You consider me the young apprentice
Caught between the Scylla and Charibdes
Hypnotized by you if I should linger
Staring at the ring around your finger

I have only come here seeking knowledge
Things they would not teach me of in college
I can see the destiny you sold turned into a shining band of gold

I'll be wrapped around your finger
I'll be wrapped around your finger
Mephistopheles is not your name
I know what you're up to just the same
I will listen hard to your tuition
You will see it come to its fruition
I'll be wrapped around your finger
I'll be wrapped around your finger

Devil and the deep blue sea behind me
Vanish in the air you'll never find me
I will turn your face to alabaster
When you'll find your servant is your master

You'll be wrapped around my finger
You'll be wrapped around my finger
You'll be wrapped around my finger


Lyrics submitted by Demau Senae, edited by digitalmanMKII, itdrewabraham

Wrapped Around Your Finger Lyrics as written by Gordon Sumner

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Wrapped Around Your Finger song meanings
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85 Comments

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  • +11
    General Comment

    This song is just another little peace of the genius that Sting and the Police laid out for us. The music in this song literally floats along... very slowly and hauntingly. This is really brought out by how Sting chooses to sing the lyrics - almost in a wave like motion between the notes. The music stays this way until the bassline and drums start moving in the last verse - this change of feel combined with the strong final lyric ("then you will find your servant is your master"). As far as the meaning, I can only guess it is about being with a married woman and lusting for her. And she lusts for the narrarator too. In Greek Mythology, Scylla and Charibdes are female sea monsters who lived in caves opposite of each other and devoured sailors. I think this is a representation of maybe the narrarators girlfriend, and the married woman he is seeing. The Narrator is constantly staring at the ring, which is almost taunting him as he can't have her. The 'destiny sold' is her life almost. She is now stuck forever with one man(her husband). It is now all reflected in that ring. Mephistopheles is a devil who Faust(a magician and alchemist) sells his soul to for more power. This is representing that The Nararratorwill sell his faith(in his girlfriend) for power(the chance to be with the married woman).

    The lyrics "I'll be wrapped around your finger" means that the Nararator will do anything for her(for the time being).

    The final verse, is kind of where the married woman wants the Nararator, but everything has happened already, and he is out. He will 'vanish' and she'll 'never find' him. He will turn her face to stone(Alabastor is a type of limestone i believe).

    The final line "Then you will find your servant is your master, and you'll be wrapped around my finger' is saying that she was basically used.

    Kind of long and over the top, but its the best I could do. ANd for an awesome song like this, it deserves it. Awesome song. Sting and The Police rule.

    The_Soulon November 04, 2004   Link
  • +9
    General Comment

    A truly beautiful song.

    Scylla and Chayribdis are NOT two female sea monsters. Scylla is the sea monster and Chayribdis is a whirlpool. Odysseus had to sail between them and he had to make a difficult choice of which one to sail closer to. If he chose to sail close to Chayribdis, he risked losing his ship and everyone aboard, if he sailed close to Scylla, she would eat some of his men. He chose to sail close to Scylla. It's choosing between the lesser of the two evils.

    My Interpretation: It has nothing to do with the Lord of the Rings. It's about a younger man falling for an older MARRIED woman (at least in her mind). That's what the "staring at the ring around your finger" line is about. The Scylla and Charybdis line is alluding to how torn he is(she thinks), should he even do this, "have the affair?" He's doing this for experience, but he knows she's doing this with an alterior motive: "I can see the destiny you sold Turn into a shining band of gold", ie They'll get married so and live happily ever after, "I'll be wrapped around your finger"

    But, he doesn't want the same thing: "Mephistopheles is not your name I know what you're up to just the same" He's not going to fall for it.

    One day she'll realize that it's her pursing him, not the other way around: "I will turn your face to alabaster, When you find your servant is your master"

    In the end "You'll (she) will be wrapped around MY finger" meaning she'll be pursing him. He has her and she doesn't know it (yet).

    dengeiston February 26, 2006   Link
  • +8
    General Comment

    I think everyone is missing the real meaning of this song. The mythological references cleverly mask what was going on in the songwriter Sting's head at the time. While recording the album in remote Monserrat for tax/relaxation purposes hostilitis between the band members often reached boiling point. They were all bearing grudges toward each other. Indeed, they broke up after the album was recorded. This song is about the relationship between the growing superstar Sting and the by then vastly experienced Andy Summers.

