Michael Jackson is considered one of the greatest songwriters to ever make music. His lyrics were laced with stories of pain, deception by women and pleas for a better world. One subject rarely covered in his catalog was drugs.
That was until 1997 on his remix album, “Blood on the Dance Floor.” “Blood” is widely considered Jackson’s darkest album, and was a change of pace for the artist, following his admission of addiction to pain killers in 1993 and child abuse allegations the same year. The track that best embodies this shift in Jackson’s mood is a song titled “Morphine.”
It’s a haunting song, solely written, composed, and produced by Jackson. The song seems to rebuke untrustworthy handlers and deceptive women at first; but in the hook, Jackson gets to the subject at hand. Singing from the perspective of morphine, Jackson pleads:
Trust in me
Just in me
Put all your trust in me
You're doin' morphine
Jackson then goes a step further as he sings about the drug’s effect. The most jarring section of this song, which is over six minutes long, shifts from a focus on morphine to another highly addictive drug, Demerol.
This won't hurt you
Before I put it in
Close your eyes and count to ten
I won't convert you
There's no need to dismay
Close your eyes and drift away
Oh God he's taking
Oh God he's taking Demerol
Hard to convince her
To be over what he had
Today he wants it twice as bad
I won't resent you
Yesterday you had his trust
Today he's taking twice as much
The section about Demerol also makes a huge shift in mood. Jackson goes from a hard rock sound to a ballad, as if singing a love song about the drug.
During Jackson’s autopsy in 2009, it was discovered that Jackson had prescription meds in his system. Part of Dr. Conrad Murray’s defense is that Jackson’s insomnia was caused by an addiction to Demerol, and Jackson was so desperate for sleep, he gave himself the anesthetic propofol to get to sleep. During court on Thursday, Dr. Robert Waldman, an addiction specialist for the defense testified, “I believe there’s evidence he [Michael Jackson] was dependent on Demerol.” Waldman also testified that Jackson was given large doses of the drug while being treated by his longtime dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Klein.
Could Jackson have been trying to make his fans aware of a Demerol addiction as far back as 1997? Was this song a cry for help? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.