‘Seven Spanish Angels’ One of the Most Heart-Felt Duets in Country Music

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The song “Seven Spanish Angels” was written by Eddie Setser and Troy Seals, but the true magic occurred when country music icon Willie Nelson partnered in a duet with the pioneer of soul music, Ray Charles, to put a sound to it that was unlike any other. Released as the first single from the album entitled “Half Nelson,” its November 1984 debut became one of the most successful of that year, spending a week at number one and 12 weeks in total on its journey of the country chart.

Singing about a Mexican outlaw traveling with his wife and trying to outrun a posse that wants to take them back to Texas, Nelson and Charles appear to be the perfect blend of sound and emotion to detail the protagonist duo’s cornered and exhausted outlook, as they determine to face the approaching lawmen in a gunfight.

Shared on the WillieNelsonVEVO YouTube Channel, the video of Nelson and Charles crooning the emotional duet is touching, to say the least, and evokes a welling up of tears from many a listener and fan of their music. Before the final gunfight described in the song, the hero and heroine embrace each other passionately, promising to one another that God will save them and they’ll end up in a better place. The singers convey the message passionately, as we hear that the gunfight begins with the outlaw making the first shots on the posse, after which he is immediately shot and killed. Following this, his heartbroken wife picks up his rifle and tearfully prays, “Father, please forgive me; I can’t make it without my man.” And despite knowing that there is no ammunition left in the chamber, she aims at the posse and is then shot for her efforts. The song’s refrain after each fatal shooting goes on to explain that seven Spanish angels gather in prayer for “the lovers in the Valley of the Gun.” In singing it, Charles sings the first verse, and Nelson the second, and in country music history, it’s a winning combination.