The Story Behind The Song: The Doors' Classic 'The End', Jim Morrison's Oedipal Nightmare

by Jack Whatley
Credit: Elektra Records
Credit: Elektra Records

“It could be almost anything you want it to be.”
➖Jim Morrison

The above reply to a usual question likely tells you everything you need to know about, not only The Doors classic song ‘The End’, but also Jim Morrison the poet, the singer and the idol. Rightly seen as one of the seminal band’s best tracks, ‘The End’ has enjoyed a charmed life ever since it was spat out by the band during the dying embers of the sixties.

At once, the song is a delicate and poignant musing about the final curtain call we must all face but also producing themes of Oedipal relations, the destruction of one’s father and the song that got the group banned by the Whisky-A-Go-Go. It is, without doubt, the archetypal Doors tune.

Released in 1967, as the summer of love continued to swirl around California and swallow up any lost souls as it did, ‘The End’ is one song that can rightly be interpreted in any way you desire. Morrison originally composed the song about his girlfriend Mary Werbelow, who followed Morrison across the country from Florida to reside on the West Coast and find their hippie Mekkah.


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