What does Riders on the Storm mean?

The Doors: Riders on the Storm Meaning

Album cover for Riders on the Storm album cover

Song Released: 1971

Riders on the Storm Lyrics

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 top rated interpretation:
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    Aug 17th 2011 !⃝

    If anyone would care to watch late Bill Hicks's stand up act called "Its just a ride", they would understand this song better as I feel a lot has been derived from this song into his act or maybe out of pure coincidence (our luck), many have tried to deliver this message through their work..

    Trying my hands at understanding this song better-

    Riders on the storm
    riders on the storm
    - our life is like a never ending ride and we are all riders.Its a tough world out there, almost like a storm but we gotta ride through these hurdles anyway.

    Into this house we're born
    into this world we're thrown
    - we are born to certain people, put in certain communities, groups and other divisions but the fact remains, we're all born "alone" and pushed into this world without a warning. It's an individual battle right till the end.

    Like a dog without a bone
    an actor out alone
    - we are left as "desperate" as a dog without a bone and as "purposeless" as an actor out alone.

    There is a killer on the road
    his brain is squirming like a toad
    - our ride wont be so easy, a killer will always beckon in the name of government, politics, religion, drugs, temptations, ego, money, power, greed etc and they have their ways because the evil is constantly manipulating to bring us down.

    Take a long holiday
    let your children play
    - Nevertheless enjoy your ride because that's all that it is. Do everything that makes you genuinely happy.See the world and make children smile.

    If ya give this man a ride
    sweet memory will die
    - If you give into this killer which will be like a temptation of false happiness, you will not enjoy your ride.Life will slip away in petty needs and you will not have one good memory of it to flash before your eyes.

    Girl you gotta love your man
    girl you gotta love your man
    - A woman's love is everything a man ever needs. That is the purpose of life.

    Take him by the hand
    make him understand
    - Only a woman can help a man ride on the right path. It's only her who can make him understand, there is no greater purpose than love in this journey. Everything else is a false reality.

    The world on you depends
    our life will never end
    - Tranquility in the world depends on a woman's love, only she can show a man as a woman and as a mother how to love and be loved and if no man is left untouched, life would be infinite. (These two lines may also largely refer to sex and reproduction, as that is life itself)

    If you are still reading, really appreciate it. Long live dreamers!


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Aug 27th 2006 !⃝

    This song sort of implies that we are all riding on the bridge of an impending disaster... From the "killer on the road", to the plea "girl you gotta love your man", it's all about how there's always this turning point between life and death and about living on the edge of this precipice... Riding on the coming storm.

    What the last person said adds perspective to this... It's a song about impending doom, and being able to see the approaching end of all things.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Jan 23rd 2013 !⃝

    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.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 17th 2023 !⃝

    It sounds as if this song is about Billy Cook, the hitchhiker, who killed the whole family who picked them up, and it's about the risks that one takes when s/he either hitchhikes or picks up a hitchhiker.

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 24th 2020 !⃝

    You know , I don’t really connect to the song because of what they meant . I like it because it reminds me what it meant to me lol. Hell I’m 50+! I just know it was fun!!

