STING’S 7 BEST SONGS ABOUT THE SEA
I’ve been on a Sting kick of late. Nothing wrong with that.
Many reoccurring themes run through his songs: angels, love triangles, loss of religious faith, commitment, winter; but one theme has remained constant in Sting’s writing for 35 years: the sea.
Though he sang in a Jamaican accent from 1978 to 1981, Sting actually grew up in seafaring Newcastle, England- just a few blocks from the shipyards that built the world’s largest ships. Being lost at sea has been a useful metaphor for loneliness, death and rhythm. It is a theme Sting has successfully gone back to many times. The most memorable:
THE WILD, WILD SEA, The Soul Cages (1991)
This song is obviously not about a hooker.
VALPARAISO, Mercury Falling (1996)
Set in Chile’s romantic bohemian port city of Valparaiso, this song follows two lovers traveling over the sea to meet.
LOVE IS THE SEVENTH WAVE, The Dream of Blue Turtles (1985)
This was the second single off Sting’s first solo album. I’ve always liked this song, though the video could substitute for a mid-80s Fruit Roll-Ups commercial. The songs glides along smoothly on its Caribbean rhythm and is probably his most beachy.
PIRATE’S BRIDE, Symphonicities (2010)
(shout out to another great bassist, from Portlandtown- Bob Wall)
WHY SHOULD I CRY FOR YOU, The Soul Cages (1991)
All colours bleed to red
Asleep on the ocean’s bed
Drifting on empty seas
For all my days remaining
ALL THIS TIME, The Soul Cages (1991)
If I had my way, take a boat from the river and I’d bury the old man
I’d bury him at sea
MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE, Regatta de Blanc (1979)
Walked out this morning I don’t believe what I saw
A hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore
Seems I’m not alone in being alone
A hundred billion castaways looking for a home
Sting’s ironic masterpiece about loneliness. Hasn’t lost any of its urgency.