February 15, 2018

Take Another Shot of “Tequila Sunrise” by the Eagles

Take Another Shot of “Tequila Sunrise” by the Eagles 1


“It’s another tequila sunrise
Starin’ slowly ‘cross the sky said goodbye
He was just a hired hand
Workin’ on the dreams he planned to try
The days go by…”

A Tequila Sunrise is a drink made with Tequila and orange juice. Some grenadine is poured on top to create the red and orange colors of a sunrise. In addition, “Tequila Sunrise” is also the name of a 1988 movie starring Kurt Russell and Mel Gibson.

This song, however, doesn’t refer to the drink but about a guy who has been drinking straight tequila until the sun comes up.

About the song

Written Don Henley and Glenn Frey, “Tequila Sunrise” is a song recorded by the Eagles. It was the first single from the band’s second album Desperado. To note, the song peaked at number 64 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Some artists have covered this song, however, Alan Jackson‘s version was the most famous. He recorded the song in 1993 in his tribute album Common Thread: The Songs of the Eagles.

‘Tequila Sunrise’: How it came about

Glenn Frey and Don Henley did not write songs together for their debut album Eagles. Furthermore, they decided that they should collaborate after they had finished recording the debut album.

According to Frey, he was lying on a couch playing the guitar, and came up with a guitar riff he described as “kinda Roy Orbison, kinda Mexican”. He showed Henley the guitar riff and said,

“Maybe we should write something to this.”

The title refers to a cocktail named Tequila Sunrise that was then popular. In the liner notes of 2003’s The Very Best Of, Henley had this to say about the song:

“I believe that was a Glenn title. He was ambivalent about it because he thought that it was a bit too obvious or too much of a cliché because of the drink that was so popular then. I said, ‘No-Look at it from a different point of view. You’ve been drinking straight tequila all night and the sun is coming up!’ It turned out to be a really great song.”

According to Glenn Frey, the song was written in the same week as “Desperado” and was finished fairly quickly. Henley said that Frey came up with changes for the bridge, and that “take another shot of courage” refers to tequila because they used to call it “instant courage.”

In addition, he stated,

“We very much wanted to talk to the ladies, but we often didn’t have the nerve, so we’d drink a couple of shots and suddenly it was, “Howdy, ma’am.”

Watch the Eagles’ “Tequila Sunrise”.

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Eagles, Tequila Sunrise

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