In December 1988, Annie Lennox' first pregnancy with her second husband, the filmmaker Uri Fruchtman, resulted in a son Daniel, who was tragically stillborn. This song was inspired by Daniel, and also Lennox' great-aunt, who died at age 57. In Q magazine, she explained:
"'Angel' is sometimes hard for me to sing. It started off as a poem about a great-aunt who had died:
Underneath this canopy of snow
57 winters took their toll
I was fascinated by death. I thought of this concept of a burial place where seasons take their toll - snow covers the grave spot, leaves fall and buds come up - and this woman from my childhood.
The song turned into something else after the death of my first child. But it's about death generally - I will die; we will all die. Where do we find meaning in our lives?"
Lennox and Fruchtman went on to have two girls, Lola and Tali.