U2 songs with 'angels' in the lyrics

What U2 songs feature 'angels' in the lyrics?

Bono's lyrical use of angelic imagery in U2's discography is a compelling aspect of his songwriting, reflecting a deep fascination with spiritual and metaphysical themes. Angels in Bono's lyrics often symbolize a range of concepts such as guidance, protection, inspiration, and a higher calling. This motif aligns with his exploration of existential questions, the human search for meaning, and the complex interplay between doubt and faith. The invocation of angels allows Bono to delve into these themes with a poetic richness, offering listeners a window into his contemplative side.

His use of angelic references is not merely ornamental; it serves as a nuanced tool for expressing both personal and universal struggles. Angels in Bono's lyrics often embody the struggle between the earthly and the divine, the flawed human condition, and the aspiration towards something transcendent. This duality between the tangible world and an ethereal realm forms a recurring thread in U2's music, inviting listeners to engage with their own interpretations of spirituality and morality. 

Angel of Harlem

We should start with an obvious one, Angel of Harlem. Featuring a wicked guitar rhythm, the song is U2's homage to the jazz legend that was Billie Holiday.

She is the Lady Day the song refers to and her spirit is considered to be the Angel of Harlem.

If God will send his angels

Probably the most obvious song for the point of this essay.

One of the few truly good U2 songs from the Pop album, the song was made popular by being on the soundtrack to the City of Angels film that starred Nic Cage and Meg Ryan.

This film was a remake of sorts of a Wim Wenders film - which U2 trainspotters may note that Wim is a great fan and friend of U2 and several of their songs have graced the soundtrack to his movies. 

Stay (Faraway, So Close!

Speaking of Wim Wenders, Stay was used in the Wenders film Faraway, So Close!

Originally intended to be a song for Frank Sinatra, Stay features one of the best lyrics Bono has ever written which us sued to some up the story being told in the song "Just the bang and the clatter as an angel runs to ground".

Wim Wenders also directed U2's promotional video for the song.

Wim used ideas from his movies to tell the story of U2's members acting as guardian angels over the band who were actually performing the song in the video.

Bullet the Blue Sky

The classic track from The Joshua Tree album, it is a discussion of dirty American politics at play.

Featuring the line "Jacob wrestles the angel but the angel was overcome" this is a reference to Genesis from the Christian Bible. At that time Jacob was said to have actually met an angel of God.

The lyric seems to be suggesting that the conflicts Bono is sing about, such as war in El Salavador are beat out God.

It's almost the classic, if God exists, why is there evil in the world argument.

There are some other songs too - Deep in the HeartTrip through your wires and Oh, Berlin which was found in the vaults an released as part of the Achtung Baby re-issue.

Finally, while the word angel does not appear in Lucifer's Hands  Lucifer himself is said to be a fallen angel. The song is found on the deluxe version of Songs of Innocence.

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