"The Angel" as written by and Andres Ignacio Cano....
The angel rides with hunchbacked children, poison oozing from his engine
Wieldin' love as a lethal weapon, on his way to hubcap heaven
Baseball cards poked in his spokes, his boots in oil he's patiently soaked
The roadside attendant nervously jokes as the angel's tires stroke his precious pavement

The interstate's choked with nomadic hordes
In Volkswagen vans with full running boards
Dragging great anchors, followin' dead-end signs into the sores
The angel rides by humpin' his hunk metal whore

Madison Avenue's claim to fame in a trainer bra with eyes like rain
She rubs against the weatherbeaten frame and asks the angel for his name
Off in the distance the marble dome reflects across the flatlands,
With a naked feel off into parts unknown
The woman strokes his polished chrome and lies beside the angel's bones


Lyrics submitted by ghoststories

"The Angel" as written by Bruce Springsteen

Lyrics © Downtown Music Publishing

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The Angel song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • 0
    General Commentguys?! come on this song is so well written and no comments. here is my idea but someone else has got to help me out: the angel is some kind of local hero, a teenage rebel with a motorcycle who all the kids idolize. however parts of the song seem a little sexually suggestive, but i dont know.
    Also they left out the last line of the song here it is:
    The woman strokes his polished chrome and lies beside the angel's bones.
    fallenchief123on July 02, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti agree with many of the points stated by fallenchief123 including that this song is very well written
    it is one of my favorites
    i see the angel in the song as a savior of sorts, but if he is a savior, then he is a tormented one
    a local hero with a troubled soul who is bound for death by his actions
    that is why the line "on his way to hub cap heaven" is added
    it is to infasize the risk of his actions and the knowledge that he wont be able to live through them all
    when it talks about how the interstate is choked i feel it is speaking of the scene of his death, the streets where packed that day in other words, nomadic hoardds and such
    it goes into maddison avenues claim to fame, as in teh girl is what makes the street famous to him, the fact that the young girl lives there
    i t then flows into how she asks for his name and such
    the second to last line refers to the marble dome, which i saw as the view from behind as he rides into his death
    and the last line depicts a woman who must have truely loved or been in aww of him who sits by his bones and strokes his motorcycle after his ultimate death
    cataractbabeon December 13, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't think people are just in awe of him. To me he seems more like a menace than a hero. The nervous roadside attendant and the "poison oozing from his engine" suggest that he is feared. "Poison oozing" and "humpin' his hunk metal whore" make him sound dirty too. This and the "trainer bra" make me wonder if this has something to do with pedophilia(love as a lethal weapon)..? I feel silly suggesting that one if I'm way off.
    I guess that theory would have little to do with the Angel's death/if it were correct his death wouldn't be so relevent/wouldn't be in the song. So this song's way beyond my comprehension.
    Also, I wonder if anyone can fill in the holes for me here: I think baseball cards are put in bicycle spokes to make them sound like motorcyles...so why does he have them(isn't he on a real motorcycle?)?Could this be saying that, although he has a real motorcylce, his image is just as false and manufactured as that of a child on a bike pretending to be a motorcyclist?
    Wendy26on February 03, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentFallenchief and cataractbabe are def the same person who just created a second account b/c no one was commenting. 'Omg yeah I totally agree!'
    Good song btw
    FootOfPrideon December 07, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt seems to me that 3 social groups are positioned against each other: the establishmnet (symbolized by the roadside attendant), the hippies (symbolized by the nomadic gordes in Volkswagen vans), and bikers acting outside the law, symbolized by the protagonist, who could simply be a "Hell's ANGEL". Both hippies and bikers were feared by the establishment, but the bikers were more directly associated with crime. Springsteen's angel, too, deals with prostitutes, gambling (Baseball cards?) and maybe brutality — his aura is destructive, which could be the deeper meaning behind the "poison oozing from his engine". Nevertheless, the "biker" is an almost mythical figure in modern American history, exerting a great fascination, especially on young people. Maybe, Springsteen's biker takes some youth for a ride, they proudly crouch behind him and cling to his leather jacket — thus the image of "hunchbacked children". Although this angel is on a kind of heroic trip, he is bound for death. He may be cool and attractive, but he doesn't really add something to society. In the end, only his whore will cry for him — while the Volkswagen vans are on a safer trip into the future. The song is allegoric, it expresses admiration for the biker figure, without ignoring the other, darker side of the coin. I may be totally wrong, but this is what comes to my mind.
    dasteddenon May 25, 2013   Link

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