Historical Events  Music
The Doors

"If I were to say to you"

"If I was to say to you"

Lyric change

The song "Come on baby light my fire" is probably the main one most people remember when you ask them to name a Doors song. For such a famous one, it's surprising to see so many get the wording wrong if you ask them about this line. 

When you hear it today, it does sound a little jarring to some, even thought they say that it aways was "was". There are many example of it being "were" around too, mainly in the form of tributes and covers - did they all get it wrong too?

Jim Morrison was known for his great command of the English language - his poetry recitals at Doors concerts were legendary. There's no argument "was" is technically incorrect, but he could have known this and gone ahead anyway for street cred...

Robby Krieger

It turns out Jim Morrison had little to do with the song, only contributing to the second verse, which is ironic in light of it being the band's biggest hit. It was written by Robby Krieger, and has been covered many times since. It gained a kind of notoriety by being the song which got the band banned from the Ed Sullivan show because they wouldn't change the line "Girl we couldn't get much higher" to "Girl we couldn't get much better". It was picked up by Buick for a TV commercial in 1968, but this was agreed without Jim Morrison's approval, and when he found out he famously promised to "Smash up a Buick with a sledgehammer live on television" if it went ahead.

Changing lyrics slightly this way might seem trivial, but there are some people who really do believe they originally appeared as "were" and didn't just dismiss it as irrelevant the way most people do.