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Meaning of the song Desperado by Eagles, and what it is about

Despite never being released as a single, Eagles' song became one of their most well-known pieces.

Don Henley claims that "Desperado" was inspired by a song he began writing in 1968 that was reminiscent of Stephen Foster's earlier works. With the first lyric "Leo, my God, why don't you come to your senses..." the song was originally about a friend named Leo. Glenn Frey and Don Henley agreed to write songs together in 1972 after recording their debut album, Eagles, in London. Henley and Frey wrote the song "Desperado" one day after returning from London. In the first week of working together, they also wrote "Tequila Sunrise".

Henley showed Frey the rough draft of the song at their first writing session at his Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, home. He said, "When I play and sing it, I think of Ray Charles and Stephen Foster." Although it is essentially Southern Gothic, we may simply make it more Western." Frey "leapt right on it – filled in the blanks and brought structure," according to Henley, and the song became "Desperado." And it was the start of our songwriting collaboration; that's when we became a team," Henley continued.

Lyrics of the song Desperado by Eagles

Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?

You've been out ridin' fences for so long now

Oh, you're a hard one

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

Release Date



Glenn Frey, Don Henley


Glyn Johns



Other Songs

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