Don Henley wrote the lyrics about how people from the Eastern United States ruined the West early on. They killed the Native Americans, and the more West America goes, the more commercial it gets.
Suggestion credit: Bill - Johnstown, PA
In a 1987 interview with Rolling Stone, Henley said: "The Last Resort, on Hotel California, is still one of my favorite songs... That's because I care more about the environment than about writing songs about drugs or love affairs or excesses of any kind. The gist of the song was that when we find something good, we destroy it by our presence - by the very fact that man is the only animal on earth that is capable of destroying his environment. The environment is the reason I got into politics: to try to do something about what I saw as the complete destruction of most of the resources that we have left. We have mortgaged our future for gain and greed."
Patti from OhioOut of all the recordings from the Eagles over half the world never mentions one of the most meaningful yet heart breaking songs that Don Henley ever wrote. It is so very true and so very sad." Complete destruction of the resources we have let" feelings expressed in 1976, I wonder how he feels now 44yrs later.... devastating I an sure.
Ken from Los AngelesI was 13 when this album came out. This song was so deep and mesmerizing. I could never figure out why I was the only one that thought it was so great. Nobody ever talked about it.
Bill Ferro from MarylandThe song is nothing short of magisterial.
Optomist1 from TehachapiPretty sobering...music that is incomparable, understandable and artfully executed. The lyrics will provide a sobering dose of reality to today’s protesters...take lovely LA Aqueduct, the settlers took the Owens Valley water and land resources from the Paiute Indians....Los Angles including the LA Times using deceit and fraud took the Owens Vally resources to create the LA Aqueduct. Short memories and selective amnesia
Teresa from Wathe ugly boxes are houses
Deborah from KyThis song is so chilling of how the red man was cheated out of their land and life. These days it is all about a different color and injustice, this song should be played at protest and all of us go back to where our ancestors came from, after all we have all disrupted and corrupted their land. So Paradise has already been raped and is gone. I’m thankful for this song and songwriting team, one of the best there has ever been, so glad to know real music and was able to grow up with it. Like the land good music is gone, but we still have the opportunity to buy it in some fashion or play our precious records I love this song and the music.
Jim from UsAs I was maturing into a man during my short service in the U.S. Air Force a couple of decades ago, I came across this song and immediately adopted the meaning to describe a young, beautiful, conservative old-world and old-wealth woman who came to the US to make a life for herself. At the time I was thinking about how to win over the young woman I dated in high school who fit the spirit of that theme and someone who had left me. I was most likely jaded, but now have been married to that same woman for almost 18 years. This song was a torch to help me read the cues that she left in her wake at th theire time in her quest to become a doctor and how I could come to understand her.
Thank you to all of you who have posted your interpretations of this in here. Because of you I have come to understand how brilliantly this song was written. Brilliance defined by meaning, not concrete interpretation. Brilliance of experience and memory and brilliance of things to come. Truly, I think this is one of the best song lyric ever written.
Eddie Rad from South Hadley, MaRecently rediscovered this song thanks to our local Eagles tribute band I have seen in Western MA a few times! Truly a masterpiece by Henley. The words mean more today than ever! Thank you to all the Eagles for this song!
Stacee from Crescent City, CaWith the recent fires in California and basically burning the entire town of Paradise, Ca off the face of the earth, the lyrics to this song are quite eerie especially the last ones. wow
Rob from CanadaThe "Jesus - Coming Soon" sign was in Lahaina in the mid 70's, before Hotel California came out. It may be a newer sign now as I recall it being vertical then, but it was a long time ago and my memory could be a bit fuzzy. Don Henley obviously saw what was happening to the area at the time - the beginning of the massive tourism development there. It was likely the inspiration for the song.
Sendoh; the ugly boxes are condominiums and houses.
AnonymousWhat does the ugly boxes mean here?
Raunak Kenneth from India RanchiOne of my all time fav songs, it is a song which says a lot many things like Necessities VS Luxury, Rich Vs Poor, fake believers of God. Simply just love the way Henley has put his artistic craftsmanship into this wonderful song. My fav line "Some rich man came and raped the land, Nobody caught him, Put up a bunch of ugly boxes, And Jesus people bought them, They called it paradise" which explains how we as humans destroy what we are provided with in the name of God and in the name of destiny. No matter where you go across the globe you will find how in the name of expansion we have slaughtered nature. This song reflects the feelings of indigenous people who are forced to move out of their lands by people hungry for power, money.
