Horse Latitudes (song)

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"Horse Latitudes"
Song by The Doors
from the album Strange Days
Released September 25, 1967
Recorded 1967
Genre Psychedelic rock, spoken word, avant-garde
Length 1:37
Label Elektra
Songwriter(s) Jim Morrison (but credited to The Doors)
Producer(s) Paul A. Rothchild

"Horse Latitudes" is the fifth song from The Doors second album, Strange Days. The song is a spoken word piece by Jim Morrison with the band providing spooky noises as a backdrop. Morrison speaks the lyrics, telling of a ship at sea forced to jettison the onboard horses to lighten its load. The words are taken from one of the first poems Jim Morrison wrote, inspired by a book cover he saw at a local bookstore as a child.[1]

Keyboardist Ray Manzarek mentions in his book Light My Fire he never believed Morrison wrote "Horse Latitudes" at such a young age, claiming the words were "too mature".

This song often segued into "Moonlight Drive", or vice versa, which follows it on the album.

The lyric is a synthesis of Morrison's interests in maritime life thus the title Horse Latitudes[2] and is also an obvious allusion to his naval upbringing.

It is also possible that Jim Morrison referred to the book the Toilers of the Sea by Victor Hugo, in which the practice of trowing at see horses in the 30-35 North degrees latitude is described.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Danny Sugerman, No One Here Gets Out Alive, 1980, ISBN 0-7607-0618-2.
  2. ^ Kemp, Peter. The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, London, Oxford University Press, 1976.