Sad songs: “The Last Resort” by the Eagles

This is my personal saddest song that I know. It made me cry quite a few times when it was new to me, back in high school. It originally appeared as the last track on the Hotel California album, but its best version is the live version from Hell Freezes Over, as with most songs from that concert album.

Don Henley, who is an avid and accomplished environmentalist, said “The Last Resort” is about how the west was lost.

“The Last Resort” lyrics by Don Henley:

She came from Providence, the one in Rhode Island,
where the Old-World shadows hang heavy in the air.
She packed her hopes and dreams like a refugee
just as her father came across the sea.

She heard about a place, people were smilin’.
They spoke about the red man’s ways, and how they loved the land.
They came from everywhere to the great divide,
seeking a place to stand or a place to hide.

Down in the crowded bars, out for a good time.
Can’t wait to tell you all what it’s like up there.
They called it Paradise, I don’t know why.
Somebody laid the mountains low while the town got high.

And then the chilly winds blew down across the desert
through the canyons of the coast to the Malibu,
where the greedy people played, hungry for power,
to light their neon way and giving things to do.

Some rich men came and raped the land, nobody caught ’em.
Put up a bunch of ugly boxes, and Jesus, people bought ’em.
They called it Paradise, the place to be.
They watched the hazy sun sink in the sea.

We can leave it all behind and sail to Lahaina
just like the missionaries did so many years ago.
They even brought a neon sign that said, “Jesus is coming.”
Brought the white man’s burden down and brought the white man’s reign.

Who will provide the grand design? What is yours and what is mine?
’Cause 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.

And you can see them there on Sunday mornin’
stand up and sing about what it’s like up there.
They called it Paradise, I don’t know why.
You call some place Paradise, kiss it good-bye.

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One Response to Sad songs: “The Last Resort” by the Eagles

  1. There is a lot of truth in this song