Matt from AustraliaI saw The Eagles in concert here in Sydney last Friday night, March 6th, 2015. My only regret was that they didn't get the chance to play 'The Last Resort'. After looking into the reasons why this song was written and its subject matter a little more carefully, I noticed a comment made by artistic critic, William Ruhlmann, that the album 'Hotel California' ends ('The Last Resort' being the final track on the album) by sketching "a broad, pessimistic history of America that borders on nihilism". The lyric, "we satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds in the name of Destiny and in the name of God", I understand, is a reference to the widely held 19th century American belief in the concept of 'Manifest Destiny'. According to historian Frederick Merk (and Wikipedia, for the sake of honest disclosure), Manifest Destiny was an irresistible destiny, or fatalistic belief in America's mission to redeem and remake the West in the image of agrarian America, which was underwritten by a sense of the special virtues of the American people and their institutions and tacitly endorsed by God. I understand this may appear a little high-handed coming from an Australian, but through learning the history of my own country and what the European settlers did to our own indigenous Aboriginals, I feel I can relate and this is why I was particularly irked by Ruhlmann's criticism of the song as a 'broad, pessimistic history of America that borders on nihilism'. It is the essential truth of the song's message which makes it so troubling and calls into question the rationale which forms the very basis, or justification for the status quo of contemporary American society. Australian society is no less culpable and shares guilt by association; the only potential difference being that the original settling agents of Australia didn't even seem to bother to attempt to resort to some kind of fabricated moral authority beyond the idea that 'might is right' and the blessings of the Crown were all that was necessary. Judging by the comments made below, many well-meaning citizens of Australia seem to share with Americans a sense of prickling guilt at how our respective countries came to be. Perhaps it is this sense of remorse which necessitates Ruhlmann's intellectualisation, allowing him and assenting readers to conveniently and clinically categorise 'The Last Resort' as somehow unpatriotic and therefore dismiss the uncomfortable truth conveyed in Henley's masterpiece.
Gary from Nauvoo, AlThis song's melody has haunted me for years and I could never remember the name of the song when I brought it up to someone. Then recently, a bandmate talked me into learning it to sing for live shows. After learning the lyrics and discovering the meaning of the song, I was floored! I am ashamed I did not know this sooner. What a tremendously well written song, words and melody.
Rob from Zwolle, NetherlandsForgot to say it's even better than the album's title track "Hotel California'
Rob from Zwolle, NetherlandsHi there, came across this song (again) lately. I think it's great, only hope that they don't put our Lord down though, which to me is certainly NOT the case here. Anyway: about Airplay?? Well: I am airing it Wednesday night in my Roots music show (local, but we have a worldwide livestream through rtvzoo.nl ) Show runs from 7 pm to 9 pm every Wednesday night! Tune in and you will find it aired just before 9 PM local Western Europe time. Nice site, this one! Take care.
Jonor579 from Cape Coral, FlOne of the GREATEST truthful songs written. I relate the Last Resort song to Cape Coral Florida since the rich men, Rosen Brothers raped the land, Cape Coral and nobody caught em. Put up a bunch of earthly boxes back in late 50's and 60's only to "call it paradise the place to be. The folks that live there do watch the hazy sun sinking in the sea. And they now kissing it goodbye. Such a shame. Wish we would all wake up!!!
Greg from Peasbody, MaIt amazes me that this song is simply rarely played on the radio and unheralded in any discussion of The Eagles. In Full disclosure I was born and raised in California and this song and its Albumn resonate with me like no other. Easily the most overlooked song on Hotel California yet the most pertinent and appropriately placed as the last song on the albumn. My personal favorite Albumn of all time. Desert Island....one pick...this is it!
Kaylie from Charlton, Matheres a guy up there, Bob. You piss me off like no other. Its people like you, saying we complain about rich people but then use their inventions and s--t, who make the world a worse place to live in. yes, I have and ipod, and a tv, and all that stuff. But do i think that rich people making this stuff justifies them killing people, and destroying what isnt even ours to claim in the first place? no way. the earth if for all to LOVE not to destroy. same with with people. we need to get along, and not care about race. its people like me, and songs like this that will change the world for the better, not dumb s--ts like you who dont care what happens as long as you get what you want, you selfish prick.
Bob from Florida, KsyOU GUYS CRACK ME UP. The same rich guy that raped the land...made ipods and pc's and all the crap you all love so much..cars, housing, planes etc. you people want everything without sacrificing anything... FOOLS If you really feel that this song is so great live in the wild and feed yourself you morons. You won't make it...HA
Zhang from Tianjin, ChinaTonight I heard the song and love it so much,for Chinese people,all we know about The Eagles is the song Hotel California.And all of your comments make me touching.There's no curse and insult,all of you talk about the song seriously.Thank you guy,I receive a lot.
Dale from Belmont, NcSaw Henley perform this Acoustic on July 4th 1993. My best friend and I had great seats, and it's by far the most memorable single performance I've ever witnessed. Don is, in my opinion, America's greatest song writer (Leonard Cohn is Canadian ;), and the Last Resort is Henley's best song, per perfection
Mayank from Ranchi, India"They called it paradise, the place to be. They watched the hazy sun sinking in the sea" - amazing lines. It is Henley's greatest work as per what Glenn Frey calls it.
