“The Crystal Ship” by The Doors

Jim Morrison, The Doors’ frontman who also wrote “The Crystal Ship”, was very much into taking drugs. So of course upon dropping a song with a title like “the crystal ship”, where he proceeds to sing about ‘slipping into unconsciousness’ and what have you, many people have understandably believed, moreover considering the era in which this track came out, that this piece is about getting high. But it has rather been revealed that what we’re actually dealing with here is Morrison’s version of a breakup song, as inspired by the dissolution of what was reportedly his first true love, with a lady named Mary Werbelow.

Actually some keen listeners may be able to figure out that this piece isn’t about drugs even without that foreknowledge. After all, the vocalist does state forthrightly in the first verse that he’d “like to have another kiss” from the addressee. And despite how psychedelic a musician may be, no one can be metaphorical all the time.

But if taken as such, that he is basically pleading with his girlfriend not to leave him, then by the singer stating that she do so ‘before slipping into unconsciousness’ infers that he feels she’s dumbing out with said ambition. 

That is what’s implied, sort of, in the second and especially third verses also, that the addressee is seeking “freedom” from her relationship with the vocalist. And of course the narrator obviously doesn’t want her to go. What’s also insinuated is that this whole ordeal is very emotional for her. But where she’s is presented as someone who would “rather cry”, the vocalist instead opts to “fly”.

Meaning of “The Crystal Ship”

To note, this song was written over half a century before the writing of this post. So we recognize the possibility that the meaning of certain slangs and metaphors may not be the same now as they were then. But what Jim seems to be getting at, from the end of the third verse and into the fourth, is that being a superstar and all, he has “a thousand” women at his disposal to help mitigate the pain of a broken heart. 

That is actually “the crystal ship” he is referring to, i.e. the title being an allegory for his celebrity lifestyle. But that noted, he closes the song by also letting the addressee know, in a roundabout, that she is always on his mind.

Lyrics of "The Crystal Ship"

In Conclusion

This piece can easily classify this as a heartbreak track. But arguably, once again taking Jim Morrison’s character into consideration, it also akin to a love song, i.e. a statement of undying affection being relayed from the vocalist to the addressee. By the looks of things, the latter is the one who has initiated their breakup, and the former has since gone on to become a verified sex symbol. But still, once he and the band land back in the ‘hood, he intends to give her a call.

When was “The Crystal Ship” released?

“The Crystal Ship” was released on January 4 of 1967 as part of a self-titled album, “The Doors”, by American rock band, the Doors.

Who wrote “The Crystal Ship”?

Lead vocalist of the band, Jim Morrison, has been credited with the composition of “The Crystal Ship” while its production has been credited to Paul A. Rothchild.

The Doors’ “The Doors” Album

“The Doors”, happens to be the band’s debut studio album. It was recorded at Sunset Sound Recorders, a recording studio located in Hollywood, California. The album was produced by Paul A. Rothchild, a renowned American record producer from New York.

Warner Music’s Elektra Records, was responsible for the album’s release.

Music critics and pundits around the world have often referred to “The Doors” as one of the most successful debut albums ever.

“Light My Fire”, a single from the album, as well as the album itself, have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. The former was honored at the Grammy Awards in 1998 with the latter receiving its induction at the 2002 event.

The US’s Library of Congress in 2015 selected “The Doors” for inclusion in the National Recording Registry.

The album ranked No. 46 in Colin Larkin’s 2000 book, “All Time Top 1000 Albums”. In 2012, “The Doors” was placed at the 42nd position on Rolling Stone’s list, “The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time”. It was however placed at No. 86, in a revised edition of the said list, published in 2020.

In the United States, “The Doors” peaked at No.2 on the Billboard 200 and has so far been certified 4x platinum by the RIAA. As of 2022, it holds 3x platinum certification in the UK, a 4x platinum certification in Canada and a 3x platinum certification in France.

1 Response

  1. Royce says:

    I think Morrison was a little deeper than this.

    I think what he ways saying is that the Crystal ship is this world.

    He’s saying goodbye to his true heavanly self

    He’s saying goodbye to explore darkness

    Slipping into unconscious a dream state or a spiritual death aka life lol.

    We are on a voyage here in life aka death

    We can spend this opportunity doing what ever

    Perhaps over & over

    What could we do other than all the stuff we actually do?

    Where your freedom lies it lies – in an Earthly death.

    But even more importantly it’s being aware of this

    When we get back to where and what we are
    Well be together again

    He will drop a line – we will be together again in paradise. We is one. No us them you I.

    A really Deep Beautiful Song

    Thank this Soul for spending his ways sharing.

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