In the Arms of an Angel by Sarah McLachlan

In the Arms of an Angel by Sarah McLachlansarah-mclachlan-angel

Spend all your time waiting
For that second chance
For a break that would make it okay
There’s always some reason
To feel not good enough
And it’s hard at the end of the day

I need some distraction
Or a beautiful release
Memories seep from my veins
Let me be empty
Oh and weightless and maybe
I’ll find some peace tonight

In the arms of the angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness 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

So tired of the straight line
And everywhere you turn
There’s vultures and thieves at your back
The storm keeps on twisting
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

In the arms of the angel
Fly away from here
From this dark cold hotel room
And the endlessness 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

You’re in the arms of the angel
May you find some comfort here

Released in 1998, Sarah Mc Lachlan’s Angel (oftentimes called as Arms of the Angel and In the Arms of an Angel) is a quintessential song of the 90s. This mellow track was included in her fourth album and has become a huge hit for her, as it stayed in the top 10 charts for almost nineteen weeks. Apart from that, it has been also repeatedly used as an accompanying music for the emotional moments of popular movies and television series such as City of Angels and Dawson’s Creek, among others.  The legacy of this song is so immense that even after 15 years since its release, people still recognize and relate to the track.

 

According to Mc Lachlan, the inspiration for writing the song came from the tragic life of musicians who got addicted into drugs. She has mentioned in her appearance at VH1’s Storytellers that the life story of Jonathan Melvoin (the touring keyboard player of the Rolling Stones) played a big role in the development of the said track. Although she personally has not used illegal substances, what resonated with her was the feeling of being lost and that constant search for an escape from problems. She herself had a share of trying times and she understood how it felt to look for a way to just get rid of it all in an instant.  That is why she described the songwriting process of Angel as a “joyous occasion” because the song helped her cope up and overcome all those trials in her life.

With the emotional and solemn tone of the song, it is not a surprise that “Angel” is one of the most popular funeral songs.  This song was widely played on the funeral services for the victims of the Columbine High School massacre and the Twin Towers bombing.  It served as a dedication to the victims and the families of those who were deeply affected by those tragic events. The lyrics indicate that their departed loved ones are now in a different and happier place where they can eternally rest in the arms of an angel despite the painful end of their lives.  As a result, this song carries a comforting and healing effect to the relatives that helped them deal with the pain caused by such tragedies.

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