What does Colitas mean from the song Hotel California 1977

Colitas mean from the song Hotel California

What does Colitas mean from the song Hotel California 1977

The word “colitas” means literally, “Little Tails”, thus use of the slang, “colitas“, (as referenced in the song) meaning the burning of little marijuana ‘tails/buds’. It is a slang term in Mexico for the buds of the cannabis plant. Colitas is a plural diminutive form – so the line means the smell of buds.

“The colitas is a plant that grows in the desert that blooms at night, and it has this kind of pungent, almost funky smell,” he said. There is no plant by that name and he probably meant eucalyptus or the cereus night-blooming cactus. … Supposedly it can also be a “Mexican slang” for the tip of the marijuana plant.

Hotel California is a metaphor for cocaine addiction: As the music critics view this song is an allegory about hedonism and self-destruction. The song isn’t actually about an insane asylum; there is no asylum anywhere in California or even the entire United States by the name of Hotel California. Some still insist that the Hotel California is a nickname for the Camarillo State Hospital in Camarillo, California.

The hotel is located in the town of Todos Santos on Baja California Sur, about 1,000 miles (1,609 km) south of San Diego and 48 miles (77 km) north of Cabo San Lucas. “Hotel California” is known for abstract lyrics that lead singer Don Henley has said describe excess in America.

The Eagles argue that, because Hotel California is so widely associated with the rock band and used on its merchandise, it has owned it by “common law rights” since the late 1970s.

Owl in the Christmas tree

Why is Hotel California banned on Youtube?

In order to prevent a video from being completely blocked in the US, the operator of another guitar instruction channel, Paul Davids, removed a portion showing viewers how to play a “two-second lick” from The Eagles’ “Hotel California,” which also included a several-second clip from the said song.

The song has been described as being “all about American decadence and burnout, too much money, corruption, drugs and arrogance; too little humility and heart.” It has also been interpreted as an allegory about hedonism, self-destruction, and greed in the music industry of the late 1970s.

While the recording features the guitar work of Joe Walsh and Don Felder, the primary guitar heard throughout the solo belongs to Felder, who also wrote the music for the track.

Colitas mean from the song Hotel California
Colitas mean from the song Hotel California

Gonna mean what you want it to, however having grown up all over the southwest I am most familiar with Colitas as soil. See below.

COLITA SERIES

The Colita series consists of deep, somewhat poorly drained, moderately permeable soils on uplands. They formed from tuffaceous siltstones and shales of the Catahoula Formation. These soils have a perched water table near the surface in winter and early spring. Slope is dominantly about 2 percent but ranges from 0 to 5 percent.

The soil has a lot of clay in it that hardens in the sun. It is a total nightmare to dig in. Once dug a ditch through calitas found it too hard to dig so filled the ditch with a foot of water and let it stand overnight. Next day the water was only down an inch or so.

It is a soil common to Texas where at least one of the Eagles is from. In the sun it has a warm baked smell that carries into the night as the earth cools.

Been hearing that song all my adult life and this is the answer I have always believed.

What does “colitas” mean from the song Hotel California (1977), as in the ‘warm smell of colitas rising up through the air?

Eagles management has indicated that the word refers to “little buds” the smell of which would indicate the driver of the car had been smoking some good pot which probably caused him to wreck the car and die and the “Hotel California” was the Hell to which he arrived afterwards.

The others responded well to the first meaning which is probably a “double entendre “ utilizing Spanish. Cola equals tail and is feminine. Colita with the English adjectives could be interpreted as something like, hot piece of tail”. Worth considering and Eagles probably meant for this double meaning to add mystery and interest to the song, as the song is very abstract with very little concreteness.

The term “cola” refers to the cone shaped branch of a mature cannabis plant bearing clusters of flowers. The cannabis drug that people smoke is made up of those dried flowers. Cannabis cola:

Colita

“Colita” = Mexican Spanish word meaning “little cola”. The term could also mean “little tail”.

I’ve always understood the “warm smell of colitas rising up through the air” as an artful (rated PG) reference to burning marijuana.

Of course other explanations are possible, and have been offered. . .but in the context of the song (which is about excesses/hedonism in California in the 70s), I think the drug reference makes perfect sense.

The cannabis explanation is the interpretation that Dan Azoff, Eagles manager, gave to author Cecil Adams who asked him explicitly about this.

Take your pick! The Eagles themselves could not even agree on what it meant.

  1. Don Felder said that it was the name of a flower that grows wild along Route 66 on the way to California. “The colitas is a plant that grows in the desert that blooms at night, and it has this kind of pungent, almost funky smell,” he said. There is no plant by that name and he probably meant eucalyptus or the cereus night-blooming cactus. Both grow wild on Route 66 on the way to Los Angeles.
  2. Supposedly it can also be a “Mexican slang” for the tip of the marijuana plant. The problem is that nobody can come up with an example of “colitas” being used that way prior to the release of the song. Glen Frey supports this version.
  3. It is a vulgar slang term in Mexican Spanish for the butt.
  4. It literally means “little tails” in Spanish.

Conclusion

My understanding is that colitas means little bud or flower and is referring to cannabis bud, and the smell from smoking a joint. This would (could) contextualise the song in terms of references to drugs and the rock and roll lifestyle of Southern California in the 70s.

Tail in Spanish word is COLA like the animal tail. Cannabis buds are also called “foxtails” in street lingo. COLITAS is the plural of COLA.

So it means : ‘Warm smell of Cannabis rising up through the air

Don Felder : Songwriter Interviews

Felder: And the colitas is a plant that grows in the desert that blooms at night, and it has this kind of pungent, almost funky smell. Don Henley came up with a lot of the lyrics for that song, and he came up with colitas. When we try to write lyrics, we try to write lyrics that touch multiple senses, things you can see, smell, taste, hear. “I heard the mission bell,” you know, or “the warm smell of colitas,” talking about being able to relate something through your sense of smell. Just those sort of things. So that’s kind of where “colitas” came from. It’s a plant that grows in the desert and blooms at night.

Songfacts: The original title for that song, I’ve read, is “Mexican Reggae.”

Don: [Laughing] Yes, that’s right. It wasn’t really a title. When I first wrote all the music for it, I put it on a cassette with about 16 or 17 other song ideas, another one was what later became “Victim of Love,” and gave copies of the cassette to Joe Walsh, Don Henley, Glenn Frey, and Randy Meisner. At the time I said, “If there’s anything on this cassette you like you want to work on, call me and let me know.”