We Could Be So Good Together

Album: Waiting For The Sun (1968)
  • "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.


Be the first to comment...

Jimmy WebbSongwriter Interviews

Webb talks about his classic songs "By the Time I Get to Phoenix," "Wichita Lineman" and "MacArthur Park."

Millie JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Outrageously gifted and just plain outrageous, Millie is an R&B and Rap innovator.

Jesus Christ Superstar: Ted Neeley Tells the Inside StorySong Writing

The in-depth discussion about the making of Jesus Christ Superstar with Ted Neeley, who played Jesus in the 1973 film.

They Might Be GiantsSongwriter Interviews

Who writes a song about a name they found in a phone book? That's just one of the everyday things these guys find to sing about. Anything in their field of vision or general scope of knowledge is fair game. If you cross paths with them, so are you.

Graham ParkerSongwriter Interviews

When Judd Apatow needed under-appreciated rockers for his Knocked Up sequel, he immediately thought of Parker, who just happened to be getting his band The Rumour back together.

Facebook, Bromance and Email - The First Songs To Use New WordsSong Writing

Do you remember the first time you heard "email" in a song? How about "hater" or "Facebook"? Here are the songs where they first showed up.