Take It As It Comes

Album: The Doors (1967)

Songfacts®:

  • This song is about accepting what life gives you at your own pace. It was dedicated to the Maharishi, a teacher of transcendental meditation, after Jim Morrison attended one of his lectures. The full name of this particular Maharishi is Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, 1917-2008. "Maharishi" itself is just a title meaning "enlightened, spiritual one." Yogi had a good sense of humor and as he often laughed in TV interviews, he was nicknamed "the giggling guru." While his teachings, the practice of transcendental meditation, were usually associated with Hindu or Buddhist religions, Yogi was out to advocate meditation itself as a spiritual practice and alternative medicine, based on his interpretation of the ancient Vedic science.

    The Maharishi is famous for leading a meditation camp in 1967 attended by The Beatles, Donovan, and Mia Farrow. John Lennon wrote "Sexy Sadie" about The Maharishi.
  • Note the lyrical similarity here between this song and The Byrds' "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)." Morrison says, "Time to live, time to lie, time to laugh, time to die;" The Byrds (well, actually, Ecclesiastes) say, "A time to be born, a time to die..." and so on. Morrison shows clear inspiration here, since "Turn!" was released in 1965. However, Morrison uses the Ecclesiastes' words as a jumping-off point.
  • Consider that this is the second-to-the-last song on the album, before the epic-length, Eastern-flavored "The End." So it would seem that we are supposed to meditate at the end of the album upon all the wisdom the Lizard King has been teaching us throughout the album, right?
  • According to Ray Manzarek, his organ solo on this song was inspired by the works of Johann Sebastian Bach.
  • The Doors Examined author Jim Cherry contends that the song is about Morrison's becoming tired of life as a rock star. "With fame and all the groupies," Cherry told Songfacts, "and at that point even The Doors themselves being around him all the time, he needs a brand new set of friends that don't want anything from him."

Comments: 12

  • Ken from Philadelphia, PaTo expand upon the comment below, the reason Lennon thought the Maharishi was full of crap was because Lennon observed him relentlessly hitting on Mia Farrow. While I don't necessarily condemn the Maharishi for that (Mia was quite a dish in those days, and the Maharishi was far from the only man to be smitten with her), his actions toward Mia were, in John's mind, NOT those of an enlightened religious figure.
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Moim not sure why everybody thinks its sex-related, i think its simply about not worrying so much, and taking life as it comes. just about being a free spirit. i have no idea if it has anything to do the transcendental meditation stuff that became somewhat of a trend in the sixties. however, it is interesting to see different artist's opinions. according to this, the doors seemed to agree with all of it, whereas john lennon thought the maharishi was full of crap.
  • Mounia from Beirut, Lebanonthe lyrics are multi-layered. I guess that's the key when you want to understandthe meaning behind the music, not just lyrics (that's why there are harmonies in music, layers).
    the interpretations are different, and obviously are a paradoxe: some take it as a vehicule for a meditational/ spiritual message, others doubt there's anything beyond sexual meaning.
    my opinion is that it's neither one or the other, i think it's both. i have a very strong feeling Jim meant to write lyrics that go both ways: sexual and meditative at the same time, multi-layered.
    but that's just my opinion.
  • Mounia from Beirut, Lebanonthe lyrics are multi-layered. I guess that's the key when you want to understandthe meaning behind the music, not just lyrics (that's why there are harmonies in music, layers).
    the interpretations are different, and obviously are a paradoxe: some take it as a vehicule for a meditational/ spiritual message, others doubt there's anything beyond sexual meaning.
    my opinion is that it's neither one or the other, i think it's both. i have a very strong feeling Jim meant to write lyrics that go both ways: sexual and meditative at the same time, multi-layered.
    but that's just my opinion.
  • Roy from Granbania, MaThe short keyboard solo in this song is excellent. Its Egyptian stylings give the song an eerie feel. Classic Manzarek, and classic Doors.
  • Alex from Bergen, Norwaytake it "acid" comes!
  • L505 from Edmonton, CanadaThe song is about both life and sexual intercourse. Many males and females do not know how to live life or have sexual intercourse properly. This is about extending activities in life rather than having them end quickly. Living in the moment is not useful unless you know how to extend the moment further than a moment.
  • Matthew from Los Angeles, CaGreat song!!! I would say that its about people who are uptight and insecure and how that they need to relax and enjoy life a little more.
  • Rhema from College Station, TxI guess the meaning of this song is obvious, and I doubt it's very spiritual.
  • Brettt from Voodoo Lounge, TxThe Ramones do a cover of this song on the album All That Stuff And More
  • Cody from Ashland, OhNOT about Maharishi, Jim really didnt care for Eastern anything, unlike the rest of The Doors! Written more about Jim's free lifestyle.
  • Calum from Edinburgh, ScotlandDoesn't sound very meditative
see more comments

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