Angels Would Fall

Angels Would Fall

"Angels Would Fall"
Released 1999
Format CD single
Recorded Sunset Sound
Genre Rock
Length 4:39
Label Island
Writer(s) Melissa Etheridge
John Shanks
Producer Melissa Etheridge
John Shanks
Melissa Etheridge singles chronology

"Nowhere to Go
"Bring Me Some Water"

"Angels Would Fall" is a 1999 Melissa Etheridge song and the first single of her album Breakdown.

Song information

The song was written by Melissa Etheridge with the main guitar loop contributed by John Shanks. It is one of her darkest songs as the singer says herself on the bonus DVD of her album Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled:[1]

"Angels Would Fall" is about a desperate crush Etheridge had on someone else's girlfriend during her shattered relationship with Julie Cypher.[2] In the verses, she describes the pain she feels because she can tell nobody about her feelings (“The rope that's wrapped around me is cutting through my skin...”), while in the chorus she is singing the desired person's praises (“Angels never came down [...] but if they knew, if they knew you at all, angels would fall...”).

Music video

The music video was shot in 1999, and showed Melissa Etheridge playing her song in a dark, empty, saloon-styled bar where the furniture is destroyed like after a fight. In retrospective scenes, nebulous images of people in white dresses come down from the ceiling symbolising the fallen angels. While they fall down, they cause the damage described above. These angels find love in each other, both homosexual and heterosexual couples are formed. Towards the end, the door of the bar opens and the angels go into the light.[3]


"Angels Would Fall" was the most successful single of Breakdown. It reached the US Billboard Hot 100, was Etheridge's third consecutive single peaking at #9 on the Adult Top 40 and her fourth consecutive top 10 hit in the Canadian single charts.

Chart (1999) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100[4] 51
US Adult Top 40 9
US Top 40 Mainstream 32
Canadian single charts 6
Dutch single charts[5] 61
German single charts[4] 88
New Zealand single charts[6] 48


  1. "Angels Would Fall" (Melissa Etheridge, John Shanks) - 4:39
  2. "Into the Dark" (Etheridge) - 4:59
  3. "Beloved" (Etheridge) - 7:54

Credits and personnel



  • Melissa Etheridge and Laura Morton: The truth is..., Random House 2002
  • Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled bonus DVD
  • Lyrics

External links