All This Time (Sting song)

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"All This Time"
Single by Sting
from the album The Soul Cages
B-side ""I Miss You Kate"
"King of Pain" (live)
Released January 1991
Format CD maxi, 7" single
12" maxi, Cassette
Recorded 1990
Genre Pop rock, adult contemporary
Length 4:55
Label A&M
Writer(s) Sting
Producer(s) Hugh Padgham
Sting singles chronology
"They Dance Alone"
(1988)
"All This Time"
(1991)
"Mad About You"
(1991)

"All This Time" is a 1991 single by Sting. It was first released on Sting's 1991 album The Soul Cages. The song was the first single from the album.[1]

Being the album's most radio friendly track, the song was a chart success, especially on the American charts, where it reached #5 on the Billboard Hot 100 and topped both the Mainstream and Modern Rock Tracks charts.[1]

Lyrics[edit]

The lyrics provide a reference to the death of Sting's father, symbolized by the image of a young boy, Billy, who, at the death of his father, wishes to bury him at sea instead of going through the Catholic rites:

"Two priests are at Billy's father's deathbed - he's been injured in a shipyard accident - and Billy doesn't want the ritual that's being served up, he wants to take his father and bury him at sea."

—Sting, Q, 2/91 [2]

Despite the dark lyrics, the uptempo tune of the song foils their macabre undertone:[2]

"It's about the death of my father, so it's pretty dark as a record but on this song the words are foiled by this fairly jolly tune. That's something I like to do quite a lot, combine dark subject matter with up music. No, it's not based on a dream. The lyrics seem surreal, but they are all images I remembered from my home town: ferries, priests, shire horses. I grew up by the shipyards. I just wanted to escape. I suppose it was quite a surreal place, though. It is the landscape of my dreams"

—Sting, Independent On Sunday, 11/94 [2]

The imaginary character, Billy, is also referred to in the lyrics to the song "Island Of Souls" from The Soul Cages album.[3]

History[edit]

The song usually opened the set on The Soul Cages tour. After this, the song was not played for several years till the Brand New Day tour, when it reclaimed its place in the set list.[1] The song lent its name to the ...All This Time live album which was recorded on the 11th of September, 2001 at Sting's villa in Tuscany.

A video was also made, which depicted the wry, black humour of the song to a certain extent. It featured Melanie Griffith and Sting's wife Trudie Styler dressed as French maids.[1]

Track listings[edit]

7" single / Cassette
  1. "All This Time" — 3:59
  2. "I Miss You Kate" — 3:48
12" maxi
  1. "All This Time"
  2. "King of Pain" (live)
CD maxi
  1. "All This Time" — 4:02
  2. "I Miss You Kate" — 3:44
  3. "King of Pain" (live) — 7:14

Charts[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Sting.com: Song details for All This Time: Description
  2. ^ a b c Sting.com: Song details for All This Time: Artist Comments
  3. ^ Sting.com: Song details for Island Of Souls: Lyrics
  4. ^ a b c d e f g "All This Time", in various singles charts Lescharts.com (Retrieved January 12, 2009)
  5. ^ Irish Single Chart Irishcharts.ie (Retrieved January 12, 2009)
  6. ^ "All This Time", UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com (Retrieved January 12, 2009)
  7. ^ a b c d Billboard Allmusic.com (Retrieved January 12, 2009)
  8. ^ "Billboard Top 100 - 1991". Retrieved 2009-09-15.