Written in 1975 by Don Henley and Glenn Frey of the Eagles, the song Lyin’ Eyes was nominated for Record of the Year. In concerts following the song’s release, Henley and Frey shared that the song originated when they witnessed a curious encounter in an LA bar. They imagined the scene as an illicit love affair between the man and woman; soon after, the song was born.Lyrics from the song came to mind today as I was mulling over revelations about Rachel Dolezal, a prominent civil rights activist and current president of the NAACP in Spokane, Washington. Though most of the song’s lyrics refer to a bar romance, the verse shown below could apply to almost any entanglement in which a woman might find herself.
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.
In case you’re unaware of the predicament of Rachel Dolezal, you’ll find here and here two articles that fill in the details. Perhaps neither Frey nor Henley could have imagined their lyrics might be tied to such a tangled tale!
The various discussions popping up all over social media and the internet have ranged from merciless on the one hand to sympathetic and defensive on the other. I have to admit my initial reaction was bewilderment. Then, reading further into the story, I felt sorrow for the estrangement between Ms. Dolezal and her parents. But I entertained numerous questions, most of which began with the word “Why …?”
There always seems to be a ridiculous side to stories of this nature. In this case, an extended limerick seemed the most appropriate way to address this peculiarly post-modern fairy tale.