What does Riders on the Storm mean?

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The Doors: Riders on the Storm Meaning

Song Released: 1971


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Riders on the Storm Lyrics

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Riders on the storm
Riders on the storm
Into this house were born
Into this world were thrown
Like a dog without a bone
An actor out on loan
Riders on the storm

Theres a killer on the road
His brain is squirmin like a toad
Take a long...

  1. 1TOP RATED

    anonymous
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    Jun 18th, 2006 6:36pm report


    I think this song is this song is about life. I think they are saying that in life we are like riders on a storm. like we have to tough it out. I think when he says "theres a killer on the road" he's saying there are dangers in life and if you give them a ride(let them happen) you and people around you(family) will suffer. I think when he says "like a dog without a bone into this world were thrown" he means we all we start out with close to nothing (at least most of us) and we only get out of life what we take. I think when he says "take a long holiday, let your children play" he is saying life is too short so enjoy you family and have fun. overall this song is about life.



  2.  

    anonymous
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    May 24th, 5:58pm report


    it's about a carpet salesman who is worried he is going to be fired (ie: the storm)

    his wife/gf is pregnant (ie: into this house is born)

    house is a metaphor for life.


    confusion, dread and lack of wages (ie: thrown as in a fit)


    can't take a holiday, no job,

    can't let the children play, no job,


    can't give the dog a bone, no job,


    actor out on loan (ie: gather more training, how to deal with disappointments and setback)

    wrap it up

    Girl ya gotta love your man
    Take him by the hand
    Make him understand
    The world on you depends
    Our life will never end

    The wife is compassionate, she binds the carpet salesman and the children to their family unit.


    He gets fire but will get another job and they will be OK tomorrow to experience some part of it again.

    That's Life!



  3.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 11th, 2017 10:47pm report


    I think deep in the subconscious mind of Jim he somehow tried to tell the world that he would be leaving us very soon?
    Drugs and drink apart I believe he gave his darkest most memorable emotions in this song and it was his greatest epitaph.



  4.  

    NatBrat
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    Oct 5th, 2017 10:00pm report


    What drives "sexual creativity" paradoxically is "fear of immortality".To harness control; To play the central character in your co written production of; 'killing the instrusive thoughts'that grow like weeds in the unrelenting environment of the 'self'; Morrison in ambilvant grandiose form entertains thoughts of dominance over the harshness of dry reality. Now his desiresable pleasureable dreams become submissive to his any wishes. Riders of the Storm! Narcissistic in tone... Mimicking his Shadow Morrison records his whispered lyrics. Duality of the 'light and dark' elements in us all.Perhaps he cursed his own fate as it was his final recording. Authentic Mr Jim Morrison. Timeless intelligence ♡☆♡



  5.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 5th, 2017 10:17pm report


    Riders on the Storm. What drives "sexual creativity" paradoxically is "fear of immortality". To harness the control; master the power.To be the killer of intrusive thoughts in the hostile unrelenting environment of "The Self.Is dominance to rule with awareness of self-consciousness. To over-ride death;is empowerment of creativity.
    Morrison's final artistic legacy. Mimicking in nature is his 'Shadow'.The recorded whispered lyrics.Duality?. Was he "Riding his Storm" Or did he Fate his own ending? "Fantasy" intelligence of infinite design



  6.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 20th, 2017 6:13am report


    Riders On The Storm was the last song the Doors recorded. If we think about the lyric there is the line 'let your children play' and there is also the line 'gentle street where children play' from the song Soft Parade. Is Paul Rothchild the producer here? No, some other guy. Well, all that aside, I guess it"s about some guy giving some other guy a a joint, that is 'bogart' a joint so the second guy can get it until the first guy is through, hence actor, Bogart, was an actor. The part about the killer, that is his idea about the road, the killer could be anyone, because he states a killer one, for the actual number of killer(s). Or, is the killer flopped on the road and he has to swerve to avoid him? Take a long holiday could mean he is giving you instruction on what to do. You swerved in time, the killer didn't get run over,you went on, found a Motel 6, booked a long holiday . You got to love you man is a what the person is hoping for to happen. What if they got side-tracked or started to play the whole scenario with some other 'rider' who was also 'on the storm'. You can't just ride put on the wipers and go. The thing I forgot to mention is Ray Manzarek,good piano. Fender Rhodes, I guess. So you think the part he whispers in unison is strange? I did. One word: pot.



  7.  

    kooljohn176
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    Jan 5th, 2016 1:01pm report


    By now most likely we heard that this song was inspired by a western cowboy song called ''ghost riders in the sky'' to come down with that ''northern wind'' twist to it that was on the land about the death of ''Billy'' The Kid to put out the dust storm that he left behind in thought before the madness got thrown out without a home with Manson and his children that could've had some influence on this song. The truth of the matter for the most part to bring the pieces together was by no other than JIM MORRISON'S own experience by hitchhiking many times to get rides from strangers on highway roads to see his girlfriend. This left a psychic scar on him that has most of his influencial creativity in it that became his last song. ''Riders on the storm'' is and are about ''the forces'' that could come in different forms for us symbolically speaking that are either warning us to protect ourselves by their help like they're guiding angels to guide us to be more intuitively and enjoy life with our children and let them play in the hope to be away from a possible danger that could come as a killer when we are going through the storm with them. OR on the other side of the coin ''riders on the storm'' could be dark ententies that maybe are conspiaring in our sinful nature to be used against us in our travels that are also influencing, but ''possessing'' the mind of a possible killer on the road by the dark ententies that could become uncontrollable in the hitchhiker's mind, but he could be anybody else that is maybe up to no good within these forces if they collide with each other to form a unnatural perfect storm with the ungodly, if taking one chance to many to stop for the wrong person on the road, instead of just riding through the storm and pray to The Lord for safety to give you strength to understand your man by not taking his gun away that he needs to be a man in your life.