    Remember, Andy Summers had limited success during the 1960s when Sting was still a kid, his guitar playing had since become known as groundbreaking. At the groups inception it is assumed his experience in the business and his superior musicianship made him the most important member of the group. Sting was 'the young apprentice' who needed Andy Summers knowledge in order to make it big.

    In the second verse Sting iterates that he cleverly listened to all the lessons Andy Summers taught him to the point where he would see this 'come to it's fruition'. In both verses Sting states thet 'I'll be wrapped around your finger'.

    The third verse is an internal victorious celebration that reaches it's crescendo in the last line 'when you find your servant is your master', along with the change to 'You'll be wrapped around my finger'. Sting has become the power and driving force of the band. Their fame has grown, but it's really all about him. The alabaster reference is saying his career will be frozen whereas Sting will move on to bigger things when they split.

    The ring is more situational than metaphorical - Andy Summers was married, Sting was about to get divorced.

    Dylanvillainon March 12, 2010   Link
  • +5
    My Interpretation

    I don't know how you come up with that but this is absolutely not a love song. It has indeed nothing to do with it. I think the meaning is pretty clean here.

    It's obviously telling the story of a relation between a master(teacher) and his student. He listenes well and he learnes. He serves, he does whatever his master says. He's wrapped around his finger, the teacher is the student's master. But eventually the student reaches the master's level and even becomes better at it. Then "the servant(student) becomes the master". He's became better than his master while the master didn't see it coming. Now the once master might be wrapped around once the student's finger, to learn.

    Teaisgoodon September 25, 2013   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    I am inclined to think this song is about the young single man/older married woman angle. Generally, the song is about being under control by another person, so this could be interpreted many ways as discussed already. Remember, however, Sting was going through a divorce to Irish actress Frances Tomelty in 1982 and began his relationship with current wife Trudy Styler. 1982 was a very tumultuous year for Sting. Synchronincity was recorded in December of that year and Sting had written many deeply personal songs with The Police. Synchronicity is filled with songs of despair, desperation, pain, and catharsis. I almost think that this song is the consequence to Synchronicity II as if the whole album tries to tell the story of the pain Sting is going through.

    The symbolism in this song is incredible - scylla and charibdes (choosing the lesser of two evils), devil and the deep blue sea (a nautical reference to being stuck between a rock and a hard place), reference to going to college (which Sting never did, as far as I know), Mephistopheles (the devil, Faust) and the listeners own interpretation of the lyrics.

    This is truly one of Sting's finest songs of his illustrious career.

    pdempseyon March 27, 2007   Link
  • +4
    General Comment

    You consider me the young apprentice (you’ve been through more life experience)

    Caught between the Scylla and Charibdes (and I’m torn between two painful, dangerous choices) Hypnotized by you if I should linger (you know I am stunned by you) Staring at the ring around your finger (and gaping at your other commitments) I have only come here seeking knowledge (but I have come to know you [‘biblically’]) Things they would not teach me of in college (and learn what cannot be taught in school) I can see the destiny you sold (I can see you’ve traded your life in for this other commitment) Turn into a shining band of gold (and the ring is the shining proof)

    I'll be wrapped around your finger (you know you’ve got me)

    Mephistopheles is not your name (You’re not really the devil) I know what you're up to just the same (But you’re not up to saintly deeds) I will listen hard to your tuition (I will listen to the cost of having you & and your intuition) You will see it come to it's fruition (We will have each other)

    I'll be wrapped around your finger (You know you’ve got me)

    Devil and the deep blue sea behind me (Once I’ve chosen and the danger is past) Vanish in the air you'll never find me (The unbearable choices forced on me will not find me again) I will turn your face to alabaster (I will turn the manipulators face white) When you find your servant is your master (when you find I’ve mastered all manipulation or mastery) Oh, you'll be wrapped around my finger (Then you’ll be wrapped around my finger) You'll be wrapped around my finger (Instead of me wrapped around yours like a servant) You'll be wrapped around my finger

