Eagles (Photo Credits: billboard.com)
What could the most desperate song of Eagles be? Well, from its title alone, you can surely guess what it is. With their song, Desperado, you better let somebody love you before it’s too late.
Never issued as a single, Desperado appeared on Eagles second album of the same name in 1973, and numerous compilation albums since then.
Although the song conjures images of the old west, it was recorded in London. However, its debut was on a concert tour of the American West.
The song was first written by Don Henley in Texas and later brought to Laurel Canyon where Glenn Frey contributed to it. It was one of the first Henley-Frey songs, and the impetus for the album, Desperado.
This song is named on the “Top 100 Western Songs of All Time” by the Western Writer’s Association.
Story on Its Lyrics
Desperado is an Americanization of the Spanish word desesperado – the past participle of desesperar. It refers to a reckless or desperate person, desperate for love, for fame, for money, and the like. In addition, desperado literally means someone who has lost hope or fallen into despair. In the Wild West context, the term applied to particularly bold outlaws.
Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses
One of the most discussed song lyrics, with at least three subplots that are not all mutually exclusive to each other. On the surface, it may be about an aging cowboy coming to town for his last hurrah. The song was in the Desperado concept album, based on the story of the Dalton Gang, late 1800’s train robbers.
Moreover, it could also be a young person in ‘desperate’ non-reciprocated love.
Some believe the song is a metaphor for the struggle of musicians trying ‘to make it’, not unlike The Eagles in their early days.
You been out ridin’ fences for so long now
For a cowboy “ridin’ fences” means riding your horse along the perimeter of a pasture checking the fence line and repairing any damaged spots. It’s a tedious, lonely work.
Oh, you’re a hard one
I know that you got your reasons
Cowboys can also be associated with stubbornness, but anyone can become hard-hearted after failed attempts at love. The Desperado of the song has become a hardened or even harsh person. He may have had his reasons when he started out, but they are now part of a fading past.
These things that are pleasin’ you
Can hurt you somehow
The instant gratification that comes from indulging in pleasures such as alcohol, robbery, and fighting might be pleasing right now. But they’re physically and psychologically damaging. In the long run, they provide nothing.
Don’t you draw the Queen of Diamonds, boy
She’ll beat you if she’s able
You know the Queen of Hearts is always your best bet
It indicates the one who shines like a diamond, more on the outside than the inside, or basically the looks. Furthermore, it tries to encourage the person not to give in to the lure of wealth.
In metasymbology, the Queen of Diamonds is a philanthropist, artist, musician with strong and determined character.
Queen of Diamonds can also be unattainable in other ways. While beautiful, she would also expect money and beautiful things in return. She’s all about the game and getting what she can. In addition, she’ll soon find someone she thinks is better than you.
The one who captures the heart should be the choice, or the nice cards playing metaphor – the “best bet”.
In metasymbology, the Queen of Hearts is the card of beauty, magnetism, affection, and idealism.
The Queen of Hearts would be one who already feels the same, has her “heart on a sleeve” for you or has displayed her feelings
Desperado, oh, you ain’t gettin’ no younger
Your pain and your hunger, they’re drivin’ you home
And freedom, oh freedom, well that’s just some people talkin’
Your prison is walking through this world all alone
Don’t your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won’t snow and the sun won’t shine
It’s hard to tell the night time from the day
You’re losin’ all your highs and lows;
Ain’t it funny how the feeling goes away?
Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences; open the gate
It may be rainin’, but there’s a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you, before it’s too late
Home is where the heart is. If the desperado were to love someone and let somebody love him, then he would have a reason to stop moving around alone in this world.
Watch and sing Eagle’s Desperado below.
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