[freedomtowernight_edited.jpg] 26th Parallel: Russians - Sting

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Russians - Sting

Regarding the recent controversy surrounding The Police and their scheduled concert in Havana later this year, lots of interesting commentary has been thrown back and forth, especially in these posts at Babalu.

Sting has obviously never shied away from expressing his political views via his music, so in this context he can certainly be judged for his band's appearance in Cuba. It would be great if he indeed used that stage to express a sincere and clear desire for a free Cuba, and I'll hold out a little hope for that, but I'm not holding my breath.

This debate got me thinking of a song Sting recorded back in the mid 80s which got plenty of air time on MTV. Titled "Russians", the song deals with the Cold War between the USSR and the United States, and expresses a sincere desire to halt the arms race going on at that time. Sting's lyrics are interesting to say the least, and probably could be interpreted several different ways.

Here's a sample:

How can I save my little boy from Oppenheimer's deadly toy
There is no monopoly in common sense
On either side of the political fence
We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

Basically, Sting appears to take the middle ground in the Cold War, faulting both sides for their roles. Of course, I don't necessarily subscribe to that stance, and I think the results a few years later proved that the right side was victorious. Still, "Russians" may offer a hint as to Sting's views on the current struggle with the Middle East, and perhaps even his views vis a vis Cuba.

Aside from their hit songs, I can't say that I was a huge fan of The Police although I always respected their musical talent. However, I always found "Russians" to be a great, haunting tune and video, with the main melody inspired by a piece from Russian composer Prokofiev (I've always been a sucker for classical Russian melodies).

Anyway, here's the video courtesy of YouTube:

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4 Comments:

Blogger Timothy said...

Rob,
Watch it with Sting or your Tia will get very, very angry with you.

11:29 PM, April 25, 2007  
Blogger nonee moose said...

Robert, this is one of those things where it can tourn out to be a good thing, or a disappointment. Time will tell...

10:48 AM, April 26, 2007  
Blogger Robert said...

Tim,

Hey, I gave the guy a compliment for the music. ;)

About the concert...we'll see.

12:17 PM, April 26, 2007  
Blogger Timothy said...

"A message from the group said they "initiated discussions of a free concert in Havana as an expression of their gratitude to Cuban fans who have supported the Police throughout the years... It was in this spirit that a Christmas season concert in Havana was conceived. While planning details are currently underway, it is the band's intention to put on a free show in Havana this December." The message also read, "All three band members have a long-standing and genuine interest in Cuban music, having visited and performed with local musicians in the past. Sting, Stewart (Copeland), and Andy (Summers) wish to reciprocate the generous support they have received by doing something special for the Cuban people..."

11:04 PM, April 26, 2007  

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