Doors, The (Jim Morrison)/soft parade


Smolley wrote at 2007-10-26 21:28:07
The Soft Parade is about the 1960's.It was pieced together from a few different poems. The lyrics are not very cryptic if your knowledgeable of 60's events. The specific lyrics taken in context has to do with hippies/protesters, 'The soft parade has now begun..', 'people out to have some fun..', 'cobra on my left, leopard on my right' appears to be a metaphor for the 'establishment'.

Left and Right are obvious political descriptions and it only seems to make sense taken in that way.

The part,'Tropic corridor, tropic treasure, What got us this far, to this mild equator' is a very obvious reference to Vietnam. Most of The Soft Parade is decipherable. The end of the piece,'When all else fails, we can whip the horses eyes, And make them sleep, and cry',is confusing; it has nothing to do with the 60's. You have to know details about Jim Morrison to understand what this was all about. It refers to the German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche,going insane in Turin while witnessing a horse being whipped and beaten in the street. Jim Morrison had an unusual interest in the philosopher's mental breakdown and had a desire at some point while at UCLA, of making a film involving this.

Jim Morrison was an unusual,intelligent, and very well read individual, who incorporated a vast assortment of elements in his poetry/ music. With that in mind, a fair amount of his work is understandable.

Justin Nathan wrote at 2008-01-08 16:41:01
Whilst the answer Elizabeth gives is somewhat insightful it is not the true meaning of "cobra on my left, leopard on my right".

As you may or may not know, Jim Morrison identified strongly with Dionysis, the Thracian god of wine and fertility and a major figure from Greek mythology and in Jim's poetry/songs.  

Dionysus is often shown riding a leopard, wearing a leopard skin, or in a chariot drawn by panthers. Furthermore the bull, the serpent, the ivy and the wine are the signs of the characteristic Dionysian atmosphere, infused with the unquenchable life of the god.

In The Soft Parade there is "a cobra on my left, leopard on my right" as in the middle is Dionysis - Jim Morrison.

Hope this helps

Justin Nathan

daniel wrote at 2008-01-27 10:32:37
no, its an egyptian theme, look at the dead pharoah sarcophagus photos, you will see on the crown diadem of the phaorahs head, a cobra and a leopard. These beasts serve as spirit guides and protectors into the afterlife.

John Ladd wrote at 2008-07-28 18:49:05
Greek and Egyptian mythology have many parallels and there are examples of similar events and characters being describe din both - so it is likely that you are both right in this case.

Walter wrote at 2009-02-23 13:17:48
The line "Cobra on my left, leopard on my right" also refers to the native American shamanism as they believed that there were three so called power animals that helped them on their shamanic healing journey. One on the right, one on the left and one inside you (In Jim Morrisons case could be the lizard:D)

JRM wrote at 2009-08-12 12:12:31
The cobra on my left leopard on my right is actually an evocation of Jims association with Dionysus, if you look at images of the Greek god you will see him depicted this way

Sean wrote at 2009-10-19 18:48:30
I feel you are all right on the path to figuring out Jim's mystique whether it be wrapped in Greek mythology, native American culture (shamanism) or symbolic for Jim's rebellious behavior towards authority.  One thing for sure, he definitely wanted to free people from the limitations we restrain ourselves from.

Hub wrote at 2010-02-12 21:34:09
For me, This song expresses the balance of power between the youth and the polices, on one side the hippies partying peacefully, of the other one the policemen: I believe that the cobra means the bat of the policemen and the leopard their pistols ( fast bullets. Moreover, at the end of the song, the cops take action and "want to kill someone"...

softporn wrote at 2010-03-08 14:58:44
I always thought whip the horses eye was about having a wank, after all else fails, and your misses goes to sleep and maybe cries?

Leandro Costa wrote at 2011-06-27 16:05:37
I found out something interesting when I read about Feng Shui and the "Tiger and the Dragon" symbols. At this point, I remembered Jim Morrison's song. Cobra (Dragon) on my left, Leopard (Tiger) on my right. It could just a coincidence.

Chee Chee Rodriguez wrote at 2013-04-03 20:31:11
I thought I had read somewhere that the literal translation of these lyrics were from a costume party where there was folks dressed as a cobra and leopard.

This also is comesurate with the line "Deer woman in a silk dress, girls with beads around their necks, kiss the hunter of the green vest who has wrestled before with lions in the night. It wouldn't surprise me if this was the depiction of a dress up party, its symbolic meaning non withstanding.

The Hunter with the green vest may refer to Robbie as according to one of the biography books written by either Ray or John (I don't remember which), Robbie had a pet bob cat that he, if this is correct, "played" with (wrestled before with lions in the night!).

To further that, the author of the above goes on to say that Hyacinth house was written with Robbie in mind. The line "I feel like someone's following me" and " feed the lions, this day", was about the bob cat following Morrison to the bathroom and of course Robbie's feeding of the beast..  

bluvisnu wrote at 2015-11-20 16:34:28
There is a cobra on the left and a leopard on the right of the cover image of the French passport, maybe was he already planning to come to Paris ?

Doors, The (Jim Morrison)

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I can answer almost any question in reference to the life of Jim Morrison. I have been a Doors fan for as long as I can remember, and I am a self proclaimed Jim Morrison junkie. I have read eight biographies and all of Jim's poerty books. I am always looking for new literature to increase my knowledge.


I have read eight biographies on the life of Jim Morrison, including "Break On Through, The Life And Death of Jim Morrison" by James Riordan and Jerry Prochnicky, "No One Here Gets Out Alive" by Jerry Hopkins and Danny Surgarman, "The Lizard King The Essential Jim Morrison" by Jerry Hopkins, "Angels Dance and Angels Die" by Patricia Butler, "The Doors In Their Own Words" by Andrew Doe and John Tobler, "Jim Morrison An Hour For Magic" by Frank Lisciandro, "Wild Child: Life With Jim Morrison" and " Jim Morrison: Life, Death, Legand". I have also read his poetry books "The Lords and the New Creatures", "Wilderness volume 1", and " The American Night volume 2". I enjoy searching the internet for new knowledge on Jim Morrison. I am confident I could correctly answer almost any question about him.

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I have a BS in Biology and Biochemisrty.

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Graduated Cum Laude from Old Dominion University

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