The lyrics to Long Road out of Eden by the Eagles are as follows:

Moon shinin' down through the palms
Shadows movin' on the sand
Somebody whisperin' the twenty-third psalm
Dusty rifle in his tremblin' hands

Somebody tryin' just to stay alive
He got promises to keep
Over the ocean in America
Far away and fast asleep

Silent stars blinkin' in the blackness of an endless sky
Cold silver satellites, ghostly caravans passin' by
Galaxies unfoldin', new world's bein' born
Pilgrims and prodigals creepin' toward the dawn
And it's a long road out of Eden

Music blastin' from an SUV
On a bright and sunny day
Rollin' down the Interstate
In the good old USA

Havin' lunch at The Petroleum Club
Smokin' fine cigars and swappin' lives
He said, "Give me another slice of that barbecued brisket
Give me another piece of that pecan pie"

Freeways flickerin', cell phones chimin' a tune
We're ridin' to utopia, road map says we'll be arrivin' soon
Captains of the old order clingin' to the reins
Assurin' us these aches inside are only growin' pains
But it's a long road out of Eden

Back home, I was so certain the path was very clear
But now I have to wonder what are we doin' here'
I'm not countin' on tomorrow and I can't tell wrong from right
But I'd give anythin' to be there in your arms tonight

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

Been down the road to Damascus, the road to Mandalay
Met the ghost of Caesar on the Appian Way
He said, "It's hard to stop this bingein' once you get a taste
But the road to empire is a bloody stupid waste"
Behold the bitten apple, the power of the tools
But all the knowledge in the world is of no use to fools
And it's a long road out of Eden

The Appian Way was a major Roman Road. The Road to Damascus was presumably referring to the Apostle Paul's conversion experience, and presumably the "bitten apple" is referring to the fall of Adam and Eve (hence the "long road out of Eden").

Was Caesar selected because he represented imperialist empire-building? If so, is this song primarily "about" imperialism and war, or is it talking about imperialism more in the context of overall American materialism and "cultural junk"?

One more factor to consider: the very next song is "I Dreamed There Was No War." I highly doubt that this placement was coincidental.

Also, what's the significance of Mandalay?

  • 1
    I think the bitten apple is also a reference to the logo of the Apple corporation. – Spagirl Sep 18 '17 at 6:16
  • 1
    I hesitate to chip in when I don't feel I can write a full answer, but the ghost of caesar is a reference to Brutus being warned of defeat in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. For the road to Mandalay, see the Kipling poem 'Mandalay'. – Spagirl Sep 18 '17 at 6:52
  • Do you really need to quote the entire song here? Maybe quote the relevant portions, and provide a link to the fully lyrics? – user111 Sep 18 '17 at 15:34

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