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  • Deth
  • General Comment:
    I know what this song is about, not a cult it's about drugs.

    "Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way " That's not a candle she's lighting up.

    "Some dance to remember, some dance to forget" Some people do them do remember good memories, some people do them to forget bad memories.

    'We are all just prisoners here, of our own device" That is basically what drug users are

    "The stab it with their steely knives But they just can't kill the beast" The beast being the addiction/

    "You can checkout any time you like, but you can never leave!" You can always say you aren't addicted or that you can quit anytime you want, but you'll always end up going back to them.

    Pretty basic clear maening, there are other metaphors in there to decipher but that's tha basics.
  • 9 Replies
  • Okay just so everyone stops arguing about this, The song is about hedonism and self-destruction in the late 1970's Southern California Music Industry. Don Felder did a talk show on the Howard Stern Show and said, and I quote,

    "Don Henley and Glen wrote most of the words. All of us kind of drove into LA at night. Nobody was from California, and if you drive into LA at night... you can just see this glow on the horizon of lights, and the images that start running through your head of Hollywood and all the dreams that you have, and so it was kind of about that... what we started writing the song about. Coming into LA... and from that Life In The Fast Lane came out of it, and Wasted Time and a bunch of other songs."

    He also stated that the band refutes and claims that the song has anything to do with satanic churches or mental hospitals, etc.

    "colitas" in the first stanza of the song is a desert flower, also known as Antelope sage or Colita de Rata, Don Henley has made many references to the "heady desert flower"

    Also "Killing the beast" has nothing to do with a drug addiction. The line "stab it with their steely knives But they just can't kill the beast" is a reference as a playful nod to Steely Dan in return for the Eagles being referred to in the song "Everything you did" as "Turn up the Eagles, the neighbors are listening".

    The End
  • also.. the steely knives (syringes)

    but yeah, this songs DEFINATELY about drugs.
  • aight duder you got it, but i thought "they stab it with their steely knives" is the coke, they are cutting it up- "stabbing it with their steely knives" the knives arre razors, and yeah the "beast" that they cant kill is the addiction.
  • slight problem with what your saying. the stabbing it with their steely knives takes place at the feast in the masters quarters. the masters chambers represent prestige or prestigious events ie supposedly glamourous lifestyles etc and the beast is presented in opposition to this. therefore the beast is the true art, ie, an artists music, and the feast in the masters chambers is the devouring of this art in the name of money and glamour, ie the record company executives exploiting the artists. the beast is life.
  • u all got it wrong,....hes talking about death
    On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair....... it refers to our life

    Up ahead in the distance, I saw a shimmering light .... its refers to the light after u die

    There she stood in the doorway;........................ "She" refers to angel of death

    �this could be heaven or this could be hell�........... just as it is

    Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way....... way down to hell

    all the stuff next describes the stuff happening in hell...refer google

    And in the master�s chambers,.............................devils lair

    The stab it with their steely knives,......................u try to kill the devil

    But they just can�t kill the beast........................u cannot kill him so u can escape

    You can checkout any time you like,
    But you can never leave! ..................................u cannot leave from hell
  • Looking at your explaination, your probably right, but i had a slightly different vuew. I thought about it being about California being captivating. It makes it sound like California is so atractive, and it just keeps calling you back, and teh pretty boys she called friends could have attributed to the vanity sterotyped to the region. I went to a leadership conference their, and know I want to go to colleg their soooooo bad ( im a high school senior) looking at your explaination and teh time in which th esong was written though, yours makes much more sense.
  • personally i think the song is about cannibals luring people in and eating them as the last set of lyrics would dictate "The stab it with their steely knives But they just can't kill the beast" the beast being a victim they have taken in and are now devouring, and the character in the song is the next victim similar to what they do in the movie hostel.
  • @Deth "Steely" was a reference to Steely Dan who had referenced the Eagles in one of his songs. That is, according to the band members themselves. It is ok to have a subjective interpretation, especially for a song like this. The band has made it clear though, this song is about excess and hedonism in LA... but can also be applied to many parts of America.
  • @Deth
    I mostly agree. "Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air". Colitas is a Mexican term for marijuana so there is a clear drug reference. However, I still think this song is about a mental hospital. I loved your outlook though.
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SongMeanings
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SongMeanings
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About    Terms