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The track was written by Glenn Frey and Don Henley and appeared on the 1973 album Desperado as well as numerous compilation albums. It ranked No. 494 on Rolling Stone's 2004 list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time"

"Desperado" is one of Eagles' most famous songs, and it was ranked No. 494 on the Rolling Stone's list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" in 2004. It was voted the No. 2 favorite Eagles song in a poll of Rolling Stone readers.In 2000 the song was listed in MOJO magazine's list of greatest songs compiled with songs nominated by songwriters such as Paul McCartney, Hal David, and Brian Wilson. Members of the Western Writers of America included it in their list of the Top 100 Western songs of all time.

William Ruhlmann of AllMusic considered it one of Eagles' major compositions. Paul Gambaccini of Rolling Stone felt it was Henley's rough voice that made the song memorable. Their recording never charted on Billboard until the death of Glenn Frey, when it reached No. 20 on the Rock Digital Songs chart. After the antagonist of the film Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 claimed that Brandy by the Looking Glass was "Earth's finest composition", the lead singer of the Looking Glass countered that Desperado should have that title.


Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?

You been out ridin' fences for so long now

Oh, you're a hard one

But I know that you got your reasons

These things that are pleasin' you

Can hurt you somehow

Don't you draw the queen of diamonds, boy

She'll beat you if she's able

You know the queen of hearts is always your best bet

Now it seems to me, some fine things

Have been laid upon your table

But you only want the ones that you can't get

Desperado, oh, you ain't gettin' no younger

Your pain and your hunger, they're drivin' you home

And freedom, oh freedom well, that's just some people talkin'

Your prison is walking through this world all alone

Don't your feet get cold in the winter time?

The sky won't snow and the sun won't shine

It's hard to tell the night time from the day

You're losin' all your highs and lows

Ain't it funny how the feeling goes away?

Desperado, why don't you come to your senses?

Come down from your fences, open the gate

It may be rainin', but there's a rainbow above you

You better let somebody love you

Let somebody love you

You better let somebody love you before it's too late


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