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I am in receipt today of a copy of your book, Lyrics by Sting, which was sent to me via your public-relations proxies at the Bantam Dell Publishing Group. I’m was quite struck by your efforts to not only create an index of first lines to all of your songs (“Free, free, set them free”; “Oh! Demolition, demolition”), but to write explanatory notes for many of them. I’m relieved to know that “So Lonely” is indeed about feeling lonely, that “Brand New Day” is about optimism, that the lyrics to “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” “weren’t trying to be coherent,” and that “Fields of Gold” is about the “inherently sexy” barley fields that surround the giant castle in which you live.
You tell so much of yourself! “Seeing a wild creature as beautiful as a fox always takes my breath away,” you write of one song. You explain that you were laying in a garden with your beloved and watching the skies when you thought of the key lines to “King of Pain”:
I turned to Trudie. “There’s a little black spot on the sun today.”
She waited expectantly, not really indulging the mood but tolerant.
“That’s my soul up there,” I added gratuitously.
Is there lead in the paint over at Castle Sumner, Sting? Just asking.
I guess I’m not entirely surprised that your book reveals you as a pretentious ass, but I confess I’m disappointed at how much your commentaries ruin your few good songs. “Message in a Bottle,” I learn, was helped to fruition by your dog. “He [the dog] would stare at me with that look of hopeless resignation dogs can have when they’re waiting for their walk in the park. Was it that hopeless look that provoked the idea of the island castaway and his bottle? I don’t know, but the song sounded like a hit the first time we played it.”
If you must continue writing songs, could please at least stop writing about how you wrote them? Thanks.