"They Dance Alone (gueca Solo)" as written by and Gordon Matthew Sumner....
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"They Dance Alone" as written by Gordon Sumner

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They Dance Alone (Cueca Solo) song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentWritten after Sting saw a brief news story about women dancing in the streets of Chile torn apart by the Pinochet regime. The women were dancing in the streets with pictures of their husbands, fathers, brothers or sons pinned to their clothes or they were holding the pictures and dancing with them. (thanks Carole - St. Augustine, FL)
    angelmatton March 11, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General Comment[Sting]: They Dance Alone (1988) I'd been in Chile in the late Seventies with the Police. It was at the height of the Pinochet regime, and there was a bit of a furore about us going there. I asked Amnesty International what they thought and their advice was that I should go, because rock'n'roll means freedom in these countries. So we went out there and it was pretty painful. There were troops and tanks on every street. At the press conference they'd put a little British flag and Chilean flag on the table. I picked up the British flag and threw it in the bin. They said, "What did you do that for?" and I said, "In our country that flag is the symbol of the British fascist party." There was uproar. They called us animals. They weren't very nice to us, the right-wing press in Chile. The women in Chile whose husbands and sons had disappeared would dance outside government buildings with invisible partners. I thought it was such a powerful silent protest and an incredible metaphor for loss and suffering that I wrote this song. They banned the record in Chile. But I played the song over there with some of the women it was written about. It was probably one of the most intense performances of my life. I was put in that situation just because of a song. I'm just a singer.
    sillybunnyon August 28, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI think this song is so beautiful. To me, it tells a story about a woman - a daughter - a wife - a mother. She is in a room, filled with dancers, yet she dances alone. She dances with with missing...
    gheling26on July 08, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is so sad. But I like that last line about Pinochet: "Can you think of your own mother dancin' with her invisible son?" In other words, "Watch it, mate. You'll get what's comin' to ya!"
    Bodesteron October 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnd he is about to get his Finally. Just as Sting warned he would.
    lordfinxon January 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSPIN: It's interesting that you're unconsciously using all this archetypal female imagery - gestation, pregnancy, seeds germinating - to describe this process. Obviously you're accessing more and more of that part of yourself. 'They Dance Alone', for instance, seems to be an acknowledgement of the non-aggressive power of the feminine aspect.

    STING: Its power is that it's ostensibly a peaceful gesture. It's innocent in a way: Security forces can't arrest you for dancing, although I'm sure they'd like to. But this is such a powerful image, of women dancing with pictures of their loved ones pinned on their arms and clothes instead of going out there with Molotov cocktails, which only elicits another kind of violence. This is something that has to win - it's so powerful that it actually has to succeed. Whereas terrorism, no matter how justified by previous violence, will never work. I'll tell you an interesting story. When we first started to record with the Police, I wrote some hard-driving rock'n'roll songs, like 'All I Want Is to Be Next to You'. Andy and Stewart said that I shouldn't write a love song, that the future was in pseudopolitical songs, or whatever. So I said, 'Well, I've written this, why don't you try and write something else ?" So they both went home with the song's backing tracks and Andy came up with 'I'm Not Going to Take a Gun to You' and Stewart came up with something almost the same. Miserable.
    sillybunnyon August 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song touches me everytime I hear it.

    I think even after having written and recorded this song, he still couldn't believe that those things he sang about were actually happening. There's a little bit of surprise left in his voice and that's what makes it even more touching.

    I don't think that this song is only sad. The lines

    One day we'll dance on their graves
    One day we'll sing our freedom
    One day we'll laugh in our joy
    And we'll dance..

    appeal quite positive to me - he's sure that one day things will change eventually and to honor the women we'll dance on their graves.

    Check out this live performance where Sting and Peter Gabriel dance with the real women ("los madres") in the end! It breaks your heart!
    WhiteWolfDiefon June 26, 2009   Link

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