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Lyin' Eyes by Eagles

Album: One Of These NightsReleased: 1975Charted:
2
23
  • This song is about a woman who cheats on her husband. She is very confused and down, and tells her husband she is going to see a friend when she is actually going to meet her lover. She goes across town to meet the boy with "Fiery eyes and dreams no one can steal."

    She gets there and she falls into his arms, but has to leave to go back home. She swears someday she will come back forever, because she is happy there. As the song continues, she ponders her emotions - "She wonders, how it ever got this crazy..." She just wants to feel loved and happy but she is torn. (thanks, James - The Hideout, PA)
  • In the DVD Hell Freezes Over, the Eagles discussed this song's origins. When they were a struggling band in Los Angeles, they saw a lot of beautiful women around Hollywood who were married to wealthy, successful men, and wondered if they were unhappy. One night they were drinking in a bar (their favorite watering hole: Dan Tana's) when they spotted this stunning young woman; two steps behind her was a much older, fat, rich guy. As they were half laughing at them, Glenn Frey commented, "Look at her, she can't even hide those lyin eyes!"

    Realizing they had a song title, the band members began grabbing for cocktail napkins to write down lyrics to go with that great observation.

    In the History of the Eagles documentary, Don Henley offered a slightly different interpretation: "It was about all these girls that would come down to Dan Tana's looking beautiful. They'd be there from 8 O'clock until midnight having drinks with all of us rockers, then they'd go home because they were kept women."
  • Glenn Frey sang lead, Bernie Leadon was on lead guitar.
  • This won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo or Group.
  • In 2008, an Irish prosecutor quoted the words to this song ("You can't hide those lyin' eyes...") in her closing statement at a trial involving the email lyingeyes98@yahoo.ie. The Dublin jury convicted Sharon Collins of conspiring to have her older partner and his two sons killed. Using the lyingeyes98 email, she contacted a hit man at hire_hitman@yahoo.com to do the deed, apparently unaware that emails can be traced.
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Comments: 55

I heard an interview with one of the Eagles (Glenn Frey, I think, but I wouldn't swear to it) who said that once they started writing this song, it practically wrote itself and it just kept going and going and took on a life of its own before they finally ran out of verses.

To Mike in Hueytown, Alabama: I'd say the guy she was cheating with was the guy from school and much younger -- much younger than the husband who was being cuckolded.
Susan - Atlanta, Georgia
This is another example of how Glenn Frey likes to write lyrics to a title. Most pop songwriters do it the other way around. Frey also did this with "Life In The Fast Lane". He had the title first, before the lyrics.Ken - Louisville, Ky
Someone says it would make a good song for a country singer...Diamond Rio's covered it. Well, the Eagles can be country too.Molly - Niagara Falls, Ny
A masterpiece. I'll disagree with those who say it's too long. It's like seduction-there is no time limit, as long as it gets done right. To me, the story is being told by her old lover, "the boy she knew in school." She used her looks to marry a guy with with money, thinking that would give her everything she wanted in life, but she still desperately needs the emotional and sexual charge of a younger lover to satisfy her needs. While there is almost always some deception in relationships, I've known some women who are absolute and complete liars. "Still the same old girl you used to be."Dt - Gulf Breeze, Fl
Good idea for a song and well-performed, but it goes on a least a minute too long. Ditto 'Hotel California.'Esskayess - Dallas, Tx
I'm a big Eagles fan and this one is definitely my favorite. I don't know why, because I have not been through a similar life situation it describes, but the refined lyrics and tuneful melody always strike me deeply, and its glamour never fade out after countless times of listening...I think I can truly understand the situation and feel the complicated emotions of the people inside the story. Anyway, its a genius work in my eyes.Jane - Jinan, China
Nothing says it quite like this song. A true classic!Carolyn - Knoville, Tn
First line bothers me.

"City girls just seem to find out early
how to open doors with just a smile"

I've always heard it as "city girls," checking the lyrics it's "city girls," but wouldn't "pretty girls" make more sense?

Jay nailed it, she's lying to her husband, she's lying to her lover, but most of all she's lying to herself, and fooling no one.

Ken is right, "the boy she knew in school" is not her lover. May be her lost love, definitely is the road not taken.

