What does Tell All The People mean?

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The Doors: Tell All The People Meaning


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Song Released: 1969

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Tell All The People Lyrics

Tell all the people that you see
Follow me
Follow me down
Tell all the people that you see
Set them free
Follow me down

You tell them they don't have to run
We're gonna pick up everyone
Come out and take me by my hand
Gonna bury all...


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    Mar 20th, 3:46pm report

    No, I think this song (written by Krieger) was about the various movements going on in the 1960's, especially those that advocated retreat from society (bury all our troubles in the sand), militant politics (can't you see me growing get your guns), sexual revolution (flowing revelry), self-actualization (your life's complete), liberation (with the one that set you free), getting in touch with your "inner child" (where milky babies seem to be), cults of personality (come out and take me by my hand),etc. I think Krieger is saying that all of these movements promise more than they deliver (follow me down, i.e., worse off than you were before). JMO


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    Jul 16th, 2013 7:12am report

    Revelries might = happiness in Israel or their celebration with the golden calf in the desert... Bury all our troubles in the sand: sand=desert
    Milky babies could = land of milk and honey where they would have children and become a great nation.
    I'm pretty sure they went north though, not south as previous poster suggested, but "down" doesn't have to literally mean south. Also, many translations of exodus has god literally saying to Moses "tell all the people..." (Google it).


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    Jul 16th, 2013 7:59am report

    I agree, always associated it with the story of exodus. "Follow me across the sea = Israelites following Moses across the Red Sea which Moses/god parted for them.
    God told Moses to tell the Israelites that he "saw" their struggles in slavery and instructed Moses to convince the pharaoh to "set them free." Seems pretty obvious to me!


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    Mar 19th, 2012 3:49pm report

    If anybody has ever done LSD (which I can assure you, the Doors have, they stole their name from Huxley's "The Doors of Perception," regarding the psychedelic experience...) it seems pretty clear that Morrison is talking about the religious and spiritual awakening that that experience can bring about. This song is a call to mankind that religious awakening can be attained and Morrison is trying to lead the way.


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    Jan 7th, 2011 1:20pm report

    I get this sense that they're rebelling against god and they're talking about going to hell to be set free from god's wrath.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway


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    Mar 8th, 2009 3:49pm report

    Robbie Krieger wrote this song and does anyone else besides me see the connection between these lyrics and Moses and the Exodus out of Egypt???? “set them free”.... and... “You tell ‘em they don’t have to run” because the Pharaoh finally, willfully let them go and they didn’t have to run or “escape” out of Egypt.

    If you know the story of the Hebrews slaves in Egypt from the Bible and everything that happened and then apply the lyrics, you can see it....
    “Follow me down..." meaning they were heading out of Egypt SOUTH (down) into the desert. Look at the map and the Exodus out of Egypt... They went “down” out of Egypt... Follow me down...

    Then... “Can’t you see the wonder at your feet? Your life’s complete.”...
    meaning... not only the wooden staff, once thrown down at Pharaoh’s feet, turning into a snake, but also the creeping death that consumed the firstborn unbelieving Egyptians (just as Moses declared it would when Pharaoh’s words actually created his own son’s death by reversing the spoken curse) these prophecies happened at the feet. Along with the Nile turning red.
    “Can’t you see me growing? Get your guns!” ... Here is where Moses actually persuades Pharaoh to let the Hebrews go, thus the possession of God’s power and Moses faith is “growing” and allowing the Hebrew slaves the “ammunition” (guns) to defend themselves.
    Then... “Gonna burry all our troubles in the sand”...
    meaning the Hebrew slaves were destined to Follow Moses down into the desert where they could put 400 years of bondage behind them and look forward to the land of Milk and Honey, as God promised them... Thus... “Where milky babies seem to be
    molded, flowing revelry, With the one that set them free ...”
    meaning... a new life... a new generation of people are being born to God and are taking delight, rejoicing, having a noisy party “revelry” in the land of milk and honey, which is generally thought to be in the area of Iraq...
    And... Moses was an extremely humble man, never boastful or gloating, and many times asking God “Why Me? I am not a good speaker... ”... This is where I see the interpretation of “It’s just me!”... Like “It’s ONLY humble little me, ”... but please follow me down... Into the land of freedom...
    Can anyone else see this?? AND please... don’t respond until you read the story of the Exodus!

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