Music

'Angels Among Us': Behind Alabama's Emotional Gospel Classic

Country music group Alabama has released countless hits over the years and is one of the most beloved groups in the genre. Millions of people over the world have been touched by their 1993 hit, "Angels Among Us" which was written by Don Goodman and Becky Hobbs and released as a Christmas single on their album, Cheap Seats. The song, which hit the top of the country music billboards twice, includes vocals by the Sanctuary Choir and Young Musicians Choir of the First Baptist Church of Fort Payne, Alabama.

According to al.com, Nashville songwriter Hobbs was inspired to write the song after surviving a car accident. She felt that her guardian angel had been looking after her that day and spent a few years sitting on the song title "Angels Among Us" before finally finishing the lyrics with Goodman.

Lead singer Randy Owen has said that the band received letters of gratitude from all over the world because people were so touched by the song. Not only did the song become an instant gospel favorite, but it has been covered by multiple other big names in music including Sara Evans, RaeLynn, and Scotty McCreery. Following the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, Demi Lovato also released a cover in support of the families affected by the tragedy.

While the lyrics themselves are quite moving, the music video in all its simplicity is one of the most beautiful I've ever seen. It showcases real people and their acts of kindness in everyday life. It shines a light on neighbors helping neighbors. One man spends his free time teaching immigrants English, another man crusades to keep youth in his community off of drugs. 

"Angels Among Us" Lyrics:

I was walkin' home from school
On a cold winter day,
Took a shortcut through the woods
And I lost my way
It was gettin' late, and I was scared and alone
Then a kind old man took my hand, and led me home
Mama couldn't see him,
But he was standing there
And I knew in my heart
He was the answer to my prayer

Oh, I believe there are angels among us
Sent down to us from somewhere up above
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with a light of love

When life held troubled times
And had me down on my knees
There's always been someone
To come along and comfort me
A kind word from a stranger
To lend a helping hand
A phone call from a friend
Just to say I understand
Now ain't it kind of funny
At the dark end of the road
Someone light the way with just a single ray of hope

Oh, I believe there are angels among us
Sent down to us from somewhere up above
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with a light of love

They wear so many faces
Show up in the strangest places
And grace us with their mercies in our time of need

Oh, I believe there are angels among us
Sent down to us from somewhere up above
They come to you and me in our darkest hours
To show us how to live
To teach us how to give
To guide us with a light of love
To guide us with a light of love

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'Angels Among Us': Behind Alabama's Emotional Gospel Classic