Before you slip into unconsciousness
I'd like to have another kiss
Another flashing chance at bliss
Another kiss, another kiss.
The days are bright and filled with pain.
Enclose me in your gentle rain.
The time you ran was too insane.
We'll meet again, we'll meet again.
Oh tell me where your freedom lies.
The streets are fields that never die.
Deliver me from reasons why
You'd rather cry; I'd rather fly.
The crystal ship is being filled
With a thousand girls, a thousand thrills
A million ways to spend your time.
When we get back, I'll drop a line.
Crystal Ship is a ballad, the B side to the eventually released Light My Fire. It consists of four quatrains, in which there is a more urgent variation on the first couple of lines of the last verse, which mentions the crystal ship. Jim Morrison croons from beginning to end, with an instrumental break in the middle that is dominated by Manzarek’s piano work.
The lyrics suggest that a lover is speaking to his beloved before falling off to sleep, asking for a good night kiss. The day had been difficult; the beloved had tried to escape the singer, but they are together now, and perhaps the beloved is crying in his arms. He wants the beloved to feel free; his freedom and open field is in the streets. The beloved is perhaps asking the reason why he wants his freedom to the singer’s consternation. He explains that a dreamboat is awaiting him filled with his desires, and he prefers this alternate reality of dreams where he is released from cause and effect, and free of social constraints. He promises that when they wake up together, he’ll tell her something of what he dreamed (drop a line) as if sending a postcard to his beloved from another country. Perhaps the “line” is actually this song.
Inspiration for this song is widely disputed. Some have suggested the song is about crystal meth. Chuck Crisafulli, in his blog Waiting for the Sun, submits that the Crystal Ship comes from Celtic legend. He cites the Book of the Dunn Cow which tells of an Irish hero swept away by a goddess to “an earthly paradise beyond the sea” in a ship made of crystal. Urban legend of Santa Barbara, California, submits that the song was written while Morrison was tripping one night at the beach and looking out at the oil rig Platform Holly, erected in 1966, which residents say looks like and was called a “crystal ship” back in the 1960s. Drummer John Densmore has reported that the song was actually just a break up song for one of Morrison’s previous girlfriends.