Eagles: Take it to the Limit Meaning
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Song Released: 1976
Take it to the Limit Lyrics
When the bright lights had faded from view
I was thinking 'bout a woman who might have
Loved me and I never knew
You know I've always been a dreamer
(spent my life running 'round)
And it's so hard...
anonymous Feb 13th, 2010 2:41am report
I think "Take It to the Limit" is one of the best songs ever written. The abstract ideas are hidden behind its well-crafted metaphors. At least two people (the speaker & his imagination lover) are involved in this ballad. The speaker seems to be traveling alone somewhere on the road and fantasizing about a girl. “All the bright lights have faded to blue” illustrates the time; late midnight. “You know I’ve always been a dreamer/Can’t seem to settle down” I feel refers to the speaker’s lonesomeness, unstable, and single lifestyle. “The dreams I’ve seen lately/Keep on turning out burning out the same” is a reflection of the speaker’s mindset, confused, stressed, and struggling to overcome with his loneliness. “So put me on a highway/Show me a sign......” indicates a new strength, a sign of hope, may be a sign from God (as if a sign by the road) encouraging him to go full swing one more time.
The second verse “You can spend all time making money.......Will you still be mine” seems to be the speaker’s talking to his imagined lover, or a girl he loved unrequited who might have been pursuing earthly pleasures. The speaker is addressing his one and only true love. But he feels that there’s still no one who cares about him and understands him (And when you’re looking for freedom nobody seems to care). The next line “When there’s nothing to believe in/ Still you ‘re coming back....” additionally highlights that there is no one to share his burden, that’s why he keeps going back to the same old road again. The invincible strength (the sign of hope from God ) is pushing him to not give up. He must keep hope, someone out there is waiting for him, somewhere.
I’m a Burmese refugee who has lived desperately in foreign countries. This song is soothing me whenever I feel lonely. I feel this is an encouraging song to all the loners across the world.
I do believe he is writing about his time on the road. However,I feel the deeper meaning is universal. At the end of the night, when we are alone with our thoughts,we think about what might have been. Sometimes these thoughts are deeply depressing,thinking about missed or squandered opportunities in our relationships,career choices etc.Sometimes you feel like you can't find what is missing in your life and want to say to hell with it all and quit.But you don't. You "take it to the limit one more time".
anonymous Jun 5th, 2018 6:17pm report
It means if you achieved a great height in your life, try to do something like that again!
anonymous Aug 26th, 2017 8:03am report
On the meaning of the song, Meisner said in the documentary History of the Eagles: "The line 'take it to the limit' was to keep trying before you reach a point in your life where you feel you've done everything and seen everything, sort of feeling, you know, part of getting old. And just to take it to the limit one more time, like every day just keep, you know, punching away at it ... That was the line, and from there the song took a different course."- WIKIPEDIA. SINGLE FOR LIFE.
anonymous Aug 26th, 2017 8:50am report
the DJ just played this song and he said it is about a man's wife that has a lover and keeps coming back to him but won't quit the other lover either. So many ways to listen to this song.
anonymous Jul 13th, 2017 7:43am report
Best song ever. To me it tells the story of a life well lived, of things lost but still having a chance at once again living well by taking it to the limit one more time. Its about love lost, but also the hope of finding it again on the highway of life, and looking forward to it.
anonymous Jun 20th, 2017 6:58pm report
A song about the end of the day (life) and thinking about what reality is. One word: coke.
anonymous May 16th, 2017 5:21am report
This song, like most, if not all other songs by the Eagles, is what it means to me - what it meant to each member of the band. The Eagles have never stood as a united front and given an interview as to what a song means. However, they have admitted to an idea that comes about from one member that's passed around and then - we benefit...what went on between the time of the inception and birth - we will never know - heck they may never know...each one may have had their own ideas of what "take it to the limit" meant, or what "you can check out any time but you can never leave"...who knows... who cares...somethings are better left unsaid - and the lyrics to many of the songs by members of the Eagles - well I for one appreciate the mystery. I appreciate reading the lyrics. I for one appreciate them saying, "daaah wrong - that's not what we meant...". I have enough reality and enough things I know I may have been wrong about - but give me my memories and what these songs and lyrics mean to me.....
anonymous Mar 4th, 2017 3:29am report
Best song 'ever'. Fortitude exemplified in a beautiful song; keeps my chin off my chest.
