We Could Be So Good Together

Album: Waiting For The Sun (1968)
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Songfacts®:

  • "We Could Be So Good Together" is an almost goofily upbeat song. It's been described as a leftover from Morrison's hippie influences, meant as a statement to the audience about all the beautiful things that can be achieved if everyone just gets together. Taken at face value, that would appear to be true, but looking closer at the lyrics reveals paradoxical sentiments in the song.
  • On its surface, the song does indeed seem to be a simple imploration for togetherness, with lines such as "Tell you 'bout the world that we'll invent, wanton world without lament" and the repeated "We could be so good together."

    There are two sections, however, that cast serious doubt on the whole idea of a simple song about togetherness. The first one is:

    Tell you lies
    I tell you wicked lies


    This sentiment calls into question the entirety of the song. The four "lies" lines are repeated twice, for eight total lines, making up a substantial portion of the lyrics. They can't be written off as insignificant, and they call into the question the rest of the song. Is the togetherness stuff all just a wicked lie?

    Then, the final verse says:

    The time you wait subtracts the joy
    Beheads the angels you destroy
    Angels fight, angels cry
    Angels dance and angels die


    Here, in Morrison's trademark fashion, the notions of death and violence are introduced into a seemingly optimistic song. He used the same technique in "Moonlight Drive," ending an otherwise gorgeous love song with the line, "Baby gonna drown tonight, goin' down, down, down."
  • Because Morrison's been long dead, we'll never know exactly what this song is about, but there appear to be three possibilities. It may indeed be a hippie rallying cry for everyone to get together and change the world. Why, then, the wicked lies and the decapitated angels?

    Or, the song is about how this togetherness, and possibly the whole hippie "thing," was a wicked lie. It could be a commentary on that scene and how Morrison saw it, which would not be hard to believe because Morrison and the Doors never claimed to be part of that scene. In many ways, they were the antithesis of that scene, in fact.

    The third possibility is that the song wasn't really about anything specific. Maybe Morrison just needed to scrabble something together. The dynamic tension created by paradoxical sentiments within any given piece of art has long been known as an effective way to captivate an audience. The ambiguity may have been entirely intended, with no easily nailed down meaning underneath.

    Jim Cherry, author of The Doors Examined, leans towards the latter interpretation. Speaking with Songfacts, he noted that the angel imagery in the song seems like "low hanging" fruit thrown together in haste for some album filler.

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