Saturday, September 08, 2007

The Last Resort - The Eagles

I plan to intermittently scribble some thoughts here on songs that I like at the moment. The songs can be previewed in full by following the link at the bottom.

"The Last Resort" by The Eagles is one of my favorite songs. The song isn't what you would call optimistic...far from it. The lyrics tell of the immigration into America from the old world. The lyrics provide vivid imagery of a beautiful new place where the land is cared for and equality stands tall.
"She heard about a place people were smilin'
They spoke about the red man's way,
and how they loved the land"
The song doesn't have a chorus, just verses each describing a journey from east to west over the years. As things move further west and closer to the present day things get less rosy.
"Some rich men came and raped the land,
Nobody caught 'em
Put up a bunch of ugly boxes, and Jesus, people bought 'em"
Religion is then introduced to the tale in a verse that is as depressing as it is brilliant.
"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"
Brought the white man's burden down
Brought the white man's reign"
I interpret that as religion being introduced to the white man, but far from increasing their morality, it just gave them some justification to do bad things in the name of God - bringing their burden down while allowing them to do whatever they wanted to rule the country.

The song concludes with that anti-religious theme in the setting of a church. The parishioners are singing hymns about heaven and it's perfect nature, not unlike the way people spoke of the "new world" at the beginning of the song. The closing lines of the song (and the album) are possibly the most pessimistic of any song:

"You call some place paradise,
Kiss it goodbye."

I have always felt this song would be appropriate for a funeral, though on closer inspection it may be slightly to anti-religious to play in a church.


If you can't see the player <a href='http://www.dur.ac.uk/michael.smith/blog/music.html'>Click Here</a> to listen to the song.
- from Squeeze-box Blog.

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