At times we ask for extraordinary things to happen in our lives and somehow, deep down, we believe that they will. Someone, somewhere, may have the power to help us – a Guardian Angel perhaps, some spiritual minder, a protector from life’s darker moments.
Such a belief can be a comfort in life, an easy relationship with a world beyond our own. A gentle hand on your shoulder to guide you through, though not away from, the harder times.
notes by Roma Ryan
Shepherd Moons music book, 1991
Quotes about the song
Enya: "And there’s one track in Shepherd Moons, and it’s the only one where I finally sat down and I said ‘I’m going to count how many times I recorded my voice’ and it was the track ‘Angeles’ and I counted 500 vocals. That’s not counting the ones that I’ve corrected for harmony, for tuning reasons but I didn’t feel like I sung 500 times because I got so involved with the melody that you sing and you keep singing to build up this sound. And you have to be very emotional about it and it’s always in one ear you hear the build-up of it and you’re singing spontaneously all the time and you have to give so much for each time you repeat this and that is the end result we get."
Conversations Radio Interview, 1992
Enya wrote Angeles for Steve Martin’s movie L.A. Story but he ended up using Exile instead. Though Roma never confirmed it, my grey cells tell me the song title was inspired by the movie title.
Angels, answer me,
are you near if rain should fall?
Am I to believe
you will rise to calm the storm?
For so great a treasure words will never do.
Surely, if this is, promises are mine to give you,
mine to give..
Here, all too soon the day!
Wish the moon to fall and alter our tomorrow.
I should know
heaven has her way
– each one given memories to own.
Angeles, all could be
should you move both earth and sea.
Angeles, I could feel
all those dark clouds disappearing…
Even as I breathe
comes an angel to their keep.
Surely, if this is,
promises are mine to give you,
mine to give…
lyrics by Roma Ryan
EMI Music Publishing Ltd, 1991