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Existentialism as Reflected in Sting's Song Lyrics

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DOI: 10.23977/artpl.2021.020707 | Downloads: 9 | Views: 523


Li Jia 1, Li Yanfeng 2, Meng Yue 3, Quan Huiqi 4


1 College of Music, Shanxi Normal University, Taiyuan, Shanxi, China
2 School of Music, Shanxi University, Taiyuan, Shanxi China
3 Wenzhou University, Wenzhou, Zhejiang, China
4 Inner Mongolia Arts University, Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China

Corresponding Author

Li Jia


Sting is an international artist, and much of his music has been a reflection of his personality and his very vocal views regarding his advocacies in life. He writes about anything from love, relationships, death, politics, religion, etc. He is able to write songs that sound more like poetry than a typical pop song composition. As a clearly subjective being, he feels more than he thinks, so the emotion that is involved in his song writing is a clear manifestation of his existentialist tendencies. The study aims to validate the theories of existentialism as these are fleshed out from the lyrics of Sting in a limited selection of his songs. It seeks to provide an analysis of his songs set against that of an existentialist philosophical framework which consists of principle concepts such as: individual existence, subjectivity, choice and commitment, absurdity, and alienation. The study is both qualitative and quantitative in design and uses documentary analysis to bear out its premises and validate the impact of Sting’s existentialist philosophy in his music. The existential characteristics used in the lyrics of the songs by Stings are Freedom and Responsibility, Absurdity, Dread, Alienation and Authenticity. These Existential characteristics were reflected in the lyrics of (30) thirty songs of Sting. Among the five characteristics of Existentialism mentioned, Dread or Anxiety is the most frequently used and reflected in the lyrics of the songs by Sting.


Absurdity, Alienation, Authenticity, Dread, Existentialism, Freedom, Lyric, Song, Sting


Li Jia, Li Yanfeng, Meng Yue, Quan Huiqi, Existentialism as Reflected in Sting's Song Lyrics. Art and Performance Letters (2021) 2: 39-61. DOI:


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