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Album: Zenyatta MondattaReleased: 1980Charted:
This song is about the way politicians, entertainers, and other people use words to manipulate others. Sting called it, "An articulate song about being inarticulate."
Sting wrote this when he became interested in songs with nonsense lyrics, like "Do Wah Diddy Diddy
," "Tutti Frutti
," and "Da Doo Ron Ron." He wanted to find out why they work and write one of his own. He claimed it was his son who came up with the title.
Sting claims that people who dismiss this song have not bothered to listen to the lyrics. He said in a 1981 interview with the NME: "Certainly what we're producing is not elitist High Art: But; equally; I think entertainment's an art. I think my songs are fairly literate - they're not rubbish. 'De Do Do Do', for example, was grossly misunderstood: the lyrics are about banality, about the abuse of words. Almost everyone who reviewed it said, Oh, this is baby talk. They were just listening to the chorus alone, obviously. But they're the same people who would probably never get through the first paragraph of Finnegan's Wake, because that's 'baby talk', too."
The Police remixed this in 1986 when they reunited to create new versions of their old songs. The sessions were a disaster, and the remix of this was never released. The only song they did rerelease was a new version of "Don't Stand So Close To Me
." Sting wanted to remix this in 1986 to put more emphasis on the lyrics. He felt it was often misinterpreted.
This was used on the pilot of the TV medical drama St. Elsewhere, starring Ed Begley Jr. and Howie Mandel, in 1982. It was also featured in the 1980 coming-of-age comedy movie The Last American Virgin, starring Lawrence Monoson.
The music video, directed by Derek Burbidge, shows Sting and Andy Summers
bundled up and playing on a snowy Canadian hillside while Stewart Copeland films them with a Super-8 camera. Copeland's camera really was rolling; the footage can be seen in his 2006 documentary Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out