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"If God Will Send His Angels"
Single by U2
from the album Pop and City of Angels soundtrack
  • "Slow Dancing"
  • "Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad"
Released8 December 1997 (1997-12-08)[1]
LabelIsland, Warner Bros.
Lyricist(s)Bono and The Edge
U2 singles chronology
"If God Will Send His Angels"
Music video
"If God Will Send His Angels" at Artistdirect

"If God Will Send His Angels" is a song by Irish rock band U2. It is the fourth track on their 1997 album, Pop, and was released as its fifth single on 8 December 1997. It was also featured on the City of Angels soundtrack.


The "If God Will Send His Angels" singles were backed with the following B-sides:

"Slow Dancing"

Main article: Slow Dancing

"Slow Dancing" is a country song written by Bono for Willie Nelson in 1989. Its first release was on a 1993 single, "Stay (Faraway, So Close!)", and performed solely by Bono and the Edge. In 1997, U2 had the opportunity to record it with Nelson. This version features the entire band, in addition to vocals by Nelson and harmonica by Mickey Raphael. Bono and Brian Eno provide backing vocals.

"Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad"

This song was written by Bono and the Edge for Frank Sinatra in 1992. It is a jazzy lounge song written in the style of Sinatra's music. This performance was recorded live by Bono and the Edge in a London studio for Sinatra's 80th birthday. It was played for Sinatra in the United States at a televised birthday tribute on 19 November 1995 and was likely recorded a few days earlier. It has a string arrangement by Craig Armstrong.

Although Frank Sinatra never got a chance to record it himself, his daughter, Nancy Sinatra, cut a version for her 2004 album Nancy Sinatra. U2's Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. play bass and drums respectively for the track (they did not appear on the original recording). Sinatra changes the pronouns in the lyrics from a first-person perspective to a third-person, presumably to refer to her father.

Canadian singer Matt Dusk recorded the song for his album, Two Shots.

"Sunday Bloody Sunday (Live from Sarajevo)"

Main articles: Sunday Bloody Sunday and U2 concert in Sarajevo

The performance of "Sunday Bloody Sunday" was recorded live at the band's PopMart show at Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina on 23 September 1997. Because Bono lost his voice early in the show, guitarist the Edge sang the song, accompanied only by his guitar. It is a quiet, pensive performance of the song, a stark contrast from the fiery original on War.

This was the first time the song was performed this way, replacing Edge's nightly karaoke song in the set (with the exception of the immediately subsequent shows in Thessaloniki, Greece and Tel Aviv, Israel, this set list change would continue until the end of the PopMart tour).

"Mofo (Romin Mix)"

This version of the song was remixed by Johnny Moy.

Alternative versions

There are three versions of this song:

Music video

The song was promoted with a music video directed by Phil Joanou. The video takes place in a restaurant. The screen is split horizontally, showing Bono in the top half and the person sitting across from him in the bottom half. The lighting brightly lights up each person's face (in contrast to the dim backgrounds). As Bono sings the song, numerous different people sit down at his table, talk for a while, and leave (including the three other members of the band at one point).

The video was filmed at a slower speed and sped up; thus, Bono had to learn how to sing the song slowly in order to properly synchronize with the song. The other people in the video spoke and moved at regular speed, so they appear sped up in the video.

The video appears on the DVD for The Best of 1990-2000, along with director's commentary.

An alternate cut of the video, in which scenes from the movie City of Angels are interspliced, was also released.

Live performances

"If God Will Send His Angels" was performed solely on the PopMart Tour at 23 of the 35 shows on the tour's first leg.[2] It debuted at the tour's first show, on 25 April 1997 in Las Vegas, and segued out of "Until the End of the World". This was the only time the full band played the song.[3] All 22 subsequent performances were played just by Bono and the Edge, though the segue out of "Until the End of the World" was retained. Its last performance was on 27 June 1997 in Chicago[4] and it was replaced by "New Year's Day" the next night.[5]

A chocolate advent calendar was distributed to promote the single.[6]

Formats and track listings

All tracks performed by U2, except "Slow Dancing" by U2 featuring Willie Nelson, and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" by the Edge.

CD (572 189-2)
1."If God Will Send His Angels" (Single version)Bono and the EdgeU2Flood, Howie B, and Steve Osborne4:32
2."Slow Dancing"Bono and the EdgeU2Flood4:00
3."Two Shots of Happy, One Shot of Sad"BonoBono and the EdgeNellee Hooper4:12
4."Sunday Bloody Sunday" (Live in Sarajevo, Bosnia, 23 September 1997)U2U2Chris Lycett3:50
Cassette (572 188-4) / CD (572 190-2)
1."If God Will Send His Angels" (Single version)Bono and the EdgeU2Flood, Howie B, Steve Osborne4:32
2."Mofo" (Romin mix)Bono and the EdgeU2Flood, Johnny Moy5:50


Chart (1997–1998) Peak
Belgium (Ultratip Flanders)[7] 4
Canada (Nielsen SoundScan)[8] 26
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[9] 6
Iceland (Íslenski Listinn Topp 40)[10] 4
Ireland (IRMA)[11] 11
Italy (Musica e dischi)[12] 10
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[13] 30
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[14] 24
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[15] 35
Scotland (OCC)[16] 9
Spain (AFYVE)[17] 5
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[18] 56
UK Singles (OCC)[19] 12

See also


  1. ^ "New Releases: Singles" (PDF). Music Week. 6 December 1997. p. 27. Retrieved 5 July 2021.
  2. ^, Popmart Tour, 1st leg overview, accessed 28 September 2007.
  3. ^, Setlist for 25 April 1997, Las Vegas, accessed 28 September 2007.
  4. ^, Setlist for 27 June 1997, Chicago, accessed 28 September 2007.
  5. ^, Setlist for 28 June 1997, Chicago, accessed 28 September 2007.
  6. ^[bare URL]
  7. ^ " – U2 – If God Will Send His Angels" (in Dutch). Ultratip.
  8. ^ "Canadian Digital Song Sales". Billboard. 26 January 2002. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  9. ^ "U2: If God Will Send His Angels" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  10. ^ "Íslenski Listinn Topp 40 (29.1 – 5.2. 1998)". Dagblaðið Vísir (in Icelandic). 30 January 1998. p. 22. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  11. ^ "The Irish Charts – Search Results – If God Will Send His Angels". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  12. ^ "Top National Sellers" (PDF). Music & Media. Vol. 15 no. 4. 24 January 1998. p. 33. Retrieved 27 November 2019.
  13. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – week 52, 1997" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40 Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  14. ^ " – U2 – If God Will Send His Angels" (in Dutch). Single Top 100.
  15. ^ " – U2 – If God Will Send His Angels". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 6 June 2014.
  16. ^ "Official Scottish Singles Sales Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 3 October 2019.
  17. ^ Salaverri, Fernando (September 2005). Sólo éxitos: año a año, 1959–2002 (1st ed.). Spain: Fundación Autor-SGAE. ISBN 84-8048-639-2.
  18. ^ " – U2 – If God Will Send His Angels". Singles Top 100.
  19. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 6 June 2014.