Sting: Living in the “Shadow of the Shipyard”

Dry dock number 2. This still remains today.


Thomas Wolfe tells us we can’t go home again, but we must.  So Sting found out when the “songs stopped coming.”  In a recent TED Talk (linked below ) he tells the story of how he lost his muse and found it again in his home town of Wallsend in the North East of England.  It is a profound telling of life in the “shadow of the shipyard,” of the men of the town walking down to the sea in the morning and back up the hill in the evening, an ever present ship looming between houses lining narrow streets.  The yard was “noisy, dangerous and toxic,” but he returned to try to understand his ‘folk,” to honor the community he came from.  The songs he has written are integral to his first musical, “The Last Ship,” premiering in Chicago this June 10- July 13.  I hope you enjoy Sting’s talk and performance as much as I did.  We all have to take this same archetypal spiritual journey in some form in order to become whole.  I’ll meet you along the road.



Photo Credit: N04/5794537953/”> via photopin cc


7 thoughts on “Sting: Living in the “Shadow of the Shipyard”

  1. I remember visiting Newcastle with my then boyfriend and you’d walk along to see at the end of the streets the great big hulks of ships being built. It was so odd to look down a street and see a ship at the end! I stayed in touch with my boyfriend, even after we broke up (amicably) and he told me he was devastated to return to Newcastle and see the empty shipyards. Such a sad sight. If you ever get the chance, look out for Boys from the Blackstuff, decades ago but a powerful indictment of the causes of poverty and unemployment.


  2. Thank you for the great photo and blog. The Last Ship album is my favourite album, and I have been a fan for many years. I would so love to see the show and although I cannot I am thrilled for those who are able to get there.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s