Sting Stands Closer These Days

Sting has many songs to choose from in concert, but the one song he’ll no longer perform is “Don’t Stand So Close to Me” off the third Police album, 1980’s Zenyatta Mondatta.

The song is about a relationship between a male teacher and a female student, but Sting, a former teacher, tells People, “It’s certainly not biographical, but people having relationships with teachers, it definitely happens. And in the song’s defense, nothing happens. It’s just the danger of, something happens and the teacher is aware of it, which is why he’s saying, ‘Don’t stand so close to me.’…

“In the current climate, I don’t sing that live. People with a sort of puerile sensibility will say, ‘Oh it’s about you.’ And of course it’s not, but it’s an interesting situation.”

Another song Sting wrote for The Police, “Every Breath You Take,” has been misinterpreted as a love song when in reality it’s quite the opposite. It’s about the obsession with a lost lover, and the jealousy and surveillance that follow.