Been Down So Long

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"Been Down So Long"
Song by The Doors
from the album L.A. Woman
Released April 19, 1971
Genre Blues
Length 4:41 (album version)
9:07 (Bright Midnight Sampler)
Label Elektra
Bright Midnight
Songwriter(s) The Doors
Producer(s) The Doors, Bruce Botnick

"Been Down So Long" is the third song on L.A. Woman, the last studio album that The Doors recorded with lead singer Jim Morrison, who died in July 1971. It has been called a "take-off" on the album.[1]

Noted as one of the standout tracks on L.A. Woman as one of three blues songs,[2] Lyrically, the song draws upon themes of depression, liberation, and sexuality.[3] The title makes reference to the 1928 Furry Lewis song, "I Will Turn Your Money Green" ("I been down so long/It seem like up to me"), and the first verse may have been inspired by Richard Fariña's novel Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me which was about Fariña's college experiences and travels.[2] It is also considered to be Morrison at his most "mock tough".[4] Musically, Been Down So Long is a standard, very conventional blues song,[5] with rambunctious aggression, and of the "old Doors, slow blues" style.[4] It also features a distinct slide guitar,[6] a rough sound, and a stomping beat.[7]


A live version of Been Down So Long appears on The Bright Midnight Sampler released on September 25, 2000, under the Bright Midnight record label. Recorded May 8, 1970 at Cobo Arena in Detroit. It has also been covered by Randy Newman and Gov't Mule with Robbie Krieger.[1]