The Story of... 'Fields of Gold' by Sting

22 July 2020, 16:10

Sting - Fields of Gold
Picture: A&M/Youtube

By Tom Eames

'Fields of Gold' is one of Sting's most famous songs, and is a stunning and thoughtful track about the journey of commitment.

But what inspired the song and was it even a hit at the time? Here's all the important facts behind the song...

  1. Who wrote 'Fields of Gold'?

    The song was written by Sting for his 1993 solo album Ten Summoner's Tales.

    It was produced by Sting alongside Hugh Padgham.

  2. What inspired the song?

    via GIPHY

    Sting wrote the track after he bought a house near a barley field. The sunsets and the colours of the field helped inspired the lyrics, along with his love for wife Trudie Styler, whom he married in 1992.

    Read more: Sting's 10 best songs ever, ranked

    In his book Lyrics By Sting, the singer described the view from his 16th-century Wiltshire manor house, which inspired the song:

    "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."

  3. What is the song about?

    Sting and wife Trudy in 1998
    Sting and wife Trudy in 1998. Picture: Getty

    The song can be seen about a full romance from beginning to end.

    The story of the song is chronological in nature, and is about courtship, marriage, and lastly, death. The two people in the song meet, court, and fall in love.

    Their romance is so strong that even the sky (or Heaven) is jealous of their relationship ("jealous sky").

    Eventually, he dies and tells his lover that they will always remember their time together. Whenever she thinks of him, he wants to be remembered while she walks in fields of gold (or barley).

  4. How did it perform in the charts?

    Despite being one of Sting's signature songs, it surprisingly wasn't ever a big hit for the former Police frontman.

    The single only reached number 16 in the UK, and number 23 in the US in 1993.

  5. Who else has covered it?

    Many singers have recorded the song, helping it become one of his most famous tracks.

    - Eva Cassidy performed the song in the mid-1990s, and it became one of her most popular recordings after her death in 1996.

    - Katie Melua reached number 29 with a cover version in 2017, raising money for Children in Need.

    - Michael Bolton recorded a cover in 2011, featuring Eva Cassidy's recording.

    - Cliff Richard recorded it as a duet with Barry Gibb in 2006.

    - Vocal group Triniti recorded a Celtic cover in 2006.

  6. What are the lyrics?

    You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley
    You'll forget the sun in his jealous sky as we walk in fields of gold
    So she took her love for to gaze awhile upon the fields of barley
    In his arms she fell as her hair came down among the fields of gold

    Will you stay with me, will you be my love among the fields of barley?
    We'll forget the sun in his jealous sky as we lie in fields of gold
    See the west wind move like a lover so upon the fields of barley.
    Feel her body rise when you kiss her mouth among the fields of gold

    I never made promises lightly and there have been some that I've broken
    But I swear in the days still left we'll walk in fields of gold
    We'll walk in fields of gold

    Many years have passed since those summer days among the fields of barley
    See the children run as the sun goes down among the fields of gold
    You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley
    You can tell the sun in his jealous sky when we walked in fields of gold
    When we walked in fields of gold, when we walked in fields of gold