Angels of Fenway

Album: Before This World (2015)

Songfacts®:

  • Lifelong Boston Red Sox fan James Taylor penned this song for his Before This World album. Named for the team's historic ballpark, the track traces the history of the Red Sox from the sale of Babe Ruth to their celebrated 2004 World Series title, ending an 86-year title drought.
  • This song describes the suffering Red Sox fans endured up to the team's cathartic win in the 2004 World Series. Getting to the world series was a not-so-minor miracle for the Red Sox, as they were down 3-0 in American League Championship Series to their hated rivals, the New York Yankees before mounting a comeback to win four straight games and advance to the World Series.
  • This song made its debut on May 3, 2015 when the video was played at Fenway Park before a Yankees-Red Sox game. Taylor was at the stadium and spent some time in the broadcast booth, where Curt Schilling, a hero of the 2004 Red Sox team, was one of the announcers. In the booth, he explained that the music for the song came quickly, but it took him a long time to come up with the lyrics, as he had to get "back into the saddle" - Taylor's last album of original songs was October Road, released in 2002.
  • The night this song played a Fenway for the first time, Taylor threw out the first pitch and sang "America The Beautiful" during the seventh-inning stretch.

    Taylor sang the national anthem at Fenway before Game 2 of the 2004 World Series.
  • Generally speaking, Taylor doesn't know in advance what a song is going to be about. He starts with some rudimentary ideas and then follows it wherever it wants to go. This track however, is an exception as the singer-songwriter knew from the beginning it would be about the 2004 World Series team that won the franchise its first championship in 86 years. "I knew it was going to be about the 2004 'Reverse the Curse' season," Taylor told Jam! Music. "That miraculous thing that happened in that series against the Yankees when the Red Sox won. This was such an impossible victory and so remarkable for an entire region to give that relief, to see that amazing series of games against the Yankees. I knew I wanted to write about it in advance."
  • James Taylor's son Henry by his third wife Caroline "Kim" Smedvig contributed vocals to this song.

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