In his new memoir, “Ten Ways Not to Commit Suicide,” rapper and Run-DMC founder Darryl “DMC” McDaniels reveals how the song “Angel” by Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan saved him from committing suicide.
In the book, McDaniels details how McLachlan’s song helped him stave off a deep depression during a difficult period of his life in the late 1990s.
“I was probably at my suicidal worst in 1997 during a two-week-long tour in Japan. The only song I listened to then was a soft-pop ballad by Sarah McLachlan called ‘Angel,'” McDaniels writes in an excerpt of his memoir published by People. “I cannot overemphasize how important that song was to me in the midst of my depression. ‘Angel’ kept me serene even when every fibre of my person was screaming for me to lose it [and] made me believe that I could soldier through.”
Run-DMC went on an extended hiatus after the release of their 1993 album “Down with the King,” and as McDaniels dealt alternately with alcohol addiction and a throat condition that made him lose his voice in the intervening years, he was lifted from suicidal tendencies by McLachlan’s ballad.
“Whatever my hesitations about suicide, I sometimes think I would have done the deed easily if it weren’t for that record,” McDaniels writes. “I thought long and hard about killing myself every day in Japan. I tricked myself into thinking that my family might be better off without me. I considered jumping out of a window. I thought about going to a hardware store to buy poison to ingest. I thought about putting a gun to my temple. Whenever I’d listen to ‘Angel,’ though, I always managed to make my way back from the brink.”
In a recent interview about his memoir with The Washington Post, McDaniels further explained how “Angel” brought him mental clarity when he first heard it while driving through New York City in 1997.
“I just heard ‘Fly away from here, from this dark cold hotel room,'” McDaniels said, quoting the song’s lyrics. “And when I heard that something inside me said, ‘You know, D, you might not know what’s going on but it’s good to be alive and just exist.’ For one whole year, she’s all I listened to. It was the only thing that made me feel good.”
Listen to “Angel” below:
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