Opening up the Doors

4 05 2010

I have a genuine problem with appreciating music if the lyrics are grammatically incorrect. Sometimes I make a point, when singing along, of correcting the grammar – even when it means losing the rhyme or the meter. It’s all part of being tremendously anal, I suppose, but one song that I find difficult to dismiss so easily is “Touch Me”, by the incomparable The Doors. It’s a beautiful song and, like all of Morrison’s creations, the lyrics are strangely compelling. And yet… the chorus drives me nuts:

Now I’m gonna’ love you
’til the heavens stop the rain
I’m gonna’ love you
’til the stars fall from the sky
… for you and I

I imagine that Morrison selected the nominative pronoun in that final line so that it could rhyme with “sky”, but I am bugged beyond measure by the fact that he did. And something dies within me if I try to change it to the accusative “me”, for this is music that shouldn’t be tampered with. Instead, I think I’ve found an avenue of reinterpretation. Consider the previous verse:

Touch me, baby
Can’t you see that I am not afraid?
What was that promise that you made?
Why won’t you tell me what she said?
What was that promise that you made?

Suddenly, this whole thing makes sense. The song is about a jilted lover who is trying to recall the promise made to him by the woman who has left. The chorus is a direct quote, promising to love him until the heavens stop the rain. Unfortunately, the singer genuinely cannot recall how the promise continued. It would seem to have contained a explicatory clause, but he no longer recalls the reason:

I’m gonna’ love you
’til the stars fall from the sky,
[ie: since] you and I…

What was the added stipulation? For you and I truly know one another? For you and I were made to be? For you and I could never be apart? He has forgotten and, sadly, so has she.



One response

4 05 2010

You’re right. You do have a genuine problem.

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