Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground

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"Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground"
Single by Willie Nelson
from the album Honeysuckle Rose
B-side "I Guess I've Come to Here in Your Eyes"
Released January 1981
Genre Country
Length 4:27
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Willie Nelson
Producer(s) Willie Nelson
Willie Nelson singles chronology
"On the Road Again"
"Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground"
"Mona Lisa"

"Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground" is a 1981 single from the film Honeysuckle Rose. "Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground" was written and performed by Willie Nelson. The single was Willie Nelson's seventh number one on the country chart as a solo artist and stayed at number one for one week and spent a total of fourteen weeks on the country chart.[1]

This song is commonly believed to have been written about Charlie "Magoo" Tinsley, a good friend of Nelson's who happened to also be a member of The Hells Angels.[citation needed] This has never been confirmed or denied by Nelson who usually says he's not going to argue with a load of bikers.[citation needed] He did once claim the song was about his wife Connie.[citation needed]


Chart (1981) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[2] 1
Canadian RPM Country Tracks 1

Cover versions[edit]

  • Bob Dylan covered the song during the recording sessions for his 1983 album Infidels. The song appeared as the B-side to four different international single releases in support of the album.
  • Cross Canadian Ragweed covered the song on their tenth album, Happiness and All the Other Things.
  • Raul Malo covered the song on his 2006 album You're Only Lonely.
  • The Smoking Popes included a cover of the song on the re-issue of their 1995 album Born to Quit.
  • The King of the Hill soundtrack included a version of this on which Nelson duets with Mark McGrath. Oddly enough, the original, not this version, appeared in "Wings of the Dope" (the episode in which Luanne's deceased boyfriend reappears as an angel).


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944-2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 245. 
  2. ^ "Willie Nelson – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Willie Nelson.
Preceded by
"Guitar Man"
by Elvis Presley
Billboard Hot Country Singles
number-one single

March 21, 1981
Succeeded by
"Texas Women"
by Hank Williams, Jr.
Preceded by
"Southern Rains"
by Mel Tillis
RPM Country Tracks
number-one single

March 21-March 28, 1981
Succeeded by
"Guitar Man"
by Elvis Presley