“Desperado” by the Eagles

It’s difficult to think of classic American rock without thinking of the Eagles. The Eagles formed in the early 1970s in Los Angeles and broke up (stop working together) in 1980. They were one of the most successful rock groups and had two of the best-selling albums (recording with many songs) of all time.

In 1994, they reunited (became a group again) to go on a tour (performing in many cities) called “Hell Freezes Over.” We use the expression, “when hell freezes over,” when we want to say very forcefully that we don’t intend for something to happen again. For example, if your wife or girlfriend asks you every week if you will take her dancing, but you hate to dance, you may get angry at her and say, “I’ll take you dancing when hell freezes over!” (That’s not a very nice thing to say, but you get the point.) To freeze over means for a liquid (something wet) to get so cold that it becomes solid or hard. Hell is the very hot and horrible place that Christians believe bad people go to after they die. So by naming their tour “Hell Freezes Over,” the Eagles is saying they they had never intended to get back together and to tour; this is something very unexpected.

The title of this song is “Desperado.” A desperado is someone who is reckless or who doesn’t think of what will happen before doing something. Desperado can also refer to a criminal or someone who does not follow the law or society’s rules.

~ Lucy


by the Eagles

Desperado, why don’t you come to your senses (think clearly; act sensibly)?
You been out riding fences (sitting on the divisions or barriers between two properties or two options) for so long now
Oh, you’re a hard one
I know that you got your reasons
These things that are pleasing you
Can hurt you somehow

Don’t you draw (get a card in a card game) the queen of diamonds, boy
She’ll beat you if she’s able
The queen of heats is always your best bet (something that gives you the best chance for success)
Now it seems to me, some fine things
Have been laid (put carefully) upon your table
But you only want the ones that you can’t get

Desperado, oh, you ain’t getting no younger
Your pain and your hunger, they’re driving you home
And freedom, oh freedom, well, that’s just some people talking
Your prison (jail) is walking through this world all alone

Don’t your feet get cold in the wintertime?
The sky won’t snow and the sun won’t shine
It’s hard to tell the nighttime from the day
You’re loosing 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 (door in a wooden barrier or fence)
It may be raining, but there’s a rainbow (an arch of many colors in the sky) above you
You better let somebody love you,
You better let somebody love you, before it’s too late

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11 Responses to “Desperado” by the Eagles

  1. Bettina says:

    Thank you very much Lucy !

  2. peter says:

    little knowledge is a dangerous thing thanks a million for helping me pass the dangour zone.

    Hi Jeff ,
    It is so true . literally, I can call most of their work virtuoso(Podcast number 409, again my pure grattitude). I heard the song yeas ago for the first time. as a matter of fact , I acuqired a test for classic rock music after liostening to this song.

    Thanks man for your great job

  3. elcomandant says:

    Hi Lucy
    Desperado is a beautiful song and The Eagles was a group that they made many good songs. My favorite album is ‘Hotel California’ (1976) that it made they won the Grammy. In this album they show a particular point of view of drugs through the windows of a hotel. The Eagles isn’t my favorite band but it’s one of my favorites.

  4. Bakhtyar says:

    I thing Eagles has another song which is call -Hotel California – i gonna write in some sentences form this song

    wellcome to this hotel california such a lovely place
    plenty room of this hotel california any time of year

    her mind is tiffany twisted
    she got mercedes Benze

  5. Nice Song. As ‘elcomandat’ I enjoy Hotel California by Eagle.

  6. pedro says:

    I like the expression “when hell freezes over” meaning that I don’t intend to do something.In spanish I can think of a couple expressions to mean the same like “cuando las ranas críen pelo”,in english it would be “when frogs grow hair”(that would be impossible because frogs don’t have hair),or “cuando los burros vuelen”,in english it would be “when donkeys fly”(and that would be impossible again because donkeys can’t fly).But you should only use these expressions between close friends,I’m sure you don’t want to lose your job if your boss orders you to do something and you tells him that,do you?

  7. emiliano says:

    Dear Lucy, like elcomandat my best album from The Eagles is “Hotel California” and very often I listen to it once and again because I like this particular album and song
    very much.
    Now I like it even more as I can understand it quite good, and I think this song is one of the greatest of all times together with “Dust in the Wind” I think from Kansas, another of my favorits from that time.

  8. metin says:

    Dear Lucy,
    Actually I don’t like rock music very much except a couple of songs. Especially Hotel California is the most my favorite song by the Eagles. I have lots of memories interested in this beautiful song.
    However, Desperado is one of them,too. I want to say again a sentence in here from Desperado, because it is so meaningful ;
    “You better let somebody love you, before it’s too late”. Besides I have never heard this expression that when hell freezes over but it is very nice. I learned one more thing and I was happy very much.
    I can say same expression from Turkey related to this idiom; “K?rm?z? kar ya?d??? zaman” to translate into English “When red snow was to snow”. We often use this expression in Turkey.
    Thanks for new information and

  9. metin says:

    I write my turkish expression again; “Kirmizi kar yagdigi zaman”. I forgot it, because our some letters in turkish don’t use in english. Sorry for mistake.

  10. Kevin says:

    This song is my age. I like it. Thanks

  11. Elmer says:

    Hi Lucy,
    thank you for the post, I just read it and watched the video, I didn’t really know about other songs but “Hotel California”. Thanks to your link I found another song that I like even more :0. I am sure that you know it, the name is “Love will keep us alive” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rafEFSXVtuw , it was a great discovery.

    Thank you,

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