Song of the Week - July 10, 2006 - Angel in Manhattan

Post messages about Ellis Paul's music, CDs, lyrics, etc. here.

Moderator: Moderator

PotatoPicker
Posts: 426
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:06 pm
Location: Living in Exile (in Massachusetts)
Contact:

Song of the Week - July 10, 2006 - Angel in Manhattan

Postby PotatoPicker » Mon Jul 10, 2006 5:33 pm

Well folks, I can't remember if we covered this one way back when or not, so here we go. Thought we'd take a look at some of the songs from Translucent Soul, which I have been listening to a lot lately. Here's this week's "Song of the Week".

Angel in Manhattan
from the album Translucent Soul

Tell the man who repairs the wings for angels
That one has fallen among the mortals on Bleeker Street
I lent a hand, she looked up at the steeples
As if to blame them for the pavement beneath her feet
She said, "I never much liked flying, but the job requires trying
The hard part's avoiding buildings and concrete"

(chorus)
Spread the news, 'cause there's an angel in Manhattan
Call out the paparazzi and the television crews
Let the people choose
Would a little Faith come to harm them?
Print the headlines up in the New York Daily News
It was just another day
Like any other, other day

A Tuesday afternoon
I hailed a cab, a crowd gathered as it pulled beside us
And somebody tore at her wings, but I helped her safely inside
"I'm much obliged," she said, but the driver he looked shaken
He said, "You're fakin', lady, who's taking who for a ride"
But then we floated up over the traffic, she turned the radio to static,
And she sang to him in Billy Holiday's sweet voice
(chorus)
Spread the news, 'cause there's an angel in Manhattan
Call out the paparazzi and the the television crews
Hey if you choose
Would a little Faith come to harm you?
Print the headlines up in the New York Daily News
It was just another day
What will the mayor say?
"Good afternoon"

We flew down the length of Fifth Avenue
She threw out miracles, it was a hysterical ride
And if the crowd on the sidewalk looked skeptical
She took the blue right out of their cynical eyes
"It's all in what you feel inside"

She shook the mayor's hand, and he declared
That he'd hold a press conference,
The fans and protesters blocked the stairs to city hall
"I'd like to thank you all," he said
And when she stepped before the cameras
It felt like a trial, but she smiled as the questions were called,
"What do you say to detractors, who claim you're just some actor?"

She said, "The question here, is 'Do I believe in you?'"
It was just another day
Like any other, other day

(chorus)

Spread the news, I saw an an angel fly from Manhattan
In front of paparazzi, in front of television crews
And me I choose
I know a little Faith wouldn't harm me
Despite what they print in the New York Daily News

It was just another day
Like any other, other day
Like any day

© Ellis Paul Music (SESAC) 1998
Jeff

PotatoPicker
Posts: 426
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:06 pm
Location: Living in Exile (in Massachusetts)
Contact:

Postby PotatoPicker » Mon Jul 10, 2006 6:04 pm

(okay, here comes Mr. Feel-Good Optimistic.......)
This has been one of my favorite songs, ever since hearing it for the first time on the Live CD (following the story about the tricycle traveling transvestite..>). I think it is one of the more uplifting songs from Translucent Soul, and it remains one of my favorites to this day.

First thing that struck me was the idea of this slightly reluctant, slightly broken Angel...... Tossed down into our biggest city - notice how she doesn't blame the skyscrapers for her predicament - she blames the steeples.....

The singer tells everyone to spread the news - this a big story for everyone - kind of a Bad, Bad Blood 15 minutes of fame thing coming here - attracting people who want to see an angel - and people that want to tear her down. And she doesn't seem bothered by any of that - almost doesn't seem to care about the repsonse - she just has the message and the miracles - and the question - "Do I believe in you ?" Does she believe in us ? I think so - she wouldn't have come by otherwise. Do we believe in her ? Some of us want to, and some don't want to.

Ultimately I think the choice is ours. Probably my favorite line from the song is {b]And if the crowd on the sidewalk looked skeptical, She took the blue right out of their cynical eyes, "It's all in what you feel inside"[/b] I think so much of what we feel about life is up to us to choose, and certainly up to us to choose how we respond to it. And sometimes we think we can't choose to be happy without an angel, or without more money, or without the Red Sox winning the World Series.... but we can choose it. And we can do it, if we can learn to feel inside.

Is there really an Angel in Manhattan ? Are there miracles thrown out on the street all around us ? I think so, if we have a little faith, and take a little of the cynicism out of our blue eyes.......
Jeff

Nance

Postby Nance » Mon Jul 10, 2006 7:00 pm

Hi Jeff,

Yes there really ARE lots of angels in Manhattan, which is one of the reasons I still live here!!! And when Ellis and Antje come to town, All those angels have to wiggle around a little to make room for two more!

Great choice, and one of my absolute favorites!

Nancy

Richard + Jela
Posts: 1534
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:56 pm
Location: West Sussex, England

Postby Richard + Jela » Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:16 am

Super choice - love this song. To me its says that 'if we believe we can make it real' doesn't matter what the belief is in, we can do it. I have always said that if you want to achieve something badly enough, you can - mostly its an attitude of mind.

For some reason, this song has made Province Town slip into mind - we have been there on day visits, once on the day after carnival and you do see people still dressed up - some wonderful and not so wonderful sights!! I think that an angel would be perfectly accepted in a town like that full of free spirits, doing their own thing.

So she's, the angel, landed in New York where people are generally regrded as 'tough cookies' and the narrator is a believer and trying to make the cynics believe too...if they can convince them to believe then the angel won't have problems in any other destination she flys to.

A really heart-warming song.

