Wild Angels

Album: Wild Angels (1995)

Songfacts®:

  • This Matraca Berg, Gary Harrison and Harry Stinson penned cut was released on November 20, 1995 as the second single from McBride's album of the same name. The song topped the country chart, giving McBride her first ever #1.
  • The song is about a female deciding there must be "wild angels" watching over her and her man, which are keeping their love alive. Matraca Berg told The Boot the story of how the three songwriters crafted the hit. "I started it with Harry. I don't know what we were smoking that day, but it was a very lofty, kind of poetic, lyric. I heard it [recently] and thought, 'What was I thinking?'"

    "We demoed it, and every time Pat [Higdon, my publisher] would play it for somebody, they would say, 'What does this mean'" I knew that the lyric was off, but they loved the music, they loved the title."

    Matraca Berg and Harry Stinson brought in Gary Harrison for the rewrite. "It was just so simple," said Berg. "[He said], "You say, 'Wild angels, wild angels' — what's this other thing, 'Blue horses'?" And after we got that figured out, Martina snatched it up."

    "Gary gave me an epiphany with that song," she added: "Get them a good, kick-ass chorus, and you can write whatever you want to in the verses."
  • That's McBride's daughter, Delaney, who was born in December 1994, that can be heard laughing in the song's intro.
  • Thom Oliphant directed the music video, which finds McBride singing on top of the Clock Tower Building in Brooklyn, New York, while an angel touches the lives of people below. The concept and black-and-white visuals were inspired by the 1987 Wim Wenders film Wings of Desire, about an angel who falls in love with a human woman.

    The shoot was a precarious one, as Oliphant explained to Songfacts: "Up there, it's pretty dangerous. There's nothing to keep you from stepping off the side of the building. For every shot of somebody, from Martina sitting on the side to the extras, there's three guys with safety harnesses crouched behind the ledge making sure that those people are attached to a bungee cord."

    He would return to the location the following year to shoot Amy Grant's "Takes a Little Time" video.

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