The Doors: “The End” (2. Analysis – part 2)

THE  END” (part 2)

[Verse 5]
The killer awoke before dawn
He put his boots on
He took a face from the ancient gallery
And he walked on down the hall
He went into the room where his sister lived, and then he
Paid a visit to his brother, and then he
He walked on down the hall, and
And he came to a door
And he looked inside
“Father?” “Yes, son?” “I want to kill you”
“Mother? I want to…”

In the second part, the song enters a spoken section and reaches a dramatic climax with the lines, “Father / Yes son? / I want to kill you / Mother, I want to…” (with the next words screamed out unintelligibly), where Morrison seems to give voice in a rock & roll setting to the Oedipus complex.
In the autobiography Riders on the Storm, My Life with Jim Morrison and the Doors” , John Densmore recalls when Morrison explained the meaning:
“At one point Jim said to me during the recording session…. ‘Does anybody understand me?’ And I said yes, I do, and then we got into a long discussion and Jim kept saying over and over kill the father, fuck the mother, kill all those things in yourself which are instilled in you and are not of yourself, they are alien concepts which are not yours, they must die. So what Jim says at the end of the Oedipus section, which is essentially the same thing that the classic says, kill the alien concepts, get back reality, the end of alien concepts, the beginning of personal concepts.”

In this verse, after having lost control of his life, Jim starts a journey with a killer down a hall in a place which was his home. He goes through that long hall (reminiscent of the womb) and an ancient gallery of masks, where he takes one of the faces hanging on the wall. This marks the transition to a philosophical level, in a voyage similar to that of Oedipus. On the Greek stage  masks were used, and Oedipus Rex is an Athenian tragedy by Sophocles.
It follows the story of King Oedipus of Thebes as he discovers that he fulfilled the prophecy of murdering his father and marrying his mother, without meaning to do either (in the Greek myth, Oedipus was abandoned at birth and thus he did not know who his parents were). He is a victim of ultimate inevitability, a victim of the impossibility of escaping one’s fate.
Sigmund Freud explained that the ancient tragedy was still so effective since: “His destiny moves us only because it might have been ours — because the oracle laid the same curse upon us before our birth as upon him. It is the fate of all of us, perhaps, to direct our first sexual impulse towards our mother and our first hatred and our first murderous wish against our father.”

In Freudian philosophy, killing the father means killing the social norms, religious teachings, and other cultural influences which are instilled from the outside and control our mind. Sexually conquering the mother means getting back to mother nature, to our essence and embracing everything that is expansive, flowing, and alive in the mind.


Come on baby, take a chance with us
Come on baby, take a chance with us
Come on baby, take a chance with us
And meet me at the back of the blue bus
Of the blue bus, on the blue bus, on the blue bus
Come on yeah

Here, he repeats the invitation to follow him on his journey of discovery (or on his acid trip)

Fuck, fuck-ah, yeah
Fuck, fuck
Fuck, fuck
Fuck, fuck, fuck yeah!
Come on baby, come on baby
Fuck me baby, fuck yeah
Fuck, fuck, fuck, yes!
Fuck, yeah, come on baby
Fuck me baby, fuck fuck
Woah, woah, woah, yeah
Fuck yeah, do it, yeah
Come on!
Huh, huh, huh, huh, yeah
Kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill

This section is generally inaudible, except for the repetition of “kill” at the end, and some sounds of Jim Morrison scatting.
It was eight years after his death, that this section gained notice when film director Francis Ford Coppola requested the use of this song for his film “Apocalypse Now”. There was a sort of misunderstanding, because, when copies of the song were requested from Elektra Records, the studio accidentally sent the original master tracks, in which the song could be heard in an unmixed state.

In the film the opening sequence fades into “The End,” which is also featured during the end.
Coppola, who had met Jim Morrison at the UCLA Film School, appreciated the song very much.

The message of the song is well suited to that of the film. In both of them a deeper and deeper descent into darkness is present and there are several references to the war in the lyrics, seen as a situation capable of dehumanizing man. In addition, the “blue bus” may refer to the bus that takes soldiers to the training camps before sending them to the front.

This is the end
Beautiful friend
This is the end
My only friend, the end

The song is now back to its departure point.
Now the end may acquire all of its meanings: an exploration of the mystery of death and our fear of it, regeneration and rebirth, an escape from reality, or breaking the boundaries of human perception.

[Verse 6]
It hurts to set you free
But you’ll never follow me
The end of laughter and soft lies
The end of nights we tried to die
This is the end

These lines are full of bittersweet nostalgia and probably come from the first version of the song, meant as a farewell love song.

The end

22 thoughts on “The Doors: “The End” (2. Analysis – part 2)

  1. The End’s analysis is full of meanings and meanings that, in fact, the Doors throughout its existence with Jim revealed. Beatles and Rolling Stones were on a plane where they couldn’t even reach the Doors. if there was a break, and especially in the deepening of the lyrics, it passes necessaryly and rigorously by Jim Morrison and his band. And it is in it, rupture, that The End symbolizes the whole system be it social, be it personal, be affective, family, political … Morrison was able, with suffering, to channel the senses and meanings into the lyrics and the song has rhythm and harmonies that duel with words and at the same time meet. as I had written before, I always have The End as a fresh start. What one day ends, the next begins as new (I believe the choice for Revelation Now was not by chance). I really enjoyed thinking about the lyrics, listening to the song. and your posts are brilliant. do think and that’s something I deeply admire. greetings from Porto Alegre.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks you for your excellent comment and your encouragement🤗
      Your reflections on the Doors and Jim Morrison are profound and I find them really valid. I also think that an End generates a Rebirth in the eternal cycle of life


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