"How Long" as written by and John David Souther....
Like a blue bird with his heart removed, lonely as a train
I've run just as far as I can run
If I never see the good old days shinin' in the sun
I'll be doin' fine and then some

How long, how long
Woman will you weep
How long, how long
Rock yourself to sleep

Well I been doin' time in lonesome prison, where the sun don't shine
Just outside, the freedom river runs
Out there in that shiny night, with blood hounds on your mind
Don't you know it's the same sad situation?

Everybody feels alright you know, I heard some poor fool say (somebody ooh)
Everyone is out there on the loose
Well I wish I lived in the land of fools, no one knew my name
But what you get is not quite what you choose

Tell me, how long, how long
Woman will you weep
How long, how long
Rock yourself to sleep

How long, how long (long and drawn out)
Muddy River runs so deep
How long, how long (long and drawn out)
Good night baby, rock yourself to sleep
Sleep tight baby, rock yourself to sleep
Be-be-be, bye bye baby, rock yourself to sleep

Lyrics submitted by bangdrum

"How Long" as written by John Souther

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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How Long song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentFrom an interview with JD Souther about the song
    The Eagles had a hit last year with a version of your song "How Long," which was written back in the 1970s about the Vietnam War. How do you feel that it's still relevant?

    A: I'm delighted they did the song, and grateful for radio responding to it and people listening to it and music fans thinking it was relevant. But I'm sorry that it's necessary. I wish there wasn't a war anymore. Most people wish that. I don't know that there's a single soul that wants to be at war... I'm maintaining a kind of guarded optimism. I don't see any upside to being a pessimist. By choice, I'm an optimist.
    AnthonyCon February 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis was written by J.D. Souther, who also co-wrote some of the Eagles' biggest hit songs including "Best of My Love", "Heartache Tonight" and "New Kid In Town." Songfacts.com have some interesting information about this and other tracks from Long Road Out Of Eden.
    edpon November 10, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, it reminds me of the Eagles' older material.
    PrettyTrainCrashon November 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't understand why here are so few comments.

    They kinda explained it on "60 Minutes" (CBS News), I think it's how their fans grow and live their life with their songs, thus how long. Watch it here: last.fm/music/Eagles/+videos/…
    leafverton December 19, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is about a PoW in Vietnam.
    Line Women will you weep is his loved one at home
    lonesome prison - is the pow camp

    Plus when it was written was in the aftermath of the vietnam war...
    AnthonyCon April 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI... Didn't get any of that out of this song. Although, I agree with TrainCrash up here; it really is classic Eagles style! Amazing song!

    What it looks like to me is basically what just about every other Eagles song is about: love, either the good or bad side. You can tell just from the chorus. "How long, how long, woman, will you weep?" Like talking to a woman who's thrown herself at plenty of men and just falls apart every time it doesn't work out. The last line in the chorus emphasizes that. In saying "Rock yourself to sleep," he's basically saying she doesn't deserve the sympathy anymore.

    The second verse fits too perfectly in with that. In a nutshell, he's sayin' it's the same situation between being in prison and being in love. "Don't you know it's the same sad situation." Basically, it can be a prison being trapped in love. That's just what it looks like to me.
    WhiteMarkeron October 02, 2008   Link

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