"Why Should I Cry For You?" as written by and Gordon Sumner....
Under the dog star sail
Over the reefs of moonshine
Under the skies of fall
North, north west, the stones of Faroe

Under the Arctic fire
Over the seas of silence
Hauling on frozen ropes
For all my days remaining
But would north be true?

All colors bleed to red
Asleep on the ocean's bed
Drifting on empty seas
For all my days remaining

But would north be true?
Why should I?
Why should I cry for you?
Dark angels follow me
Over a godless sea
Mountains of endless falling,
For all my days remaining,

What would be true?
Sometimes I see your face,
The stars seem to lose their place
Why must I think of you?
Why must I?
Why should I?
Why should I cry for you?
Why would you want me to?
And what would it mean to say,
That, 'I loved you in my fashion'?

What would be true?
Why should I?
Why should I cry for you?


Lyrics submitted by Novartza, edited by TablaMan

"Why Should I Cry For You" as written by Gordon Sumner

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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Why Should I Cry For You? song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentWell that isnt a bad guess. The song is about sailing and its not. If you take it literally it could mean that because of a lost love hes taken to the lonely life as a sailor to kill the pain. What I think the song is about is hurting from a lost love, and the sailing reference is a brilliant use of words to denote lonlieness and struggle. The Dog Star or Sirius is the brightest star in the Northern Hemisphere, and was often used in navigation. Many Sailors coined a term "Chasing the Dog Star" as meaning to navigate by means of Sirius. Chasing the Dog Star can also mean chasing an unattainable goal. Sting could be referencing this as it being impossible to get rid of his hurt, though he tries with all his might. "North Northwest the Stones of Faroe, is a direct reference to the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic, but once again it would seem that sting is referencing lonliness like he is in general with the Ocean, and possibly desolation, since the Faroes are a very out of the way desolate place. The other sailing references "hauling on frozen ropes for all my days remaining" is another metaphor meaning an unpleasant struggle that he cant ever see himself completing.

    "All colors bleed to red
    Asleep on the ocean's bed
    Drifting in empty seas
    For all my days remaining"

    This is another reference to lonlieness and pain. Sting could be saying that when everything bleeds to red, everything is becoming a blur, and that it leaves him numb and hence "asleep" or just going through the motions, drifting in his lonliness forever.

    But would north be true?
    Why should I?
    Why should I cry for you?
    Dark angels follow me
    Over a godless sea
    Mountains of endless falling,
    For all my days remaining,

    This next part Sting is saying to himself If I had done things differently could things have been different. Then he is expressing emotions of possibly anger, by saying why should I cry for you, when you rejected me? Possibly even a little bit of depair, as in saying what is the point of it all. He is haunted by these Demons "Dark Angels" and he may even be feeling like God is against him, or at least the fates. He is a lost man for eternity.

    "Sometimes I see your face,
    The stars seem to lose their place
    Why must I think of you?
    Why must I?
    Why should I?
    Why should I cry for you?
    Why would you want me to?
    And what would it mean to say,
    That, I loved you in my fashion"?

    Sting is saying that the memories are so painful, and that his love is so great for them that nothing else matters. He then goes on to ask himself why he has to torture himself like this, especially when they have moved on with their life. Finally he is saying I loved you the best way I knew how, why wasnt that good enough?

    This is one of my favorite songs from Sting. I think the lyrics and dreamy music mix perfectly to make a hauntingly brilliant song, guaranteed to hit anyone in the gut who has really experienced a trully heartbreaking end to a romance.
    lordfinxon January 24, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOk, sailing as a metaphor. It's really not an uncommon literary theme. The wanderer, the sea-farer, searching, alone, out on the cold, impersonal seas.
    It's NOT about sailing.
    It is about love lost. Could be a lover that died or merely a relationship that ended which he still longs for. Both interpretations can apply. Well, as long as it isn't taken so literally.
    winkyoneon February 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think lordfinx had a fantastic breakdown of the song. To add, regarding the verses:
    "Sometimes I see your face,
    The stars seem to lose their place
    Why must I think of you?"

    Maybe it's a reference to why he's alone and a bit lost. He speaks of "why would North be True?" before, as if that's his navigation with the Dog Star. Then he mentions when he see's this person's face the stars seem to lose their place, maybe North really isn't truw, as if he loses his focus and where he's going (physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually?) when it comes to this person. Things stop making sense which is a lot of what someone feels when they lose someone whether it's a loss in death or a loss of a love.

    What i find very interesting, and this may be delving too deep, is that The Dog Star has a companion star, they perpetually revolve around eachother....
    alibelon September 24, 2007   Link
  • +1
    General CommentOnce again Sting wrote a real poem. The lyrics alone can bring tears to your eyes (and even more so if you know under which circumstances the song was written)!

    What I find interesting and what hasn't been mentioned yet: I think we agree that the sea in general and the North Atlantic here in particular are symbols of sadness and loneliness. Then I would translate the "Would north be true?" line as "Am I right in (re-)acting that way, feeling sad and lonely all the time? Doesn't life go on? Was the person I lost worth all this?"

    It seems to me his head is telling him to go on and look forward but his heart just can't because there are still too many sad emotions.

    Oh, one more thing: Why is he saying "North North West" instead of just "North" or "North West"? As Sting seems to like quoting Shakespeare, do you think he's refering to the famous Hamlet quote ("I am but mad north-north-west, when the wind is southerly, I know a hawk from a handsaw")?
    It could be a hint that he's temporarily mad, caused by all the pain he's going through.
    WhiteWolfDiefon June 26, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhy should I cry for you when I'm the one who has to keep on living this tortured life?
    The dead should be crying for us.

    Why should I?
    Why should I cry for you?
    Dark angels follow me
    Over a godless sea
    Mountains of endless falling,
    For all my days remaining,
    denverizedon February 03, 2011   Link
  • +1
    MemoryI love this song though I haven't listened it for a while, like several years. Just right after the death of love of my life a month ago, I heard it again through radio.

    I never said I love him though I fell in love with him 20 years ago. And I knew I'd never say it to him or to anyone. But I also knew that I love him until I die. Only imagined was that when I die, I die with this love in my heart. I never had this concrete feeling over anything in my life.

    Now I'm lost and drift towards unknown, rest of my life.
    No matter what Sting meant, this song is completely my feelings towards him now and ever.
    selene728on August 24, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentNot my favorite, musically, but the song and music are still touching. I wonder what it means?

    My first thought is that it's about a man who's sort of "exiled" himself to work on a fishing boat in the North Atlantic. Or maybe about the Flying Dutchman. Or maybe about Truth. It seems that he's left some loved one behind.
    Bodesteron October 29, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI dont really think that this song is about a lover dying because of the references. Why shoud I cry for you, and especially when he says loved you in my fashion. To me that means he was rejected.
    lordfinxon January 24, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti seem to recall that this song was written by sting sometime shortly after his father passed away about their relationship.

    i think that lyrically, it's one of his best songs. probably up there with 'shape of my heart' in my book. he did a very moving version of this song on mtv's unplugged. i nearly cried.
    abhayadanaon January 25, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen this song was released, my then-girlfriend told me that the song captured how she might feel if/when her mother died. She would be deeply emotionally affected and set adrift, but would feel that her mother didn't deserve it b/c of how poorly she treated her. Not a happy place to be - amazing the degree to which musicians sometimes express themselves in song.
    anacson December 05, 2005   Link

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