Five to One (4:30)

Cover of Waiting for the Sun

From Waiting for the Sun and 66 other releases

“Five to One” is a song by The Doors, from their 1968 album Waiting for the Sun.

“Five to one” is rumored to be the approximate ratio of whites to blacks, young to old, or pot smokers to non-pot smokers in the US in 1967, depending on whom you ask. A further urban legend has it as the ratio of Viet Cong to American troops in Vietnam. However, when asked, Jim Morrison said the lyrics were not political. This would seem quite likely, at least for part of the song (“Your ballroom days are over baby/Night is drawing near/Shadows of the evening/crawl across the years”), which is patently lifted from the 19th-century hymnal and bedtime rhyme Now the Day is Over (“Now the day is over/Night is drawing nigh/Shadows of the evening/Steal across the sky”) for whatever reason of Morrison’s. Similarly, Morrison quoted the Christian child’s prayer in a live version of “Soul Kitchen” sung in 1969 and also altered the children’s rhyme “Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack jump over The candlestick” to suit part of his poem An American Prayer (“Words dissemble/Words be quick/Words resemble walking sticks”). Lastly, Morrison was quite possibly referring to a Dylan Thomas story entitled The Fight in Thomas’ Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, where the central character reads from a poem called Warp (“[…] Five into one, the one made of five into one, early/Suns distorted too late.”) In this instance, the “five” are described by Thomas as “tears”, “suns”, and “inscrutable spears in the head”.


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  • ForestFloor


    25 Feb 9:20pm Reply
  • Moonlight_Dawn

    'get together one more time' [2].... "They got the guns but we got the numbers". <3

    17 Jan 2:31am Reply
  • scty2hoti

    brilliant song album

    15 Jan 11:42pm Reply
  • PowersauceBar

    My favorite Doors song and very relevant today in our unfortunate FoKKK News society of idiots.

    1 Jan 7:33am Reply
  • RAY7654321

    Listening to the third album "Waiting For The Sun" released in July 1968 with all song writing credited to the entire band. Disappointing to most fans at the time because it went in a more mellow direction then expected but still reached #1 on the charts. The main problem was the rumor of an epic track to be on the album which was shelved, "Celebration of the Lizard". Douglas Ludahn on bass.

    10 Oct 2014 Reply
  • iZZidane

    ROC we running this rap shit. [2]

    31 Jul 2014 Reply
  • Feamelwen

    The sexiest Doors song ever. And that's saying something.

    18 Jun 2014 Reply
  • elciscokid

    "Let's keep the lights out for this one, alright?" Done my man.

    7 Jun 2014 Reply
  • bossmark1

    This is Groovy

    12 May 2014 Reply
  • ButchGantenbein

    Just shut up and eat your damn corn george and be glad your not in prison.

    10 Dec 2013 Reply
  • tomrud73

    'get together one more time'

    26 Nov 2013 Reply
  • tomrud73

    good deep tune from Jimbo and co.

    26 Nov 2013 Reply

    ROC, we running this rap shit.

    21 Nov 2013 Reply
  • SP1984

    five 2 one baby !

    6 Nov 2013 Reply
  • Saskatchewan_

    He did indeed. But everyone still lapped it up didn't they?

    20 Oct 2013 Reply
  • ButchGantenbein

    Jim also delivered bad performances while lieing on the floor of the stage drunk while Ray sang the songs

    25 Sep 2013 Reply
  • TheSuperCrasher

    Can't believe "Jimbo" did this one. Jim was even able to deliver perfect performances while being drunk.

    30 Jul 2013 Reply
  • srdjstuka

    You see, I have to get in this car with these people and...get myself...

    31 May 2013 Reply
  • TheSuperCrasher

    The version on Absolutely Live almost tops the studio version. Jim had such a great voice.

    26 May 2013 Reply
  • Deardeadfriend

    Your ballroom days are over, baby.

    9 May 2013 Reply
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