The Unknown Soldier (3:22)

Cover of Waiting for the Sun

From Waiting for the Sun and 34 other releases

“The Unknown Soldier” was the first single from The Doors’ 1968 album Waiting for the Sun, and was also the subject of one of the band’s few, inventive music videos. The song was Jim Morrison’s reaction to the Vietnam War and the way that conflict was portrayed in American media at the time. Lines such as, “Breakfast where the news is read/Television children fed/ unborn living, living dead/bullets strike the helmet’s head”, concern the way news of the war was being presented in the living rooms of ordinary people.

In the middle of the song, the Doors produce the sounds of what appears to be an execution; in live performances Robby Krieger would point his guitar towards Morrison like a rifle, drummer John Densmore would emulate a gunshot by producing a loud rimshot, by hitting the side of the cymbal, therefore, breaking the sticks to the drum set, and Morrison would fall screaming to the ground. After this middle section, the verses return and the song ends with Morrison’s ecstatic celebration of a war being over. In the studio version of the song, the sounds of crowds cheering, and bells tolling, can be heard.

The single for “Unknown Soldier” became the bands fourth top forty hit in the US, peaking at number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100. Its modest chart position was possibly due to its controversial theme and downbeat atmosphere. However, the follow-up single from Waiting for the Sun, “Hello, I Love You”, would go all the way to the top of the charts.


Everyone’s tags

More tags

Play with Spotify

Albums featuring this track (35)

Similar Tracks

  Track   Duration Listeners
The Doors - We Could Be So Good Together 2:09 144,927
The Doors - Spanish Caravan 1:19 274,254
Jefferson Airplane - Somebody to Love 4:04 682,717
Jefferson Airplane - White Rabbit 2:30 723,686
Led Zeppelin - Dazed and Confused 18:39 651,136
Cream - Sunshine of Your Love 4:10 811,187

Listening Trend

326,778listeners all time
1,379,042scrobbles all time
Recent listeners trend:

Explore more


Leave a comment. Log in to or sign up.
  • ozZS938s

    download Unknown.mp3

    1 minute ago Reply
  • Moonlight__Dawn

    I love to hate this song and I hate to love this song. Why??? Because songs like this should not have to be written to begin with. In other words: if ALL wars would stop then songwriters would no longer write these types of songs. Personally I just wish all wars would end. It's a great song that should never been written due to the fact all wars need to end. --> I'm not sure I'm I'm explaining myself well enough but I tried.

    25 May 12:05am Reply
  • robveiga

    Unknown soldier

    23 May 12:59am Reply
  • Druid66

    Jim's naval-officer dad must have just loved this little number, he said with heavy irony... (-:

    6 Apr 5:16am Reply
  • LiamRandolph

    Absolutely fantastic song. I was pleased to find out that they actually played out that execution part in their live performances, haha.

    17 Mar 5:51pm Reply
  • Lord69Vader

    One of the greatest bands to walk the earth. (the doors of perception are open)

    4 May 2014 Reply
  • delboy5

    RIP Jim

    22 Mar 2014 Reply
  • rikrijean


    18 Feb 2014 Reply
  • hectorlopezt

    Es mágica su actuación en el escenario.

    20 Jan 2014 Reply
  • Jezuxx

    It's all over, Jim. [2]

    17 Jan 2014 Reply
  • fandermusik

    make love not war !

    15 Jan 2014 Reply
  • tomrud73

    just love Manzarek's eerie organ. adds so much atmosphere to the song.

    28 Nov 2013 Reply
  • waltmartin

    ... Guess everyone has a way of expressing the waste of war on the most intimate level ... So many gifted musical artists have made the the same statement to a different "beat" (My personal fav is Tim Buckley's "Once I was".) ; in that regard this Doors cut (despite an order of drill faux pas) , with J.M.'s own inimitable style , offers an imminently relatable message in classic style . Man , but if only we had the ears to truly hear ... .

    12 Nov 2013 Reply
  • thebroadcast

    It's all over, Jim.

    15 Jul 2013 Reply
  • davidbowiegirl

    Great song ♥

    9 Jul 2013 Reply
  • steamboat58

    Good one, thanks Pete

    27 May 2013 Reply
  • Turnersmemo

    RIP Ray, thank's for years of listening pleaure. Your legend will live on forever.

    22 May 2013 Reply
  • nicorebel

    Love it

    22 May 2013 Reply
  • AlterJohn

    Wahnsinnig toller Song !

    11 Apr 2013 Reply
  • MacDowney


    11 Apr 2013 Reply
  • All 133 shouts

Listening Now

Top Listeners