"Nothing comes from violence and nothing ever could."
Although that lyric from Fragile owes a clear debt to Gandhi's immortal wisdom about violence, it also holds its own alongside the earlier entries in this long running series. It stands alone - i.e., no rhymes or other words are necessary - it is terse enough to be easily remembered, and it contains an essential truth. Words for the ages.
Now about the moniker the gifted musician who wrote that lyric chose for himself when he was young. With his fame, wealth, and insularity, I suspect Gordon Sumner gives no thought to how silly it sounds hearing a seventy-something-year-old referred to as Sting. Still, I do wonder. How many times has he endured those painful but inevitable inquiries about a first name? Do you prefer Bee, Mr. Sting? Etc.
Thankfully, dreadful puns fade. Sting's musical legacy - including his lyric above - will not. All of his recordings in my collection occupy a rare niche. Each one works in its entirety; there are no weak cuts. And, his obvious erudition has been apparent from Sting's earliest work with the Police. How many modern-day pop lyricists can you name who have cited a Nabokov novel? Not only that, he then credibly used Vlad's name in his rhyme. Stephen Sondheim would have been proud. Got a lyric by Mr. Sumner you'd like to nominate as words for the ages? No? How about a favorite song or performance? Leave the wasp and hornet jokes for when you meet him. Go ahead, I dare you.