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Origins: Angel (Sarah McLachlan)

WyoWoman 14 Feb 00 - 11:24 PM
DonMeixner 14 Feb 00 - 11:28 PM
Little Neophyte 14 Feb 00 - 11:29 PM
Pelrad 15 Feb 00 - 06:50 PM
WyoWoman 15 Feb 00 - 10:47 PM
catspaw49 15 Feb 00 - 10:58 PM
GUEST 16 Feb 00 - 09:36 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Feb 00 - 09:47 PM
GUEST,Stalker 26 Mar 10 - 01:07 AM
GUEST,open mike 26 Mar 10 - 01:20 AM
quokka 26 Mar 10 - 05:10 AM
GUEST,Ames 16 Aug 10 - 09:45 PM
GUEST,bobbles 24 Nov 10 - 11:16 AM
lefthanded guitar 24 Nov 10 - 04:47 PM
breezy 24 Nov 10 - 05:15 PM
GUEST,debbie 07 Apr 11 - 04:03 PM
Jim Dixon 27 Aug 13 - 02:43 AM
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Subject: In the Arms of the Angel
From: WyoWoman
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 11:24 PM

I've just discovered this beautiful song by Sara McLachlan, "In the Arms of the Angel," which she sang in a duet with Emmylou Harris and was telling a musician friend of mine how much I loved it and wanted to learn it. She said, "Yeah, too bad it's about heroin addiction..."

I was bereft. Tell me it ain't so. Does anyone know anything about the background of this lovely song?

WyoWoman


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Subject: RE: In the Arms of the Angel
From: DonMeixner
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 11:28 PM

Wyo,

Have you searched the lyrics in Harmony Central?

Don


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Subject: RE: In the Arms of the Angel
From: Little Neophyte
Date: 14 Feb 00 - 11:29 PM

Wyo Woman, I don't know the background to "In the Arms of the Angel", though I also feel it is a wonderful song. But it made me think, if you have been moved by the song and it has a different meaning for you, maybe that is all that matters.

Little Neo


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Subject: RE: In the Arms of the Angel
From: Pelrad
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 06:50 PM

Huh. I never made that connection. Seems to me that not many people in the great wide world would make that connection either.

The beautiful thing about that song (besides the sweet melody) is that it can be taken a variety of ways. I personally thought it was about a person who thought s/he would make something of her/his life and realizes s/he is getting nowhere.

And I agree with Little Neo; it's a matter of what you do with the song, rather than its original meaning.


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Subject: RE: In the Arms of the Angel
From: WyoWoman
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 10:47 PM

Pelrad, Yes, that was more the interpretation I had of it. And, yes, I think you just interpret it how you interpret it and love it for what it means to you. However, if everyone else in the world knows that it's a heroin hymn and I'm just to clueless to know that, I don't want to go sailing of into it and have people think I'm aligning myself with that particular viewpoint, since I don't think life gets much stupider than heroin addiction.

And, yes, I did check the DT -- this wasn't a request for lyrics. They weren't on the DT, but I did find them on McLachlan's website.

Anyway, the tune is lovely. Great possibilities for harmony...

WW


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Subject: RE: In the Arms of the Angel
From: catspaw49
Date: 15 Feb 00 - 10:58 PM

Hiya Pansy!!!!

If you read the lyrics with drugs in mind, it certainly cannot be considered a pro drug song! Sounds like a load of crap anyway to me, but what do I know? Well, at least I know enough to have really enjoyed your "Pansy" story you sent. Owe you one!

Spaw (and its a damn fine song)


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Subject: RE: In the Arms of the Angel
From: GUEST
Date: 16 Feb 00 - 09:36 PM


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Subject: RE: In the Arms of the Angel
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Feb 00 - 09:47 PM

It was the same with "A Perfect Day" by Lou Reed, when the BBC put it out as a promotional record, with all kinds of singers taking a line each. Great record. "But that's a drug song" sneered the knowledgeable cynics.

And they were always doimg the same about Beatles Songs. And all those nursery rhymes we grew up with are supposed to have covert meanings.

