What does Angel mean?

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Sarah McLachlan: Angel Meaning

Song Released: 1998

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Angel Lyrics

You spend all your time waiting for that second chance
For the break that will 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...


    #1 top rated interpretation:
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    Oct 23rd 2008 report

    I totally agree with the drug addiction thing- and I didn't figure it out until recently, while watching my sister fight an endless battle with hardcore drugs (meth, cocaine, and heroine) to cover the pain of her past she's scared to face.

    I saw Sarah McLachlan endorse an animal adoption agency on a commercial that played this song and I couldn't help but think how unfitting it was.

    Before that, I just thought it was a lovely, lullaby-like song.


    #2 top rated interpretation:
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    Mar 19th 2009 report

    "Angel" is a song by Sarah McLachlan that originally appeared on her 1997 album Surfacing. 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.


    #3 top rated interpretation:
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    Feb 10th 2011 report

    I agree that it could be about drug addiction. But the way that I thought it came across was that it was talking about suicide. She says "Memories seep FROM my veins." I think that signifies bleeding when someone has decided to take their life. She also talks about feeling empty and wanting to escape from endlessness. When someone decides to take their own life, they feel like their empty life is endless, like they will always feel nothing and they will always feel alone. This is such a beautiful song and although I think it could be about drug addiction, I felt that it was strongly signifying suicide.

  4. anonymous
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    Oct 4th 2020 report

    Sad song about drug addiction and loneliness .. and memories of good times ...and then peace of being in the Arms of The Angels ...Overdose ..

  5. anonymous
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    Nov 29th 2019 report

    "Angel" is a song by Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan about the heroin overdose death of Jonathan Melvoin (1961–1996), the Smashing Pumpkins touring keyboard player,[1] as McLachlan explained on VH1 Storytellers. The song first appeared on Surfacing, the Canadian singer's 1997 album. It is sometimes mistitled as "In the Arms of an Angel"[2] or "Arms of the Angel".

  6. anonymous
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    Feb 16th 2019 report

    Okay, I have 3 interpretations for this song.

    1. It's about a young person witnessing
    his/her grandmother's peaceful death.

    2. It's about a baby who just got aborted and
    his guardian angel takes him back to

    3. It's about a person who can't get their
    life together and one cold night he/she
    dreams about an angel comforting him/her.

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  7. anonymous
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    Feb 16th 2019 report

    Words can't express my feeling first time I heard Angel by Sarah,broke my heart and tears just drop instantly.When you see her sings with a black dress that match the mood she's in she look's like an Angel from heaven herself.Thanks Sarah you can be a great peacemaker in these crazy world.May God bless you.

  8. Gods_Friend
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    Sep 26th 2018 report

    I can see why some might think this song is about suicide or receiving a new soul. But the truth is an angel would try to rescue a soul from suicide, not participate in it. And you have, and will always have, only one soul. So “Angel” is God rescuing a soul from hopelessness and depression, offering a new alternative in Christ. There’s hope, even for the most troubled souls, in Jesus.

  9. anonymous
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    Dec 5th 2017 report

    Its about suicide you already wanted to go to heaven because you're tired and broken you don't know what's or who's going to fix you because you always feel alone and sad you're depressed from your traumatic problems then in the end you thought about death because you want peace and comfort maybe angel is one of your guardians and that angel will comfort you,that is my perception about the song...

  10. anonymous
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    Jun 29th 2017 report

    this song is beautiful and needs no interpretation. You feel what the song says to you, dont over complicate it. i know what it says to me and therefore i do not need to interpret something that speaks loud and plain enough

  11. anonymous
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    Nov 2nd 2016 report

    Sad sad song. Secret sorrows. Can we get by with a little help from our friends

  12. kooljohn176
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    Jun 21st 2016 report

    One of the most beautiful and soulful enduring songs for the soul to escape ''In the arms of the Angel'' sung by SARAH McLachlan written and inspired during a time when she and we lost a known musician to a accidental heroin death overdose that I've heard with sorrow. Also on the overall with a known personal experience this song sounds and feels that the soul is going through the ''walk-in'' transformation experience for the Reciever to ''try-on'' this new soul. Usually this takes place in the times when The Reciever is in severe depression, feeling fatigue and tired during the illness, like during times of culture and emotional shock, or certaintly when in a coma, The Personality sometimes receives a new soul in the exchange. For instance, this can take place when the person you love dearly ''accidently commits suicide'' by heroin or whatever, this can be very painful for the loved one to let go of him or her. Then one day you meet someone raised around the same area that went through the ''dark night of the soul'' sort of speaking around the same time when your loved one passed away and the soul departed. Where now the soul[giver] and the Reciever that has been very ill, thinking that is losing the original soul that could've had this soul exchange between themselves, but usually it is never known what's really happening, unless the person is very intuitive and perseptive of how in the arms of the Angel the soul is brought back to the loved one or to be taken back to Heaven and God.

