Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar)

  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • Songplace
  • This is a cover of a German opera song written in 1929 by Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht. It was used in a controversial 1930 German operetta called The Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahogany.
  • The themes of materialism, despair, and illicit pleasures from the operetta this was taken from would be revisited often by The Doors. The song took on a more literal meaning over the years as Jim Morrison's drug and alcohol problems became public knowledge.
  • The Doors got the idea for this from an album of German songs their keyboard player, Ray Manzarek, had.
  • In 2000, the surviving members of the Doors taped a VH1 Storytellers episode with guest vocalists filling in for Morrison. Ian Astbury sang on this track, and in 2002 joined Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger when they toured as The Doors of the 21st Century. He fronted their group, which changed names after a lawsuit filed by original drummer John Densmore, until 2007, doing about 150 shows.
  • A verse was omitted from the 1929 original. It started: "Show me the place to the next little dollar."
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 32

  • Erik from New MexicoWhen I was a wee young lad in the late 60's and early 70's my mother would play records after she put me to bed. The Doors was one of the Albums I used to go to sleep to. I still remember waking up from odd and scary dreams to find The End playing in the living room. That song still has a sense of dred for me, though as an adult I love it.
  • Graham from Astral Plane Why was this song not edited like break on through was show me the way to next little girl or little boy is surely far more offensive than she get high although it maybe little girl boy has another meaning the song originaly dates from a german oppratic song by brecht written in 1929 they were very moralistic and straight laced in 1929 and even in the 1960s the hippies were often ridiculed any bad language back then was discouraged some of today's pop lyrics and even 80s pop lyrics would never have been allowed in 1967 which was why the f*** was edited out of the end even high was edited out of break on through so why wasn't little girl/boy edited out does it have another meaning than what it @ first appears
  • Jojo69 from Bethlehem, PaWe're not talking about a Jagger or a Lennon. We are talking JIM MORRISON! According to the source "Nobody gets out of here alive" Jim Morrison used to hate rock and roll and used it as a vehicle for his poetry and art. I once asked my teacher why the "Soft Parade" (the beginning) sound like heaven. He replied that Jim Morrison had studied the archetypes of man and each song will somehow appeal to everyone. A Bombay psychologist told me that the songs have different meaning to different people.

    Is the student of Rimbaud just talking about whiskey you buy at the corner store or the girl at the club? Or has all hell broken out and we just have to get to
    "the next whiskey bar" just to survive?
  • Valerie from Eureka, CaIf you check out youtube you will find the song Whiskey Bar/Alabama Song from The 3 Penny Opera posted. There are a number of different people who sang this song. Check out the info about the opera. Yes Ben in encintias, the verse was show me the way to the next little boy...a whore house was shut down in the play. The girls were leaving...suticases packed and walking and singing this song...Tom in Hallstead PA...this song was written WAY before any of the Doors were even born.
  • Jesse from San Antoino, TxAt Live at the Matrix insted of saying "Show me the way to the next little GIRL" he says "BOY" and ray in the back round Sounds a little fruty but they were just implying that in San Fransico 1967 there were alot of Femeinem Guys if you know what i mean
  • Valerie from Eureka, CaJames james morrison morrison
    weatherby geroge dupree
    took great care of his mother
    tho he was only 3
    said james james morrrison morrison
    'mother', he said, said he. 'don't go down to the end of the town,if don't go down with me.'
  • Eric from Maastricht, NetherlandsThe idea actually came from Dorothy Fujikawa, Ray's then girlsfriend (and now wife), partly because they were playing in a bar on Sunset next to the Whisky-a-gogo, where they would rather have played.
  • Marissa from Akron, OhWe all have songs that we used to sing when we were really little. Mine was "Achy Breaky Heart" by Billy Ray Cyrus (now re-gaining fame as Miley's dad. At least unlike some celebrity parents he's raising her right.) But my friend's was this song. Her dad's a huge Doors freak... I wish my dad had good taste in music. Anyone else have a dad that actually enjoys the music of Barry Manilow??? Someone please commiserate!
  • Nady from Adelaide, Australia*Im pretty sure I got the words wrong but thats just how I hear it:)*
  • Nady from Adelaide, AustraliaI've got a snippet of a concert on my mp3 and Jim includes the Mck the Knife bit- "Well he shows his pretty teeth yeah, and he shows them pearly whites, but Mack he is a sailor and he keeps them outta site, you know he keeps them outta site mmyeah, their white white white white white white yew! Oh show me the way to the next whiskey bar....and so on, back door man usually followed. ilove jimmorrisonmorethanyoucoulddream
  • Naioka from Sptsyltuckey, VaOk, this probably sounds weird, but every time my friend and I hear this song, we start laughing and thinking of fat munchkins dancing. I laugh every time! I just can't help it. It actually got me in trouble once because I couldn't stop laughing in Spanish class. I love the Doors, and I love this song, but it is a very funny song. And what's not funny about fat munchkins dancing around?
  • Lance from Malibu, CaThe Doors have got to be one of my favorite bands period. When I was in France in 2001, after touring the cemetary where Jim was buried, I was drinking wine in a bistro and the waiter mentioned Show Me The Way To The Next Whiskey Bar. I just thought it was really funny.
    [Long Live The Lizard King]
  • Andrew from Adelaide, AustraliaThe Alabama song or Whisky bar is actually a song written by Brecht. But the doors did play it whilst performing in the London fog and it supposedly symbolised where they wanted to be at that present time which was the Whisky a 'go go

