Five to One

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"Five to One"
Song by The Doors
from the album Waiting for the Sun
Released July 13, 1968
Recorded February–May 1968
Genre Psychedelic rock, hard rock, blues rock
Length 4:24
Label Elektra
Songwriter(s) Jim Morrison
Producer(s) Paul A. Rothchild

"Five to One" is a song by American rock band The Doors, from their 1968 album Waiting for the Sun.


Part of the song ("Your ballroom days are over, baby/Night is drawing near/Shadows of the evening/crawl across the years"), was seemingly 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") by Morrison.[1] Similarly, Morrison quoted the "Christian child's prayer" in a live version of Soul Kitchen sung in 1969[2] 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").[3]

Public performances[edit]

The song's most famous performance was at the 1969 Miami concert at the Dinner Key Auditorium. Towards the end of the performance, a drunken Morrison declared the audience "idiots" and "slaves". The concert would end with Morrison being accused of "attempting to incite a riot" among the concert goers, resulting in his arrest, and later conviction, for indecent exposure. This performance can be heard on Disc 1 of The Doors: Box Set and is depicted in Oliver Stone's film The Doors.

During the reunion of the original lineup of The Doors sans Jim Morrison on VH1 Storytellers, Scott Weiland of Stone Temple Pilots took up vocals. Before the performance Robby Krieger said Weiland was one of the few frontmen who could "fill Jim's leather pants". Scott said that "Five to One" was what inspired him to begin a career in rock music.

Cover versions and samples[edit]

Yuya Uchida & The Flowers recorded what is possibly the first cover during sessions for their 1969 album Challenge!, although it was not released until it was included as a bonus track on a 2007 limited edition.[4] Marilyn Manson released a studio cover of the song, while Velvet Revolver and the Russian band Splean (Russian: Сплин) have covered it live. The guitar solo on Pearl Jam's "Alive" was based on Ace Frehley's guitar solo on the Kiss song "She", which was in turn based on Robby Krieger's solo in "Five to One".[5] Rapper Jay Z sampled "Five to One" as the beat for his diss song of Nas and Mobb Deep called "Takeover". In 2011, American band Make Love and War released their remake of the song to coincide with the peak of the Arab Spring, with a video portraying images of toppled and at-risk Middle East dictators, as well as footage of past and present popular uprisings.[6]

Alice Cooper covered a portion of the song with his supergroup Hollywood Vampires on their debut album, released September 11, 2015.

Most recently, Beyoncé performed "Five to One" as mash-up with her 2006 hit "Ring the Alarm" at the 2015 Made In America Festival in Philadelphia on September 5, at the Global Citizen's Festival on September 26th 2015, and on her 2016 Formation World Tour.[citation needed]

Appearances in other media[edit]


  1. ^ "Now the Day is Over". 2005-10-12. Retrieved 2013-07-05. 
  2. ^ [1] Archived July 7, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ "An American Prayer (Ii) Lyrics - The Doors". Retrieved 2013-07-05. 
  4. ^ "内田裕也とフラワーズ : CHALLENGE!". (in Japanese). Retrieved 2016-04-24. 
  5. ^ Gilbert, Jeff. "Prime Cuts: Mike McCready - The Best of Pearl Jam!". Guitar School. May 1995.
  6. ^ "Five To One by Make Love AND War". YouTube. Retrieved 2013-07-05. 

External links[edit]