The End of the Innocence (1989) – Don Henley

This is simply one of the greatest songs I’ve ever heard. It made such a huge impression on me as an adolescent that I tried writing the lyrics of it to give to a girlfriend. My first ever girlfriend was Tonia Anderson and I was smitten with her. You could find us at Colo High School smooching at the entryway of the Year 12 building in 1989 or thereabouts, which undoubtedly repulsed our fellow students having to enter.

The day Tonia would come to my house on a date, my old man tried to set me straight on …you – know, umm kind of a hybrid of birds and bees and don’t impregnate your girlfriend in my house‘ type of warning. It was funny how he tried. ‘I get it Dad‘! Eventually my parents headed out and Tonia and I had the whole place to ourselves. ‘Yes’!!!!. So we were on my bed downstairs and listening to some Elton and I produced these lyrics I transcribed from today’s featured song and gave them to her.

This is a true story…. I wrote in my lyric interpreting today’s song as I heard it – the Chorus – ‘End of the Andersons‘. Not the true lyric ‘The end of the Innocence‘. Andersons for Innocence. Even now when I hear the song I hear ‘End of the Andersons‘.
You want to know stupidity? Well, it never occurred to me her family name was Anderson, but I gave the lyrics to her anyhow. As Tonia was reading them learning about the end of her family, she didn’t look too impressed if I remember, much to my dismay.

Separating my stupidity from all the above, what are the chances I decide to write a lyric for someone where the song title could be misinterpreted as the family name of the girl I was trying to court? And not just that, but it suggests her family’s demise. I mean one in a thousand, million, perhaps billion? Anyway, I have some backstory with this song to put it mildly.

The End of the Innocence not the Andersons, is the title song from the third solo album by Don Henley. I think it’s one of the best lyrical compositions I have heard and despite having reheard it over the decades it never grows old to my ears. So without further to do, below is The End of the Andersons…. Innocence rather.

“The more I live, the more I learn. The more I learn, the more I realize, the less I know.”- Michel Legrand

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3 comments on “The End of the Innocence (1989) – Don Henley
  1. badfinger20 (Max) says:

    What a story! Young and in love…
    It is a great song. The album is my favorite album by him. I don’t like the Eagles but I do like Don Henley’s solo albums.,,kinda strange lol.
    Great pick today. There is another song on that album that described what I was going through at the time with a girl I knew… “Heart of the Matter” fit perfectly and I wore it out during 1989-1990

  2. I laughed so much recalling this story.
    I’m also not a big fan of the Eagles and prefer Don Henley’s solo stuff.
    ‘Heart of the Matter’ is probably my joint favourite song by him. I see you also have personal testimony. It’s a lovely written song – ‘Heart..’.

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