Jela

wendy
Posts: 357
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 4:59 pm
Location: Boothbay, Maine

Postby wendy » Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:07 am

Great song, great interpretations.
The only addition I'd make is that this song seems most valuable to me when I find myself feeling/being cynical. It's good to be reminded that Belief (of one sort or another) can make all the difference.

Thanks for making another excellent choice, Jeff!
-wendy

User avatar
Lauren
Posts: 186
Joined: Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:51 pm
Location: Portland, ME

Postby Lauren » Tue Jul 11, 2006 7:46 am

Great choice, Jeff!

First, I have to say that the sweet harmony of Ellis and Dar Williams on this song ranks it pretty high up there on my list, even before we get to the lyrics. Which are, of course, amazing.

I have to agree with Wendy (and Jela, and Jeff) - this is a most inspirational song, especially when I'm feeling cynical and oh-so blue-eyed. One of the lines that always gets me is the closing one:

It was just another day
Like any other, other day
Like any day


Miracles can happen on any day, maybe in particular on those days that we're feeling the most cynical. A true reminder to believe in the good in people, and the side that we can't always have proof of.

Great pick!
~Lauren

paddyinthepub
Posts: 3768
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 9:44 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Postby paddyinthepub » Tue Jul 11, 2006 8:04 am

quote:

I hailed a cab, a crowd gathered as it pulled beside us
And somebody tore at her wings, but I helped her safely inside
"I'm much obliged," she said, but the driver he looked shaken
He said, "You're fakin', lady, who's taking who for a ride"
But then we floated up over the traffic, she turned the radio to static,
And she sang to him in Billy Holiday's sweet voice


I too really like this song and was pleased as punch to learn that Ellis
had cleverly slipped one his favorite singer songwriters into the lyrics.
Yep, That's our old friend Harry Chapin behind the wheel of the cab.
Last edited by paddyinthepub on Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
"once we're inside, it's a carnival ride" ~ ellis paul
paddy

User avatar
Sue Ellen
Posts: 572
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:09 pm
Location: maryland

Postby Sue Ellen » Tue Jul 11, 2006 9:27 am

Thanks Jeff, great song choice. I especially like this:

But then we floated up over the traffic, she turned the radio to static,
And she sang to him in Billy Holiday's sweet voice


It could have been anybody's voice, but it was Lady's, definitely known for singing the blues. Puts a cynical touch to the Angel as well, and I think gives insight into her being and how she feels about what she finds here.

Sue Ellen
"...I implore you, I entreat you, I challenge you to speak with conviction, to say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to "question" authority, you have to speak with it, too."
Taylor Mali, "Like, You Know?"

PotatoPicker
Posts: 426
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:06 pm
Location: Living in Exile (in Massachusetts)
Contact:

Postby PotatoPicker » Tue Jul 11, 2006 4:49 pm

Ahhhh, good point Sue Ellen. I had thought only about the musical quality of her voice, but you're right, there is a nuance of character there which helps round out the Angel as well.
Jeff

User avatar
Sue Ellen
Posts: 572
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:09 pm
Location: maryland

Postby Sue Ellen » Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:14 am

That Angel must have been singing the blues. But in a hopeful, optimistic way.

It would be interesting how the whole fabric of the story would be different if she sang out like Ella, or Donna Summers, or Madonna, or Karen Carpenter...

Sue Ellen
"...I implore you, I entreat you, I challenge you to speak with conviction, to say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to "question" authority, you have to speak with it, too."
Taylor Mali, "Like, You Know?"

User avatar
Jalapenos
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:10 am
Location: Methuen, MA

Postby Jalapenos » Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:05 pm

If she sang like Madonna the song might lose all meaning! Ha
-Katie

PotatoPicker
Posts: 426
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:06 pm
Location: Living in Exile (in Massachusetts)
Contact:

Postby PotatoPicker » Wed Jul 12, 2006 4:22 pm

Great minds Katie..... one voice I could do without.
Jeff

User avatar
Sue Ellen
Posts: 572
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:09 pm
Location: maryland

Postby Sue Ellen » Wed Jul 12, 2006 6:05 pm

I do hope you are not suggesting there is something wrong with my mind? I just can't escape all those fond memories from the 80's dancing to the likes of "Material Girl" and "Borderline." Of course, that would have been before Katie was born.

Sue Ellen
"...I implore you, I entreat you, I challenge you to speak with conviction, to say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to "question" authority, you have to speak with it, too."
Taylor Mali, "Like, You Know?"

PotatoPicker
Posts: 426
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 5:06 pm
Location: Living in Exile (in Massachusetts)
Contact:

Postby PotatoPicker » Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:03 pm

Sue Ellen - fun music to dance to perhaps, back in the day, but the voice ? Ummmm, not my taste I guess...........
Jeff

User avatar
Sue Ellen
Posts: 572
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 3:09 pm
Location: maryland

Postby Sue Ellen » Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:21 pm

Well, I'm glad the Angel picked Billy Holiday; she was a brilliant artist with a tragic, tragic life.

Sue Ellen
"...I implore you, I entreat you, I challenge you to speak with conviction, to say what you believe, in a manner that bespeaks the determination with which you believe it, because contrary to the wisdom of the bumper sticker, it is not enough these days to "question" authority, you have to speak with it, too."
Taylor Mali, "Like, You Know?"

User avatar
Jalapenos
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:10 am
Location: Methuen, MA

Postby Jalapenos » Wed Jul 12, 2006 9:34 pm

I like a lot of music that was made before I was born! I love Madonna, too, she just doesn't belong in Angel in Manhattan. I used to blast a Madonna mix for my house of six girls while we got ready for a weekend night :lol:
-Katie


Return to “Breakin' Through the Radio”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 8 guests