Jarret from Greensburg, PaMy favorite quote in this song is when he says, "We satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds in the name of destiny and in the name of God. And you can see them there on Sunday morning and sing about what it's like up there. They call it paradise i don't know why. You call someplace paradise kiss it good bye" I love that line because it's perfect history of when the colonists came to America and BELIEVED it was their right by God that they owned that land, and that everyone else, even those who lived there before (and those brought there against there will (not mentioned)) had no rights were sub-human and should be treated like animals. Yet "they sit in church and sing about what it's like up there." That makes me sick to my stomach and sad. When i hear this line i think why did they even go to church. Religion is about action not dogma or thought.
Dan from Walla Walla, WaThis song had a powerful influence on the course of my life. Partly due to the impact of this song I've spent the majority of my professional career protecting rather than destroying portions of paradise.
Johan from Wijchen, NetherlandsThankfull for all listed comments. Although opnions differ widely they did help me to get a better understanding what the song is really about. Having travelled the Colorado plateau twice I was awestruck quite often by the wild beauty. Plenty were the moments I had tears in my eyes and felt smaller than a grain of sand. With the lyrics of this song in my head and the Don Henley's mystic voice in my ears I feel so sad inside and wished I could do it all over again and really make a differende. By the way, I am Dutch an 64 years of age. Johan, Wijchen, The Netherlands.
Dave from Portland, MeCompare the message in this song to 'Song for America' by Kansas. Same idea. This song does and always has had an intense hold on me. Phenomenal performance to say the least. A message sung too late to save what's been lost.
Doug Behr from Baltimore, MdI am a devout Christian and I have long cherished this song as one of my all-time favorites. To me, it makes a really strong statement about how we start out thinking we're following God's directives but how we can go quickly astray. We spit in God's face while we're sitting in His lap! We are charged by God's word to have dominion over His creation but in our arrogance we interpret dominion (a responsiblity to protect) as exploitation. This song serves as a constant reminder to me to PROTECT what we've been allowed to use. I love this song!
Zak Johnson from Vancouver, BcWas just in Lahaina a couple weeks ago. Got excited when I saw a sign that read, "Jesus is Coming Soon". My favorite song right now.
Melissa from Beaufort, ScAs a 28 year old, the meaning I get from this song is spelled out perfectly in the line "And you can see them there, on sunday morning, stand up and sing about what it's like up there...They'll call it paradise.. I don;t know why, call someplace paradise, and kiss it goodbye................... This means that according to these people's religion (like almost all religions),their way to paradise (heaven), is through their their respect of the laws of the Bible. In other words, because of their mistreatment of the Natives, they lost their place in Heaven..... And I firmly believe that they were hypocrites, and they really lost their "paradise".
Kelsey from Stillwater, OkThis song speaks of several periods in American history at once. First off it speaks of the California goldrush of the mid-1800s with lines such as "put up a bunch of ugly boxes" a reference to the thousands of mines built during this time. The line talking about the "pretty people" playing is talking about Las Vegas how the decadence it spawned starting in the 1950s. The most contemporary reference I have been able to pull from this song is the line saying "somebody laid the mountains low while the town got high" is referring to LA in the 1970s and how anyone and everyone was able to get out to the coast to get high despite how far it may mean that they'd have to travel.
Dave from Berwick, PaHere is my take on the lines "And you can see them there on Sunday morning/They stand up and sing about what it's like up there/They call it paradise" IMHO, Henley is referring to Heaven....truly the last resort. Where do you go from there?
