"Seven Spanish Angels" is a country music song written by Troy Seals and Eddie Setser. It was first recorded by Ray Charles as a duet with Willie Nelson in 1984, and later covered by Nelson and Merle Haggard in 1985 for their album "Poncho & Lefty".
The song tells the story of a gunfight between a group of outlaws and the law in a dusty town in Mexico. As the gunshots ring out, the angels come to take the souls of those who have fallen, including the hero and his lover. The chorus repeats the phrase "Seven Spanish angels took another angel home" as a haunting reminder of the tragic events.
Lyrics Meanings of the Song:
The lyrics 7 Spanish angels open with the lines "He looked down into her brown eyes, and said, 'Say a prayer for me.'" The protagonist is a heroic figure who knows he is going into a dangerous situation and may not come out alive. He asks his lover to pray for him, indicating that he may be seeking redemption for his past sins.
As the gunfight breaks out, the song describes the chaos and violence that ensues, with "guns a-blazing" and "bullets flying." The lyrics suggest that the battle is between outlaws and the law, with the outlaws seeming to be the underdogs. Despite their bravery, the outlaws are ultimately defeated, with "the angel's choir" singing as they are taken to their final resting place.
[Chorus: Willie Nelson]
There were seven Spanish angels
At the altar of the sun
They were praying for the lovers
In the valley of the gun
When the battle stopped and the smoke cleared
There was thunder from the throne
And seven Spanish angels
Took another angel home
The chorus repeats the phrase "Seven Spanish angels took another angel home," which is both a reference to the seven archangels in the Bible and a nod to the Mexican culture that permeates the song. The phrase is haunting and mournful, emphasizing the tragedy of the situation.
As the song ends, the lyrics suggest that the protagonist has found some form of redemption, with the line "there was thunder from the throne and lightning in the air" implying that he has been judged by a higher power. The final line, "and seven Spanish angels took another angel home," suggests that the protagonist has been taken to heaven, where he will be at peace.
Biography of the Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard:
Willie Nelson was born in Abbott, Texas, on April 29, 1933. He grew up in a musical family and began writing songs at a young age. After serving in the Air Force, Nelson moved to Nashville, Tennessee, in the 1960s and began working as a songwriter. His songs were recorded by some of the biggest names in country music, including Patsy Cline, Ray Price, and Faron Young.
In the 1970s, Nelson became a successful recording artist in his own right. He released a string of hit albums and singles, including "Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain," "On the Road Again," and "Always on My Mind." He also became known for his distinctive voice and guitar playing style.
Merle Haggard was born in Oildale, California, on April 6, 1937. Like Nelson, he grew up in a musical family and began playing guitar at a young age. Haggard's early life was marked by poverty and trouble with the law, but he eventually turned his life around and began pursuing a career in music.
Haggard's music was influenced by both country and rockabilly, and he quickly gained a following for his hard-edged sound and honest lyrics. Some of his biggest hits include "Mama Tried," "Okie from Muskogee," and "The Fightin' Side of Me."
"Seven Spanish Angels" is a poignant ballad about two lovers who are ambushed by bandits in the desert. As the lovers are shot, they call out for the angels to save them, and the angels answer their plea by carrying them to heaven. The song lyrics ends with the narrator describing the scene of the lovers' deaths and marveling at the power of the angels to bring peace and comfort to those in need. The song is a powerful meditation on love, death, and the afterlife, and it is a testament to the enduring power of storytelling in country music.