In and out of the front door,
Ran twelve back-door angels.
Their hair was a golden-brown
They didn't see me wink my eye.

'Tis said they put we men to sleep
With just a whisper,
And touch the heads of dying dogs
And make them linger.

They carry their candles high
And they light the dark hours.
And sweep all the country clean
With pressed and scented wild-flowers.

They grow all their roses red,
And paint our skies blue
Drop one penny in every second bowl
Make half the beggars lose,

Why do the faithful have such a will
To believe in something?
And call it the name they choose,
Having chosen nothing.

Think I'll sit down and invent some fool
Some Grand Court Jester.
And next time the die is cast,
He'll throw a six or two.

In and out of the back-door ran
One front-door angel,
Her hair was a golden-brown
She smiled and I think she winked her eye.

Lyrics submitted by knate15

"Back-Door Angels" as written by Ian Anderson

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management

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Back Door Angels song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentSuch a great example of Ian Anderson's ability to write some seriously intense, thought-provoking lyrics. "Why do the faithful have such a will to believe in something and call it the name they choose, having chosen nothing?" Bold, brilliant, beautiful.
    RNRShamanon April 12, 2016   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis was written around the time he met Shoena (his current wife). At least Ian's songs seem to indicate an urgent sexuality. Simply put ... all these smutty girls and lo, where did this exceptional woman come from????
    jcaudioon January 22, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI take it to be an expression of deep skepticism; essentially saying that religious faith is no better than believing in fairy tales. The randomness of good fortune in the real world makes it impossible to sincerely believe in divine beings. Angels would have to be fickle and absurd for the world to operate as it really does because there is no sense to who thrives and doesn't, who suffers and who doesn't. Outcomes are a based on chance, not design. The eye wink suggests that the narrator is not fooled by what he describes but is aware it is some grand joke.
    herrfruitbaton January 27, 2014   Link

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