“Lyin’ Eyes” Reinterpreted

Don Henley was 28 when he and 27-year-old Glenn Frey wrote Lyin’Eyes.

The year was 1975.

The story goes that they were in their favorite LA restaurant/bar Dan Tana’s where they watched beautiful young women hitting on rich, older married men and decided to write about it.

From the vantage point of men in their 20’s, I can certainly understand their passionate disdain, as they felt entitled to the attention by virtue of youth alone.

Nonetheless, fast-forward to today’s urban world and I will comment on each verse from the perspective of an older man:


City girls just seem to find out early
How to open doors with just a smile
A rich old man
And she won’t have to worry
She’ll dress up all in lace and go in style


City girls know exactly what they doing, which is why many of them are among the 1% without so much as a G.E.D., or discernible profession. 

Late at night a big old house gets lonely
I guess every form of refuge has its price
And it breaks her heart to think her love is only
Given to a man with hands as cold as ice


I have yet to meet a gold-digger who was unhappy in a 10 million dollar home. Not one. Furthermore, most don’t care what’s in a John’s heart, or even that he has one, as long as she gets to travel. Put another way, it’s a symbiotic relationship.

So she tells him she must go out for the evening
To comfort an old friend who’s feelin’ down
But he knows where she’s goin’ as she’s leavin’
She is headed for the cheatin’ side of town


Most gold-diggers cheat. So what? As long as the John doesn’t find out what difference does it make? She’s still faithful to the arrangement.

You can’t hide your lyin’ eyes
And your smile is a thin disguise
I thought by now you’d realize
There ain’t no way to hide your lyin eyes


Most men I know set specific parameters like anyone running a successful enterprise. Applicants sign employment contracts and live within the parameters. 

On the other side of town a boy is waiting
With fiery eyes and dreams no one could steal
She drives on through the night anticipating
‘Cause he makes her feel the way she used to feel


There will always be a boy somewhere waiting for pretty much anyone, anytime. It’s obviously not enough, so she parses.

She rushes to his arms; they fall together
She whispers that it’s only for awhile
She swears that soon she’ll be comin’ back forever
She pulls away and leaves him with a smile


Unless he figures out how to make a bundle, he’ll only be a fleeting screw. Of course, most young guys who make a fortune when they’re young tend to go through women like water, so now who’s crying?

She gets up and pours herself a strong one,
And stares out at the stars up in the sky.
Another night, it’s gonna be a long one.
She draws the shade and hangs her head to cry.


This is the funniest thing I have ever read. Her head is sitting in a $20,000 french armchair with a glass of champagne. Nice try, though. 

She wonders how it ever got this crazy.
She thinks about a boy she knew in school.
Did she get tired or did she just get lazy?
She’s so far gone she feels just like a fool.


Lazy? Are you insane? Women like this work their butt’s off to live like this. What? You think money just falls from trees?

My oh my, you sure know how to arrange things.
You set it up so well, so carefully.
Ain’t it funny how your new life didn’t change things?
You’re still the same old girl you used to be.


Most insightful verse in the song. I’ve never known a gold-digger to change his or her stripes. 

As young men, even they could see that people are what they do.