    With Police lyrics removed it reads: (you’ve been through more life experience) (and I’m torn between two painful, dangerous choices) (you know I am stunned by you) (and gaping at your other commitments--marriage or whatever) (but I have come to know you [‘biblically’] and learn about life) (and learn what cannot be taught in school) (I can see you’ve traded your life in for this other commitment) (and the ring is the shining proof) (you know you’ve got me) (You’re not really the devil) (But you’re not up to saintly deeds) (I will listen, consider the cost of having you & and your intuition) (We will have each other) (You know you’ve got me) (Once I’ve chosen and the danger is past) (The unbearable choices forced on me will not find me again) (I will turn the manipulators face white or the “masters” face white) (When you find I’ve mastered all manipulation --or innate mastery of yours) (Then you’ll be wrapped around my finger) (Instead of me wrapped around yours like a servant) You who once had me subservient because of my desire for you Will become subservient to me because of your own for me

    genevivaon February 07, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Thanks, The Soul. I appreciate this song now even more. Is it possible that the reason Sting smashes all the candles down at the end of the video is the realization that perhaps she's been had? The candles are formed in a path and when she reached the end she realizes that he's gone and these candles mean nothing (candles representing the romance of it all). Maybe I need another coffee.

    As a side note, there was one very cheesy Country singer who did a video something very similar with the candles. It was just pathetic. So obvious where he got the idea.

    christoson July 03, 2005   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    well, firstly, i can say that the song is not about LOTR, the priesthood, masonry, or the occult.

    i must say i initially agreed with dengeist. when i first listened to the song, i thought it was about a young man in desire for an older woman, who knew he was but had given herself away in marriage.

    the reference to the Scylla and Charybdis being from the oddysey is correct. its a very Sting way of saying "caught between a rock and a hard place". the young man faces to very difficult options: trying to be with a married woman, or walk away ("hypnotized by you if i should linger")

    coming "seeking only knowledge" simply means, i believe, that he has heard what has happened and has come to ask her if it's true.

    "seeing the destiny [she] sold" simply means that he has watched this woman who had such wonderful possibilities for a future, throw it away for a frivilous and empty relationship with this other person. the "shining band of gold" obviously being the wedding band. the wedding band he is completely captivated by forces him to deal with his emotions for her, he is, as we say, "wrapped around [her] finger"

    Mephistopheles is a much more difficult allusion to define here i think, and has been perplexing me for a while now (which actually led me here). Mephistopheles is another name for the devil in many christian mythologies from the derk ages, and is also refferd to in the play 'Faust', as being satan's lead devil. i think he compares the woman to him because she is wanting to play the game of keeping both men for herself, for some reason, and will not be a part of it, though he still listens to the things she is trying to tell him: her "tuition". the "fruition" is a foreshadowing of the final chorus.

    the "devil (where we can remember him comparing her to mephistopheles) being behind him", and "vanishing in thin air" means he has decided to leave her to her decision and walk away, forever. lyricists sometimes invision oceans as imagery for isolation, because they are such vast, unyielding things. thats my opinion.

    and finally, she realizes the mistake she made by leaving him to marry this other person and wants the young man back: she realizes shes "wrapped around his finger"

    as i said this is what i first thought, but now after researching it some, and even reading some interviews with Sting himself, he says this song was actually written in reference to a marriage breakdown with his wife, ending in a divorce. if anyone reads this and thinks i have put some thought into this, well thankyou, and please feel free to email me if you want. peace

    shadowfoxsx5on April 06, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Well, first off let me say this an excellent song. I've only been listening to The Police for a few weeks and this is by far my favourite song by them. It's so atmospheric, the brooding chorus fits the song perfectly. I wish people would listen to their more intelligent songs like this one, before making the judgement that they were some simplistic rock band from the 80s...

    Anyway...

    It's important to remember that Sting uses the future tense throughout the song - emphasis on "I'll ". He doesn't use the past or present. This suggests that the song is a mere fantasy. I personally think it's some guy fantasising about a master-servant relationship. He uses references to Dr. Faustus and hints at the almost homoerotic relationship he shared with Mephistophilis.

    At the end of the song the person in question gets so obsessed with his master that in an ironic role reversal he enslaves him and becomes the w 'master', so to speak.

    Though I guess you could apply this to a lot of situations where the servant surpasses the master. Like when you leave school and become more successful than the teachers that disciplined you... heh.

    supafly88on January 17, 2007   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation

    I have known the meaning of this song for over 16 years, and now I feel confident enough to share it with everyone.

    The Clash of the Titans was made in 1981, and this song came out in 1983. If you know the movie, and read the plot synopsis, it makes total sense. I think this song was written because of a love for Greek mythology, and the movie may have given them excellent obscure phrases to use in their lyrics, something The Police really enjoyed doing.