Songs mean what you sing them to mean. It's interesting to learn what the person who wrote a song might have been thinking about, but you aren't held to that meaning.

If Puff the Magic Dragon was written about dope it doesn't stop you singing it about dragons and children. And if it was written about dragons and children, that doesn't stop you singing it about dope.


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Subject: RE: In the Arms of the Angel
From: GUEST,Stalker
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 01:07 AM

She wrote the song a out a friend who overdosed on heron.


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Subject: RE: In the Arms of the Angel
From: GUEST,open mike
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 01:20 AM

i read the last post as : she wrote the song about a fiend who overdosed


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Subject: RE: Origins: In the Arms of the Angel (Sara McLachlan)
From: quokka
Date: 26 Mar 10 - 05:10 AM

This is one of my all-time favourite songs...it's very popular at funerals as well. Haunting - and Sarah's voice!!!


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Subject: RE: Origins: In the Arms of the Angel (Sara McLachlan)
From: GUEST,Ames
Date: 16 Aug 10 - 09:45 PM

As McLachlan explained on VH1 Storytellers, the song is about the Smashing Pumpkins touring keyboard player Jonathan Melvoin, who overdosed on heroin and died in 1996. McLachlan explained that there's nothing constant when you are on the road; everything becomes the same.


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Subject: RE: Origins: In the Arms of the Angel (Sara McLach
From: GUEST,bobbles
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 11:16 AM

i never knew


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Subject: RE: Origins: In the Arms of the Angel (Sara McLachlan)
From: lefthanded guitar
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 04:47 PM

It's a beautiful song, and the meaning becomes universal, as does all great art.

I've thought of it as a sort of funeral hymn without knowing the story of its inspiration. I think you take away from it what you hear and feel, it's a a classic.


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Subject: RE: Origins: In the Arms of the Angel (Sara McLachlan)
From: breezy
Date: 24 Nov 10 - 05:15 PM

Well that explains it then .

A captivating song sung captivatingly.


thank you


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Subject: RE: Origins: In the Arms of the Angel (Sara McLachlan)
From: GUEST,debbie
Date: 07 Apr 11 - 04:03 PM

My son committed suicide and we used this song for his funeral but only realised what it was really about once we played it. Nevertheless beautiful song and so appropriate makes me cry each time.


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Subject: Lyr Add: ANGEL (Sarah McLachlan)
From: Jim Dixon
Date: 27 Aug 13 - 02:43 AM

The correct title of this song is simply ANGEL.

The following lyrics are my own understanding of the lyrics, although I have consulted several other transcriptions found at various places on the internet. Other people have heard some words differently, for example, "dark old hotel room" and "endlessness you fear" (which makes less sense to me) in the chorus.

One of McLachlan's vocal habits is to sometimes pronounce the first word of a line so softly that it almost isn't there. I have put these words in brackets to indicate that they are more assumed than actually heard. Often they are crucial to the meaning of the line. (Sometimes these words are actually heard when other people cover the song.)


ANGEL
Written by Sarah McLachlan
As sung by Sarah McLachlan on her album "Surfacing" (1997)

1. [You] spend all your time waiting for that second chance,
For a break that would make it OK.
[There]'s always some reason to feel not good enough,
And it's hard at the end of the day.
I need some distraction, oh, beautiful release!
Memories seep from my veins.
Let me be empty, oh, and weightless, and maybe
[I'll] find some peace tonight.

CHORUS: In the arms of the angel, fly away from here,
From this dark cold hotel room and the airlessness that you fear.
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie.
[You're] in the arms of the angel; may you find some comfort here.

2. So tired of this straight life, and everywhere you turn,
There's vultures and thieves at your back.
[The] storm keeps on twisting, [you] keep on building the lies
That you make up for all that you lack.
[It] don't make no difference, escaping one last time.
It's easier to believe in this sweet madness, oh, this glorious sadness,
[That] brings me to my knees. CHORUS

You're in the arms of the angel; may you find some comfort here.


[There is a lot of information about the song, its recording history, etc., at Wikipedia.]


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