Ron from Boulder, CoI remember well the first time this song actually "hit me". I'm a Colorado native and I live in Boulder (the conservatives in our state call it "The Peoples Republic of Boulder" :). I recall thinking the mountain town in the song easily could be Boulder and felt heartache (which it seems a lot of you posting here feel...) If you were alive in the 1970's or not you should be well aware that it was a time of social transition. The Eagles often speak of this brief time of hope and enlightenment (listen to "The Sad Cafe") in their music (and in interviews etc.). People were migrating (fleeing) from the East Coast in droves, shedding their "uptight" personas and looking for "liberation", hanging out in the, clean and still natural, West in places like Boulder, Aspen, Santa Fe and Taos and the beach communities and Northern woods (Big Sur) of California. There was always talk of Maui being the ultimate get away, I. E. the last place to flee the Eastern establishment of "Helots" (an anathema to the hippies) and the overcrowding of sprawl. A place to build a new kind of society. In the late sixties early seventies "counter culture" individuals lived in communes, ate brown rice, used and created products which were "natural". All that started to "disolve" late in the seventies and we got the corporate dressing for success '80's to follow. This song is both an allegory AND a contemporary observation. The "hippie" ideals (and ideas) were morphing into big business opportunities, property development was gearing up to "rape" the land, the resources etc. The Eagles experienced this and envisioned (like a lot of their generation), and articulated in "The Last Resort", the final demise of the natural world by the "ignorant", pernicious and overt actions of humans, some in good faith and out of need but none the less...poisonous. And the loss of their generation's shot at "innocence" along with the planet's. They are saying; there's no where left to go, and "We have got to make it here" folks. One last comment..Jesus People were often hippies who's (I'm bein' polite here) need for a spiritual connection brought them to various Christian forums (The Moonies etc.) and our generation hung a "tag" on them which could be innocuous or a slur depending on the individual's mental health profile at the time of their "conversion". The Eagles were transferring that term generally to the mass middle class ("Silent Majority") of the post WWII years who migrated to California, built churches, and were suburban and seen as somewhat "clueless" by their kids... Later those reinvented "Jesus People" brought us the 80's - 90's new conservative political wing of the Republican Party and also "Right to Life" bombings of clinics and other good works "in the name of God". BTW, this is all IMHO. "The Last Resort" is a great song with ethical lessons and staying power for generations of listeners from all societies.
Richard from Greenville, NcMy personal favorite Eagles song."Poignant" is my best description.
The sign in Lahaina (mentioned earlier by Chris of Boston/Maui) was definitely there in late '97.
Mark from Ogden, UtWhen the Hotel California album was released I quickly purchased the cassette tape and listened to the whole fantastic album over and over. But the more I listened, the more I kept coming back to this song. Eventually, I was listening almost exclusively to this one song. It is so powerful and emotional it got inside my head. While the message of the song struck a chord with me personally, the song itself is so well crafted, performed, and sung that it should be recognized as one of the best Eagles songs ever recorded.
Dee from Chicago, IlI have been an Eagles Fan for many years and THE LAST RESORT is, by far, the best song they have ever done. The lyrics are genius. The music is phenomenal. When Hell Freezes Over is the DVD we play the most.
Ken Thomson from Edmonton, AbThe Strip in Las Vegas (which could represent much of HC's darker themes about lost innocence, moral decay, materialism, etc.) is actually located in a suburb known as Paradise, NV. Just a thought...
Oldpink from New Castle, InThis is one of their best. Incredible lyrics that Henley sings clearly enough that you need not pull them up on line or from the CD booklet. Beautiful arrangement, and Felder's steel guitar TOTALLY makes this song, too.
Jim from Johnsonburg, NyA great song, powerful lyrics, expressively sung in one of Don Henley's finest vocal moments. While I understand the comments about "being preached to from on high" by a millionaire, the sad fact of the matter is that in our culture, those are the only people that most Americans will listen to. If this was by some average Joe, working at WalMart, most of us wouldn't bother to listen. At least Don used his position of influence and fame to comment about something meaningful, not how many "hoes" he's got or how he "rolls in his Bentley."
Marc from Springfield, MbI feel that there is a strong lyrical connection between both the messages of this song and that of Long Road Out of Eden, wonder if anyone else has noticed it too. I also find it very ironic that there are certain people who for them, this message particularily hits home; these who must feel it as a personal attack towards them and their lifestyles. Ashamed, these individuals decide to redirect these feelings by aiming, in particular, both Henley and younger generations, instead of manning up and facing their lives. It's because of people like you that this song exists.
Cliff from Rowlett, TxI always find it curious when the rich and famous start to preach. I grew up with the Eagles and I love their music and Don Henley's in particular. I don't know nor care whether the song is an allegory or not. The words are very powerful but would probably be more so if they weren't being written and sung from on high by a very rich man who drives a cadillac escalade into his very expensive home here in Dallas where he had to get a special exemption to build a fence around to keep out all the great unwashed. I've always loved this song (recorded and in person) but I always take everything shouted down from the mountain top with a whole shaker of salt. Marko you're onto something on that gen'x thing.
Matthew from Mustang, OkThe song describes the move westward when America was being "discovered" but uses this imagery to comment on human nature in general. The song begins in Providence, but this is just a small part of the story. The line "...just as her father came across the sea." demonstrates that humanity has been repeating itself. On another note, I've always enjoyed the climax of this song. The majority of the song is reflecting on the past, but switches to present tense when questions are being asked "Who will provide the grand design..." The climactic verse begins with backing vocals. The Eagles often utilized vocal harmonies, harmonies not present in this song until this climax. This verse is again in present tense, but it is the first verse to offer something concrete (these people that we've been talking about are still around today, we can see them at this moment on Sunday morning, presumably in or coming out of church.). I have always felt that the backing vocals here were meant to sound like a church choir, which ties the lyrical climax to the musical climax and makes the imagery even more vivid.
