Sting in Leeds: ‘I wouldn’t write Every Breath You Take differently in #MeToo era’

Sting performs at the City Varieties Music Hall in Leeds, at a launch event for The Last Ship - a musical by the musician at the Leeds Grand on May 1 to May 5. Picture Tony Johnson.
Sting performs at the City Varieties Music Hall in Leeds, at a launch event for The Last Ship - a musical by the musician at the Leeds Grand on May 1 to May 5. Picture Tony Johnson.

A wave of protest which surfaced initially in the showbusiness industry under the banner of #MeToo offers people a moment to “re-calibrate” themselves, said Sting during an appearance in Leeds.

The Police frontman performed at the City Varieties Music Hall on Thursday to launch his musical The Last Ship, which begins at sister venue Leeds Grand Theatre on April 30.

Sting.

Sting.

Speaking to the YEP, he said that he would not write his hit song Every Breath You Take differently after #MeToo - a social media campaign which started last year offering women a platform to speak out about controlling male behaviour and sexual misconduct.

The 1983 chart-topper features the lyrics: “Oh can’t you see, you belong to me”, later repeating “I’ll be watching you”.

Sting said the song’s meaning was “ambiguous” and was about “surveillance” and “control” in a wider sense.

But he added that there is “a romance to it”.

He said: “People get married to that song. I never contradict them. As far as the #MeToo phenomenon goes, this is a time of re-calibration for men and women to look into their lives and question the assumptions they had made about women and change them.”

Asked whether he would write his hit song differently now, he said no.

He said his new track which features Shaggy, called Don’t Make Me Wait, is actually about “waiting for a woman’s time line”, and although not intended as a commentary was appropriate in the current climate.

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