Thursday, December 06, 2012

Frail Grasp on the Big Picture

From the Eagles’ album Long Road out of Eden

I’ve been an Eagles fan from the first time I heard them backing up Linda Ronstadt, and my passion for their music continues to grow right up to their latest album, Long Road out of Eden. Released in 2007, it’s a mix of country, rock and pop songs, and the demise of America.

Say what?

Yep. nearly six years in production and the seventh studio album from the band—the first since the Long Run in1979—this is also a brutal album that captures the essence of the zeitgeist and sociopolitical distress, with several tracks that could have been the soundtrack for the movie, The Road.

The title song, Long Road out of Eden, is a haunting call for pulling the troops out of Iraq and the metaphor of Eden as the western world. Apparently told from the perspective of a soldier who sees the hypocrisy, the lyrics cry “Weavin’ down the American highway/Through the litter and the wreckage and the cultural junk/Bloated with entitlement, loaded on propaganda/Now we’re drivin’ dazed and drunk.”

Another powerful song—the title of this article—seems to tell the story from the perspective of so many who have been lulled asleep, bought off by creature comforts and the illusions of freedom and patriotism….and the lyrics tell it all:
And we pray to our Lord
Who we know is American
He reigns from on high
He speaks to us through middlemen

And He shepherds His flock
We sing out and we praise His name
He supports us in war
He presides over football games

And the right will prevail
All our troubles shall be resolved
We have faith in the Lord
Unless there’s money or sex involved
What a sad state we’ve reached, and while it would be easy to step into one of the first four stages of Kubler-Ross’ Five Stages of Grief, an awakened person sees this as an opportunity to build something new and for us to do better. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

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