  13. anonymous
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    Apr 25th 2015 report

    The song is about suicide. In the beginning it talks about waiting for your live to get better, but you are not good enough, you suck at life and no matter how hard you try you fail. You need to be released from the world. All the memories of failure are leaving from the veins in your wrists that you slit till it's empty of blood. You are pull from the wreckage of your miserable life and you feel like you are now floating drifting out of consciousness hallucinating angels taking you away.

  14. anonymous
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    Jan 8th 2015 report

    So sad, to me its when you are feeling hopeless, and no one cares, angels would comfort you if you died

  15. anonymous
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    Jul 23rd 2014 report

    I suppose the idea behind a site like this is to draw some of your own conclusions to a song's meaning and while I am not Sarah McLachlan, I do have an interpretation that may strike a chord with some people. I listen to the lyrics as someone in a relationship that they have been in for years. Its comfortable in some ways but they feel they are being taken for granted and so have decided to seek solace in the arms of another. "Spend all your time waitin' for that second chance, for a break that would make it ok" an opportunity to be upset enough to go through with it. "There's always some reason to feel not good enough and its hard at the end of the day" these are the little jabs and slights that we seldom realize we are doing to one another. "I need some distraction, oh a beautiful release" the feeling of tricking yourself into feeling wanted if only for your body. "Memories seep from my veins" I believe this is the way we forget what brought us into the relationships in the first place so that we can justify to ourselves doing something outside of them. "It may be empty, oh your weightless then maybe I'll find some peace tonight" the act may be meaningless except to show yourself that you are beautiful, sexy, etc. all the things that you had allowed yourself to believe you are not.

    "In the arms of the angel, far away from here, from this dark, cold hotel room and the endlessness that you fear" the actual act of being with someone and the endlessness being the relationship that is without love but too comfortable to leave. "You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent revelry, your in the arms of the angel may you find some comfort here" is the hope that this act may provide you with some peace in knowing that you are more than you are being treated as.

    "So tired of the straight life" the mundane existence of being looked over, day after day. "That everywhere you turn, there's vultures and thieves at your back" the elements of your life that take little pieces of you leaving in their place only the hurt and self loathing of not being good enough. "Storm keeps on twisting, you keep on building the lies that you make up for all that you lack" is the anger you feel and the justifications you build to seek solace in the arms of someone who will appreciate you. "It don't make no difference, escape one last time" the feeling that giving yourself to someone will give you the strength to leave. "Its easier to believe in this sweet madness, oh this glorious sadness that brings me to my knees" is where it all catches up to you, the regret, the futility of your current situation, the feeling that you may not have had much but you may have ruined whatever you did have. This is the feeling of being overwhelmed by hopelessness.


    I understand that the song writer may have had an entirely different meaning when writing this song but the great part about music is that it can be interpreted so differently. This is my interpretation. Thanks for reading.

  16. anonymous
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    Mar 29th 2014 report

    I know of many of people within my own life that have addictions, I hope they find another reason to believe!

  17. anonymous
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    Dec 1st 2013 report

    While from what I understand it's about the paradox of drug addiction( the thing that helps you is the things that's killing you), to me, it encompasses the feelings that someone suffering from depression feels.

    I see it in my oldest daughter. She's 15, and it makes her days and nights seem grey and endless. She would do anything to escape, and to feel weightless, like she's not dragging herself through her days.

    I found the lyrics to the song and played it for her as a way to try and start a conversation, she listen to it and cried. Someone understood.

    The angel in the song could be death. They are somehow not meant for the world, and it brings release from a life that is unbearable(my daughter is not at that point. Fear keeps her here)

  18. anonymous
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    Sep 27th 2013 report

    all are no help to understand the story on why she wrote this beautiful song... please does anyone know the acctual story (from Sarah's point of view)

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