Song Lyric Sunday (4/29/2018) – Angels

Helen’s prompt for this week’s Song Lyric Sunday is the word angels. My selection this week is a favorite of mine from The Red Hot Chili Peppers. For the longest time I thought this song was just about Los Angeles, and the connection lead singer Anthony Kiedis had to his home town. I learned that was not so. I cannot put in words of my own what this song is truly about so, instead, I am going to paste from Wikipedia.

I implore you to read it to see the meaning by this song:


Kiedis wrote much of the song’s lyrics during a period when he felt distraught and emotionally drained. He had maintained sobriety for roughly three years and felt that this had distanced him from his bandmates. While the group worked on Blood Sugar Sex Magik, Frusciante and Flea often smoked marijuana together, ignoring Kiedis, who felt that Frusciante was “no longer in [his] world.”[5] Driving home after rehearsal in April 1991, Kiedis thought of his heroin and cocaine addiction during his relationship with former girlfriend Ione Skye: “the loneliness that I was feeling triggered memories of my time with Ione and how I’d had this beautiful angel of a girl who was willing to give me all of her love, and instead of embracing that, I was downtown with fucking gangsters shooting speedballs under a bridge.”[5]

Kiedis’ feelings of alienation from his bandmates led him to feel that the city of Los Angeles was his only companion: “I felt an unspoken bond between me and my city. I’d spent so much time wandering through the streets of L.A. and hiking through the Hollywood Hills that I sensed there was a nonhuman entity, maybe the spirit of the hills and the city, who had me in her sights and was looking after me.”[1][5] The lines “Sometimes I feel like / My only friend / Is the city I live in / The City of Angels / Lonely as I am / Together we cry” show a direct link to Kiedis’ isolation and sense of susceptibility. Despite these emotions, Kiedis believed that his life was better without drugs, telling Rolling Stone that “no matter how sad or lonely I got, things were a million percent better than they were two years earlier when I was using drugs all the time. There was no comparison.”[1] The optimistic ideology gave birth to the chorus of the song: “I don’t ever want to feel / Like I did that day / Take me to the place I love”, “the place” meaning his bandmates, friends, and family.[1][8]


“Under The Bridge”

Sometimes I feel
Like I don’t have a partner
Sometimes I feel
Like my only friend
Is the city I live in
The city of angels
Lonely as I am
Together we cry

I drive on her streets
‘Cause she’s my companion
I walk through her hills
‘Cause she knows who I am
She sees my good deeds
And she kisses me windy
I never worry
Now that is a lie

I don’t ever wanna feel
Like I did that day
But take me to the place I love
Take me all the way
I don’t ever wanna feel
Like I did that day
But take me to the place I love
Take me all the way

It’s hard to believe
That there’s nobody out there
It’s hard to believe
That I’m all alone
At least I have her love
The city she loves me
Lonely as I am
Together we cry

I don’t ever wanna feel
Like I did that day
But take me to the place I love
Take me all the way
I don’t ever wanna feel
Like I did that day
But take me to the place I love
Take me all the way

Under the bridge downtown
Is where I drew some blood
Under the bridge downtown
I could not get enough
Under the bridge downtown
Forgot about my love
Under the bridge downtown
I gave my life away

Writer(s): John Frusciante, Anthony Kiedis, Chad Smith, Flea

36 comments

    1. I was never a huge fan of theirs. I recall watching a Behind the Music episode about them that really helped me gain a fonder understanding of the band.

      Their growth and maturity is impressive, and the fact that Flea went back to college to study music after their success said a lot.

      This is a song that will hit you and hammer you, though, once you really dig into it. I am glad you liked it.

      Liked by 3 people

  1. This song was vaguely familiar but I had no idea who it was by and hadn’t ever properly listened to it. It’s brilliant! Really echoes how I feel about my hometown (Liverpool) where I don’t have many friends left but I do wander the streets sometimes feeling like the city is my friend. Thanks for sharing this one!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. While I can’t answer that one, I can tell you thank you for doing so! Mostly poetry, with the occasional blog post and, of course, some music with SLS and my Rush Reboots.

      Like

  2. This song and album came to me during a time of great transition. I was fighting my way out of the trouble I had gotten in, in my youth, and was leaving behind the self-destructive Tom that existed between the awkward, Christian teenage Tom and the productive-member-of-society Tom in my twenties. I can’t believe how long ago it was. I still get the shivers, when the song comes to me randomly (as it did now, thanks to you), that I did back then. I don’t ever want to feel like I did (back then).

    Thank you, Wulf, for the morning reminder (and lump in my throat). 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I guess I’m not the only one who doesn’t really like these guys, but this song is probably the only exception. I think I like it more after reading the history behind it. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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