Eagles ♪ Hotel California

By Xah Lee. Date: . Last updated: .
Mirrors on the ceiling
Pink champagne on ice
And she said
We are all just prisoners here
Of our own device
Eagles - Hotel California

Eagles, Hotel California

On a dark desert highway
Cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas
Rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance
I saw a shimmering light
My head grew heavy, and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night
There she stood in the doorway
I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself
This could be Heaven or this could be Hell
Then she lit up a candle
And she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor
I thought I heard them say

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place
Such a lovely place (background)
Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year
Any time of year (background)
You can find it here
You can find it here

Her mind is Tiffany twisted
She's got the Mercedes bends
She's got a lot of pretty, pretty boys
That she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard
Sweet summer sweat
Some dance to remember
Some dance to forget
So I called up the Captain
Please bring me my wine
He said
We haven't had that spirit here since 1969
And still those voices are calling from far away
Wake you up in the middle of the night
Just to hear them say

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely Place
Such a lovely Place (background)
Such a lovely face
They're livin' it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise
What a nice surprise (background)
Bring your alibis

Mirrors on the ceiling
Pink champagne on ice
And she said
We are all just prisoners here
Of our own device
And in the master's chambers
They gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives
But they just can't kill the beast
Last thing I remember
I was running for the door
I had to find the passage back to the place I was before
Relax said the nightman
We are programed to receive
You can check out any time you like
But you can never leave
colitas colitas refers to the bud in cannabis. i.e. marijuana.
she Note here, about the sex used. It is a she, not he. Imagine if the lyrics used “he” instead, and what changes would bring to the interpretation or meaning.
The fact that a female is used as opposed to a male for this leading into heaven allusion, is due to the sex sociology as a consequence of the sex biology. In human animals, it is the female that is associated with attraction and luring.
thought Note the lyrics said he “thought” he heard them say. The lyrics did not exactly state “I heard them say.” Minor details in language use can make a big difference.
Tiffany twisted Tiffany is Tiffany and Co., a well-known jewelry maker, and the brand name is a wealth symbol. Thus, Tiffany twisted alludes to a mind twisted or intertwined with materialism and status.
Mercedes bends Mercedes-Benz is a well-known brand of luxury car. The “bends” is a slang for the decompression sickness suffered by divers who ascent too fast. (thanks to John Dean on this.)
hear them say note that, before, it was “I thought I heard them say”. The elusiveness of what exactly was heard is gone. Here, the “just” in “just to hear them say” indicates a clarity and certainly of knowing exactly what was said.
So, what did they say? In the two slightly different versions of the chorus, one sees that, the content which he thought he heard, is nice welcoming and pleasantries, while the author tells us later with firmness, that the real message is sarcasm and unpleasantness.
livin' it up “live it up” is slang, meaning “To engage in festive pleasures or extravagances.”. Hidden in this language construction, is the implication that something is downward or afoul that one had to compensate its effect by the “upwardness” in “living it up”. And, this something is such that one “live it”, as oppose to “bring it”, “make it”, or “fix it”. The word “living” implies it's something inescapable that one has to go through as in “life”.
alibis Alibi is a law term. It is a form of defense whereby a defendant attempts to prove that he or she was elsewhere when the crime in question was committed. In this chorus section of the charming lyrics, where literal messages of welcome and loveliness is chanted, then it pops up the “living it up” and “alibi” phrases. All of a sudden, sweetness becomes almost offensive.
Mirrors The “mirrors on the ceiling” here is employed as a sexual device. That is, when human animals engage in copulation, it is often done in a laid position where their bodies are horizontal to the ground. Their field of view is often the ceiling. Having mirrors on the ceiling, makes it possible to see themselves fucking from a third-person perspective, thus enhancing their sexual stimulation in the act.
never leave The prospect of being able to see some dream while never able to achieve, is a recurring theme in tales. It is probably a human psychological condition of desire, and with that, the thoughts of failure to obtain. Such tale's theme reflect the fear and damnation and suffering aspects. In English language, perhaps it is captured by the word “yearning”.

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