Celebration of the Lizard

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"Celebration of the Lizard"
Composition by The Doors
from the album Absolutely Live
Released1970 (live version)
2003 (studio version)
RecordedAquarius Theater, Los Angeles - July 21, 1969
GenrePsychedelic rock, acid rock, space rock, progressive rock, poetry
Length14:25 (live version)
17:09 (studio version)
Composer(s)John Densmore, Robbie Kreiger, Ray Manzarek, Jim Morrison
Lyricist(s)Jim Morrison
Producer(s)Paul A. Rothchild

"Celebration of the Lizard" is a performance piece by American rock band The Doors, featuring lyrics written by lead singer Jim Morrison and music by the Doors. Composed as a series of poems, the piece includes both spoken verse and sung lyrics, musical sections and passages of allegorical storytelling.[1]

"Celebration of the Lizard" was performed in its entirety at several Doors concerts, with a complete live performance of the piece appearing on the band's 1970 live album Absolutely Live (and, subsequently, on the 1991 live compilation album In Concert). A complete studio-recorded version later appeared on the compilation album Legacy: The Absolute Best in 2003.


  • "Lions in the Street"
  • "Wake Up!"
  • "A Little Game"
  • "The Hill Dwellers"
  • "Not to Touch the Earth"
  • "Names of the Kingdom"
  • "The Palace of Exile"


The entire piece was originally intended to be recorded and released as one full side of the band's third studio album, Waiting for the Sun, in 1968. However, record producer Paul A. Rothchild and the other members of the band thought that the extended poetic sections and overall length of the piece made a complete recording impossible.[2] The band did attempt to record the full piece several times but abandoned the idea, as they were dissatisfied with the results. One musical passage, "Not to Touch the Earth," was recorded separately and released on the Waiting for the Sun album, while the lyrics for the rest of the piece were published inside the gatefold jacket of the original vinyl LP, with the footnote, "Lyrics to a theatre composition by The Doors."[3]


  1. ^ Goldstein, Richard (5 August 1968). "The Shaman as Superstar". New York Magazine. New York.
  2. ^ When You're Strange film (2009)
  3. ^ Waiting for the Sun (3 July 1968), liner notes

External links[edit]