About The Song

The Eagles embody the charm of southern California folk-rock. That was evident right from the start with the band’s first single “Take It Easy,” also the opener to their self-titled debut record (released in May 1972). “Lighten up, while you still can,” Frey sings on lead.

Singer-songwriter Jackson Browne began writing the breezy traveling tune in 1971 but couldn’t quite finish it. Then living at 1020 Laguna Avenue in Echo Park, Los Angeles, along with Frey and J.D. Souther, he had been plucking away on his piano. Frey, who was sharing a one-room apartment for $60/mo, heard Jackson in the basement directly beneath him working on an early version.

“He had his piano and guitars down there. I didn’t really know how to sit down and work on a song until I heard him playing underneath us in the basement,” Frey noted in album liner notes. “I had never really witnessed that sort of focus – someone being that fastidious – and it gave me a different idea about how to write songs; that maybe it wasn’t all just going to be a flood of inspiration. That’s when I first heard [this song].”

“Take It Easy” was originally intended for Browne’s own self-titled debut album (1972), but he shelved the piece. “It was Glenn who remembered the song from some time earlier and asked Jackson about it one day,” said band member Don Henley.

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Frey continued, “I told him that I really liked it. ‘What was that, man? What a cool tune that is.’ He started playing it for me and said, ‘Yeah, but I don’t know – I’m stuck.’ So, he played the second unfinished verse and I said, ‘It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowin’ down to take a look at me.’ That was my contribution to [the song], really, just finishing the second verse.”

“Take It Easy” climbed to No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Browne later recorded his own version on his 1973 sophomore record, For Everyman.

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Lyrics

Well, I’m a-running down the road
Tryin’ to loosen my load
I’ve got seven women on my mind
Four that wanna own me
Two that wanna stone me
One says she’s a friend of mine

Take it easy, take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
Don’t even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand
And take it easy

Well, I’m a-standing on a corner
In Winslow, Arizona
Such a fine sight to see
It’s a girl, my Lord
In a flat-bed Ford
Slowin’ down to take a look at me

Come on, baby
Don’t say “Maybe”
I gotta know
If your sweet love
Is gonna save me
We may lose and we may win
Though we will never be here again
So open up, I’m climbin’ in
So take it easy

Well, I’m running down the road
Trying to loosen my load
Got a world of trouble on my mind
Lookin’ for a lover
Who won’t blow my cover
She’s so hard to find

Take it easy, take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels make you crazy
Come on, baby
Don’t say “Maybe”
I gotta know
If your sweet love
Is gonna save me

Oh we got it easy
We oughta take it easy