Sting’s “Fragile” Lyrics Meaning
Sting’s “Fragile” is lyrically terse and accordingly relatively-easy to understand. Sting wrote it in the wake of the murder of Ben Linder. Ben Linder (1959-1987) was an upstanding and promising young man who was murdered by Contra rebels in Nicaragua. And without going into the long-winded political ramifications of his death, what it ultimately boils down to is that he was someone who lost his life prematurely due to dedicating it to less-fortunate people whom he was not forced to assist. And basically, Sting used the occasion of his murder to drop this tune, which overall is an ode to nonviolence. Indeed the title points to the idea that we as human beings are “fragile” creatures. Thus when “flesh and steel are one”, as in when we are attacked by weapons, usually the result is “blood will flow”.
And we can say that Sting uses some very high-end metaphors to get his points across. But ultimately, they boil down to the idea of violence against our “fragile” bodies being a common occurrence in this world we live in. And in terms of his sentimental disposition, the only truly-opinionated statement he makes in the entire song is “that nothing comes from violence, and nothing ever will.”
Facts about “Fragile”
“Fragile” was released by A&M Records on the 13th of October 1987. It was part of Sting’s sophomore solo album titled “…Nothing Like the Sun”. And it has become one of the signature songs of his career.
On the alternate-language version of the album, it was the only song on the tracklist that he not only recited in Spanish but also Portuguese.
It is the opening number on a project Sting recorded on 11 September 2001, i.e. the day the World Trade Center was bombed, called “…All This time”.
Also he performed the tune alongside Yo Yo Ma during his part of the 2002 Summer Olympics’ opening ceremony. And in the aftermath of the horrible terrorist attack which occurred in Paris in 2015, this is also the first song he played live at the Bataclan when its doors were opened again to the public. FYI, the Bataclan was the theater where the heinous terrorist incident occurred.
“Fragile” was written solely by Sting. And he also co-produced the track alongside legendary hitmaker Hugh Padgham.
The tune charted in seven European countries, faring best in Belgium and also making it onto the UK Singles Chart.