Fields of Gold
|"Fields of Gold"|
|Single by Sting|
|from the album Ten Summoner's Tales|
|Producer(s)||Sting & Hugh Padgham|
|Sting singles chronology|
"Fields of Gold" is a song written and recorded by Sting. It first appeared on his 1993 album Ten Summoner's Tales. The song was released as a single but only made it to number 16 on the UK Singles Chart and to number 23 in the United States Billboard Hot 100. However, it became one of Sting's most famous songs, with many renowned artists covering the song.
"Fields of Gold" and all the other tracks on the album were recorded at Lake House, Wiltshire, mixed at The Townhouse Studio, London, England and mastered at Masterdisk, New York City. The harmonica solo is played by Brendan Power, and the Northumbrian smallpipes are played by Kathryn Tickell. The music video was directed by Kevin Godley. The cover of the album was photographed at Wardour Old Castle in Wiltshire, as was the cover for the album Ten Summoner's Tales.
In Lyrics By Sting, the singer described the view from his 16th-century Wiltshire manor house:
In England, our house is surrounded by barley fields, and in the summer it's fascinating to watch the wind moving over the shimmering surface, like waves on an ocean of gold. There's something inherently sexy about the sight, something primal, as if the wind were making love to the barley. Lovers have made promises here, I'm sure, their bonds strengthened by the comforting cycle of the seasons.
"Fields of Gold" was the second single released from the album after "If I Ever Lose My Faith in You". The single reached No. 16 on the UK Singles Chart, No. 23 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary Chart. It was a hit in Ireland, Germany, The Netherlands, Switzerland and many other countries.
The song was included in Sting's first compilations album issued under the title Fields of Gold: The Best of Sting 1984–1994 and released in 1994 and in a later compilation The Very Best of Sting & The Police in 1997. It was re-recorded by Sting in 2006 as a bonus track for his classical album Songs from the Labyrinth, in which the song was accompanied entirely by a lute.
- UK 4-track CD single
- "Fields of Gold"
- "King of Pain" – Live
- "Fragile" – Live
- "Purple Haze" – Live
- Rare UK limited edition 4-track gatefold CD single
- "Fields of Gold"
- "Message in a Bottle" – Live
- "Fortress Around Your Heart" – Live
- "Roxanne" – Live
Covers and performances
The song has become a modern MOR standard and has been covered extensively by other artists. Eva Cassidy recorded a version which first appeared on her 1996 live album Live at Blues Alley and later on the 1998 album Songbird and the 2012 compilation album The Best of Eva Cassidy. Other covers include:
- Irish singer Lee Mulhern in his 1996 album Hey Good Looking
- Mary Black on the 1999 album Speaking with the Angel,
- Gregorian in their 2002 album Masters of Chant Chapter III
- Maxi Priest (under the title Fields) on his 2005 album 2 the Max (also released as a double-A single along with Like I Do in 2004)
- Mary Wilson on her live 2006 album Live at the Sands and in another live interpretation on her live 2007 album Up Close: Live from San Francisco
- Celtic Woman soloist Lisa Kelly on the Celtic Woman album Celtic Woman: Songs from the Heart broadcast on a special on PBS (2010)
- Television presenter and classical singer Alexander Armstrong recorded a version on his album Upon a Different Shore
The song is popular with musical reality television contestants. It was sung by Nadine Coyle, taking part in Popstars The Rivals in 2002, by Danielle Tedford, a contestant on series 2 of British Pop Idol in 2003, by Niki Evans, a contestant in British season 4 of the 2007 UK series of The X Factor and by Lauren Talbot, a contestant in season 4 of Deutschland sucht den Superstar in 2007. It was interpreted by Swedish contestant Robin Bengtsson in 2008 during season 5 of the Swedish Idol series with the ensuing single peaking at #15 on Sverigetopplistan, the official Swedish Singles Chart. The Welsh contestant Bronwen Lewis sang it in the blind auditions of season 2 of The Voice UK in 2013 as a bilingual rendition in English and Welsh. The American contestant Joshua Davis interpreted it in 2015 during season 8 of the U.S. The Voice.
In November 2017, Katie Melua released her cover of the song as a charity single for BBC Children in Need. She revealed it was one of Terry Wogan's favourite songs and thus was a huge honour to sing and record it in his memory.
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