Stephen ask "When they sing "she pulls away and leaves him with a smile" - who has the smile? Him or her??" Both. After they make love, she opens the door "with just a smile" to go back to her husband. "She swears that soon she'll be comin' back forever," and her lover smiles because he knows she's lying. (But that's OK with him, he's happy with things as they are, and doesn't want a long term relationship, or at least not with her.)
Sarx - Tucson, Az
My 2nd favorite song of all time; only one to beat it is the #1 rock & roll song of all time - "Satisfaction" by The rolling Stones!Ronald - Winston-salem, N.c, Nc
I've never been a big Eagles fan, even tho they were so popular when I was a teen. To me, this song is boring, and I wouldn't hesitate to change the channel when it comes on the car radio.Camille - Toronto, Oh
My dad told me once, that he saw one of the members of the Eagles later solo after the band split up. And right before he starts singing this song, he leans in close to the mike, and goes "This one's for my first wife, BITCH!Adam - York, Pa
Great song. Henley and Frey got the inspiration of this song from the gold-digging women @ Dan Tana's restuaraunt next store to the Troubador(in West Hollywood). That is where these women would go with their sugar daddies and party. Great restuaraunt still..Jim - Long Beach, Ca
Love this song! really clever lyrics and fantastic composition! :-)Anna - Hemel Hempstead, United Kingdom
The most important thing about this song is how only a certain someone can put you out there over the stars, I mean its really has alot of meaning if you ever have any kind of relationship that you know the woman is hot and is not getting the attention she needs. But how did it ever get this crazy? She's cryin, thinkin oh God please help me! Its a "baby come home now song'. And it not about a bad woman or whore its about the women who have had just 1 or 2 men in their lives , secure women, who missed true love. I lived it it's beautiful , I 'll never forget those memories, This song is a fav ad it will be for some of you sooner or later.Hugo - Segundo, Ca
It's the ultimate cheating song. And the woman is lying to everyone - especially herself. Her husband knows precisely what she is doing but she's fooling herself that he hasn't a clueKim - Hawkhurst, United Kingdom
Here's how I see this song. Most men don't like to admit they could be attracted to "bad" women, but this song almost forces the male listener to "feel sorry" for the bad girl described in the song to the point of wanting to "rescue" her. This song tugs at the heart of a man! Guys can't help feeling "strangely" attracted to this imaginary woman. Why? Because instead of making a song about an attractive scheming "bitch" who got what she deserved, Henley & Frey, instead chose to create this "romanticized" vision of an attractive fallen woman whose poor choices caused her life to "tragically" fall apart. This way, male listeners will empathize and want to help her from her plight... Rescuing an attractive woman from herself... The ULTIMATE IMAGINARY MALE FANTASY!!..Simply put, Henley and Frey's musical brilliance created for me the greatest emotional manipulation of the male psyche in country/pop/rock history!!Tony - San Antonio, Tx
This, in my estimation, is the greatest country song ever. Simply winning a grammy award was not enough - that's an understatement. It doesn't get any better than this when it comes to a full country song which is a package of melody, guitar, good vocals/ lyrics and a theme which still hits you with a feel-good factor though its about something bad.Mayank - Ranchi, India
Good song, but no way did it need to be so long. It was a 4-minute song padded to 6-and-a-half.Esskayess - Dallas, Tx
ROFL....Your parents used "Lyin Eyes" as their wedding song? O.K.Peter - San Francisco, Ca
If you live long enough you will probably live each part of this song, or be tempted to. I have the first 2 parts down.Peter - San Francisco, Ca
While working our boss would practice playing and singing this song, he noted that the Eagles songs were all hard to play even though they sound easy. I worked at Gerogetown Dental Lab.Sara - Eckerty, In
The album version was 6 mins. & 22 secs. in length while the 45 RPM version was 3 mins. & 58 secs. I always assumed that this was because AM stations in the 1970s were reluctant to play anything that was over four minutes long. Love the final line: "HONEY, you can't hide your lyin' eyes"!!! {Also enjoyed reading all the posted comments}Barry - Sauquoit, Ny
i think its tells the about a lot of peopleBobby - Joplin Mo., Mo
@Bo, when you listen to that line at a fairly low level, it does sound like "whore", but when you turn it up, it sounds like both say "girl".Brad - Long Island, Ny
for thirty years every single time i have heard this song it has always reminded me of a girl i had an across town relationship with while i had a girl friend. just reverse all the he and she's around and most of it fits. her name was nola. i havn't seen her in thirty years, but i remember her like it was yesterday. out of no where she contacted me yesterday. now i can't sleep and i'm playing this song.Mary - Motown, Ms
He does say itLiz - Smallville, Ks
I read what Bo said and sure enough no lie thats whats he says.Blake - Tahlequah, Ok
This song is great it reminds me of my wife when she kept going out to the clubs and did not come home until the next morning and she played stupid when i asked her where she was and what she was doingSteve - Baltimore, Md
the story goes that glenn wrote this about his first wife who cheated on him...you cant hid your lyin eyes.there must have been another boy waiting for her at the other side of town with firey eyes and dreams no one could stealNatalie - Dublin, Ireland
I love this song,too. It was on the Urban Cowboy Soundtrack and It was on Lying Eyes,the movie about the cheerleader and the cheating attorney.Jennifer Harris - Grand Blanc, Mi
I think this songs about an unhappy woman whos made some poor choices and how her husband can see shes cheating on him, THERE AINT NO WAY TO HIDE YOUR LYIN EYES...Brian - Vancouver, Canada
love the music and harmonies..cant get enuffLeslie Ann - Port Of Spain, Trinidad And Tobago
One of the local radio stations here in Cleveland play this song quite a bit, but they play an edited version of it... It goes from "She gets up and pours herself a strong one and stares out at the stars up in the sky... My oh my you sure know how to arrange things" ect..ect..ect. I feel leaving out the rest of that last verse takes away the part of her life that she can only look back at at realize that she had lead a carefree life not really knowing how much she lost until it was too late, and without the whole verse it dosen't give the song a true closure.Karl - Akron, , Oh
There's three men in the song: The rich old man, the lover on the cheatin' side of town, and the boy she knew in school. The old man and the lover get nothing but lies. The boy she knew in school was her true love; but she, the schemer, left him to choose this lazy, crazy, "easy" life so she could "dress up all in lace and go in style." The boy she knew in school offered her true love, but not big money. He's watched her life since then and is the narrator, singer, of the song.Ken - Nashville, Tn
There seem to be several things the girl in the song is lying about. The final lie in the last chorus may be that she murdered her rich older husband in order to escape a loveless marriage and re-join her old boy friend and that she is is now lying to him about the murder. But the old boy friend knows it's a lie because he says "funny, you can't hide your lyin' eyes".Marty - Chicago, Il
I don't think "the boy she knew in school" and the guy she's running to is the same guy. The guy she's cheating on her husband with sounds much younger.Mike - Hueytown , Al
"Lyin' Eyes" is about how the commen misconception that people that are rich are well off. There is a woman who is living the life of a lie. She is married to a man that has "hands as cold as ice". She finds herself night after night all alone in a mansion, drinking hard alcohol. One night she decides to go to the "cheatin' side of town" to meet an old "friend" but its an old boyfriend from school. She tells him that she'll be coming back to him, but he knows that she's lyin' and knows that she'll go back to where the moneys at. She has fallen into the pit of the highlife and can't get out and hides it behind her smile, but it's thin disguise.....Jim - Scituate, Ma
Listen closely (with headphones) to the last line of the last verse. While Don Henley's harmony part definitely says, "You're still the same old girl you used to be", Glen Frey sings, "You're still the same old whore you used to be"Bo - St Simons Island, Ga
I heard this song was inspired by Kenny Rogers and the First Editions "Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town." That from a close friend of Glenn's.

