"Every Breath You Take"
The song, “Every Breath You Take,” written by Sting and performed by The Police, has an upbeat, almost romantic sound. Those not listening carefully might mistake it for a love song, thinking the song’s narrator to be hopelessly in love with the object of his affection.
In reality, this piece of music is about just the opposite.
Sting explains, in a 1983 interview with New Musical Express, that “It's about jealousy and surveillance and ownership.”
Don’t believe it? Just take a look at the lyrics.
“Every move you make, every vow you break, every smile you fake, every claim you stake, I'll be watching you.”
This is a song about obsession and control—the narrator is looking for faults in the person who is being watched. And the lyrics that seal the darkest aspect of this song—“Oh can’t you see, you belong to me”—are the words of a possessive lover and, as Sting said, display a sense of ownership over another human being.
For years, Sting was uncomfortable with how many people interpreted the song in a positive way—his song about someone’s obsession with a lost lover was even being played at weddings, much to his chagrin.
So the next time your buddy starts singing this song to his girlfriend, kindly save him some humiliation by letting him know what it’s really about.