The Soft Parade (song)

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"The Soft Parade"
Song by The Doors from the album The Soft Parade
Released 1969
Genre Psychedelic rock, progressive rock, blues rock
Length 8:34 (9:41 on remastered album)
Label Elektra
Writer(s) Jim Morrison
Producer(s) Paul A. Rothchild
The Soft Parade track listing
"Wishful Sinful"
"The Soft Parade"

"The Soft Parade" is the ninth and final track on the album of the same name by the American rock band The Doors, their fourth studio album. At the beginning of the song, Jim Morrison starts out with spoken words reminiscent of a Christian revivalist preacher. This part of the song is referred to as the "Petition the Lord with Prayer" section. The song then goes into a harpsichord driven semi-introductory piece mainly known as "Sanctuary", with lyrics such as, "Can you give me sanctuary, I must find a place to hide" referencing his then-current problems like the Miami and New Haven arrests.[1] Afterwards, the beat picks up and the song progressively gets faster, and features a psychedelic pop section, followed by an upbeat, soft section before going into a wild blues rock part that ends the song. The new, 2006 remastered album reinstates an intro before the 'Petition The Lord With Prayer' section where Morrison laments that he's "troubled immeasurably" by the eyes of an unnamed subject.

PBS performance[edit]

A notable, yet rare performance of the song in its entirety was filmed for a PBS Doors television documentary and later included on other Doors compilation DVDs. Keyboardist Ray Manzarek later called the performance "A mother... all four Doors in perfect sympatico". The performance also features a rare filmed appearance of a bearded, yet still characteristically charismatic, Jim Morrison, (Morrison usually shaved off his beard for publicity shots and television appearances.) the performance being on the PBS show The Critique.

The song in its entirety was not performed often after the PBS taping, but the 'Petition The Lord With Prayer' monologue was recited at later shows.

Influence from literature[edit]

The song draws comparison to William Blake as well as T. S. Eliot's poem "Ash Wednesday",[2] much like many other selections of Morrison's poetry, which are heavily influenced by other poets and authors, notably "Break On Through",[3] "Not to Touch the Earth", and numerous others. The song also draws comparison to Jack Kerouac's "Doctor Sax".


  1. ^ The Doors, The Soft Parade Remastered Liner Notes Page 11, David Frickle, 2006.
  2. ^ Knap, Joe. "STI Lesson 23 - Break on Through: The Poetry of Jim Morrison". Summer Teacher Institute Lesson Plans. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Archived from the original on 2007-09-26. Retrieved 2007-05-19. 
  3. ^ Sugerman, Danny; Jerry Hopkins (1995). No One Here Gets Out Alive. Warner Books. ISBN 0-446-60228-0.