Blake from London, United KingdomBeautiful melodic tune and deep, ingeniously written lyrics. The Eagles are really good at that sort of thing.
Tanya from Perth, Australia'The Last Resort' has been my favourite song since I was 13. I am now 44. I see it as a song that speaks for Indigenous peoples the world over. 'We will provide the Grand Design / What is yours and what is mine / For there is no more new frontier / We have got to make it here / We satisfy our endless needs / And justify our bloody deeds / In the name of Destiny ... And in the name of God. I never knew what Manifest Destiny was until I read 'Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee' by Dee Brown. There is so much in this song - it's a masterpiece.
Tracy from Orlando, FlDon Henley is a brilliant artist. He writes and sings about history, the facts..we conveniently forget and aren't taught about in school. And he ends the song, basically - everywhere we have labeled "paradise" we, eventually ruin...."there is no more new frontier"! Utah is my paradise...
Chris from Boston, Ma(ui), MaThis song is about the migration west from east, the frontiers that it brought to the settlers and the problems that they brought with them. The last frontier is Hawaii when he speaks about Maui (where I live part-time)"You can leave it all behind and sail to Lahaina, just like the missionaries did years ago, they even brought a neon, said Jesus is coming"....if you have never been to Lahaina, there is a small missionary church on Front St. with a neon sign on it that says "Jesus Coming Soon"
Jim from Kutztown, PaAll I have to say is that of all the Eagle's incredible works that "the Last Resort" is absolutely the most underated. The lyrics are phenominal and Henley's deliverance is spot on and touches anyone who has a heart or a conscience, (as well it should!). It's nice to read these comments on here. Hell, I thought I was the only one who found any depth in this song. My wife was calling me nuts for this...LOL
Ryan from Normal, Ilwell, we can all agree that marko has no idea what he's talking about. it isn't "jesus people bought 'em", its "jesus, people bought 'em". jesus isnt used as a label on a group of people, it's simply a sign of disgust. and this certainly isnt about death to exxon, the last time i looked, when talking about exxon, im not speaking about the "red man's ways." the lyrics are meant to be taken literally, and as jeremy from bellingham said, don henely himself quoted in a concert that the song is about "how the west was lost." look it up, he said it on the hell freezes over tour right before singing it. this song is in no way meant to be symbolic, its all literal.
Jeremey from Bellingham, Wa"You've heard of how the west was one, well this is sort of about how the west was lost." These are the words from the author of the lyrics himself as he introduces the song on Hell Freezes Over. To say, Marko, that this song is NOT about what the author says its about, and instead is an allegory, is just plain ignorant, irresponsible, and idiotic. I enjoy a good allegory when i see one, but there is definitely none to be found here. The lyrics are as straight forward as you can get, and were intended as such so that morons couldn't misinterpret the words. This song is one of the greatest rock songs ever written on the strength of its powerful lyrics. Every word in the song is perfect, and I don't want to comment on them all, but the best are certainly "We satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and the name of God" how pretty much anything we do wrong can be "right-ed" by saying we do it in god's name, and "And you can see them there, On Sunday morning stand up and sing about what it's like up there They call it paradise I don't know why You call someplace paradise, kiss it goodbye" speaks for itself. The lines about sailing to Lahaina are all about how after the white man was done raping and pillaging North America, he headed to Hawaii to start all over again, however he can't start the cycle after that because "there is no more new frontier, we have got to make it here." Every time I hear the song and Henley gets to that high note singing "on" in the line "On Sunday morning...." where he gives a nice subtle bash at christianity, it sends chills up and down my spine. Lyrics don't get any better. I'm mostly white and therefore my ancestors are certainly to blame, however I am also part Klallam tribe, and I have to say I am many times more proud of my Native heritage than my European background. And I don't mean the Native American culture that has been brought about by the suppression by the white man.
Expat from Mle, AlWow, Marko, even if you are in Arizona i would not even waste my breathe to challenge your idiotic assumptions.
In the mid-70s there was hardly any commercialism in the pop industry, artists wrote long songs on artistic merits and on social conscience.
If you think "jesus people" was the most accusatory part, take a look at the lines of the religious nutcases going to church on sundays to pray for salvation and "satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds in the name of destiny and in the name of God."
Best line:"Somebody laid the mountains low while the town got high" (double meaning in there)
Bret from Cherokee, NcJust had to reply to Marko's rant above ---
I thought it was a bit ironic (and humorous) that he takes the younger generations to task for their poor grammar, and then proceeds to make a totally fallacious argument about Christian rock based around a complete misread of the lyrics.
The lyrics read: "Some rich men came and raped the land, nobody caught 'em/ Put up a bunch of ugly boxes and, JESUS, people bought 'em."
