Lit & Lyric: Pop

Angela Pancella (anjelle@accessus.net):

If God Will Send His Angels:

It's the blind leading the blond...

Matthew 15:14: "Leave them; they are blind guides. If a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit."

The Playboy Mansion:

Then there will be no time of sorrow, then there will be no time for pain...

Revelation 21:4: "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."

Please:

Your sermon on the mount...

See Matthew 5:1-12 or Luke 6:20-26

Wake Up Dead Man:

Your Father, He made the world in seven...

See Genesis 1:1-2:4

Jay Skipper:

"If God Will Send His Angels" (Single Version)

"For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, and charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." I Corinthians 14:12-13 KJV

These two biblical verses are part of the inspiration for this song. Verse 12 deals with the complexity of faith: initially we are blind and know only in part; but then we will see God's face and know in full even as we are now known only by God. Verse 13 proclaims the enduring qualities of faith, hope, and the greatest of all, charity (which is love). The theme therefore for "If God Will Send His Angels" is one of the themes Edge mentions for the entire album: the "crisis of faith." The protagonist realizes that the current situation is faultless in origin: "No one here to blame . . . / It's just you and me and the rain."

The bleakness of the situation is also described: "God has his phone off the hook, babe/ Would he even pick up if he could/ It's been a while since we saw that child hanging 'round this neighborhood/ You see his mother dealing in a doorway/ See Father Christmas with a begging bowl/ Jesus sister's eyes are a blister the High Street never looked so low/ It's the blind leading the blonde/ It's the cops collecting for the cons." If all of these unimaginable scenarios are occurring then, "Where is the hope, and where is the faith, and the love" the three qualities which are supposed to be eternal (Verse 13). The protagonist finds transient fulfillment when his partner's love momentarily lights up the metaphorical Christmas tree; however, the next minute his partner loses her temper and the joy inherent turns into a more serious and depressing situation: "What's that you say to me/ Does love light up your Christmas tree/ The next minute you're blowing a fuse and the cartoon network turns into the news."

The protagonist recognizes that the commercialization of organized religion poses a threat to the stability of his once-rooted faith: "Jesus used to show me the score/ Then they put Jesus in show business now it's hard to get in the door."

When read in context with the rest of the song, the couplet "It's the stuff, it's the stuff of country songs but I guess it's something to go on" reveals the "it" to be "faith." The protagonist's faith is in jeopardy so he laments "If God will send his angels I sure could use them here right now (or any other chorus variation)." The transcendent moment with his lover was insufficient for the jaded protagonist; this universal situation can be applied to anyone's life.

(For purposes of clarification the protagonist is assumed to be male. The roles are obviously reversible. I remember reading somewhere that Edge said this song was loosely based on a man beating up a woman. If this statement is true the domestic violence situation easily fits into the given interpretation.)

MC (edgegirl55@hotmail.com):

Just a comment about Flannery O'Connor. In her book Wise Blood, there is a mention of a man giving a sermon on top of his car. This reminds me of the U2 song "Please": "sermon on the mount, from the boot of your car."

Note: The boot of the car is obviously not the top of it, but that does not retract from the possible significance of the observation.

Pia (pialauridsen@yahoo.co.uk):

I was reading Clive Barker's Weaveworld, when a chapter title caught my eye -- "The Suit Of Lights".

Anyway, the suit of lights turns out to be a magic jacket worn by a character called the Salesman, a.o. The lining of the jacket is made of magic material and it shows people their wishes, like trinkets they wanted so badly as a child or their secret heart's desire. The Salesman gives this to the people, claiming no price in return or so he says, because when the person has served the Salesman's purpose-- i.e. the person has given him the information he wanted or performed the service he wanted -- the coveted object vanishes, leaving the unfortunate 'buyer' in despair or madness. I just thought that this makes sense in the context of "Gone": You can keep this suit of lights. Now, I may have the reference all wrong, and Bono never heard of Weaveworld, but who knows?

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