Song Lyric Sunday – Desperado

This week, Jim Adam’s prompts for Song Lyric Sunday are Alone, Confined, Depressed, Isolated, Restless and Solo . I instantly thought of Desperado by The Eagles because of the line:

And freedom, oh freedom, well that’s just some people talkin’
Your prison is walking through this world all alone

I always found truth in that statement. Hope you enjoy this classic Eagles song.

On the surface, this song is about a cowboy who refuses to fall in love, but it could also be about a young man who discovers guitars, joins a band, pays his dues and suffers for his art. The stress of being a rock star is a recurring theme in Eagles music (e.g. “Life In The Fast Lane”). The overall theme is how you must suffer for your art.

Don Henley began writing parts of this in the late ’60s, but it wasn’t arranged into a song until his songwriting teammate Glenn Frey came along. It was the first of many songs Henley and Frey wrote together.

Henley explained in the liner notes for The Very Best of the Eagles: “Glenn came over to write one day, and I showed him this unfinished tune that I had been holding for so many years. I said, ‘When I play it and sing it, I think of Ray Charles – Ray Charles and Stephen Foster. It’s really a Southern gothic thing, but we can easily make it more Western.’ Glenn leapt right on it – filled in the blanks and brought structure. And that was the beginning of our songwriting partnership – that’s when we became a team.”

The album had an Old West theme. It was inspired by The Dalton Gang, a notorious group of outlaws. The Eagles recorded it in the very cosmopolitan setting of Island Studios in the Notting Hill section of London with the British producer Glyn Johns, but they went Western for the tour, making their set look like Deadwood.

Courtesy of Songfacts


The Eagles

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
You been out ridin’ fences for so long now
Oh, you’re a hard one
But I know that you got your reasons
These things that are pleasin’ you
Can hurt you somehow
Don’t you draw the Queen of Diamonds, boy
She’ll beat you if she’s able
You know the Queen of Hearts is always your best bet
Now, it seems to me some fine things
Have been laid upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can’t get
Desperado, oh, you ain’t gettin’ no younger
Your pain and your hunger, they’re drivin’ you home
And freedom, oh freedom, well that’s just some people talkin’
Your prison is walking through this world all alone
Don’t your feet get cold in the winter time?
The sky won’t snow and the sun won’t shine
It’s hard to tell the night time from the day
You’re losin’ all your highs and lows
Ain’t it funny how the feeling goes away?
Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses?
Come down from your fences, open the gate
It may be rainin’, but there’s a rainbow above you
You better let somebody love you (let somebody love you)
You better let somebody love you
Before it’s too late
Songwriters: Glenn Lewis Frey / Don Hugh Henley
Desperado lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

  26 comments for “Song Lyric Sunday – Desperado

  1. statuslyric
    May 26, 2020 at 11:57 pm

    Perfect choice today christine.

  2. aisasami
    May 3, 2020 at 1:08 pm

    Wow, I never knew about Desperado or even that Eagles’ songs had a recurring theme. I always love Desperado and it is great to learn about it!

  3. April 26, 2020 at 4:24 pm

    Very meaningful lyrics – thanks for the share! 🙂

    • Christine Bolton
      April 26, 2020 at 6:03 pm

      Thanks Thereaaly ☺️💕

  4. April 26, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    Perfect choice today Christine. My favorite Eagles song! So classic & fits the prompt perfectly!

    • Christine Bolton
      April 26, 2020 at 1:35 pm

      Yes, thank you. I had been saving it as I almost used it for something else a while back but someone beat me to it that day 🙂

      • April 26, 2020 at 2:24 pm

        I thought about it for a brief second when I played it on my echo dot yesterday. I played severally tunes from the Beatles and The Mamas and The Paps. I was all over the place. I figured it would make an appearance. I also like doing songs that others might not have heard. 🥰 I just love music.

      • Christine Bolton
        April 26, 2020 at 6:01 pm

        Yes, I love this weekly prompt for the same reason and that I can learn some interesting facts about the songs shared. 🥰

      • April 26, 2020 at 10:45 pm


  5. April 26, 2020 at 11:49 am

    <3. One of my favorites.

  6. April 26, 2020 at 11:04 am

    Definitely a classic and so fitting for Jim’s prompt today.

    • Christine Bolton
      April 26, 2020 at 1:35 pm

      Thanks Maggie 🙂

    • statuslyric
      May 26, 2020 at 11:58 pm


  7. April 26, 2020 at 8:33 am

    Great way to start off my day, thanks for sharing this classic tune.

    • Christine Bolton
      April 26, 2020 at 6:04 pm

      It’s great isn’t it Jim? ☺️

  8. April 26, 2020 at 6:07 am

    That’s a powerful line about walking alone through this world being prison.
    I don’t know The Eagles music very well…but years ago when I was a steward at an arena, they played there and the audience loved them. That could be almost twenty years ago though.

    • Christine Bolton
      April 26, 2020 at 6:11 pm

      Oh they are really special Mel. Twenty years ago they were doing reunion tours. They have been around a long time.

  9. April 26, 2020 at 2:35 am

    A great song choice and one of my all-time favorite songs.

    • Christine Bolton
      April 26, 2020 at 6:07 pm

      Thanks Fandango. I’ve been hanging on to it for a while. I had it ready to go once before on a Sunday but you beat me to it! LOL 🤣 Today was a good prompt for it 👍

  10. April 25, 2020 at 11:25 pm

    I love the metaphor they carry through this. It is my favorite Eagles song.

    • April 26, 2020 at 6:44 am

      Brilliant song with meaningful lyrics..Thanks for sharing the background..takes me back to being 17.

      • Christine Bolton
        April 26, 2020 at 6:06 pm

        Yes, I love the way music transports us to another time and place

      • April 26, 2020 at 7:48 pm

        Me too….

    • Christine Bolton
      April 26, 2020 at 6:08 pm

      Yes, it is very special isn’t it. One of my Eagles faves too.

  11. April 25, 2020 at 11:01 pm

    Great classic and mood setter, Christine! 🙂

    • Christine Bolton
      April 25, 2020 at 11:13 pm

      Thanks Felicia! An old classic about being alone 😌

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