The Last Resort
By The Eagles © 1970
where the old world shadows hang heavy in the air.
She packed her hopes and dreams like a refugee,
just as her father came across the sea.
She heard about a place people were smilin',
they spoke about the red man's way, how they loved the land.
And they came from everywhere to the Great Divide
seeking a place to stand or a place to hide.
Down in the crowded bars out for a good time,
can't wait to tell you all what it's like up there.
And they called it paradise, I don't know why.
Somebody laid the mountains low while the town got high.
Then the chilly winds blew down across the desert,
through the canyons of the coast to the
where the pretty people play hungry for power
to light their neon way and give them things to do.
Some rich man came and raped the land, nobody caught 'em,
put up a bunch of ugly boxes and Jesus people bought 'em.
And they called it paradise, the place to be,
they watched the hazy sun sinking in the sea.
You can leave it all behind and sail to Lahaina
just like the missionaries did so many years ago.
They even brought a neon sign, Jesus is coming
brought the white man's burden down, brought the white man's reign.
Who will provide the grand design, what is yours and what is mine?
'Cause there is no more new frontier, we have got to make it here.
We satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds
in the name of destiny and in the name of God.
And you can see them there on Sunday morning
stand up and sing about what it's like up there.
They called it paradise, I don't know why.
You call some place paradise - kiss it goodbye.
Not long after the
the 1890 census that the frontier no longer existed. Settlement had
changed the Plains dramatically. No one felt these changes more keenly
than the Native Americans who had lived on the Plains for centuries
~ The American Journey
1) What historic event is discussed in the quote above and why was it significant?
2) What is the meaning of the term Manifest Destiny? Does the song "Last Resort" support or oppose Manifest Destiny? Explain.
3) What was the transcontinental railroad and how did it impact life in the West in both positive and negative ways?
4) What is the meaning or significance of the song’s title?
5) Write two meaningful concept sentences regarding Westward Expansion and the closing of the frontier. Choose from the following words…change, environment, culture, scarcity, empathy, power, technology.
“…It is confidently believed that our system may be safely extended to the
utmost bounds of our territorial limits, and that as it shall be extended the
bonds of our
( ~ From the inaugural address of James K. Polk, 11th President (1845-49)
1) Who said the above quote? According to the speaker how did our country benefit from westward expansion?
2) Read the lyrics to the Eagles’ song "The Last Resort" Does the message of the song agree with the meaning of the quotation? Why, why not?
3) Compare the mood of the song and the quote. How does the speaker of the song use irony to express his feelings about westward expansion?
4) Discuss the meaning of the term Manifest Destiny. Which excerpt, the song or the quotation, expresses similar beliefs. Explain.
5) What was the transcontinental railroad? How did it impact life in the West in both positive and negative ways?
6) Why was the closing of the American frontier a significant event in American history?
7) What is the special meaning or significance of the song’s title?