Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)

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"Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)"
Instrumental by Santana
from the album Amigos
ReleasedMarch 26, 1976 (1976-03-26)
GenreInstrumental rock
Length5:06 (album version)
3:37 (radio edit)
Songwriter(s)Carlos Santana, Tom Coster
Producer(s)David Rubinson

"Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)" is an instrumental from the Santana album Amigos, written by Carlos Santana and Tom Coster. It is one of Santana's most popular compositions and it reached the top in the Spanish Singles Chart in July 1976.

The 16-bar chord progression follows the Circle of Fifths, similar to the jazz standard "Autumn Leaves". Every other verse ends with a Picardy cadence.


Upon seeing a friend suffering a bad experience whilst high on mescaline, Santana composed a piece titled "The Mushroom Lady's Coming to Town". This precursor contained the first lick to "Europa". The piece was put away and not touched for some time.

When Santana was touring with Earth, Wind & Fire in Manchester, England, he played this tune again, this time with Tom Coster who helped him with some of the chords and thus Europa was born. It was renamed as "Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile)".

The above is disputed however since much of the song, including the guitar intro is nearly identical in notation[1][original research?] to Y Volveré, which was written and released six years before Santana's "Europa"[2], and performed by the Chilean group "Los Angeles Negros". "Y Volveré" is the (rightfully credited) Spanish language version of French singer Alain Barrière's song "Emporte-Moi", originally released in 1967. [3]

Other versions[edit]

One rendition was by saxophonist Gato Barbieri off his 1976 album Caliente![4] In 2006, saxophonist Jimmy Sommers recorded the song for his Standards album Time Stands Still.[5][6] Contemporary jazz guitarist Nils released a rendition from his 2009 album Up Close & Personal.[7][8] Blake Aaron covers the song on his 2015 album Soul Stories.

Another rendition is the one made by Tuck Andress during the 1990s.

Spanish musician Dyango sang a version accompanied by Paco de Lucia, with lyrics set to the melody.


Europa is considered by many to be Santana's most beautiful instrumental song and is one of his most harmonically complex songs -- and certainly the most sophisticated, harmonically, of his hits. Based in C minor, Europa has a slick chord progression that utilizes a descending cycle of suspensions and complements perfectly Santana's accessible melody. [9]


  1. ^ supercristales (2009-10-01), LOS ANGELES NEGROS. Y VOLVERE. (EN VIVO)., retrieved 2016-09-27
  2. ^ Discogs, Los Ángeles Negros - Y Volveré
  3. ^ YouTube, Alain Barrière - Emporte-moi (Version originale)
  4. ^ "Caliente! overview".
  5. ^ "Time Stands Still overview".
  6. ^ "News :: 05.26.09 ::". Archived from the original on 2012-02-03. Retrieved 2010-07-21. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  7. ^ "Nils Reviews PDF" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2019-08-12. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  8. ^ "Up Close and Personal overview".
  9. ^ Ultimate Santana: The Comprehensive Santana Resource: