Somehow I always thought the name of this song was If God Would Send His Angels, not Will. Maybe I don’t listen as closely as I thought.
I’m not a big fan of this song. It’s slow, kind of dreary, and not very hopeful. It has a deep religious aspect, of course, but it goes back to the well that other U2 songs have been to, like Wake Up Dead Man does on the same album (and does better, too). I don’t find the hope for the return of Jesus to be very enticing, the whole end of the world bit has been done to death, as it were. It’s not the religion part, it’s that there are certain people who take that idea to the extreme, and live this life with their eyes on the next, meaning they don’t act as they probably should in this life.
There are a few good lyrics in there. This is another one of those trigger songs, where I hear a phrase somewhere and it reminds me of some of the words here. Blister is one - “Jesus’ sister’s eyes are a blister”, although I don’t know what that actually means. My favorite line is “Then they put Jesus in show business, Now it’s hard to get in the door”, which is appropriate for what I said earlier about people in religion. There’s a lot of those guys that are completely fake, just putting on a show, using Jesus as a prop so they can make money. Pretty much anyone who has a tv show about Jesus is only in it for the money. And don’t get me started on the mega-churches, that is the total opposite of everything that Jesus preached. I remember having a conversation with someone about how many millions of dollars their church had raised, to build a huge shiny new building, and thinking what would Jesus do with all that money.
The song is off the Pop album, which (spoiler alert) is not going to rate very highly. I think it’s one of the lesser liked albums among U2 fans, so how it managed to spawn six singles (this one being the fifth) I don’t know. In fact of the entire album there’s only one really good song with staying power (and you’ll have to keep following along to find out which one it is).
Now having said all that, the video for If God Will Send His Angels is brilliant. Not at all related to the content of the song, it shows a split screen in a diner, with Bono at the top, and at the bottom are random people walking in and sitting at his table. I read that he had to act and sing very slowly for the video, because he is in time with the song and everyone else is at high speed. You do see that a couple of times, where his mouth loses sync for a bit with the words, but overall it is really well done. And the point where the rest of the band comes and sits at the table, and Bono turns and stares at Edge for a few seconds, I always think something funny is about to happen, and even though it doesn’t, it still amuses me.
So, can I give a bonus point for the video? Not really, because I’m grading on the music. And that’s not very good.
My rating for If God Will Send His Angels: 4 / 10