Pretty Maids All In A Row

Album: Hotel California (1976)
Play Video
  • Hi there, how are 'ya?
    It's been a long time
    Seems like we've come a long way
    My, but we learn so slow
    And heroes, they come and they go
    And leave us behind as if
    We're supposed to know why

    Why do we give up our hearts to the past?
    And why must we grow up so fast?

    And all you wishing well fools with your fortunes
    Someone should send you a rose
    With love from a friend,
    It's nice to hear from you again
    And the storybook comes to a close
    Gone are the ribbons and bows
    Things to remember, places to go
    Pretty maids all in a row

    Ooo ooo ooo
    Ooo ooo ooo
    Ooo ooo ooo
    Ooo ooo ooo

    Ooo ooo ooo
    Ooo ooo ooo
    Ooo ooo ooo
    Ooo ooo ooo Writer/s: JOE WALSH, JOEY VITALE
    Publisher: Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Spirit Music Group
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 13

  • Bill Parkville Shs '78 from Tom's River NjJoe Walsh is unfortunately underrated and has made amazing music. I nominated this as the class song for our graduation, but I think the people who made the decisions at the time didn't have a clue how appropriate it would have been. Maybe they were thinking more about that moment in time rather than how we would look back on it all in the future. One of my favorite songs on Hotel California.
  • Anthony from Canberra Australia ‘pretty maids all in a row’ is the last line of the nursery rhyme Mary Mary Quite Contrary. This song mentions the storybook coming to a close and gone are the ribbons and bows. Perhaps the song has some reference to him missing the messages/sign posts in life moralised by nursery rhymes and instead taking the ‘wrong’ path. then again maybe i’m completely off-track!!! either way, beautiful song
  • David Mcgarrity from Lennox Head AustraliaIf only knew then what you know now. The pennys so slow to drop and people going to their grave without even a basic grasp of how to live
  • Donna Marie from VermontHe sadly lost a child in 1974, Emma. The song was written in76. I believe it is the life on the road, such as it was back then with the crazy hotel party’s...who wouldn’t have passed that up? LED Zeppelin too. Jimmy Page and Joe are great (sober) friends these days. When he sang this on the 1994 Hell Freezes Over reunion, I felt he was singing about his sobriety and reflections as he feels them now! I love this man for his talent and raw emotion. He and Jimmy Page will always be my “go to” guys, as guitarists and for their musical arrangement talents. Both bands are Best Ever! Can you Boomers believe how blessed we are to have lived it all?
  • Coloradodave from Durango, CoBob Dylan mentions this song as “..could be one of the best ever” in his 6/14/20 NYT interview.
  • Bkru from OregonMaybe an old band mate called him up, and they reminisced about their glory days and their touring lifestyle. From what I’ve heard, The Eagles used to literally have “Pretty maids all in a row” outside their hotel rooms after their shows. Could be a wistful recollection of how it used to be, as well as the double entendre of the storybook lifestyle coming to a close.
  • Linda from Middle Tennessee, UsaI think it is about a divorced couple meeting after years have passed. They are reminiscing about their wedding, with all the pretty maids in a row, the ribbons and bows...Our storybook comes to a close. Beautiful and very sad song.
  • Jules from OregonJoe Walsh is a fantastic, straight up guy, no BS. Wouldn't have listened to the Eagles if not for him.
  • Glen from SydneySo why do we give up our hearts to the past? And so the storybook comes to a close!
  • Bob Stwalley from Las Animas, CoGot to believe the song speaks of two lost friends reuniting. The second has not stayed in touch as he has become rich and isolated. Song goes on to say what they thought and who they thought was important to them wasn't true. The "heroes" they once knew have "left them behind". Then song speaks to those who have chased fortunes only to be devoid of friendships. Finally the rich pass on, only to have few friends just "pretty maids" lined up to pay their final goodbyes. Gone are the "ribbons and bows", gone are all the close friends, only servants and maids remain. Life goes on for the living. The song challenges the pursuit of fortune at the expense of continuing friendships. Sad statement many will realize only when it's too late.
  • Markantney from Biloxi, MsJuly 2014,

    Example of how versatile the Eagles can be. It also gives me a LITTLE (very little) sympathy for Feder's complaint about not being utilized (as lead singer for songs), for Walsh has a few nuggets like this. But Walsh also had his own career as a lead singer before he joined the Eagles.

    Also, great story DT in FL. You keep listening to the Eagles, you guys will be married forever:)
  • Dt from Gulf Breeze, FlSome 32 years I listened to the Hotel California album in the early afternoon on the day I was to be married. I was completely hungover from the rehearsal dinner and then the subsequent bachelor party at strip club. So I grilled a steak as the condemned mans final meal, drank a beer, smoked a joint and tried to get some perspective of where I was in life and maybe where I was headed. HC was the perfect album and every time I hear this song I remember that moment, about 4 hours from being married, scared shootless. Walsh's comment about it being a melancholy observation on life so far is perfect. As a PS,we've had our share of ups and downs but still married and in love with the lady.
  • Christopher from Rockwall, TxThis is my favorite Eagles song, and I especially like the live version from Hell Freezes Over. I'm not a huge Joe Walsh fan, so go figure. A beautiful song both musically and lyrically.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

The Girl in That Song

The Girl in That SongFact or Fiction

Billie Jean, Delilah, Sara, Laura and Sharona - do you know who the girls in the songs really are?

Joe Jackson

Joe JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo Lyric

Wherefore Art Thou Romeo LyricMusic Quiz

In this quiz, spot the artist who put Romeo into a song lyric.

Rufus Wainwright

Rufus WainwrightSongwriter Interviews

Rufus Wainwright on "Hallelujah," his album Unfollow The Rules, and getting into his "lyric trance" on 12-hour walks.

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real Group

Modern A Cappella with Peder Karlsson of The Real GroupSong Writing

The leader of the Modern A Cappella movement talks about the genre.

Female Singers Of The 90s

Female Singers Of The 90sMusic Quiz

The ladies who ruled the '90s in this quiz.