Monday, October 25, 2010

Take It Easy by The Eagles

The older I get the more chill I am about problems that arise in life. It’s not that I don’t take my life or my job seriously. If just that I’ve found that rarely are problems that I face truly dire or worth me freaking out about. Things happen, we do the best we can to deal with them and then we move on with our lives. How do you maintain this kind of attitude: A healthy dose of perspective. I’m not in Pakistan, homeless because of flood waters and I’m not in North Korea starving while my “great leader” has food flown in from all around the world.

The Eagles first single “Take It Easy” and possibly their most famous song is about getting that perspective, enjoying life and realizing what’s important in life. With later masterpieces like “Hotel California” and “Wasted Time,’ The Eagles contemplate darker edges of the American experience but with “Take It Easy” it’s pure sunlight.

The Eagles created a combination of a country and rock defining the Southwest rock sound for the 1970s. Coming out of the haze of 1960s psychedelic rock and high conceptual music of the bands like the Beatles, artists like the Eagles turned their focus inward to examine the American experience. Their first single “Take It Easy” was the perfect overture for their career with layers of guitar, insightful but straightforward lyrics and a sound could only be defined as American.

The first verse present the problem of having seven women in ones life, “four that want to own me, two that want to stone me, and one says she’s a friend of mine.” The response in the chorus is to just “take it easy” relax. Don’t over think the issue, figure out what you want to do (“take a stand”).

The second verse about seeing a beautiful girl in a Ford on the surface is simply a pick up line.

Come on, baby, don't say maybe
I got to know if your sweet love is
Going to save me
We may lose and we may win though
We will never be here again
So open up, I'm climbin' in,
so take it easy...

On a deeper level it’s talking about being within the moment, making the best of it and letting yourself enjoy life.

The last verse presents another problem with a woman and what becomes clear at this point of the song is that the main theme, “take it easy” is not so much in the words but in the music itself. Through the guitar solos and the “oohs” towards the end, we are drawn into a band rocking out, having a great time with a sense of relaxation as the band lays back into a groove.

What The Eagles are really telling us is how good life can be and when you listen to this song you can’t help but feel how amazing it is to be alive. The smile you get from listening to this song is the most persuasive argument for the song’s conclusion “we got it easy, we ought to take it easy.”

The next time you get worked up about something, listen to "Take It Easy," breathe and thank God that you don't have four women out there who want to stone you.

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