After Donny Hathaway’s original recording of Just Call Me Angel was released in 1969, it became his most successful single and also one of the top R&B songs of that year. In fact, the song reached No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100, making it one of Hathaway’s highest-charting singles of his career. It even earned him two Grammy nominations—Best Male R&B Vocal Performance and Best R&B Song—which he unfortunately did not win either time despite the success of this track.
Background on Just Call Me Angel
Just call me angel of the morning lyrics first appeared in 1978 as a song on a now forgotten album by English singer-songwriter, Kenny Rankin. However, the song is better known in today’s pop culture due to its interpolation into one of Phoebe Snow’s most famous songs, Angela.
By tracing through multiple renditions of both Angela and Just Call Me Angel, it becomes apparent that both songs share an overarching theme of romantic and moral ambiguity. In Just Call Me Angel, the speaker implores his beloved to call him back in the mornings because he doesn’t know how much time they have left together. In Angela, Snow urges her estranged lover not to leave her side for any reason. Although these two songs seem like polar opposites at first glance, they’re actually quite similar when analyzed closely. Both songs highlight how powerful love can be during difficult times and what lengths we’ll go to keep someone close even if it means saying goodbye soon afterwards.
Waking Up in New York City
Just call me angel of the morning lyrics form an anthem that captures both the power and poetic beauty of starting your day in a new city.
This morning I awoke in New York City, (just call me angel of the morning) This evening I’ll play at Carnegie Hall.
Just call me angel And I Feel Like Going On
The song Just Call Me Angel is about being able to transcend life on earth and have a sense of belonging with angels. Legend has it that King wrote the lyrics for this song as he sat on a hilltop in Jamaica overlooking Montego Bay. When discussing his writing process for this particular tune, he said, When I got up off that mountain top all I could think about was ‘I can’t wait to get back home because it feels like my home now.’ And then I went down into town where they had some children playing drums.
Angel Of The Morning
Some believe that Angel of the Morning is about an adulterous affair between a married woman and her lover. In this interpretation, he is her husband who is unaware that his wife is meeting another man for a rendezvous during morning hours when he believes she’s gone to work. Other interpretations include the angel being God or Jesus. A third theory suggests that it is simply a song with no specific meaning behind it.
Many people don’t understand what Angel of the Morning is about, with some thinking it’s just another cliché love song about a girl and her man. But there’s much more to it than that. Here are some behind-the-scenes facts and meanings that you may not know about this beloved country standard:
1) Jerry Fuller wrote and composed Angel of the Morning. He has called this his favorite song he ever wrote. He wrote it for one of his wives, who was from England.
Personal Opinion (about the song itself, not meaning behind it)
My dad had this as his ringtone and he always reminded me of who I should strive to be. Whenever I hear this song, it reminds me that we’re all just a song waiting to happen. The lyrics are very inspirational and deep-cut with messages like don’t forget how you got here or the world is in your hand. It also makes me want to get up and do something because it has such an energetic vibe. As long as my mom didn’t catch me listening to the song, she would dance around the kitchen while cooking dinner. She would play it when I was sad too so it could make me feel better about whatever was happening in my life at the time.