Don’t know about you, but this just makes me want to grow my hair long again and get some flares. There are a few versions of the Eagles playing this song on YouTube, but I picked this one because it is a live performance and seemed to capture the spirit of the times as well as the sentiment in the song. What a contrast with Britain, as The Sex Pistols were singing Anarchy In The UK in the same year.
As usual, we can’t be too analytical about the lyrics, but the message of the chorus seems to speak to me on two levels. One is simply about relaxing, living in the moment, enjoying life while we can and taking opportunities that come along.
Of course this is not a comprehensive treatise on how to live a good life! But on a second level as a Christian, I find definite pointers towards the encouragement in the words of Jesus: “If you are tired, come to me and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11.28-30).
I love this song because it is so cheerful – it gets your feet tapping and your body moving (or is that just me?). It’s a song I play sometimes and it works on several levels. On the surface it is just a good time dance song – although if you listen to the lyrics there is a story of a broken romance and someone who is ‘moving on’, determined to forget the previous partner and have a good time.
Then as I sing there is a layer of my own longing for love and an embrace in a dance of life. Somehow I feel it for myself, but I am also singing it on behalf of everyone else who needs that too, so you could say it’s a kind of prayer.
There’s a whole theology around the idea of dance. Some Christians are down on it as being too ‘carnal’ – but that’s exactly what it is – being physical, being in the moment, being with another person, it’s all good.
People dance when they are happy and there is a famous occasion in the Bible where people are dancing in celebration. The Israelites have been saved by a miraculous crossing of the Red Sea and now it’s time to party! Read about it here in Exodus 14:19-21. And let’s hear it for Miriam – in those patriarchal times, a woman, a prophet, a musician, singer and a leader. Go Miriam!
This story was too good not to share. Here’s how music can touch people’s hearts …
I live in Derby and when I go to London on the train, I arrive at St Pancras station, so the setting almost feels like home to me. The BBC picked up on the story and did a piece on the pianist, 91 year-old Denis Robinson. Hope you enjoy it here.
And – because you would feel short-changed if I didn’t put in a Bible reference – here’s the story of Simeon, who waited his whole life for a glorious moment: Luke 2:25-29. Hold on tight to your dreams, I say.