Cappice? Not "'Jesus people'" bought 'em...but "Jesus, people bought 'em" (used as a swear word, to express Henley's disgust/ dismay/ amusement at the way people were stupidly buying up these "ugly boxes" on the West Coast like they were going out of style).
Check the liner notes...it's all there in print. :-)
Zach from Providence, RiThanks for generalizing my entire generation, Marko! Good to know mine isn't the first to feel blind disgust for that which differs from us! Remember, just because I wasn't alive when the song was written doesn't mean I can't understand the political background it underlies =( I'm glad you, on the other hand, are certain of the Eagles intentions; that they were in no way referencing political tension nor any sentimentality whatsoever towards the Indians nor commercialism.
Jim from Durham, NcThanks for pointing out the Hell Freezes Over DVD. The video is on YouTube. Perhaps Marko would like to pull his head out of his rectum for a moment and hear Don Henley describe the 'allegory' behind this song. Or, perhaps Marko is right and Don Henley is lying. What a self-righteous schmuck. The song isn't allegorical. Perhaps Marko should look it up.
Marko from Bagdad, Az Nice to know the Eagles have their share of younger fans. This stack of comments is fascinating, even if you have never heard the song. It is a dead giveaway, as even a quick and casual read will reveal, which blurbs were written by one or more representatives of the Gen-X crowd - - grammar, punctuation and spelling is somewhere on what once was thought of as fourth-grade level before teachers as an aggregate threw their hands in the air and gave up. The seeming obviation and eradication of the usefulness of complete sentences would be worrisome enough. The real horror is the complete default mechanism this bunch has had programmed into them, of translating anything and everything into sheer political terms, the outcome always, always, always favoring left-wing fanaticism. Boys and girls, when this song was written and the album Hotel California was released, the genre called disco had not yet seized hold of and stuffed lethal powder up the nose of the music industry, and environmental activism by musicians was taken seriously by no one, not even the musicians themselves. This song is an allegory (big word, I know, go look it up) about the state of affairs in popular music in the mid-70s where entertainment value and art and creativity were dying out, to be replaced by album sales and marketability. The references to "Jesus people'' is some inevitable anti-Christian backlash, squeezed in because the genre now known as contemporary Christian music was just starting to catch on, at least with church-going kids. The seeming political-correctness-before-its-time lament about European-descendants and westward advance has nothing in the least to do with the 49er's or the Indian wars of the latter 19th century or the Trail of Tears. Henley is simply denouncing the divergence of rock and roll from its African-American-style roots of blues and jazz (I am sure hip-hop's ascendency in the late 80's made him feel all better). While many tree-hugging domestic terrorists would like to make this their new National Anthem, it does a disservice to the songwriters' poetic gifts to tag this music as nothing deeper than a forebear to Death-to-Exxon-and-Dupont-Chemical -and- the-Lumber-Industry Rock.
Dave from Princeton Jct., NjIn theology, Divine Providence, or simply Providence, is the sovereignty, superintendence, or agency of God over events in people's lives and throughout history. What an incredible way to reference a geography and an ideal with one word in a very powerful set of lyrics.
Ron from Orlando, FlFrom the moment this album came out in 1976 this was my favorite song on the album. It's very moving and emotional. I completely agree with Bob in Boca Raton about the Key West comparison, that is absolutely "the" lyric in this song that describes Key West now, it's a sad thing...but it is definitely my favorite Eagles song....
Jabed from Gazipur, OtherThis is Jabed from Bangladesh. The Last Resort is an amazing tale of "how the Whiteman's reign" began to crush hopes and dreams of humanity. This is one of my most favorite lyrics.
Ted from Boston, MaIt is truely about everywhere in our great Country, and our lose of values. And not coincidentally, written by the same man who wrote another powerful tune, "The Heart of the Matter", These two songs are tremendous..followed closely by "one Headlight" by Jakob Dylan....
Michel from Capelle A/d Ijssel, AlNo comment.One of the best (Desperado!!) ever!
Brian from Old Basing, EnglandThis song is one of the best ever by any artist, full of soul, full of feeling, just the best
Kirk from Cary, NcI love the song. It's very poignant and powerful, with a great musical build from a mellow, pretty beginning to a big finale. The message is very clear and impactful. Sometimes I have issues with rich, privileged people who rail against the rich and privileged, but that's just the way entertainment is setup. If you're good, talented and well-loved, you're going to be financially successful, and you're going to have a more prominent platform from which to speak. I do not doubt their sincerity, and that they care about causes; again, it's just sometimes hard to take from rich, privileged folks. Like John Edwards getting a huge speaking fee for a talk on poverty. Who knows...he may have donated it all to poverty. Rich people can also be philanthropic and do good things with their influence and money, so it is not inherently bad. The love of money is the root of all evil, not money itself.
