Thursday, October 22, 2015

Fortress Around Your Heart




Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner is an English singer songwriter who has written hundreds of songs and has 16 Grammy awards. Most of us know him by the name, Sting. One of my favourite songs written by Sumner is this one, “Fortress Around Your Heart.” (Listen as you read these lyrics.)
Fortress Around Your Heart

Under the ruins of a walled city
Crumbling towers in beams of yellow light
No flags of truce, no cries of pity
The siege guns had been pounding through the night

It took a day to build the city
We walked through it's streets in the afternoon
As I returned across the fields I'd known
I recognised the walls that I once made

I had to stop in my tracks for fear
Of walking on the mines I'd laid

And if I've built this fortress around your heart
Encircled you in trenches and barbed wire
Then let me build a bridge
For I cannot fill the chasm
And let me set the battlements on fire

Then I went off to fight some battle
That I'd invented inside my head
Away so long for years and years
You probably thought, or even wished that I was dead

While the armies all are sleeping
Beneath the tattered flag we'd made
I had to stop in my tracks for fear
Of walking on the mines I'd laid

And if I've built this fortress around your heart
Encircled you in trenches and barbed wire
Then let me build a bridge
For I cannot fill the chasm
And let me set the battlements on fire

This prison has now become your home
A sentence you seem prepared to pay
It took a day to build the city
We walked through it's streets in the afternoon

As I returned across the lands I'd known
I recognised the fields where I'd once played

I had to stop in my tracks for fear
Of walking on the mines I'd laid

And if I've built this fortress around your heart
Encircled you in trenches and barbed wire
Then let me build a bridge
For I cannot fill the chasm
And let me set the battlements on fire

Words and Music by Gordon Matthew Sumner; Published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
The song tells the story of a love relationship that flourished and was built to withstand the temptations and destructive forces of the world. It uses the metaphor of building castle walls, barbed wire, and land mines around the loved one to protect them and keep the world from harming them. But the song is now sung from the perspective of some time after the relationship has failed. Now, the battlements still stand and obstruct the lover from getting close to the woman he loved. There is a longing to once again approach her and pain in not being able to draw next to her. He must withdraw for fear of the danger of getting too close. Yet, there is still hope. The singer believes he will be able to build a bridge and once again draw near. He will set fire to the battlements that keep him away. Enjoy the rich poetry of this song as you listen to its melodic tone.

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