29 June 2015 Set Me
When you’ve been stuck in one place for so long it begins to feel familiar. You begin to crave what’s on the outside when you can no longer see it. Nobody seems to help, not even after all the crying and pleading. No one bothers to set you free . You become a prisoner in a jail cell.
Jim Morrison was going through a rough patch when he wrote “Been Down So Long.” He was struggling with alcoholism and drug abuse. He begs for freedom and for love but overall for a chance to be happy.
You immediately hear the pain Morrison is in. “I’ve been down so long that it looks like up to me” (12). After being sad for such an extensive amount of time, he’s become accustomed to it. He understands the sorrow he’s feeling is the furthest he’ll reach to bliss. The joy he once felt has been stripped away. In spite of that, Morrison continued to make an effort for his release.
He reaches out for someone to help him, no matter who; but when his call is ignored he resorts to liquor and narcotics. According to Lifetime Biography, Morrison grew more and more dependent on drugs and experimented with a wide range of
Penaflor 2 hallucinogens including LSD (acid). Instead of finding a healthy route, he alleviated himself through the consumption of alcohol.
Another place Morrison found solace in was oral sex.
He was notorious for his promiscuity as he was for his drugtaking.
Morrison was viewed through many as a sex god and was thus referred to as the Lizard King. In lines 14 and 16, “won’t you get down on your knees,”
Morrison seems to be demanding fellatio. Although this is something I don’t sympathize with, it is very common for most to escape in the pleasure of sexual activities. However, pleasure wasn’t the only thing Morrison wanted out of sex, it was love. “Give your love to me,” (18) he says.
Lust was merely a temporary getaway therefore he searched for a love that would never fade.
Going through something so emotionally draining was very difficult for Morrison, especially when he was forced to face it on his own. He repeatedly asks to be broken out of his distressing confinement in lines seven and nine, “warden, warden, warden.” I believe that
Morrison uses the warden as a symbol for all those he has tried to reach out to but never bothered to lend him a helping hand. As a person who has recently gone through depression, I can relate to this song deeply. Being left alone with a disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and hopelessness can lead one to make drastic decisions such as selfharm or suicide. He cries out
“won’t you break your lock and key” (8) hoping someone will rid him of his misery.
The last stanza is a repeated passage from the beginning of the song. Morrison emphasizes more on his plea for freedom by saying “c’mon” (24) three times and screaming “set me free”(24) louder than the first. He earnestly begs to be released because he can’t seem to bear the pain much longer. After being turned down by love and being stuck by himself, nothing
Penaflor 3 appeared to be getting him closer to happiness. Drugs took him nowhere but down and sex ceased to be pleasing. Morrison lost the desire to keep moving and tragically brought his life to an end.