Thursday, October 9, 2014

Day 282- A Hotel First

Laura and I were talking today about the meaning of certain songs.  It occurred to me that I could look up the meaning to a song that I did not understand for a "first."  My first thought was the song, "American Pie." This is a song filled with hidden meaning. As tempting as this was, I knew I had actually done this a few years back.

So, today I looked up and researched the meaning to the song "Hotel California" by the Eagles for my "first."

I can remember as a teenager being warned that this song was about devil worship or something like that.  There is that line about not being able to kill the beast that kind of lends that way.  As I researched (i.e. googled) the meaning behind the song, it seems it was something quite different.  This is according to the websites and I claim no real truth to what I found.

Here's what what one site said, "The song is an allegory about hedonism, self-destruction, and greed in the music industry of the late 1970s. Don Henley called it "our interpretation of the high life in Los Angeles" and later reiterated: "It's basically a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream and about excess in America, which is something we knew a lot about.” 

Here's what another site said, "Most likely, however, it is a song that chronicles the culture of excess, wealth, decadence, and self-destruction in the Southern California cultural milieu of the mid-1970s. In a 2007 interview with 60 Minutes, Don Henley described "Hotel California" as "a song about the dark underbelly of the American dream and about excess in America, which is something we knew a lot about." What's interesting here is that Henley and the Eagles are not trying to argue that the "American Dream" is a sham – no, they themselves are living examples of the American Dream (four Midwest boys come to California with the dream of becoming rock stars and five years later release the best-selling album in American history). Yeah, we'd say they got a pretty good deal. But instead, the Eagles are criticizing the culture of excess surrounding the rich and famous in Los Angeles – a culture that they were a part of. It turns out the old adage is true: "mo' money mo' problems."
According to Glenn Frey's liner notes for The Very Best Of, the use of the word "steely" in the lyric, "They stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast," was a playful nod to the band Steely Dan, who had included the lyric "Turn up the Eagles, the neighbors are listening" in their song "Everything You Did".

There were some conjectures-The metaphorical character of the story related in the lyrics has inspired a number of conjectural interpretations by listeners. In the 1980s some Christian evangelists alleged that "Hotel California" referred to a San Francisco hotel that was purchased by Anton LaVey and converted into a Church of Satan. Other rumors suggested that the Hotel California was the Camarillo State Mental Hospital.

So, it seems that instead of being a devil worshipping song, it was actually warning against the seductive nature of materialism.  This is something that the Bible actually agrees with in some ways.  The Bible says in Proverbs 27:20, "Hell and destruction are never full; so the eyes of man are never satisfied."

We'll leave the light on for you

What I thought about as I did this "first" was that we need to think about what God has said in His Word. It's easy for people who go to church a lot to hear Bible verses and stories and forget to really think about what they mean.  Just as I rode along in my car singing "Hotel California" as a teenager with no idea of what it meant, we can read and hear Bible verses and nod our heads and say amen with no idea of what it really means for us. This is a good reason to memorize Scripture. Not just so you can say you memorized a Scripture, but so you can think about what it means.  We need to roll Bible verses around in our minds and ask things like:
  • What is God saying to me?
  • What will I do about it?
  • How should I act since I read this?
  • What does this say about where I need to trust God to change my life?
  • Is there something I need to repent of?
As you read the Bible and listen to the Bible being taught, don't forget to think deeply about what God is saying to you through that passage.  It is not enough to listen to the Bible and agree with it, we must adjust our lives to be in line with what the Bible says.  As one person said, "When the Bible speaks, God speaks." It is so much more important than the meaning of Hotel California.

Glad the abundant life is full of meaning

3 things I thank God for today
1. The richness of the Bible
2. The privilege to have so much access to the Bible
3. Meaningful conversations today with Christians who absolutely love Jesus

No comments:

Post a Comment