Sting’s lyrics (from the Police and his solo years) will be immortalized in a book this fall. Appropriately titled Lyrics by Sting, it will also feature his commentary on the origin and meaning of each song.
Now, PopWatch editor Gary Susman says, “Besides Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello, I’m hard-pressed to think of anyone whose collected lyrics I’d enjoy reading cover to cover.” I myself would prefer to see Duran Duran dissect their impenetrable prose. (My friend Sheila, a longtime Durannie, insists that one day she’ll enter the University of Liverpool’s Popular Music Studies graduate program and write her thesis on “The Meaning of ‘The Reflex.'”)
So which artists’ lyrics do you think really merit a book anthology? And how far behind the music do you actually want to go? Some artitsts don’t want you to know their inspiration because they think it stops you from interpreting a song for yourself. Some music fans don’t want to know that, say, the Dixie Chicks’ song “Lullaby” is actually about a child, not a lover. I think I’m capable of knowing why someone wrote what they did and still bastardize it in my own mind, thanks.
addCredit(“Sting: Rick Diamond/WireImage.com”)