Jim from Moreno Valley, CaGreat group of musicians...really can tell a story with lyrics and music. What starts as great endeavors often brings the worse out in people. We call something paradise, the place to be, and soon after, the place that was once thought to be Heaven on Earth, turns out to be nothing more than the grass you left behind. The Shangri-La you found to rest your weary life now has a Starbucks and Quizno?s on the corner, while the Garden of Eden is a mall at the end of town.What starts out to be an utopian ideal usually ends up as hell on Earth due to the corruption, greed, and exploitation of the land and of the people.
Tim from California, CaMessage for Sagar from India. I am an Asian-American and find it quite insulting, uneducated, and frankly appalling of you would call people WASP. I am a liberal minded American who has lots of critique for how the Conservatives in our country have run our country to the ground but I will not tolerate some self-righteous - feel sorry for himself SOB from another part of the world blaming his own country's problems on so called WASP. You look at it like those of us from the West exploit those of you from India for cheap labor but tell me Mr. Sahar were those of us in the West responsible for your overpopulation, your cholera infested water, or your Caste system? I hope idiots like you never come to our country.
Chris from Charleston, WvThe song tells the story the best it could have been told! It all boils down to greed, how the white man raped the land and assumed ownership of it, CHOOSING to forget about the fact that someone ELSE already owned. My blood boils when I think of the details of how our country was founded. In the name of GOD is the most absurd statement. If it was done for God, and God liked what was done, I want nothing to do with THAT God. I, however, feel that God turned his face in shame over what was done. I am thankful for the freedoms I have in this country, but I am sick of how we are taught in school how great we are as a country but the truth of our founding is ALWAYS left out. Don Henly and Glen Frey took a stand! Good for them!
Hailey from Madison Heights, Vayeah i love this song. my take is that you can call a place paridise and some where along the line there is someone who will try and take it away.
Wal from Yonkers, Ny Great band, lots of great songs. This is by FAR their best. Glen calls it Henley's Opus. MY take on this song is; Call somplace paradise and there will always be people who will try to profit from it, by twisting it to their own version of paradise. Be it land developers, or preachers, or whatever. It uses Manifest Destiny as an example but at its core it's about heaven and religion and how nobody should be able to force their version of paradise, on anybody else.
Sagar from Mumbai, IndiaThis is one of the best written song I have ever heard. The song shows the history of the United States and how the WASP's conquered the West. Their hatred and intolerance of other people's culture and lives is worth noting. It first started with the Native Americans habitants, the African slaves, the Italian/Eastern European Immigrants and now the Arabs, the Mexicans and even the French!
After all America was a free land till it was exploited by the Spanish and then the WASP's. It belonged to the Native Americans and the Mexicans.
Patrice from San Francisco, CaLike so much of Don Henley's work, this poignant commentary about self absorbtion, self delusion, and justification of human atrocity through religion, stops short of condemnation and judgment. It is presented as simply part of the regretable, but perhaps unchangeable path of humanity relevant not only to Los Angeles, but to all ultimate frontiers, with only a gentle implication that self reflection and personal integrity might make for a more humanly meaningful final pursuit.
Steve from Providence, RiThis is truly a great song. Perfect lyrics from start to finish. A Don Henley Glen Frey masterpiece! This song is point blank, I don't know how anyone would not get what it is about. I am from Providence, yes the one in Rhode Island, and we have seen here how the rich man rapes the land. Condos as far as the eye can see. We used to have a wonderful coast line, but that is a memory now. My daughters will never know what is was like. To call someplace paradise, & kiss it good bye. Thank you to Glen & Don for hitting this one right on the mark!
Mark from South Portland, MeIf ou ever get to see Hell Freezes Over video when Henley gives this song his all, please do. This song gets the biggest ovation of the night even moreso than their chart hits. Playing the violin and cello bows in the wrong direction to make the sounds of the seagulls was pure genius on Henley's part.
Joe Public from Anytown, AlMy favorite Eagles song, obviously about how commercialization and religion on the part of the "white men" have ruined the American paradise...I love it though, even if it has a bitter message. Henley and Frey are right, after all.
Ray from Stockton, NjI never listened to this song before because I always thought of it as too slow and boring. I just listened to it for the first time and it's really good. It kind of reminds me of Stairway to Heaven only because it never charted when it should have.
John from Lancaster, Cathis is a song to show americans how unkind and wrong we were to native americans we know the story of how the west was won..... this song is the story of how the west was lost ! think about it! if some man had not came and put up a bunch of earthly box`s...this place would have been tee-pees as far as the eye could see!! this song teachs us to love one another again like god wanted us to do in the first place!
Johnny from Los Angeles, CaWow this song is really great. I never actually "Listened" to it before.