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 1st 2019 !⃝

    Reality once again, forseial killers killing innocence raiders In the storm, means the last time you Sarmon slaves open a black gate of demons of Sarmon, guess your reality is these Warriors of Pit of Dispear Solar system, that you took from The Mazia of Egypt, was her soul, fire abilities, and her electricity, 7, 965 years this traitor who realize that killing people after war world two, for your shade demon robot Joanne Leduc and your Voice of Earth Dawn Delany, and your Puppet Masters with dilax voices guess you forgot the Eye of the Storm of Rockbottom, itold you before Your favorite Fake Propecty of Earth one which you were order by the Game of Witz laws on DP Earth Ten, you will steal me one more time without asking for assistance, that it will be your last time, and that your Creators that betray the Sword of Order and justice will activate and you will have 6 halacost to stop if you do not aid me in saving earth ten you did not aid in saving an earth, be wise your Andorra and her female whores and male whores, wanted just the Blood of Earth just to killed because your Anne Margret Johnston, just doesn't have it in her fucking head that she's a mortal king whore, well all her gads and gadeses are all dead, and only 21 chosen creators that defeated the real Sarimon and her whore Sarmon, and all his creators that said Sarimon's legacy is finally damn well beyond dead, so your crack whore Tina creamer dream of controling Sarmon is over, so for you not saving earth ten, and your act of war against the tree of life by getting your sex slaves of gads and gadeses to steal brand new trees from the land infront of the lava falls, guess you won't elecuted the Creator of All Creation you call the Known, a Creator that told you in war world two that you lost in all games of Witz, that you had to sign for killing Anne Frank, the little girl whom you thought you had control over by always stealing from Heaven Solar System, well guess what all you power of gads and gadeses even the ones in Joanne Leduc's bedroom as your fucking him/she robot of Sparta Halacost, because all you hear from her fucking mouth is how The Romans kick her as, you forget how I can create death, so tell your fuck up druggies Tracy Hutton, to scream Sarimon's legacy name in the back yard because this Fire Supernova lite him and her up like the fourth of July, the day my music died, oh your candles you lite for me for removing Joanne Leduc's tooth out of my brain, take that and ram it so far up your as, you all killed innocences, you forget the order of life death and reborn, so you can be normal, you finally fail saving your last halacost number 6from being, the trees if life, now hell and heaven is one, and it's for your SAVAGE deeds of serialkillings of eating humans and dragons and converting your neighbors into lycans Teddy Bears cats dogs, my father king Arthur the beyond your imagination I believe I told you that in 1972 when you are not allowed to ever create a fucking thing again, NOW YOU WILL REMEMBER what RAIDERS in THE STORM is all about, oneinute you were there now you are no longer there, all that is left is your clothing and shoes, and your furniture in an empty house,nothing else, THAT MOTHER Bitches is for touching all the Judgements who parents said SARIMON'S name as I been told was just for shits and giggles, guess REALITY is to much for your nigers Kate Middleton and her cousin Magen Marble Roddenberry Robots, enjoy The Raiders of the storm, this confirm act of war was down out of jealousy because your not getting a earth, ibeleive I told you on earth ten that if you destroyed earth ten, that the Law you sign on memory scene infraction laws that there will be no earth, so that's what the schools say with the Mazia of Egypt Arie Hayde Ta Ra'daih says ops I took the oasis'sword and gave heavenand hell the oasises not your slums, bye bye have been fun watching you kill the oxygen you need to exist, bye the way those were the last seeds I had to aid of a balance of your reality,YOU DON'T OWN a damn thing for your defiance of being in earth one known as Kepler get off the meteorite drugs that hit that planet, you won't be getting into things that does not belong to you, 39567 gads and gadeses only 21 lives as of 0430am 7965 years after you attack earth, because your voice of the realm you were asign to kill is still alive and knowing that is Lisa and Tina as Tracey your all dead for your wanting to kill baby trees, so I guess the law states riders in the storm to make their final approach so far on the friendly side 85,123 soliders are decease and all that is left is their cloths and it started at 2400h for stealing the Mazia of Egypt and giving me nothing in last Feburary, so your final act of a halacost and first act of a halacost gave you beyond code black level 20

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 25th 2019 !⃝

    The serial killers that targeted women and why. Perhaps, a salvation may be if women were to take their man (the killer) by the hand and make him ... Then, this may lessen the killer's motive.

  8. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 21st 2019 !⃝

    I think is something similar to Johnny Cash "Ghost riders in the sky"...

  9. anonymous
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    May 24th 2018 !⃝

    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!

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 11th 2017 !⃝

    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.

  11. NatBrat
    click a star to vote
    Oct 5th 2017 !⃝

    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 ♡☆♡

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 5th 2017 !⃝

    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

  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 20th 2017 !⃝

    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.

  14. kooljohn176
    click a star to vote
    Jan 5th 2016 !⃝

    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.

  15. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 27th 2013 !⃝

    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".

  16. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Oct 24th 2013 !⃝

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

  17. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 24th 2013 !⃝

    One word: heroin.

  18. Coulditbe
    click a star to vote
    May 31st 2013 !⃝

    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.

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