Don’t Stand So Close To Me – The Police

While this song title really defines the way we socially distance these days, its subject matter was much more controversial, based as it was on a taboo affair between a schoolteacher and a young female student. It’s easy to imagine that Gordon “Sting” Sumner, an English teacher before finding fame with the band Police, would have been the subject of schoolgirl fantasy, and that the lyrics were at least in part autobiographical. Yet he has denied this and claimed that he had been inspired by the dangerous obsession at the heart of Vladimir Nabokov’s book Lolita, to which he refers in the song “Strong words in the staffroom/ The accusations fly/ It’s no use/ He sees her/ He starts to shake and cough/ Just like the old man in/ That book by Nabokov …” Sting copped some grief for rhyming “shake and cough” with “Nabokov” but it was a big hit, won a Grammy Award and Andy Summers used synthesised guitar on a Police track for the first time, it was taken off the band’s 1980 album Zenyatta Mondatta, which sold over 4 million copies globally.

Social distancing would have had serious consequences for many  historical events down the ages:covid7


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