Since its creation, the Bible has had immeasurable influence on societies around
the world, but nowhere is the impact greater than in the English-speaking world.
The Bible is without a doubt the most influential and most referred-to work in
the English language. The issues and discussions are very immediate and relevant
to our time. Perhaps even more so than ever before, as Christianity becomes so
widespread and yet so divided. As the themes once again become controversial,
writers and musicians become more and more important in how they influence the
public's view of the Bible. In exactly the way Milton's "version" of the Bible
became more influential than any of the other writings about it, current views
on Christianity could have far-reaching effects on future views of this momentous
work. The problems and questions of the Bible are still so immediate and so
relevant that it is quite easy to find Biblical allusions in the work of many
modern songwriters. This paper will focus on the influence of the Bible on one
songwriter in particular: Gordon Sumner, more commonly known as Sting.
The Bible's influence in English literature and culture is readily apparent.
With references in works as varied as Shakespeare, Chaucer, Anne Rice and Frank
Herbert, the effects are mind-bogglingly huge and far-reaching. The Sixteenth
Century was obviously the heyday of Biblical influence, when "the images, words
and accents of the English Bible echo on nearly every page of English Literature"
(Metzger 442). There was a marked decline in interest in religion during the
Seventeenth Century after the Restoration under Charles II, due to the attempts
to combine science and religion, often at the expense of religion. This decline
slowed the momentum slightly, but current fascination with the Bible is a strong
as it ever was in the past. Sting has put his finger on the pulse of modern
society with his interest in Biblical subjects. This evidence is especially
apparent in six of his songs: The Lazarus Heart, Jeremiah Blues, Mad About You,
When the Angels Fall, All This Time, and Rock Steady.