    Plot synopsis<< In the movie, Calibos is son of the goddess of the sea, Thetis. He is engaged to marry Princess Andromeda - the heir to "all there is". Calibos gets into some serious mischief by slaughtering many living things, including Zeus's scared flying horses. The only winged horse spared is Pegasus. In the history of the Greek Gods, it is well known that they have battles of power amongst the Gods and Goddesses, and to punish Calibos, Zeus turns him into the sea monster Kraken. Infuriated Thetis vows that Andromeda will marry no one if not her precious son, and banishes Andromeda to an island to be the virgin sacrifice of the Kraken unless someone can solve her riddle.

    Zeus's illegitimate son Perseus becomes the target of Thetis's fury and she transports Perseus from Seriphos to Joppa. Befriended by the scholar and playwright Ammon, Perseus learns of Andromeda and her plight: she cannot marry unless her suitor successfully answers a riddle, which is given to her by Calibos. Any suitor that fails to answer the riddle correctly is burned at the stake.

    Perseus takes on this quest and has to overcome many dangerous passages in order to reach Andromeda. In addition to beating the three headed dog, outsmarting the blind witches who could see the future, and killing Medusa, he uses his mortal skills to beat the demons and obstacles created by the Gods and Goddesses. Using a sword, shield, and a helmet that renders its wearer invisible given to him by the gods, Perseus captures Pegasus and discovers the answer to the riddle - the ring worn by Calibos. Calibos nearly kills him, but Perseus cuts off his hand with his sword, though he loses his helmet in the fight.

    Armed with this information, and having seen the movie more than twenty times, I believe the meaning of Wrapped Around Your Finger by The Police is a song written with the movie The Clash of the Titans as its subject. I will explain step by step with the lyrics:

    LYRICS

    Wrapped around your finger The Police

    You consider me the young apprentice (Perseus - he was the apprentice to the scholar Ammon) Caught between the Scylla and charybdis (Scylla and Charybdis are two sea monsters of Greek mythology - I think they are using this as a double meaning - he's caught between the proverbial rock and a hard place deciding whether its worth his time, and also referrign to the sea monster) Hypnotized by you if I should linger (The danger of looking into Medusa's face and being turned to stone) Staring at the ring around your finger (The ring around Calibos's finger is the key to Andromeda - "looking at the prize")

    I have only come here seeking knowledge (Perseus is seeking the answer to the riddle) Things they wouldn’t teach me of in college (again, referring to Perseus as the apprentice) I can see the destiny you sold (The destiny was Andromeda's destiny to marry Calibos) Turned into a shining band of gold (The whole thing got messed up and he was turned into the monster that would kill Andromeda unless the riddle was solved - the ring)

    Ill be wrapped around your finger Ill be wrapped around your finger

    Mephistopheles is not your name (In Greek mythology again, legend of a scholar who wagers his soul against the devil) But I know what you’re up to just the same I will listen hard to your intuition (The witches in the movie, have fortune-telling powers) And you will see it come to its fruition (The only way the witches can see is with the glass eye)

    Ill be wrapped around your finger Ill be wrapped around your finger

    The last part of the song is what really seals the deal for me - especially about Pegasus, the helmet that makes him invisible, and turning the Kraken to stone with the cut off head of Medusa)

    Devil and the deep blue sea behind me (Perseus is riding on Pegasus over the sea) Vanish in the air you’ll never find me (Here he puts on the helmet to disappear in order to confuse the Kraken) I will turn your face to alabaster (Then he shows the Kraken Medusa's head and the sea monster is turned to stone and falls into the ocean) Then you will find your servant is your master (I think this is just the culmination of his efforts - he was a mere mortal and the Gods and Goddesses never thought that he would be able to do this)

    And you’ll be wrapped around my finger You’ll be wrapped around my finger You’ll be wrapped around my finger

    And so he gets the ring and presents it to Thetis who frees Andromeda and they are free to marry. Makes all the sense in the world to me. This will only make sense if you know the movie and Greek mythology fairly well.

    References:

    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clash_of_theTitans(1981_film) en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scylla_and_Charybdis en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mephistopheles lyricsfreak.com/s/sting+&+police/wrapped+around+your+finger_20132153.html

    I hope this helps!

    EnJoiMusicon May 02, 2009   Link

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