane, or ultimately a song about Death.

“Recordings of live performances of the song reveal a link to a sort of death by drowning – whether murder, suicide or simply going too far.” (Wikipedia) It could also be viewed as perhaps a song about the accidental death of 2 lovers who went in too deep, or a song about sex or about a lost love. Quite simply it can be viewed as a song about Letting Go… Surrendering. Jim Morrison liked writing things that were ambiguous with different levels of meaning and that’s what this is. Multifaceted and Mysterious.

Moonlight Drive is a Poetic Psychedelic Love Song that transcends time and definition.

jim morrison comet quote

moonlight guitar

If you like this post you may also like 13 Songs about The Moon, SPACE Music, SPACE Disco and SPACE Rock, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Julia Dream – Dreamboat Queen, and Starry Starry Night

©SupernaturalHippie.com

(This post is by Anne-Marie at SupernaturalHippie.com – Not to be reproduced without prior consent.)

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