Colitas and tiffany twisted

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Heba, Sep 22, 2006.

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  1. Heba

    Heba Senior Member

    Coventry, England
    Egypt, Arabic
    Hi everybody

    Two words that I do not understand in the Eagles' ''Hotel Clifornia'' are ''Colitas'' and ''tiffany''. I searched for the meaning of Colitas, but I cannot find it. I guessed that ''her mind is tiffany twisted'' means that she is mentally unstable, is that correct?
  2. Mariaguadalupe

    Mariaguadalupe Senior Member

    Mexico, Spanish-English
    If my memory serves me right is that she was extremely influenced by Tiffany's, the jewelry store in New York. Seemed more like an obsession.
  3. Alxmrphi Senior Member

    Reykjavík, Ísland
    UK English
    "her mind is tiffany twisted" - I think means she is obsessed with that Jewellery shop.
  4. daviesri Senior Member

    Houston, TX
    USA English
    I agree with Mariaguadalupe on the Tiffany's part.

    As far as colitas, I found this on Wikipedia. I had heard that it had to do with marijuana, but i wanted to find something in writing (not that Wikipedia is perfect).

    Hope this helps.

    According to Don Henley[citation needed], the line "warm smell of colitas" refers to colitas, which are a desert flower with a warm, heady smell. However, the plant with the nearest spelling is coleus, which has no distinct aroma.
    According to Irving Azoff (Eagles management),
    ...during the writing of the song “Hotel California,” by Don Henley and Glenn Frey, the word “colitas” was translated for them by their Mexican-American road manager as “little buds.” Colitas is little tails, but here the author is referring to “colas,” the tip of a marijuana branch, where it is more potent and with more sap — said to be the best part of the leaves.[2] Source:
  5. I love that song, I can sing the whole damn thing (unfortunately for everyone else:)

    "And the smell of colitas, rising up through the ai-ai-air...."

    Colitas here is marijuana, the smell of a burning joint.

    The tiffany-twisted probably does make reference to Tiffany's jewelry shop, although I had never thought of it that way before. But since it is "Her mind is Tiffany Twisted, she drives a Mercedes Benz, she's got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends...", it would be accurate to assume he is refering to a wealthy, bejeweled, and glamourous woman.

    But still those voices are calling from far away...
  6. Heba

    Heba Senior Member

    Coventry, England
    Egypt, Arabic
    I never thought about it that way either:)

    Thank you all guys. Each post was very helpful
  7. Carudaru

    Carudaru Member

    Mexico City
    English & Swedish, Sweden
    Just a little piece of additional information-
    "colita" means tail in Spanish, well, it's actually the diminutive form of "cola," which is tail. In some Spanish speaking countries, the butt of a joint is called "colita" = the tail of the joint.
    I never thought about what "colita" refers to in the song, but now that you guys mention it, makes perfect sense...!
  8. Cayuga Senior Member

  9. mybestfriendhendrix New Member

    spanish, spain
    I think 'colitas' would by simply the rest of a cigarrette, in Spanish common called 'colillas', and probably due to an mexican influence. It's near to the marihuana mean.

    In the other hand, the glamourous and tiffany twisted girl would be the great Janis Joplin, because her song 'oh lord won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz, My friends all drives Porches, ...' All the song refers to mad and maybe to drougs matters, and some people has established this connetion between this girl and the mean of the song.
  10. Kassamy New Member

    Español, Mexico
    Colitas, it's a kind of marihuana here in Mexico, as simple as that
  11. Monty559 New Member

    Ithaca, NY
    American English
    The reference to a Mercedes here is in the form of a pun. The actual words are "Mercedes bends" referring to a medical condition experienced by skin divers who surface too quickly. Nitrogen narcosis ("the bends") is a drowsy state caused by breathing air at higher that atmospheric pressure. In the loosest sense, the writers were probably just referring to an abnormal condition with reference to the girl's materialism, underscored by her apparent obsession with Tiffany's, the high-end jewelry store.
  12. Lualmartin New Member

    I think this song talks about a brothel.
  13. MarjaS New Member

    Hi Badgrammar
    If you can sing along the whole song please correct the following: "And the smell of colitas" should be "warm smell of colitas" and she doesn't drive the Mercedes Benz, she's got the car! :) Maybe she doesn't even have a drivers license! The spoiled girl is probably driven around by one of her pretty, pretty boys!
    Good luck singing along... I only sing along when I'm home alone. :)
  14. Tom R New Member