Enjoy, Gary
Gary - Seattle, Wa
I love this song. Would be a great song to be covered by a country artist like Toby Keith. Has the theme common for a country song.Patrick - Tallapoosa, Ga
Great Cheatin song...an Eagles masterpieceMike - Hueytown , Al
There are three lies in this song. She is lying to her husband, to her boyfriend, and to herself. She cannot hide her lies from any of them.Jay - Brooklyn, Ny
I really beleive she was his misteres are maybe a call girl at first and later marrisd for his richies.Waiting for his death and get hie riches and then ahe can be with her high school loveGary - Albertville, Al
This is a short story. It has plot and characterization and irony. I'm with Scugie -- this (along with many other Eagles songs) could be the theme of a film, TV show, or a play.
On another note, why is it that the Eagles' great "story songs" such as Lyin' Eyes never use personal names? The only Eagles song I know that uses a name is James Dean, and that is about a real person. Their songs are usually about "I", "he" and "she". I don't know the relevence of this observation, I'm just wondering if anyone else has thought about it.
Jay - Brooklyn, Ny
scugie: i think that would sorta ruin it.Jeanette - Irvine, Ca
this is one of my favorite eagles songs.Jeanette - Irvine, Ca
When they sing "she pulls away and leaves him with a smile" - who has the smile? Him or her?? Could be either, right? I'm guessing it's him that's smiling - hope so for his sake!Stephen - Northampton, England
Great vocals from Frey. I love this song.John - Millersville, Md
Brady
This seems a rather strange song for a wedding song since it's about a "trophy wife" cheating on her older husband; then again, years ago, my sister would occasionaly sing with local bands for weddings. One couple wanted the song "A Day in the Life of a Fool" -- which has a beautiful melody and was the theme for a 1960 Brazilian film called "Black Orpheus" which updated the Greek tragedy to Mardi Gras time in Rio. The band finally decided just to play the melody but my sister did not sing!
Jerry - Brooklyn, Ny
Great lyrics, pacing, and instrumentation. My favorite rock song, period. I wonder why its theme was never made into a film, for TV or theater.

Scugie,
NY NY
Scugie - New York City (manhattan), Ny
nice song and i also love the eaglesMeagan - Baton Rouge, La
I love the Eagles.Aj - Cleveland, Ga
Henley and Frey composed this song in a restaurant on a napkin after seeing many older men with absolutely gorgeous young women.Dan - Winthrop, Ma
In the Farewell I Tour, Frey dedicated this to his "first wife...Plaintiff"Clay - Chattanooga, Tn
I love this song. When my parents got married in '80, this was their song. And now its one of my all time favoritesBrady - Fort Stockton, Tx