Dorian from Pontefract, EnglandBrilliant I can't believe it wasn't on the 'best of' CD it's almost as good as Hotel California itself
Doreen from Phoenix, AzI grew up in Southern Cal, LA area...which I believe is the area referred to in this song as "The Last Resort".
I haven't been able to find any information that verifies this, just my opinion. This song brings tears to my eyes every time I listen to it...as I now live in Phoenix (since 1972) and I'm watching first hand how "Rich men can rape the land"!...it's very sad. I watched it happen in LA as a kid, and now I'm watching it happen in Arizona as an adult.
If anybody knows where I can find more information about this song, please let me know.
Best line of this song I think is "For there is no more new frontier, we have got to make it here"...to me means the 'man' has pretty much developed every inch of the coast and there is nothing left! (Happening in Arizona as I write!)
I think these are the best lyrics I've ever heard!
Jay from Brooklyn, NyThe first time I heard this song, I thought it was awesome -- not in the "totally awesome" sense, but in the "insipring awe" sense. The song takes place in the present and the past. It is a condemnation of Manifest Destiny, environmental destruction, and hypocritical new age philosophies. It is a fitting finale to an album about the dangers of excess and self-absorbtion.
Bsd987 from Long Island, NyHappy 29th Birthday to the greatest song of all time.
Casey from Bothell, WaAlthough obvious, the lyric "You can leave it all behind and sail to Lahaina just like the missionaries did so many years ago. They even brought a neon sign 'Jesus is Coming" does in fact refer to a sign posted above a church in Lahaina on the island of Maui(I used to live down the street from the church). I like to think that the Eagles are refering to Hawaii as the last resort, the furthest away from civilization you can get now, and yet it's still ruined.
Sara Mackenzie from Middle Of Nowhere, Fl"some rich man came and raped the land...nobody caught him" ~ another powerful line. tells how one person can ruin one thing, and others come in and ruin it some more. henley/frey hit it on target again.
Cam from Winnipeg"And you can see them there on Sunday morning, stand up and sing about what it's like up there"
One of the most powerful lyrics ever.
Randy from Dixon, MoThis beautifully crafted song actually has two paths to follow. The terrestrial 'resort' as a vacation spot, and the metaphorical, ethereal 'resort' that is our last stop in life. In both cases the perpetual quest by man for 'greener pastures' is examined. The dark side of this quest is exposed by the ephemeral nature of people's loyalty for places. They justify the wasting of where they live, instead of taking care of it, because they are perpetually looking for their 'final destination' where they will belong. It's no coincidence that the female studied in this song starts out leaving a place called Providence. Also examined in the tendency to look at heaven as a final destination and justification for earthly greed, waste, and not caring. Beautiful piano and strings and a great line 'Some rich came and raped the land, nobody caught him/ Put up a bunch of ugly boxes and Jesus people bought 'em'. One of the great Eagles songs.
Bsd987 from Long Island, NyOne of the best songs ever written. Don Henley and Glenn Frey in their songwriting genius! This and Peaceful Easy Feeling are two of the best songs of all time.
Wilfred from Melbourne, AustraliaDave, Oak Park, MI: Funny that you say that it's HC's polar opposite... its at the end of the album, where HC is the first track. Also, this song runs 7:28, so your comment "...almost SEVEN minutes..." is actually incorrect... just a little creative criticism, nothing personal... great to see some Eagles fans on the site.
Adrian from Merthyr Tydfil, Alstereophonics covered this and put it as a B side 2 the 'local boy in the photograph' cd single. It aint as good as the eagles version though
Dave from Oak Park, MiI'm glad ALL Six, almost SEVEN minutes of this song could be put on a FORTY-FIVE...! This song IS a Masterpiece and DEFINITELY "Hotel California"'s Polar-Opposite...!!
Mike from Boston, MaThis is one of Henley's best vocal performances. The last verse when he sings "they call it paradise, i dont know why" is absolutely ridiculous. the version on hell freezes over is even better than the original.
Bob from Boca Raton, FlPersonally I relate this song to Key West, one of my favorite vacation places. "Call some place paradise, kiss it goodbye" in particular. I still love it there, but it is so built up it doesn't quite have the same feel for me. But I always listen to this song in my car as I get closer to Key West. This is my favorite Eagles song, and certainly one of my all time favorite songs in general. Simply beautiful. Wish The Eagles and Henley had performed it in recent shows, but maybe in the future.
Luke from Memphis, TnThis is probably one of my favorite Eagles songs. It has so much depth and is, i hate to be a cliche, but beautiful, painful music. It can also be related to many different things as well.
"Won't Get Fooled Again" by The Who is about a revolution, but it doesn't have a happy ending, since in the end the new regime becomes just like the old one. Pete Townshend thought that whoever was in power was destined to become corrupt.