    There is a simpler explanation. There are a lot of words in English that rhyme with bends like "friends" which Henley used in HC. Not many words rhyme with Benz. A lot of song writers chose words because they rhyme. Another pun of Mercedes bends would be bend as in fender bender. Maybe "Tiffany" got loaded in the past and crumpled a fender or two.
  15. Captain Raven

    Captain Raven New Member

    English - United Kingdom
    Personally, I like the following interpretations:

    "Colitas" - The sweet smell of Spanish Marijuana.

    "Her mind is Tiffany-Twisted" - That she is so high on drugs that everything resembles Tiffany's store (i.e many, many pretty colours from all the fancy lights.

    "Mercedes Benz" - I think this is a pun on "the bends" - the euphoric feeling that one gets when returning to the surface too quickly (when diving). In this case, I believe it to mean that she has had to come round too quickly from her trip to answer the door when the traveler arrives. I do like the theory that the Mercedes Benz reference is somehow linked to Janis Joplin (because of her famous "Mercedes Benz" song). I also think that the reference may be to the "Tiffany Shade" album in 1967 and some of the record label issues that she experienced. Look on '' for more info on this subject.

    So "Tiffany Twisted" could mean that Janis is bitter about the deal.

    "We haven't had that spirit here since 1969" - Everyone knows that Wine is not a spirit (which is defined by the manufacturing process), so the "spirit" in this case is that of the drive / emotion, i.e "Please bring me my wine" to which the Captain seems surprised that the traveler is even asking him to go and fetch him the drink.

    In addition to all the theories about whether the song's about a Brothel or Cannibals or a Drugs Den, etc - I personally think about the "T1tty Twister" bar from the movie "From Dusk 'Til Dawn", especially the parts about "gathering for the feast" in the "Master's Chamber" and "they stab it with their steely knives, but they just can't kill the beast".

    However, I think realistically that the song is comparing L.A / California to a place where you can go and chill out / get stoned / "check out", etc and that you can go there any time of year, etc. I also think the reference to "you can never leave" is a reference to addiction, to either drugs or to the whole way of life in that state (drug induced or the literal meaning of "state").

    Anyway, hope this prompts some further discussion. Irrespective of what the translation or hidden meaning is - I have loved the song for like forever!
  16. liliput

    liliput Senior Member

    U.K. English
    I had always assumed that "colita" referred to the butt of a joint but apparently, the band members have explicitly stated that "colitas" refers to a type of desert flower. Since they have also explicitly stated that the song is about excess and the dark side of the American dream, I imagine they would have no qualms about admitting it referred to marijauna if this were the case. I think the desert flower interpretation makes more sense.

    "Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she's got the Mercedes bends" is a clear reference to an obsession with wealth and status symbols. To me the use of "twisted" and "the bends" implies a degree of suffering caused by this obsession. This is consistent with the claim that the song is criticizing materialist hedonism. I like the idea that there may be some sort of tribute to Janis Joplin involved though.

    The pun certainly refers to "the bends" or decompression sickness, however, nitrogen narcosis is not the same as "the bends". Nitrogen narcosis is caused by nitrogen dissolving in the nervous tissue and causing a narcotic effect whilst diving. It's effects are completely reversed by simply ascending. "The bends" on the other hand is almost the opposite - it's caused by the precipitation of gas bubbles from dissolved gas in the body when divers ascend too quickly. It's effects can be extremely severe and potentially fatal. Rather than "drowsy" the sufferer would be in agony if not unconscious.

    Even more unfortunately for everyone else, Badgrammar, you get the words wrong. That should be "warm smell of colitas..."
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010
  17. Sitting bull New Member

    Ukraine, but British
    British English
    Colitas... wild buckwheat, North American plant

    Tiffany... tiffany, thin gauze muslin, lightweight cotton cloth in a plain weave

    Meaning in the song... check my quote at the end of this forum :)
  18. The Scorpion New Member

    South Ga.
    Tiffany twisted means a mind twisted or intertwined with materialism and status.
    And colitas refers to the bud in cannabis. i.e. marijuana.
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