So high above the world tonight
The angels watch us sleeping
And underneath a bridge of stars
We dream in safety's keeping

But perhaps the dream
Is dreaming us
Soaring with the seagulls
Astride the backs of eagles

When the angels fall
Shadows on the wall
In the thunder's call
Something haunts us all

When the angels fall
When the angels fall

Take your father's cross
Gently from the wall
A shadow still remaining
See the churches fall

In mighty arcs of sound
And all that they're containing
Yet all the ragged souls
Of all the ragged men

Looking for their lost homes
Shuffle to the ruins
From the levelled plain
To search among the tombstones

When the angels fall
Shadows on the wall
In the thunder's call
Something haunts us all

When the angels fall
When the angels fall
When the angels fall

These are my feet
These are my hands
These are my children
And this is my demand

Bring down the angels
Cast them from my sight
I never want to see
A million suns at midnight

Your hands are empty
The streets are empty
You can't control us
You can't control us anymore

When the angels fall
When the angels fall
When the angels fall
When the angels fall

When the angels fall
When the angels fall

Lyrics submitted by Novartza

When the Angels Fall Lyrics as written by Dominic James Miller

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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When The Angels Fall song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentI have two approaches to this song:

    1) It could be about a person (maybe Sting himself) turning his back on religion because he doesn't believe in it anymore. The angels he believed in (when he was a child) fall and the churches break down, meaning they are not important to him any longer. ("You can't control us anymore")

    2) My second idea is that it's not about a specific person but about our society in general turning its back on religion and that Sting is actually criticising this.

    In our generation, the angels are not important to us (although they still watch us and keep us safe). People don't believe in God anymore or at least they don't think he has enough power to influence their lives: "Your hands are empty [...] You can't control us"

    People are more interested in satisfying their individual (material) needs and they only have faith in themselves. The emphasis is on the individual. That's how the lines
    "These are my feet, These are my hands, These are my children, And this is my demand"
    could be interpreted.

    Either way, it's a very sad song. I wish he had chosen something a little less depressing to end the album.
    WhiteWolfDiefon June 27, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentIMO there's nothing depressing about casting off the primitive shackles of religion. i find it a very hopeful and empowering end to the album.
    sadmachineon November 01, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningGiven how the entire album is a dialogue with his father (culminating for me story-wise with "The Wild WIld Sea") I would guess this to be a kind of goodbye, both bitter and reconciling. The way "You can't control us" is delivered, as the final high point before the song slowly starts to fade in intensity to me implies how, at least in death, certain things are final, and life without a (too?) strong father figure moves on.

    My favorite Sting track of them all.
    ManoStuarton June 20, 2015   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA million suns at midnight could refer to exploding bombs—dropped by fallen angels. Certainly if angels exist—and I believe they do—they are not merely the goody-two-shoes guardians that shepherd little children across busy highways. Angels are as multi-faceted as we are.

    I don’t really ever want to see … like I could still see after that …a million suns at midnight either but this could happen. We have the intelligence to create stunning weapons. Those who can are not particularly cognizant of how they could be used or they wouldn’t create them and in life, we do have people waking up every morning, pulsating with tremendous power, thinking things like … I want it all … I think my way is better… I want to hurt you … I don’t like your looks … I just don’t like you and I want you out of here … And these people make giant strides, annihilating thousands, millions … without taking their thoughts and actions to logical conclusion. Would you really be happy if you oinked down most of the world?

    In Iran, it’s popular to chant hatred every day—presumably in my mind so they cultivate hate instead of love, suggesting as humans we do not always possess the common sense we imagine we do. So let’s say the magic wand is waved and the chanting works! Tomorrow there is just Iran and everyone else disappears. Following the celebration, jovial Persians set out to re-populate the earth “our way”. If they succeed, there will be no “our way” because although the intent might exist, there would be no diversity to define what “our way” is. Chances are, they would not have the power to control the situation because life rarely listens to our demands simply because they make sense only to us and we haven’t thought them through. Do they stop the custom of chanting hatred daily? Old habits die hard. So they bleed across the planet and the more distant they move from what was originally Iran, the freer they are with their ideas until one day, the big game starts all over and once again the naysayers are wishing the dissenters into the cornfield ala Twilight Zone’s Billy.
    I’ve seen cosmic humor. I get nervous because I know that with enough rope we could easily hang ourselves and I can never really decide if seeing a million suns at midnight is someone’s wish and they can wish better than I can. Such is life … always keeps us guessing, I guess …
    sillybunnyon July 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentParaphrased poetry

    Song—full of agony—full of sighs.
    Move weeping now and watch that no one sees you as you go.
    Giddap!—you hear him, in his clear voice say.
    My horrid prison rings with my moan—my sighs …
    Is this the pledge you gave to me?

    My lovely beauty, though prey of cruel war
    Cries not for hurt, but weeps to assuage the grief of her lost past liberty.
    In order to capture their darlings, the lovers come armed.
    Surrender, you beautiful things—don’t carry on war.
    But who is flying this way?
    Oh—love’s little angel, it is.
    Love—it is! Laughing—who comes to those who have fallen in love.
    She: Keep me now company.
    I see folk pestilent—that I bear no torment.
    Something or the other drives them from me here.
    sillybunnyon September 02, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSting is singing about mankind being the fallen angels..."Something haunts us all". The angels that have not fallen watch over mankind. "Looking for their lost homes"...mankind looking for a return to heaven. Mankind broke free from God "You can't control us anymore" and that is the reason for the fall.
    tooncesdacon August 26, 2021   Link

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