  8.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 27th, 2013 10:26pm report


    I think Jim wrote this song because when he was a child he witnessed a horrifying car accident and in the song it says "If you give this man a ride sweet family will die".



  9.  

    anonymous
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    Oct 24th, 2013 10:00pm report


    have you ever heard the hitchhiker?
    if you want the answer you must to listen it



  10.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 24th, 2013 6:26pm report


    One word: heroin.



  11.  

    Coulditbe
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    May 31st, 2013 5:19pm report


    I think he thought his writing was the storm, and the riders were people that followed his lyrics. The killer on the road could be anybody in a car, and if your hitch hiking it could be the guy that accidentely hits you and leaves you to die. Like all the road kill that he also could have been thinking about as he walked along the road. He thought of himself as an actor but without getting paid for it, so he was out on loan.
    And saying that you are born into a house before you are thrown into this world possibly means you are born before you start realizing you are alive. So that means you are in a house, before you realize you are on a planet. And the storm also means the realization starting and then manifesting into like Jimmy Buffet puts it, a tumultuous uproar or in Jim Morrisons words a storm with riders and he could have placed himself as being a rider on someone elses realization. Since you are born into a house and then later have realization. Which if you realize everybody else is to. So he is saying there is no leaders just followers, because we were all born in a house in a variable way and meaning, we are all born and then realize. Which would bring up someone thinking they can be born realizing, and possibly Jim was thinking he will be a rider on that storm when it happens. Or whoever wrote the song.



  12.  

    anonymous
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    Mar 22nd, 2013 3:01pm report


    This song is about drunk driving.Yes it shows in the movie about a bad car wreck which somewhat inspired
    it.
    "Theres a killer on the road, his brain is swirling like a toad. Take a long holiday.Let your children play.If you give this man a ride. Sweet family will die".

    That is saying that if you drink and drive you could easily kill and die in a wreck.
    The title "Riders on the storm" refers to the disassociation we feel when impaired by drugs or alcohol



  13.  

    anonymous
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    Jan 23rd, 2013 1:38pm report


    First of all we can say that the song is a real mood piece. I think that everyone who heard the song for the first time, noticed his tension the song brings up, the dark feelings that are being generated from the early start of the song, even before Jim begins to sing.

    The song itself is based on “Ghostriders in the sky” by Vaughn Monroe. The title is a metaphor for the struggle of life. All of us experience sometimes in our lives this struggle of live trough certain hard lucks. This fact make us think trough about live which is not as beautiful as we and others thought it would be. Death, loss of love, war, aggression, hate, … and so on: sooner or later we all get confronted with these things, without the knowledge how to deal with it. This makes us all a stormrider.

    The first verse handles about this: we are thrown in this world without nothing and have to deal with it, searching for answers for the deprivation that we encounter in our lives.

    The second verse shows us an example that explains the first verse: a happy family on a holiday with the kids, not aware of the disaster that comes over them when they pick up a hitchhiker who murders the family. This is an extreme situation which Jim used, because he had the intension making a movie about this murdering hitchhiker. He had the script, and for a while there were plans to make this movie. This was one of his dreams to do. It almost happened but was been canceled at the last moment. He used this theme in the song and in his own made movie “HWY, an American pastoral”

    The third verse handles about his problems with Pamela and her heroine addiction. Although they were a couple, they had a lot of fights and struggles to overcome. They separated many times, but eventually they couldn’t miss each other what made them come together every time again. He referred to her as his cosmic mate, although they were in a constant struggle with each other.

    The song let us see how a happy situation with nothing to worry about, can switch in an instance to the horror an disaster that life sometimes can be, transforming us in riders on a storm. The mood is meanly set by the music but strongly amplifyed when Jim begins to sing. They did it so well that it can be considerd as a masterpiece with iconic proportion, like many of their songs. Among the many great things The Doors did, they were masters at creating a scene in your mind. They could transform rock to something magic. This was not only Jim’s contribution, but a contribution of the band as a whole. This fact is sometimes underestimated but can not be neglected.



  14.  

    anonymous
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    Nov 27th, 2012 11:26pm report


    My two cents:
    He doesn't mean we're all riders on the storm, just a few, predestined to follow a different path

    The killer 'On The Road' is Dean Moriarty. The verse says that if this hitchhiker is picked up - ie a 'rider on the storm' kid reads the book and the lifestyle invades his head - then goodbye happy family memories

    It was all metaphors in Morrison's lyrics/poetry, it shouldn't be read too literally



  15.  

    anonymous
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    Sep 23rd, 2012 9:40am report


    What this this song is really about is of a guy who is let loose from a mental institution (into this world we're thrown), only to find that someone has been screwing his partner (there's a killer on the road). The felon is suffering from guilt (his brain is squirming like a toad)and so has to take a break from time to time. The felon doesn't understand why he does what he does and therefore feels like an actor out on loan. Indeed he is the real rider on the storm.



  16.  

    anonymous
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    Jun 6th, 2012 6:40pm report


    Strange but notice how similar the music and rhythm are between Billy Jean and Riders.



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