Soft Parade by The Doors


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What is the Soft Parade by The Doors?Soft Parade symbolism

In the 1960’s during a time of drugs, psychedelic rock, alcohol, and of course protest songs protesting our presence in Vietnam, the Doors were a popular group. Jim Morrison, the lead singer, wrote many of their wandering song lyrics the group is known for including their ending track on their fourth studio release Soft Parade.

The Soft Parade has been interpreted many different ways. Some say it’s a psychedelic journey down the path of drug addiction, jumping from one subject to the next. Actually the song makes a subtle mockery of things that many people held near and dear during this time of war and peace. The first four lines of the song begin its mocking tone. “When I was back therein seminary school.

There was a person there who put forth the proposition that you can petition the lord with prayer, petition the lord with prayer, petition the lord with prayer. You cannot petition the lord with prayer.” Morrison didn’t believe in God. Many Protestants, and Christians in general, believe that you can take anything you need to God in a prayer, “petition the Lord”. Morrison mocks their beliefs giving his own opinion in the fourth line.

The next stanza talks of a sanctuary and asylum. In ancient times, once could go to an area for sanctuary or asylum from those who would be persecute you. No one could harm or kill you here. In the US you don’t have that luxury. There is no where you can go, he’s making mockery of a system that believes in justice for all and innocent until proven guilty.

Morrison goes on to talk about Things that most people would consider good or pleasurable. “Peppermint, miniskirts, chocolate candy, Champion sax, and a girl named Sandy.”  These would be considered fun things, good things (for most men at least). His talk about the four ways to get unraveled “sleep, travel, bandit up in the hills, and love your neighbor til his wife gets home,” is a mockery of what would have been believed to be wrong in 60’s society.

The idea of not doing anything with your life, to be complacent to not want anything better was quickly becoming an ideal of some of the hippies, which really annoyed their parents who wanted them to work for their living. The phrase “love your neighbor til his wife gets home,” is a direct mockery of what was the moral norm in that time. Homosexuals were even more stigmatized in that time, and as a man suggesting it he’s mocking those that hold that idea that it’s wrong.

Soft Parade continues its heavily disguised mockery of life. Life is a trip, which is what Morrison points out with this song. He even shines the lights on those going off to war thanks to the draft calling it a hunger in a green vest and tropic corridor, tropic treasure. Mocking the system and ending in a very subtle way is the Soft Parade.




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