Sunday, February 20, 2011

When the Angels Fall ....

Back on February 2nd, I wrote a piece about the protests for an end to the Mubarak oppressive regime in Egypt.  I posted a song at that time, by the artist Sting:  "When the Angels Fall".  I had said that I would later write what that song meant to me ... So I guess, it's now "later" and here is what this song means to me ... Maybe why it seemed a good fit for the protests in Egypt and what the people of that country, and now other parts of the middle east, are trying to express.

Song: "When the Angels Fall", By Sting  (music video from at the end of this post)

"The Guardian", By Baron Arild Rozenkrantz
(Image Courtesy of

"When the Angels Fall" ... A soul stirring and intriguing song. What first drew me to this song was the title. Angels aren't supposed to fall, are they? This notion intrigued me. Angels are supposed to be glowing white guardians of truth and righteousness, right? The notion that any angel, other than Lucifer, had ever fallen flew in the face of all of the Catholic doctrine ... dogma ... that I had crammed down my throat throughout my childhood.

At first, I just listened to this song, "When the Angels Fall", as a song .... but then I found myself drawn further into the song, captivated by the soulfulness of its lyrics.  As I listened to this song, I began to ponder what Sting's powerfully moving, lyrical ballad truly meant.  I discovered that the song could have many different meanings depending upon your perspective. Over the years, as I've listened to this song again and again, this song has taken on many different meanings for me depending on where I was at in my life. But standing here today, I see this song as song of liberation; it's about embracing one's freedom to control one's own destiny.

The Angels are the established Truths of our world, Guardians of Right and Wrong (though, in truth, 'right' and 'wrong' depend upon your perspective), watching over all who labor (and sleep) in this land.

What are these established Truths? ... Well the truths differ from country to country, culture to culture, society to society, family to family, individual to individual ... They can be as profound as the assumption and belief that "the color of one's skin or one's gender decides how successful one will be in life" ... or as simple as the belief that "if I protest or speak out against my government, I will lose my life and endanger the lives of my family and those that I love." ... They can be as complex and distorted as "All Catholics are going to hell" ... "The only way to heaven is through Jesus." ... "Believe the way our religious system dictates or die...."  I, personally, hold NONE of the latter to be truths, but so many in this world, perhaps even you, do hold the latter as truths.  Sadly, until we cast these "Angels" ... established Truths ... from our sight, we as a common people on this rapidly spinning blue planet will never be free ...

When these Angels fall, the established Truths of our societies fall ...the unthinkable happens and the whole world (relative to the given truth) is shaken to its core.  When the world is shaken by such profound, life changing events some individuals are awakened from their slumber ... they finally realize that they were lost in a world of slumber and that the dream of the established Truths was dreaming them, using them, limiting them.

Eyes now wide open, arisen from their slumber, these awakened individuals now step forth with their own feet and hands, their own ambitions ("my children"), they are ready to assume ownership and responsibility for shaping their own lives, controlling their own destinies. Free at last from the dream of established Truths, they are ready to dream their own dreams. The "Angels" can't control them anymore..."You can't control us ... You can't control us anymore."

"These are my feet ... These are my hands ... These are my children. This is my demand: bring down the angels. Cast them from my sight! Never want to see a million sons at midnight. Your hands are empty. Your Streets are empty ... You can't control us ... You can't control us, anymore."

"When the angels fall ... Peace on Earth ... When the angels fall. Joy to all mankind.... When the angels fall.... When the angels fall... When the angels fall."

And standing here today, Sting's soulful ballad is still captivatingly beautfiul song to me, regardless of the angle one happens to be gazing upon it from. "Peace on Earth and Joy to all mankind" ... Wow, what a world that would be to live in.

I wonder:  Are you still lost in slumber, dreaming the dream of  established Truths?

Here is a music video with Sting singing, "When the Angels Fall"  in concert ...

A word of caution:  be careful that you do not free yourself from one established Truth only to become the pawn of yet another.  There will always be those living in this world who are consumed with power, worldliness, materialism ... They are blind, insecure and they have not the vision see beyond the here and now.  They would use you as a means to their ends and sadly, you are expendable to them.

But fear of becoming used by yet another established Truth should not stop you from seeking liberation.  Change often comes at a price and the balance of power will shift ... Let us pray then, and act to ensure that it is a shift for the better.


Anonymous said...

I Think that this song tells about apocalypse vision of John...Read the bible and you know the meaning.

Sory for bad english...greatings for croatia :)

Michelle C. said...

Thank you for taking the time to write, Anonymous from Croatia. Yes, I do see how Sting's ballad could easily resemble the Apocalyse as described in the Bible. Thank you for your insights and sharing. I think that I will take the time to reread the book of Revelations once again. Peace & Love to you, my friend.

Bruce Milne said...

I too have loved Sting's 'Soul Cages' for years. Very deep when you match it with his autobiography and consider it was written after his father's death. I learned in Bible college that exegetical analysis includes what we know of the time of writing, which some pick and choose on a bit at Sunday service, but context is important. I think your thesis is bang on: it's about choice. I believe for there to be free will humans must have 100% choice. Hence, no emails from God to do this not that. I think God deeply cares that we freely choose him, and he has to let us do that. Taking the cross from the wall speaks to me of taking the rules of religion down and the dogma we just accepted, to choose for ourselves. I can see how some at first blush would be offended at that, but I think it's essential for all of us to challenge our beliefs and ask 'Why'. Only then can we understand what it is we choose. I don't believe that is an assault on God, since he wants us to seek. Honesty, transparency, self awareness of our choices, lead to learning, community and understanding. Thanks for the post.

Michelle (Isabelle) said...

"Taking the cross from the wall speaks to me of taking the rules of religion down and the dogma we just accepted, to choose for ourselves." ... Yes, it does. I was thinking that on some level, thanks for sharing that brilliant insight. We do have to make and own our own choices in order to progress spiritually through this life incarnation, and I do agree that blind obedience to a set of man-made (fallible) rules and interpretations out of fear, coercion or laziness does not advance our spiritual evolution in my humble opinion. Interesting that you mention context … I have not read Sting’s autobiography in its entirety. I’ve just read bits and pieces on-line. Now that you mention it, his autobiography would be a fascinating read. Thank you for the suggestion. I will definitely have to look into that. I appreciate your thoughtful insights and suggestions thanks for taking the time to read and comment here, Bruce. God Bless!