  • Tristan from Philadelphia, PaThe Kurt Weill version sure is different, i have it on vinyl, its kind of mystical, its out there. But far different from the doors version. Weill's wife said once that she liked the version that the doors put out. The doors set a great mood here.
  • Only1out10livestr8 from In Your Uterus..., United StatesSearch for Bertold Brecht, a german anti-nazi poet and you will find what you seek...
  • Brian from Houston, TxThe David Bowie version of this song sounds like a train wreck. I've never heard the opera version but if it sounds that bad I believe The Doors did a superb job making it enjoyable. I didn't even recognize the german influence until I read it on here.
  • Patrick from Bremen, GaI can see the influence of German songs on this. It sounds almost like a German drinking song, and has that "oom-pah" beat and sound to it most German music has.
  • Madalyn from Greensburg, Pai could swear that they play this song in the godfather? or am i wrong? i love listening to this song before bed
  • Steve from Winnipeg, Canadawho here reads the book all bout Jim M. called "no one here gets out alive" cause i am a super doors freeak
  • Mike from Hueytown , AlAnother Great Doors song ...Can't help but laugh when I hear it
  • Jennifer from Los Angeles, CaWhen I first heard this song as a teenager I thought Jim Morison himself had penned it and thought 'Wow, what a mystical baddass he was!' Whoops.
    If you like this song, you may like the opera it came from too. I know I do.
    The original composers (Weill & Brecht)wrote another song that would be reborn a hit decades later later: 'Mack the Knife' performed by Bobby Darin.
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoI once saw a feature of various singers performing Kurt Weill songs, and David Johansen of The New York Dolls sang lead on this, acting drunk in an old convertible with several other guys acting drunk and like they were up to no good. Ah, just looked it up on allmovie.com and it's called September Songs: The Music of Kurt Weill. I wonder what Alabama meant to Kurt Weill???
  • Irishcougar from Chicago , IlWhen I hear this song, I'm reminded of this strange film short I saw on the old "Saturday Night Live" years ago. It was titled "Babies In Makeup" (spelled out using toy blocks) and this song was the songtrack. It featured all these little babies wearing heavy makeup and costumes. It was vaguely disturbing and I'm sure it wouldn't get past a producer today. It was rather amusing though
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaNever Heard The david "bowie" version. Interesting?
  • Elanor from Zagreb, MoManzarek's girlfriend actually convinced the Doors to remake the original version of opera she liked a lot,and that's how the song was made.
  • Arne from Gent, BelgiumThis song has also a version brought by David Bowie
  • Ioyuhoih from Philly, PaI'd rather stumble to the next Whiskey Bar and find a little girl
  • Ioyuhoih from Philly, PaThe lyrics from this song was taken from the German play "Mahagonny Songspiel". The original lyrics were Oh, show us the way
    to the next pretty boy!
    Oh, don't ask why; oh, don't ask why!
    For we must find the next pretty boy,
    For if we don't find the next pretty boy,
    I tell you we must die!
  • Colin from Litchfield, Ctdrink along song
  • Ben from Encinitas, CaIn the original opera version, the line "Show me the way to the next little girl." is something like, "Show me the way to the next little boy." This is because in the opera, it was sung by women.
  • William from Phoenix, Az<- Tom, Hallstead, PA>> No other comments? well, I guess it's just you and me, Tom :)

    All I would add is that I heard Bowie do the song WITH the part about the next little dollar. I thought it was his own little addition till about 19 seconds ago.

    cool song. Kind of like 'Mothers Lament'
  • Tom from Hallstead, PaThis song was written while before the Doors became well known. They were playing at a bar called The Fog. The Whisky bar was the "hot spot" on the strip at that time and they were saying that they want to play there (bands like the Byrds, and Love played there at the time)
see more comments

Martyn Ware of Heaven 17Songwriter Interviews

Martyn talks about producing Tina Turner, some Heaven 17 hits, and his work with the British Electric Foundation.

The End Of The Rock EraSong Writing

There are no more rock stars - the last one died in 1994.

Billy Steinberg - "Like A Virgin"They're Playing My Song

The first of Billy's five #1 hits was the song that propelled Madonna to stardom. You'd think that would get you a backstage pass, wouldn't you?

British InvasionFact or Fiction

Go beyond The Beatles to see what you know about the British Invasion.

Max Cavalera of Soulfly (ex-Sepultura)Songwriter Interviews

The Brazilian rocker sees pictures in his riffs. When he came up with one of his gnarliest songs, there was a riot going on.

Ben Kowalewicz of Billy TalentSongwriter Interviews

The frontman for one of Canada's most well-known punk rock bands talks about his Eddie Vedder encounter, Billy Talent's new album, and the importance of rock and roll.