Monday, January 18, 2016

Glenn Frey ~ You Better Let Somebody Love You ....

The Eagles framed the soundtrack to my high school years.

They took me down highways and through musical doors that seared into my psyche, influenced my musical choices, helped me form an appreciation for phrasing and lyricism that lasted my whole life.
My friends and I used to sing "Desperado" with the radio on the way home from school. We added harmonies and passionate joy that only comes when teenagers invade the back of a Volkswagen Beetle drinking glass-bottled cokes popping peanuts inside.

I was a freshman and my boyfriend had a car. It was a yellow 1966 Ford Mustang convertible with a stick shift and I loved to drive it. We sang "Peaceful Easy Feeling" (1972) .... "Take It Easy" (1972)..."Lyin' Eyes" (1975 Don Henley/Frey) many times in my friend's Volkswagen or in my yellow love bug machine flying down back country roads fifteen minutes past my eleven o'clock curfew. Turning down the music was always the best option when trying to sneak in the driveway unnoticed. It didn't help that the headlights would always shine directly into my parents' bedroom window.   Why is it that his music always brings back memories of carefree high school days with friends....when all that mattered was which song was on the radio?

The music was loud in my generation. But this man's musical soul was gentle. 
His was the voice of soft rock. And we will miss him.
Of all their songs the melody and lyrics that belong to "Desperado" hits me hardest at this time in my life. Don Henley (I adore him!) began writing parts of it in the late '60s but it wasn't arranged until he collaborated with his songwriting teammate Glenn Frey. It was the first of many they co-wrote through the years.

Eagles 1973
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."

These lyrics are timeless. And they speak to me strongly on this day in 2016. The Mustang and the boyfriend long gone. But the message ever poignant to me -
"Your prison is walking through this world all alone.... You better let somebody love you before it's too late."  
 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

 Full lyrics HERE
We will miss the stories in your songs and the music in your soul.
Rest well. Sing on.
Posted by Mimi Lenox on Monday, January 18, 2016
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Sherry Blue Sky said...

That song really speaks to me too, Mimi. Beautiful post.

Mimi Lenox said...

Thank you, Sherry. It's haunting, isn't it?

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