Sarah McLachlan

January 28, 1968

Sarah McLachlan Artistfacts

  • McLachlan studied classical piano, guitar and voice, before being discovered in 1985 by Nettwerk Records. She was 19 and fronting the band October Game at the time.
  • She launched Lilith Fair in 1997 in an effort to highlight female artists. The popularity of the tour made it one of the top-grossing concert draws that year.
  • Her first album Touch, released in 1988, went Gold in her native Canada, but she did not gain widespread US popularity until the 1993 release of the album Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, fueled by the hit singles "Hold On," "Possession," and "Good Enough."
  • She is adopted, which she learned around age 9. Her birth mother was a 19-year-old artist whom McLachlan later met. Sarah is very grateful to her adoptive parents and always felt like she belonged.
  • McLachlan said during a Reddit AMA that she doesn't adhere to any particular religion. She explained: "I view the concept of God as an energy that we all are part of and share. If I had any spiritual leanings, it would be towards Buddhism. But again, I follow my own path most of my life."
  • Asked whether she usually writes the melody or lyrics first, McLachlan replied:

    "I almost always write melody first but often a few words creep in and then, if they feel strong, I will try and look deeper into why I said that and where could I go with that... it's a discovery, searching, looking under rocks etc."
  • Her music had a profound effect on the rapper DMC of Run-DMC, who was going through a severe depression when he immersed himself in her music. The pair later collaborated on the song "Just Like Me," where DMC raps about his upbringing - like McLachlan, he was also adopted.

Comments: 7

  • Alma from Laredo, TxWhen Sarah was featured on MTV's unplugged she did state she wrote angel for the muscian from Smashing Pumpkins. Her song always reminds me of my brother who has delt with drugs, depression and other mental issues as well as homelessness. I can only picture that an angel will one day take him in his arms and give him the peace he so much needs. Thank you Sarah for understanding the plight that people with addiction go thru.
  • Sarah-jane from Halifax, CanadaThis Comment to Rob:

    Dear God was a cover song, and not Sarah's own piece.

    Secondly, Angel has nothing to do with Sarah's faith. The song is about the keyboardist from the Smashing Pumpkins who overdosed because being on the road was too much to handle. There's no constant, everything changes. She wrote the song about him.

    Sarah's song World on Fire was performed at Live 8 in Philly. Normally, Sarah doesn't reflect on her music as she's performing, and instead goes into almost a meditative state. However, on that occasion, she began to reflect on the songs meaning (world trade center disaster) and almost cried. She's never done that before, and it scared her.
  • Rob from Uniontown, PaIt would seem to me that Sarah takes pity on those with faith in God and Angels and such, with her song "Angel".. From her lyrics, I doubt she believes in any of that stuff herself (as is further evident from her rare song "Dear God"), but wrote the song "Angel" as a sort of well-wishing to those who do take up a faith in God / angels / whatever.

    The song starts by painting a picture of a life in turmoil, then says "it's easier to believe" referencing the supernatural. Easier as opposed to what? Not believing. I get the feeling that Sarah knows the road less traveled, the more difficult road is facing up to the probability there is no such thing as Angels to take away our pain, save what we create with our imaginations.

  • Verna from Atlanta, GaIn 1998 my 22 year old son was killed , his life and feelings were much like the words in Sarah's song "Angel. In this song, I found such peace and comfort. His burial marker is engraved with the words, "in the arms of the angel"
    My greatest desire is to someday meet this beautiful lady, and to tell her what her song did for me. I love you Sarah.
  • Lorri from Elk Grove, CaOver the past year our family has struggled with many things...I'd tried so hard as a mother of two wonderful daughters (Sara & Sophie)to hold things together. It started out great, I remarried the man of my dreams...shortly thereafter both my husband & I were laid off our jobs, bills piling up, losing our home. Then came old problem he thought put to rest, but under stress...rearing its ugly head again. My daughters father without consultation kept them on a visit (joint custody)last June 03 and I've not seen them since. Since then we lost our house, I pretty much fell apart and my husband entered rehab. I can so relate to her song Fallen, well actually most of her seems she faced so many of the struggles I have as a wife who tried to keep it all together and blew it worse by trying to do so...loving without limits...not knowing how to fix things...but always wanting to be there even at her expense.

    Thank you Sarah, I still don't have my girls back...they are in my prayers every minute...I'm working on it. Because of your music Sarah and well, finding my faith in God...I have my strengh back, my spirit and my husband is doing awesome and will be out of rehab 8/14. You are in my prayers for your takes going through
  • Rebecca from Clay Center, KsOur daughter, Lisa, lost her battle to cancer in August of 2002. She also had the song ANGEL played at her service. It was and is one of the most beautiful songs I have heard. When I hear this song, it puts a smile on my face as I know our Lisa is finally at peace even though she fought valliantly to remain with us.
  • Aimiee from San Antonio, Txthis lady can sing. She has the voice of a heavenly choir. A very good friend of mine, Juanita Gonzales lost her battle with breast cancer a couple of years ago. She requested Sarah McLachlan's Angel to be played at her funeral. There wasn't a dry eye in the house.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat World

Jim Adkins of Jimmy Eat WorldSongwriter Interviews

Jim talks about the impact of "The Middle" and uses a tree metaphor to describe his songwriting philosophy.

Sending Out An SOS - Distress Signals In Songs

Sending Out An SOS - Distress Signals In SongsSong Writing

Songs where something goes horribly wrong (literally or metaphorically), and help is needed right away.

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)

Donnie Iris (Ah! Leah!, The Rapper)Songwriter Interviews

Before "Rap" was a form of music, it was something guys did to pick up girls in nightclubs. Donnie talks about "The Rapper" and reveals the identity of Leah.

La La Brooks of The Crystals

La La Brooks of The CrystalsSong Writing

The lead singer on "Da Doo Ron Ron" and "Then He Kissed Me," La La explains how and why Phil Spector replaced The Crystals with Darlene Love on "He's A Rebel."

TV Theme Songs

TV Theme SongsFact or Fiction

Was a Beatles song a TV theme? And who came up with those Fresh Prince and Sopranos songs?

Randy Newman

Randy NewmanSongwriting Legends In Their Own Words

Newman makes it look easy these days, but in this 1974 interview, he reveals the paranoia and pressures that made him yearn for his old 9-5 job.