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 s'pposed 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 here 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
Oh, oh oh, oh......


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by themagicrat23


Pretty Maids All In A Row song meanings
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17 Comments

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  • +2
    General Commentto me, this song will always remind me of Joe's young daughter Emma who died in an accident in 1974 - "gone are the ribbons and bows." Maybe the lyrics reflect conversations at the funeral.

    I cannot imaging the sorrow and guilt of losing a child. Joe does what great artists do, helping us visualize something by adding emotional color.
    qwerty2000on October 27, 2011   Link
  • +1
    Lyric CorrectionA line is missing:


    Hi there,
    How are 'ya?
    it's been a long time

    *seems like we've come a long way* - the line that is missing

    My, but we learn so slow
    APV83on July 12, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of the greatest songs they ever wrote.
    i think this song is about how life can be so fast, and stuff happens in life, and we don't even know why.
    MookieBomberon March 04, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think it means ,that it's been a long time since I have seen you, and you need to get your ducks in a row...
    kingsinjunon March 23, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI see it as the character's recognition that they've lost their heroes; they didn't exist just to mean something to someone else, and now they've moved on. This song is thier follower's realization that things change, and they blame themself for trusting in ideals and not realizing sooner that heroes die.

    What I want to know is how succesful artists know this and can write something so poignant.
    apettythiefon December 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwell, i believe that the whole Hotel California is about the great gap Between the hippie-life-on-the-fast-lane-love-peace-flower power shit that was so hip in the 60s and the 70s and america's reality at the time ind this gap's affections on people's life.
    i'm not an american and wasnt even born the this time (i was born in 1983, i live in jerusalem, israel).
    so this one's too - as apettytheif said, its about losing your heroes and about the feelin' (believe me, i know this feeling - im a musician)which is like the feelin' you have after the party is over and the show is done -
    on one hand, it's a great feeling cuz you really had a good time and maybe even have learned from other people things you take with you to your private life, but on the other hand, you feel - "well, party's over, gotta get back to my-one-room apartment. maybe will watch some crappy stuff on the tv and go to sleep."
    yotamtheunholyon May 27, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthis song to me means that a guy sees a girl who he once loved many years after the days they dated and he feels wow time goes by so fast but with the famous line of the song and all those wishing well fools with your fortunes someone should send you a rose means get up off your ass and go for the girl you love
    joe walsh ruleson June 18, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI love this song, easily one of my favourites, and in my opinion, their most touching piece of work.
    It fits in with the whole concept of the Hotel California album, about how there's more to life than rock and roll, and we only see the surface of other people's emotion.
    I think it's generaly about moving on, whether it be from a past lover, or moving on and dealing with reality.
    _Godbe_on October 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAs time moves forward, life gets harder and more interesting. Our relationships with the people we love become more complicated. In our youth, we invest in fantasies. We have lofty expectations. And so disillusionment is inevitable. "Wishing well fools with their fortunes" are those who can't let go of the illusions they grew up believing in.

    "Things to remember, places to go." Eventually, you learn to simply do what you must, thus becoming an adult. Which is what this song is about. Pretty Maids All in a Row. A life in order.
    robertcarteron January 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is pertaining to someone who is about to get married and has invited some past old friends to the wedding. The only time I see "Pretty Maids all in a Row" is at a wedding. Seems like they meet (Hi there,How are 'ya? it's been a long time)before the wedding and reminiscence about the past and talk about how everyone has grown up and became somebody. They talk about all of the people who may have been a role model in the past and have moved on leaving them somewhat alone to find their own way in life ("My, but we learn so slow and heroes, they come and they go and leave us behind as if we're s'pposed to know why"). They wonder why they can't go back in time when life wasn't so complicated ("Why do we give up our hearts to the past? and why must we grow up so fast?") Seems like the more sucessful Rich) friends in the bunch was not able to make it to the wedding so they may have sent a gift or something maybe? making the host feel obligated to send a thank you note or something of the like (And all you wishing well fools with your fortunes someone should send you a rose with love from a friend, it's nice to here from you again") After all the talking and reminiscing, the couple realizes that they have to get ready for the wedding the next day and have last minute arrangements to do so they call it an evening and end all the storytelling and say goodnight see you tomorrow (it's nice to here 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 Oh, oh oh, oh......


    Chamouleon April 23, 2009   Link

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