anonymous Oct 5th, 2016 10:03am report
This song to me means a meaningful yet abrupt encounter with a woman later deemed as fate. I think he was on the road at met a woman whom he was very attracted to and felt an unspoken connection with. The first line is 'All alone at the end of the evening and the bright lights fade to blue' refers to after 'the show' he's still just a guy looking for love or the one. He then refers to have always been a dreamer and 'looked for the one' and it's so hard to change from 'trying to find the one' and the dreams he's seen lately keep ending the same like this encounter with her did. At the time of this encounter it was hard to interpret as real because as a musician in the limelight it's so hard to decipher what is real and who is real referring to groupies and facades. He kept his guard up so it naturally didn't work out which he later regretted. The hook 'take it to the limit' is fate and he's asking fate to take to the limit one more time so he can act on it because he later acknowledged this encounter with her as different from the others and fateful. He then says put me on a highway(away from work) and show him a sign and he won't keep his guard up and will come through this time and is hoping and wishing the dreams he's having will change and that this encounter with her won't be the last time fate 'takes it to the limit' because if it is his dreams will never change and always remind him of what he missed out on. Hope this helps and I hope he found her and she was cool about it!! Lol
anonymous Sep 6th, 2016 9:19am report
Take it to the limit to me means that he is empty because he doesn't have hopes or dreams because nothing ever seems to work out the way he's wanted. Life is dull and he is restless. He can no longer deny his way of living out his life has been very empty and his responsibility to others keeps him in this unfulfilling life. So he fantasizes or has actually talked to a women that he really doesn't know well but feels a deep connection too, or is unable to forget. He had let her go but is unsure of his decision now. He is drawn to the memory of her and she had made her feelings for him known. She might have loved him. He wonders if she'd still want him if he went after her now. He realized in his unrest that his life isn't appealing anymore even to him. Therefore he's having second thoughts and wants to get on the road after her. Just show me a sign and I'm out of here! He's dying for anything good to happen because he had faithfully followed the same patterns of behavior that have left him feeling empty, or played it safe and it's killing his spirit. He wants to have the guts to leave his responsibilities and live for himself but the people in his life don't consider his need to be free and follow his dream because he wears a mask of happiness for the sake of others. He wants to leave his situation and find that woman he can't forget to see if she is the dream of love that he has hoped for. No one seems to care if he's happy or free or sad because he is such a good faker for the sake of others that no one sees him and his need to be happy on his terms. ... If they knew... Maybe they would let him go. He lays his life on the alter for others because he feels it's selfish to leave, and then he blames others that they don't care about his freedom. But they don't know his heart. He is in need of a the kind of love from a woman he has never known and dreams about.
anonymous Jan 23rd, 2016 1:06pm report
The Human condition is complex and unknown. Clearly though being vulnerable as a man is not hard wired through evolution. Men often search endlessly for the elixer to freedom. The passing of Glenn is touching as he relinquished and self actualized, a huge family man.
anonymous Dec 3rd, 2015 12:50pm report
it is not my interpretation, but randy meisner the guy that co-wrote the song said it is about keep plugging away in life. Randy Meisner explained: "The line 'take it to the limit' was to keep trying. And just to take it to the limit one more time, like every day just keep punching away at it. That was the line, and from there the song took a different course."
Amazing how wrong people's interpretations can be!!!
anonymous Apr 13th, 2015 4:19am report
The song is about a man who can't settle down and flees every relationship he is in because of a haunting obsession that there is another girl out there that could make him happier. "Thinking about a woman who might have loved me and I never knew". The chorus describes the final stage in the latest cycle as he drives off and leaves town. We know he has done this before "spent my life running round" and although the singer believes he is fleeing just "one more time", the listener suspects this will happen over and over again.
The song beautifully describes a common male predicament, feeling restless in relationships while craving freedom and a chance of finding someone perfect. Many men fall into this trap of fantasising about what they might have had rather than making the most of the relationships that they are in. It could be the way that we are hard-wired.
anonymous Jan 25th, 2013 1:53pm report
This song discribes a person that has narcissistic personality disorder. And was in a relationship a girl that loved him but he is unable to reciprocate that love but attempts to go thru the motions. She is hurt. She keeps pulling back and be manipulates his way back in till she has had enough. He then goes looking for anyone to fill his need for narcissistic supply. And hopes the next girl he is with won't figure out that he has a problem. He had again and again started up the old relationship by any means to get back the girl that made him feel good. And she had taken him back many times. But he always screws up. And she again reaches her limit.and can not be with him anymore. There is a limit to what a person in a one way relationship can take.
anonymous Nov 16th, 2012 11:24pm report
It was a long time ago in my memory, but I think I recall hearing that the song was written in memorial to Duane Allman, (Allman Brothers)who died in a motorcycle crash. The lyrics would be about his unfulfilled life and the fact that he always would push his motorcycle to the limits. Kind of like saying my life has been a real drag, and my response to that is in your face suicidal behavior.
Here is about Duane's Death:
Duane Allman died not long after the Fillmore East album was certified gold, killed in a motorcycle accident on October 29, 1971 in Macon, Georgia, The popular version of the accident was that he collided with the rear of a flatbed truck that had turned in front of him. However it has been revealed in recent years that the truck had turned before Allman was in view due to the road being on a slope. When Duane topped the crest of the hill it can be only assumed that he simply was going to swerve behind the truck. It is well known that Duane always broke speed limits on his motorcycle and on this day it would cost him his life. As he neared the truck and started the swerve the road dipped sharply and as he rode up out of the dip the motorcycle became airborne causing Duane to fly off the bike and land on the pavement. The motorcycle then landed on him with both sliding into a curb. Duane was taken to a hospital but never regained consciousness. He died from massive internal injuries.
anonymous Aug 11th, 2012 8:12am report
I believe the meaning of the song reflects around the idea of reminiscing. The character telling his story, looks back at his oblivious state, realizing how much he might have missed out on. Love is brought up in the song as well, it's described as something that slipped if there was such an emotion existing at one point. This man wants to go back to everything, play it all over at the highest degree possible, just one more time.
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