Seven Spanish Angels

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"Seven Spanish Angels"
Single by Willie Nelson with Ray Charles
from the album Half Nelson
B-side "Who Cares"
Released November 1984
Genre Country
Length 3:54
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Troy Seals
Eddie Setser
Producer(s) Billy Sherrill
Willie Nelson singles chronology
"City of New Orleans"
(1984)
"Seven Spanish Angels"
(1984)
"Forgiving You Was Easy"
(1985)

"Seven Spanish Angels' is the title of a song written by Troy Seals and Eddie Setser, and recorded by American country music artist Willie Nelson as a duet with Ray Charles. It was released in November 1984 as the first single from the album Half Nelson. "Seven Spanish Angels" was the most successful of Ray Charles' eight hits on the country chart. The single spent one week at number one and a total of twelve weeks on the country chart.[1]

Song story[edit]

The song is about a Mexican outlaw and his girlfriend who are trying to outrun a posse trying to return them to Texas. When they are finally cornered and exhausted from running, they decide to fight the approaching lawmen with gunfire.

Before the final gunfight, the two embrace passioniately, promising each other that God will spare them and they will eventually be in a better place. The gunfight then commences, with the outlaw firing upon the squadron. He is immediately shot and killed, prompting his distraught girlfriend to pick up his rifle from his hand. She tearfully prays, "Father, please forgive me; I can't make it without my man." Even though she is well aware there is no ammunition in the chamber, she points it at the lawmen and is then shot dead.

After each fatal shooting, seven Spanish angels gather (presumably in Heaven) to pray for "the lovers in the Valley of the Gun." After the gunfights end and the smoke clears, "there was thunder from the throne" and the angels proceed to take "another angel home."

(In the song, Charles sings the first verse, about the man's part of the battle. Nelson takes the second verse, where the woman engages in the battle on her now-deceased boyfriend's behalf.)

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1984–1985) Peak
position
U.S. Billboard Hot Country Singles 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1
New Zealand Singles Chart 6
Australian Kent Music Report 29

Cover versions[edit]

  • Canadian country music artist George Canyon covered the song on his 2007 album, Classics.
  • Both Norwegian-born Country music artist, Heidi Hauge, and Dutch-born Peter Naude have covered the song; the latter turning it in to a more modern pop version.
  • Mati Nuude recorded an Estonian language version.
  • Czech country singer Pavel Bobek covered the song as Muž na konci světa (Man at the end of the world) in 2002, with completely different lyrics in Czech language.
  • Croatian singer Mišo Kovač covered the song as Ti si pjesma moje duše (You Are the Song of My Soul) in 1986., with altered lyrics in Croatian language
  • Mid-west country singer Smokey Smith covered the song on his album "Songs of Life 2".

References[edit]

  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 78. 
Preceded by
"Crazy for Your Love"
by Exile
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

March 23, 1985
Succeeded by
"Crazy"
by Kenny Rogers
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

March 30, 1985
Succeeded by
"What I Didn't Do"
by Steve Wariner