"When We Dance" as written by and Gordon Sumner....
If he loved you like I love you, I would walk away in shame.
I'd move town, I'd change my name.

When he watches you, when he counts to buy your soul,
On your hand his golden rings like he owns a bird that sings.

When we dance, angels will run and hide their wings.
The priest has said my soul's salvation is in the balance of the angels
And underneath the wheels of passion.
I keep the faith in my fashion.

When we dance angels will run and hide their wings.
(I will love you more than life if you'll only be my wife.)
(I'm gonna love you night and day. I'm gonna try in every way.)
When we dance angels will run and hide their wings.
(I'm gonna find a place to live, give you all I've got to give.)
(I will love you more than life if you'll only be my wife.)
If I could break down these walls and shout my name at heaven's gate,
I'd take these hands and I'd destroy the dark machineries of fate.
Cathedrals are broken, heaven's no longer above,
And hell fire's a promise away I'd still be saying I'm still in love.
Still in love, still in love, still in love, still in love

He won't love you, like I love you.
He won't care for you this way.
He'll mistreat you if you stay.

Come and live with me.
We'll have children of our own.
I would love you more than life if you'll come and be my wife.
When we dance, angels will run and hide their wings.
When we dance, angels will run and hide their wings.
When we dance.
(I'm gonna love you night and day. I'm gonna try in every way.)
(I'm gonna find a place to live, give you all I've got to give.)
(I will love you more than life if you'll only be my wife.)
(I'm gonna love you night and day. I'm gonna try in every way.)


Lyrics submitted by Lee

"When We Dance" as written by Gordon Sumner

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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When We Dance song meanings
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23 Comments

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  • +2
    Song MeaningThis song is obviously about a romance that is not meant to be. Even though she is "promised" to or with someone else, they fall in love. The reference to hiding angels and heaven and hell refer to their love being forbidden.

    Really reminds me of Radiohead's "House of Cards."
    filRon April 21, 2013   Link
  • +2
    Song Meaning"When we dance, angels will run and hide their wings"

    The angels envy humans and their ability to love such that they long to shed the one feature that distinguishes - and separates - them from us mortals: their wings.
    Bananagrantson February 17, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis is a gorgeous song and you’d almost think he is pointing out in his story that love is more exquisite when it’s laid out as a tragedy and perhaps it is. The lady may not be the most willing consort of the man with the golden rings—[I love the line “like he owns a bird that sings”]-- because he bought her soul—she didn’t sell it.

    The man who watches the lady, rather than being some devil, seems pro-religious and has the first man adjusting his faith based on what he sees happening here. The angels appear to favor the second man’s possession of the lady as angels run and hide their wings when the first man manages to dance with her. The passion written into the first man’s character is intriguing—this is much more than infatuation.

    Fate seems to have the lady trapped as the first man would like to destroy its dark machineries. Not a happy story but still a beautiful song—sometimes tragedy can be pretty.
    sillybunnyon July 18, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment[Sting]: (1994) I wanted to bookend the album with two new songs. It's presumptuous, because you don't know if a song's going to be a hit, but 'When We Dance' seems to be going in the right direction (it entered the chart at No 9, a solo career-best). I'd never tried to write a hit before, a song designed to be played on the radio. This is basically a generic ballad, but it took me a year to write. I had no main idea for the song, so I came up with this love triangle. I love you and you love him. It has a flattened fifth at the end of the first line. It's an unusual, uncomfortable sound, which suits the situation in the lyrics.
    sillybunnyon August 28, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDave Wagoner

    Under the sagging lines of crepe paper
    By the second string of teacher
    Through the glitter of mirrored light suspended
    You danced with her
    The best slow dancer
    Who danced on tiptoe—who almost wasn’t there
    In your arms—like music
    She knew just how to answer
    The question mark of your heart
    sillybunnyon September 02, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentMy husband thinks of me with this song and I think it speaks of him before and after.
    He had been resentful and abusive for a long time and I belong to him but the man he wants to be wants to promise me more so he is the two different men in this song. I am the only woman he has ever danced with so when we dance it is the most exposed he ever is so he can only dance with me. He has changed in the years we spent apart and it's so sad to hear this song because I can see the inner conflict that existed for so long.
    LisatheoneIadoreon September 11, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationFor some reason I imagine this song taking place hundreds of years ago, in a more repressed, religious time. It seems like the singer is saying that by coveting another person's wife or committing adultery he will be denied salvation but he can't help it he loves her so much. And the line about "we'll have children of our own" make me imagine she would have to abandon her children because in older times men always had custody of their children if a woman left her husband. Also the line about "counts to buy your soul" might be the other man buying indulgences to ensure his wife will go to heaven. (or it might mean that other man believes marrying her means he owns her body and soul)
    janeaparis1on March 10, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is beautiful! I think everyone should hear this one.. and is so true for my life! It is amazing to have someone love you this much! Is hard if u r already in a relationship.. but could u really pass up feelings like this? Love is AMAZING!!!
    derby411on April 12, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAbsolutely beautiful lyrics. A song about needing and wanting somebody that is someone elses. Of promises and trying to do anything that's possible to win one's heart again.
    illusion July 06, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy only wish is to someday have feelings like this for another. The lyrics go right to your heart when they're sung. It is truly one of the most beautiful songs i've ever heard. I'm 17... and I know "love" is one of those things that comes in later years (sometimes) but it doesn't hurt to dream. lol Awe.
    Last_niteon September 29, 2002   Link

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