Fields Of Gold

“When we get to the bridge in the song, the singer realises he’s made promises of love before and broken those promises but he commits himself this time to make a promise that will last. I think for men, it’s something that you mature into. It takes a lot of maturity to be committed to one person. It’s something that men have to learn, our genetic programming is such that our agenda is slightly different to that of women, we have one thing on our minds. But as you get older you realise you have to make a commitment because your happiness depends on that.”Sting (422)

I’m So Happy I Can’t Stop Crying

“What happens in the middle eight, he goes for a walk and he looks at the stars and he sees some form of analog for his life in the stars and something makes him smile, something eases the pain. He can’t really explain it and his friend sees him again and says, “There’s something different about you,” and he says, “Well, you can’t live in the darkness all of the time.” So I haven’t left this character stuck or trapped in his obsessions like the character in “Every Breath You Take.” He’s moved on and for that reason I think it’s a very positive song.”Sting (422)

An Englishman In New York

“”At night a candle’s brighter than the sun.” I wrote that in New York about Quentin Crisp, who’d become a friend of mine. It’s about standing out from the crowd and being courageous about who you are, which of course Quentin famously was. “Be yourself no matter what they say:” it’s something I hope to subscribe to in my courageous moments. I’m not claiming any originality.”Sting (423)

Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot

“It was inspired largely by a very close friend of mine who contracted HIV+ and a couple of years later it became fully blown AIDS. The first time he went to hospital I visited him and I was really at a loss to know what to bring him. I’d just read a book by a Buddhist monk called Sogyal Rinpoche (The Tibetan Book Of Living And Dying) and I’d enjoyed it very much and it had brought me a lot of solace. The premise of the book is that dying is a process that we all need to be training for in that we’re all dying whether we have AIDS or not. I thought that would be a good book to bring him and he loved the book and got a lot of pleasure from it. This song is about my friend.”Sting (422)

Lithium Sunset

“The idea for this song came to me when I was in Brazil, I have a great fondness for Brazil, and I met what I can best describe as a shaman (who happens to have a degree in Chemistry). He was explaining something to me, he was saying that sunlight is composed of a lot of elements and one of them is Lithium and, as you know, Lithium is a medication given to the depressed, it’s a very successful drug. But it actually exists in sunlight and at sunrise and sunset you can look into the sun without damage and the eye does not filter yellow light so the Lithium goes straight to the brain. Which is why people get a great deal of comfort and solace from looking at the sunset or the sunrise. So I wrote a song called “Lithium Sunset” which is an ode to this natural medication that is available to all.”Sting (422)

The Lazarus Heart

“If we agree that the album [Nothing Like The Sun – Ed] is about mourning [and the death of his mother – Ed], then I needed to start it off in this special, joyful way [The Lazarus Heart is the first track on the album – Ed]. It’s about rebirth, hopefully. I didn’t just want to cry in my beer, do this moaning record about how awful life and death are.  I wanted to say that, yes, we have to face death and there is a way to do it that isn’t just moaning. We have to rejoice, in a way. It’s a victory song. That’s the way my mother was. That’s what she gave to me when I said goodbye to her. It was her incredible sense of humour and her sense that all was not lost. She was joking and she was loving. She gave me such an example of courage that I had no choice but to rejoice. That’s why the record is happy. It’s not a mournful record; it’s an up record.”Sting (551)

They Dance Alone

“There is a certain victory implicit in what those women do [Chilean women dancing alone, not just in memory of the fathers, sons and husbands they lost but also in proud defiance of Pinochet’s regime – Ed], which is so much more powerful than throwing petrol bombs or burning cars – that negative loop. It’s not terribly positive to say the end is nigh and all is terrible. I don’t want to write songs that just confirm that nihilism and gloom, that there is no future. If I write about issues that are sad or horrific, I want there to be light at the end of the tunnel. And there will only be light at the end of the tunnel if we want it. That song reflects that. It’s a very sad song, but at the end it is victorious. One day that country I’m singing about will be free. I hope so.”Sting (551)
“There’s also a song about Chile called ‘They Dance Alone’. This was something that I saw when I went to Chile with The Police. The mothers and wives of “the disappeared” do this amazing thing; they pin photographs of their loved ones to their clothes and go out in groups and do this folk dance with invisible partners in front of the police station. It’s this incredible gesture of grief and protest. But it’s a feminine way of combating oppression. The masculine way is to burn cars or to throw rocks. Yet this feminine way is so much more powerful because what can the police do? These women are simply dancing.”Sting (854)
“And I found out about this thing called “Gueca”, which is a dance done in Chile by women whose husbands are ‘missing’ – in other words, they’ve been taken from them and killed or imprisoned, tortured – and they do this dance which is normally for two people, but they dance alone with photographs of their loved ones pinned to their clothes. And I thought this was a very moving symbol of grief and protest, and what I tried to do with the song ‘They Dance Alone’ was amplify what they do. See, the masculine way to fight oppression is to throw petrol bombs and burn cars. This is a woman’s way of protesting, which is much more powerful and effective.”Sting (855)

I Hung My Head

“I thought the song offered an interesting moral argument: “Does this man deserve to die when it was an accident?” The song is really about the idea of guns having a totemic magic that will attract their misuse. That’s why I don’t own any guns.”Sting (552)

Tomorrow We’ll See

“About a transsexual prostitute.”Sting (552)


“It’s really a comment on how shocked we all are when one of our cultural icons dies: Prince, David [Bowie – Ed], Glenn Frey, Lemmy. They are our gods, in a way. So when they die, we have to question our own immortality. Even I, as a rock star, have to question my own. And the sort of bitter-sweet realization that hubris doesn’t mean anything in the end.”Sting (813)