"King Of Pain" as written by and Gordon Matthew Sumner....
There's a little black spot on the sun today
It's the same old thing as yesterday
There's a black hat caught in a high tree top
There's a flag-pole rag and the wind won't stop

I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running 'round my brain
I guess I'm always hoping that you'll end this reign
But it's my destiny to be the king of pain
There's a little black spot on the sun today
That's my soul up there
It's the same old thing as yesterday
That's my soul up there
There's a black hat caught in a high tree top
That's my soul up there
There's a flag-pole rag and the wind won't stop
That's my soul up there
I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running 'round my brain
I guess I'm always hoping that you'll end this reign
But it's my destiny to be the king of pain
There's a fossil that's trapped in a high cliff wall
That's my soul up there
There's a dead salmon frozen in a waterfall
That's my soul up there
There's a blue whale beached by a springtime's ebb
That's my soul up there
There's a butterfly trapped in a spider's web
That's my soul up there
I have stood here before inside the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running 'round my brain
I guess I'm always hoping that you'll end this reign
But it's my destiny to be the king of pain
There's a king on a throne with his eyes torn out
There's a blind man looking for a shadow of doubt
There's a rich man sleeping on a golden bed
There's a skeleton choking on a crust of bread
King of pain

There's a red fox torn by a huntsman's pack
That's my soul up there
There's a black-winged gull with a broken back
That's my soul up there
There's a little black spot on the sun today
It's the same old thing as yesterday

I have stood here before in the pouring rain
With the world turning circles running 'round my brain
I guess I always thought you could end this reign
But it's my destiny to be the king of pain
King of pain
King of pain
King of pain
I'll always be king of pain


Lyrics submitted by anieloo, edited by digitalman

"King of Pain" as written by Gordon Matthew Sumner

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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King Of Pain song meanings
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9 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentThe "flag pole rag" reminds me of "beneath that tattered flag we made" from Fortres Around Your Heart - he probable took this motif from here.
    Byt, anyway, I heard he once said that he viewed this song with irony. Maybe I didn't see right when I read that, cause this song always gets me "driven to tears".
    I wish I could interpret it more in detail (like, every verse), cause it's all one mataphore after another, but I just can't brek through what he means generally.
    AprilMoon1991on June 29, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment[Question]: What or who does the "King of Pain" represent?

    [Sting]: Beats me. I think I was being ironic. It's now become my unofficial title.
    sillybunnyon August 26, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"There's a little black spot on the sun today
    That's my soul up there"

    I think this is illustrating the darkness of his soul in the midst of other people's happiness (the black spot's his soul, and the sun is the joy from which it stands apart).

    "There's a fossil that's trapped in a high cliff wall
    There's a dead salmon frozen in a waterfall
    There's a blue whale beached by a springtide's ebb
    There's a butterfly trapped in a spider's web"

    "I guess I always thought you could end this reign
    But it's my destiny to be the king of pain"

    He thought this particular person could end his "reign" as the "king of pain" (i.e. he had hoped this person could make him happy, or at least take away his sorrow).

    I think that the reason "King of Pain" is an ironic title is because when we think of kings (regal, ruling, and basically together), we do not associate them with negative experiences. Kings are praised, exalted, and sleep on "golden bed[s]", as Sting has put it. To be king of something horrible, like pain, is ironic.
    herbivoreon November 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt must have chopped off my comment on this part:

    "There's a fossil that's trapped in a high cliff wall
    There's a dead salmon frozen in a waterfall
    There's a blue whale beached by a springtide's ebb
    There's a butterfly trapped in a spider's web"

    All of the things listed are trapped in conditions from which they can't escape, much like Sting is trapped in the condition of pain.
    herbivoreon November 02, 2007   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTo those born with their heads laid low. To those whose vision cuts through the beautiful facade of life to its underlying pain. For every person that feels the pain of the butterfly in the spider's web or the blue whale beached by the springtide's ebb. This song is for you.

    This song is for the extreme altruist that feels for all living things....and how futile life is when understanding that this pain is part of the grand scheme of things. How can you not see the black spot on the sun when it is very soul?
    HAL:9000on October 20, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's about greek predestination with a heavy reference to Oedipus Rex. It discusses the fact that, in that system of belief, no matter who you are or how hard you try, your fate is your fate, your destiny is your destiny, and even then most beautiful butterfly is trapped by a web, even a great and powerfull whale is beached by a simple ebb of the tide.
    Tiajaon March 02, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commenthmmm. idk but i first heard of this song from my ex-boyfriends profile playlist on myspace and i think he might have meant it as his song to me, because all he ever did was cause me pain. so to me "king of pain" means he causes other people pain? idk just what i might think, or maybe i'm over-analyzing.
    kelly1994on February 25, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is not by Sting it is on The Police's Synchronicity album. Although he did write the song.
    digitalmanon July 24, 2013   Link
  • -1
    General Commentthis song is so lyrically beatiful and sorrowful u can just really feel the emotion in it
    deepdivineon May 02, 2004   Link

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