Let’s talk about Sting.
He wrote a musical, called The Last Ship and released the album of the songs. It’s about the world he grew up in and it’s worth pointing out that he’s 2 years younger than my parents who were both born in the same year.
The world that Sting sings about on The Last Ship a city that relied on industry and ship building and the people that build the ships, is gone. I’ve talked a lot here about my parents and where they are from and how that has shaped me, I’m a proud Londoner. I’ve also written about how that world is gone. It’s the world where a working class boy could grow up in a Northern city and become a teacher and then a rockstar.
The Last Ship seem to be a lament for and a celebration of that world, as Sting knew it, it’s not exactly the same as the world my parents grew up in, the geography is vastly different! It feels familiar to me, because I feel that I know the people in it. That’s not to say that those people where perfect, I remember on one of the rare occasions, I went to see my Great Aunt Ellen and she talked about the neighbour who was given money on a Friday to go and get drunk so she’d be ‘ready’ for her husband when he came back from the pub. This weekend, my Mum told me the story of Ellen coming to visit my Grandma, being told, as she waited for Iris (in Paddington, known for it’s prostitutes then), to move along because that wasn’t her spot!
Anyway, The Last Ship is great and I can see it’s gonna be a musical in this song and I love that he uses the actual North East accent that he grew up with and that Jimmy Nail also sings on this. I can’t recommend this more!