There are some very good interpretations on the website Songmeanings.com, especially about the words Lahaina, by Hawaii, and Malibu, which means paradise. It is also very important that the inspiration came from the death of a particular person who came from Providence Rhode Island, moved to California, and was killed in a drunk driving accident by the president of Pepperdine. This Christian school bans drinking, and subsequently also banned this song, in violation of the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution. He, the writer, does not think she came by the Providence of God, but just the Providence in Rhode Island. Providence RI was established by Roger Williams, the founder of the Baptists in America. He is responsible for the teaching of the separation of Church and State by the two clauses of the First Amendment to the U. S. Constitution, as Baptists persuaded Jefferson and Madison that this, the freedom of religion, was possible. That the old world shadows hang in the very old city of Providence is another very nice point. Now, had we followed the teachings of Jefferson, we would not have treated the natives so badly. Jefferson set the laws for the Northwest Territory, here in Michigania, and tried to secure the rights of the native Americans. The natives needed to turn wild property, which they did not own, into deeded property of a smaller extent so that they would have the vote and representation in Congress. The bad stuff really starts with Andy Jackson, who defied the Supreme Court and the ruling of Chief Justice Marshall to commit the national sin of the Trail of Tears, when Christian Cherokee were marched to their deaths on the way to Oklahoma. We need to get this disgrace off the twenty dollar bill. Allow us to suggest replacing him not with a woman to flatter our PC, but with Leopold Pokagon, the only native to successfully oppose Indian removal through the courts, and a truly great American.
The best example of the mistreatment of the natives by the Europeans may be the island where Columbus landed (Santo Domingo), and the enslavement and destruction of the very peaceful tribe there, which one can read about on the website takingthemaskoff, in his discussion of Thanksgiving. But, outside the meaning of the song, we now idealize the natives. While some were very nice, like the Hopi, Nez Perce and Powhattan, some were very savage and cruel, because Indians, as we called them, are humans too, and with our powers, some would have done the same or worse. The Sioux and the Iroquois are very warlike, and would torture at the drop of a hat, or scalp. The Iroquois would tie captives between two saplings and watch them torn slowly in half. And where are the reservations that the Iroquois or Sioux set up for the tribes they conquered? There is not a single example of any accommodation, because that is how uncivilized peoples are. Some, like the Aztecs and Anastasi, practiced cannibalism and human sacrifice, which we ban following Abraham, for the benefit of the whole world, including the natives. All peoples will be ruled mostly by custom, and the Biblical customs are superior, if we would follow them, though we have forgotten the horrors that Abraham and Moses replaced. No one else bans this stuff, so we perhaps need to think twice about “How they loved the land.” Now, the natives, who are very susceptible to alcohol, have casinos and are a part of this sinful American dream, bowling over the natural beauty to corrupt their fellow Americans with gambling. (The Europeans had alcohol for 10,000 years, so that those who were going to kill themselves with it did so, and they built up a genetic tolerance, even before distilled spirits were invented by the Muslim scientists of the 800’s). No one on the website Songmeanings has yet commented on “while the town got high,” which is what the Americans are now doing with their hippie liberty while their nation is destroying itself. We are governed mostly by custom and popular opinion, just as are the Christian free-market-eers. But the song is about these free marketeers: “Jesus is Comin'” on a neon sign, the American way. The song is Apocalyptic. We are failing this, our last resort, and we must change. We sing in Churches about what it is like up there, but we will not make it, but kiss paradise goodbye if we fail this, our last resort. This is called a rape, even worse than our prostitution, selling the higher things and our beauties for profit, because our free market philosophy subjects everything, not just providing for the body, to money-making. Soon it is not just adding value that earns profit, but the power of money, used to destroy the value of competitor’s products and extort money with the power that value creating brings, then used to control the Congress that won’t regulate the markets to assure that these companies do not profit by destroying the common good and individual rights, so that no company willing only to make an honest buck can compete. That is how Oligarchy turns quickly into tyranny, and we are letting this happen, just now. We are supposed to exercise our dominion not to rape or prostitute, but to husband the animals and the land as stewards of the Lord’s Creation (Genesis 1).
To conclude, we call attention to the commercial Babylon described in the eighteenth chapter of the Revelation, following the account of the ecclesiastic Babylon of Chapter 17. We hope America can avoid being this commercial Babylon, though it does not look hopeful. We also note that all that is required for the events of Revelation to take place, given the politics and political climate in the rest of the world, is the destruction of America. Everything else is nearly now in place.
The song follows America then from the beginning in Providence to the end in Paradise, and the city so named has since burned in the wild fires. There is no new frontier. We have got to find it here.