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Tequila Sunrise by Eagles

Album: DesperadoReleased: 1973Charted:
  • Glenn Frey and Don Henley wrote this song together, and Frey sang lead. Along with "Desperado," it was one of two songs they came up with the first week that they started writing together. The songs formed the basis for a Western theme, with Frey and Henley comparing the life of a cowboy to that of a musician. "Tequila Sunrise" shows the transient nature of each job, as the singer falls for a woman who just wants to use him and move on. The theme didn't immediately connect with the buying public, but the songs stood the test of time and became staples of the Eagles catalog. Bon Jovi would later borrow the idea for their 1986 hit "Wanted Dead Or Alive."
  • 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. "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 is about a guy who has been drinking straight tequila until the sun comes up.
  • The album had an Old West theme, with songs like "Desperado," "Saturday Night" and "Doolin-Dalton" dealing with outlaw cowboys. When the Eagles toured in the Spring of 1973 after the album was released, they used a Western backdrop.
  • The line, "Take another shot of courage" refers to how if you drink tequila, it will give you courage to talk to women (although not coherently). The Eagles, who knew their way around a tavern, used to refer to tequila as "instant courage" at a time then they needed some to approach the ladies.
  • This song was a favorite of Glenn Frey. He said in the Eagles: Very Best Of liner notes: "'Tequila Sunrise' was written fairly quickly, and I don't think there's a single chord out of place."
  • The first popular tequila song came in 1957 with the party tune "Tequila" by The Champs, which rose to #1 and has held up quite well. That group released a few other tequila-related songs, but it wasn't until "Tequila Sunrise" that another band charted with a tequila selection. There have been many other tequila songs since, which are typically either drinking songs or just goofy fun ("Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off," "You and Tequila"). Leave it to the Eagles to release a somber song about the beverage.
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Comments: 17

Have read this was Glenns fav song. loved the guitars they used on the song, so soft and pretty sounding.Jennifur Sun - Ramona
I was 19 and I bought a motorcycle in Winnipeg. I had $100 paid off on my motorcycle, and a lady went through a red light and hit me. I was the third best wrestler in my province. I though "why did this happen to me" but I learned to get over it. I don't think about the past anymore, I only think about the future. This song is my mantra: you can't change the past. you have to get over it and make a new life. I still love going to rock concerts and beer parlours for hockey games. I like being around people. Antoher song I like is Roxy Roller by Sweeny Todd (Nick Gelder).Dan - Victoria, Bc
My take on the lyrics is a bit different. The song starts out talking about "him" and "her" then switches to "I"(the singer). Seems to me, the two guys were friends, and the singer hooked up with his friend's woman. The friend didn't know that woman was out running around. Both guys were out of the girl's league, she played them both and had no heartache about it. The guys lost their friendship over a woman like that. The singer realizes the fling he had was worth losing the friendship over: "she wasn't just another woman". Still, it caused his former friend pain, so he's drinking tequila till the sun comes up to try to drown the guilt. He's been disillusioned before, because this is "another" tequila sunrise.Camille - Toronto, Oh
Beautiful song, one of the best country songs there is. Its the most authentic country music you'll ever get to hear.Mayank - Ranchi, India
Heard that this song was written while on a college tour at Bethany College in WV. The story goes that they were sitting outside their room at the Gresham Inn watching the sun come up drinking tequila.....Kathleen - Hull, Ma
This song is a good song. It relaxes me.Liz - Smallville, Ks
It ain't about the booze guys. it's about mistakes we have made, all of us, especially we men with our ladies, and perhaps more importantly, our friends.
".. oh, and it's a hollow feeling....", think about it, it truly does never end.
Daddy Cool - Atlanta, Ga
It's a beautiful song with sad memories that often remind me of a jaded person I once was a long time ago. The melodies still haunt me every now and then.Josh - Magnolia, Ar
Posted on 11/5/2007. To me The Eagles are masters at conjuring up imagery of the southwestern U.S. through their music. One time I took a trip out to Tucson, AZ and I made it a point to bring along my Eagles music. Driving around the Arizona desert listening to them was a perfect fit! The perfect soundtrack for that trip. With its slight Mexican flavor, "Tequila Sunrise" in particular epitomizes that southwest U.S. feel for me.David - Deerfield Beach, Fl
About the additional ""Think I'll go to Mexico.." lyrics: I have a distint recollection of seeing the Eagles on TV (maybe the show "In Concert" on ABC Friday nights) where they did the song with those lyrics.Robert - Torrance, Ca
This is one of the first two songs Hennely and Frey wrote together. The other being "Desperado". According to Frey they were both written the same night.Jim - Somewhere, Pa
Alan Jackson imported the "shot of courage" line into his "I Don't Even know Your Name," in which the character musters up the nerve to talk to the beautiful waitress: "So I ordered straight tequila, a little courage in a shot."Don - Phoenix, Az
I heard a bootleg Eagles album that contained a version of this song with additional lyrics:

"Think I'll go to Mexico
Down to where the pace is nice and slow
And there's no one there I know

It's another tequila sunrise,
Wonderin' if I'm growin' wise
Or tellin' lies ..."
Dick - Arcata, Ca
absolutly love this song and its way up there with desperado and the sad cafe. beautiful song and i can never get tired of it. i may only be 15 but i consider this a classic which alot of people would agree. i can listen to this song over and over its just so amazing how much talent the eagles have. lynyrd skynyrd is like the eagles in that they have beautiful songs and great talent and i could never turn them down. I LOVE YOU BATON ROUGE, GOOD NIGHT!Meagan - Baton Rouge, La
This was MY drinking song in my youth! God, I love the Eagles.Mr. Fugu - Springfield, United States
Yes, I drank tequila last night. How do I know? The ripped out knees of my jeans and the toilet-bowl-shaped bruise on my forehead, that's how!Shell - Riverdale, Ga
Oh, come on, as a guy you have to relate to this song. At some point you've made a move on a woman that was clearly out of your leage. When you get shot down to the "Let's just be friends" level a few shots of Tequila does the trick.Steve - Chino Hills, Ca
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