Good morning readers. I am sitting here in my dorm room with a watchful eye on the clock for breakfast will soon be upon my mates. So, yes, college is going to be a challenge for the blog. Soon enough I will be going to a three hour internship for four days a week and will be doing work for that, as well as, the three classes I am also taking during the semester. It will be busy and I promise I will try my hardest to keep to the post a day spirit. Wish I had others to help me out but still looking for some e-mails. Some posts may be shorter but I am definitely going to do my best. So, without further ado, lyricist #93
Did you know that Gordon Sumner has sold over 100 million albums worldwide and is widely regarded as one of the most succesful musicians on this side of the solar system (Kind of hard to compete with Madonna who also sells very well on her home planet (Saturn’s moon Titan). Which music fan who claims to know everything that music has to offer is shaking their heads and going to themselves Who? How can I not know who this is? Well, originally I had a very similar reaction. I had heard of the name but could not put a face to it. It became easy when I learned that Gordon Sumner is the birth name of a man who most refer to simply as Sting.
Now it all clears up. Sting has been about as succesful as you can be as an artist. With the Police he has hit great heights. 50 million records sold, #70 on Rolling Stone’s greatest artists of all time, a title of highest earning musicians in 2008. They did this all with their quirky mix of jazz, punk, and yes, even reggae music which they fused to make both marketable and catchy. Their music is good and everyone feels required to admit that the wierd combo of music works. But, lyric wise, Sting did not really blossom until his equally succesful solo career. His lyrics became more abstract and even self-deprecating. Sting turned an interesting corner and, for that reason, he is named the #93 lyricist of all time.
Like the rest of the artists for this segment, I would like to focus on two of their works of lyrics to demonstrate their lyrical abilities. For Sting we shall start with a little known song off of side two of his 1987 double album release …Nothing Like the Sun.
“If we seek solace in the prisons of the distant past
Security in human systems we’re told will always always last
Emotions are the sail and blind faith is the mast
Without a breath of real freedom we’re getting nowhere fast
If God is dead and an actor plays his part
His words of fear will find their way to a place in your heart
Without the voice of reason every faith is its own curse
Without freedom from the past things can only get worse”
Really uplifting right. Sting’s lyrics though do touch on some very interesting concepts, and I particularly think these lyrics are great because of how he puts into song a bit of a history lesson. The line that hits deep is the last one. There is a school of thought that says humans in no way will learn from their mistakes. The common adage is learn from the past. Yet, as Sting says eloquently without freedom from the past things can only get worse. I believe he is saying here that human beings have free will and that is why they will continue to make mistakes. They will not learn from the past because of this freedom. Yet, on the other hand, with freedom from past mistakes things my ultimately get better. Sting is touching on this concept and I think he is doing well
His next lyric is from the Police song (but mainly Sting piece) “Demolition Man,” that when released as an EP for the film “Demolition Man” with the always pleasent combination of Stallone/Snipes received very poor reviews. The lyrics are self-destructive and good.
“I’m a walking nightmare, an arsenal of doom
I kill conversation as I walk into the room
I’m a three line whip, I’m the sort of thing they ban
I’m a walking disaster, I’m a demolition man
These lyrics are just funny. I like them because of this. It is like “Mr. Bad Example,” by Warren Zevon. Creative stuff. I kill conversation as I walk into the room. Haha. Thanks for letting us laugh at you Sting even though you have made millions and millions and millions of dollars. I’m not laughing anymore.