It was a cold and wet December day
When we touched the ground at JFK
Snow was melting on the ground
On BLS I heard the sound
Of an angel

New York, like a Christmas tree
Tonight this city belongs to me
Angel

Soul love, this love won't let me go
So long, angel of Harlem

Birdland on fifty three
The street sounds like a symphony
We got John Coltrane and a love supreme
Miles, and she's got to be an angel

Lady Day got diamond eyes
She sees the truth behind the lies
Angel

Soul love this love won't let me go
So long angel of Harlem
Angel of Harlem

She says it's heart, heart and soul
Yeah yeah (yeah)
Yeah yeah (right now)

Blue light on the avenue
God knows they got to you
An empty glass, the lady sings
Eyes swollen like a bee sting
Blinded you lost your way
Through the side streets and the alleyway
Like a star exploding in the night
Falling to the city in broad daylight
An angel in Devil's shoes
Salvation in the blues
You never looked like an angel
Yeah yeah angel of Harlem

Angel angel of Harlem
Angel angel of Harlem
Angel angel of Harlem
Angel angel of Harlem


Lyrics submitted by yuri_sucupira

Angel of Harlem Lyrics as written by David Evans Adam Clayton

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Angel Of Harlem song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +1
    General Comment

    I'm amazed this song had only 2 posts on it at the time I'm writing. For those who aren't familiar with the story, Bono heard Billie Holliday on WBLS at the beginning of their 86' tour in NYC and was inspired. Typical of the entire Rattle & Hum record, I think this song is really a love song to Amerikana in general, and Billie Holliday in particular. One of my favorite songs where every part of U2 is rocking: Vocal, Guitar, Bass, and Drums.

    rednight1972on October 17, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I have heard that this is one of Bono's fav songs... i am not sure why. To me this song is ok, but IMO it has no place being on any best of... it would not even make my 'best of rattle n hum'

    Uncle Chop Chopon November 24, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    I am sure that there is a certain deeper meaning in this song but here is mine (And sorry, for me it is the best):

    2002 and two I went to NY and been to Harlem. Friend lives there and at night we have been to a party. Met a girl and I think I felt in love with her. We had "something" for 5 days and so she is still in my mind as my "Angel of Harlem". And beleive me she still ist.

    Today we are just writing E-Mails. I am from Europe, so - long way. But always when I hear that song it makes me.................

    Jamila, if you ever read this, this is your song - I hope th others don´t mind.

    ConJulioon May 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    For some unknown reason this song always reminds me of the motorcycle gangs and their Hell's Angels :)

    Novartzaon February 11, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    It's about the late great Billie Holliday, who lived in Harlem.

    Supertadon April 14, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Lady Day is Billie Holiday ladyday.net

    In a lie show bono sings got bloodshot eyes (instead of diamond) possibly referencing her heroin addiction.

    renoiron April 08, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    I don't even care what it's about, it's KICKIN' ...easily one of their best.

    pyros411on March 07, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    In the Rattle and Hum film, they do a different version:

    It was a cold a cold and wet December day When we touched the ground at JFK Sunset on the Uncle Sam Charlie the Birdman And an angel New York like a Christmas tree Tonight this city belongs to me Angel

    Soul Love, this love won't let me go So long, Angel of Harlem

    Moonlight on the avenue God knows when they got to you Strung out, you learned to sing Eyes swollen like a bee sting Birdland on 53, the street sounds like a symphony We got Jon Coltrane and a love supreme Miles and she’s got to be an angel

    Soul Love, this love won't let me go So long, Angel of Harlem

    Macphisto12on March 16, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    Angel of Harlem is abut Billie Holiday period. Yes she was great and had a sordid past. But great. This song kicks so much ass that it's sick. Good good bluesy tune. Awesome.

    jarablueon September 14, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General Comment

    what a great song ......... truly U2 are the best band ever ......... i never thought music can say so much .......

    kamaryaon April 08, 2008   Link

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