The participation actually began 2 years prior to, in the summer of 1987, when Hornsby acquired a surpclimb phone speak to from Henley. At the time, Hornsby was what an Eagles-era Henley could have dubbed “the brand-new boy in town”: Bruce’s “The Way It Is” thrust him into the spotlight in late ‘86, and also he earned a Grammy for Best New Artist in 1987. Henley didn’t recognize Hornsby personally, but he was hoping they could job-related together, so they arranged for Henley to come over to Hornsby’s residence in the San Fernando Valley.
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There’s no road map for collaboration. For instance, a lot of of the classic Bernie Taupin-Elton John songs began via words; Taupin created the lyrics initially, then Elton put music to them. For “The End of the Innocence,” the music came first: Hornsby played for Henley a track for a song that he had tried to create, however he just couldn’t gain the right words. But Henley could; as he drove home from Hornsby’s home, Don re-listened to a cassette of the abandoned song and referred to as Hornsby dvery own the road. He had something.
As much as what that “something” turned into . . . hey, this is Don Henley we’re talking about! Of course, the lyrics are going to be brilliant! But what provides “The End of the Innocence” stand out, also once compared to various other Henley songs, is how layered it is. While the song is called “The End of the Innocence,” it probably should be referred to as “The Ends of the Innocence,” because tbelow are, my by count, four “endings” in this song. Briefly:
First verse: Your conventional “end of childhood,” the Holden Caulfield-esque fall from grace that inevitably happens when you realize Santa isn’t genuine, your parents make mistakes, and that life isn’t as rosy as you as soon as thought.
Second verse: Henley increases his scope, from a personal loss of innocence to a nationwide loss. A boy of the 60s, Henley was disillusioned just how the nation lost its feeling of idealism in the 80s, as civilization began concentrating solely themselves. Alengthy the means, he gets in some veiled shots at President Reagan (the “exhausted old man that we elected king”).
Third verse: Here, he goes back to the personal, comparing the unpreventable “loss of innocence” to the ultimate finish of a partnership. Henley seems to be showing on the idea that all relationships end: someone leaves, someone dies, human being drift acomponent. All we deserve to execute is host on to the memories. (“I should remember this,/ So baby give me simply one kiss.”.)
Pre-Chorus and Chorus: This “loss” connects to a layout that runs throughout Henley’s job-related and life, from the song “The Last Resort” to his beginning of the Walden Woods Project: the secure destruction of the natural human being.
This one may need some background: In his book To The Limit, writer Marc Eliot talks about exactly how Henley, while driving to Hornsby’s residence for the first time, passed by a cornfield, “one of the last stretches of underoccurred land” in the San Fernando Valley. The photo seemed to resonate with Henley the Environmentalist; in the song, the narrator is inviting someone (probably the lover in the 3rd verse) to go to a area “still untouched by males.” But the chorus seems to indicate that males WILL ultimately touch this location, that its beauty is fleeting.
(As an aside, many kind of world think the “loss of innocence” in the chorus is the loss of the girl’s virginity, yet frankly, I don’t check out it. When the chorus says, “Just lay your head earlier on the ground/ and let your hair spill all around me,” I picture the 2 lying NEXT to each various other. Moreover, if he were talking about the loss of the girl’s virginity, the “offer up your best defense” line would certainly be unnecessarily menacing, as if the narrator is having actually sex with her versus her will. Bottom line: this interpretation simply doesn’t fit with the rest of the song.)
Henley and Hornsby have functioned via other artists prior to and since: Henley via Stevie Nicks, Patty Smyth, and also Axl Rose, Hornsby with Bonnie Raitt, Huey Lewis, and also the Grateful Dead. But “The End of the Innocence” is a landmark teamwork, in that it truly is co-authored: Don didn’t just lend his voice to a Bruce tune, and also Bruce didn’t simply play piano on a Don tune. Instead, the 2 linked their talents to create among the ideal songs of the decade. (Astoundingly, though, it just reached 99 — out of 100 — on the Billboard Year-End Chart for 1989. Are you kidding me with that?)
Author Marc Eliot calls “The End of the Innocence” as a “combination anthem and eulogy,” and for those of us that “came of age” throughout the 80s, the song really does serve as a eulogy of sorts. The lyrics talk about various “ends,” but currently, after twenty-5 years, the song deserve to represent another — the finish of the 1980s.
Sure, the song came out in the summer (which supposed 6 more months’ worth of songs came out after that). And sure, Henley himself is instrumental of the 80s in the song. And heck, the 80s weren’t really all that innocent (with the outbreak of AIDS and the Iran-Contra hearings and also are afraid of global thermonuclear war).
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But no issue. Nostalgia helps us overlook those blemishes, and those of us who lived with the 1980s will certainly constantly remember it as a much easier, innocent time — a time of Pac-Man and also parachute pants, of Rubik’s Cubes and also role-playing games, of words and music.