HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Here is a segment from Jim Morrison’s LA poetry reading, recorded in March of 1969, shortly after the “Miami incident” for which he received “a felony charge of lewd and lascivious behavior and five misdemeanors; two counts of indecent exposure, two of public profanity and one of public drunkenness” (Morris, n.d.). I believe this poem is appropriate for the morning-after…
Thank You Oh Lord – Jim Morrison (March ’69)
Thank you, O Lord
For the white blind light
A city rises from the sea
I had a splitting headache
From which the future’s made.
One thing I find interesting about this short piece is Morrison’s evocation of “A city [that] rises from the sea.” I believe this is a reference to the mythological city of Ys (pronounced EESS, or ISS) that is said to have been built on the waters off the coast of France, then the kingdom of Brittany. The city of Ys was built by the Briton king Gradlon for his daughter Dahut. The city was built below sea level, and was protected from high tide by a dam to which only the king had the keys. Soon, “Ys became a place of excess, a realm full of sailors where each day saw the advent of new games, feasts and dances” (Evans, 2010).
One night princess Dahut was tempted (typically by the Devil in the guise of a handsome knight) to steal the key and open the gates. Ys went down in a flood, and the whole story contains numerous Christian allegories. Breton legend claims that Ys was the most beautiful city in the world and that the French capital was called Paris from “Par Ys,” literally meaning “like Ys.” Paris being the city in which Morrison died two years and four months later. It is said that when Paris sinks into the sea Ys will rise from the ocean depths. By no means am I suggesting anything prophetic, but it certainly is an interesting myth.
Well, Happy New Year, and good luck nursing that head.
Dyfed Lloyd Evans, D. L. (2010). Ker-Ys. Nemeton. Retrieved December 31st, 2011
Morris, J. E. (n.d.) The Miami Incident. The Doors Collectors Magazine. Retrieved
December 31st, 2011 from http://www.doors.com/miami/one.html
Morrison, J. (1969). Thank You Oh Lord. [Recorded by Jim Morrison, (Los Angeles,
March, 1969). On The Lost Paris Tapes [CD] JOMO. (1994)