Fields Of Gold

Album: Ten Summoner's Tales (1993)
Charted: 16 23
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  • This song is about feeling joyous, but knowing that the joy is going to end someday. Sting wrote it after he bought a house near a barley field. The sunsets and the colors of the field were an inspiration for the lyrics, along with his love at the time, Trudie Styler, whom he married in 1992. Styler has said that the song is one of her favorites.
  • The major theme in this song is commitment. It is about a man who has broken promises before, but is determined make this relationship last.
  • The story is chronological. It is about courtship, marriage, and eventual death. The two people in the song meet, court, fall in love (at this point, he reveals that he has never really made such a strong promise/commitment to someone) but feels he is ready to now. "See the children run," their offspring and the "jealous sky" refer to the Heavens. Even Heaven is jealous of their love/relationship. The esteemed sun is jealous. Eventually, he dies and tells his love that they will always remember their love specifically, when she thinks of him, he wants to be personified as such... walking in fields of gold (barley). >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Hatch - Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Sting started writing "Fields Of Gold" on the guitar, then brought it to his band, which for the Ten Summoner's Tales album was Dominic Miller (guitar), Vinnie Colaiuta (drums) and David Sancious (keyboards). In a Songfacts interview with Sancious (who in the '70s lived on E Street in Belmar, New Jersey, providing the name of the band he played in with Bruce Springsteen), he said: "'Fields Of Gold' is really a live, in-the-studio recording - there's actually no overdubs on it. It's a really simple song.

    Sting had a pretty simple demo. He played it on guitar for us and said he wanted a really soft synthesizer pad. It's not meant to sound exactly like a string section or anything, it's just really a background."

    Sting thinks his simple songs are often his best, and uses this one as an example.
  • The video shows Sting traversing a nighttime landscape where his amber silhouette reveals the same landscape from daytime hours. It was directed by Kevin Godley, who along with Lol Creme was half of Godley & Creme, which was both a musical group and a directing team. Godley & Creme pulled off elaborate videos for The Police, including the candles video for "Wrapped Around Your Finger" and the Max Max-inspired "Synchronicity II," but it was the "Fields of Gold" shoot that drove Godley to madness.

    The video hinged on a motion control camera that could shoot the nighttime scenes, then shoot the daytime scenes with the exact same moves so they could appear in Sting's silhouette. "But motion control f--ked up," Godley told Songfacts. It couldn't remember the exact moves for each of the things we did, and it proceeded to do moves that it had logged from a commercial three weeks ago or something insane like that. And they didn't have the relevant piece of equipment to correct it, so we sat around on our asses for about six hours doing nothing while they were rushing around frantically trying to mend this robot. I ended up throwing a chair at the bloody thing."

    Despite the aggravation, Godley used motion control again when he did the "Theme From Mission: Impossible" video for Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen.
  • The album title is a play on Sting's real name, Gordon Sumner, as well as a reference to The Canterbury Tales. In the book, which was written by Geoffrey Chaucer in the 1400s, people from different backgrounds each tell stories, including tales by a nun, a miller, a knight, and a summoner. A summoner was someone who summoned a person for the king or some formal function. Like the book, Sting thought the album was a collection of songs that told many different tales.
  • Eva Cassidy did a popular cover of this song that the US figure skater Michelle Kwan skated to at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.
  • In Lyrics By Sting, the singer described the view from his 16th-century manor house: "In England, our house is surrounded by barley fields, and in the summer it's fascinating to watch the wind moving over the shimmering surface, like waves on an ocean of gold. There's something inherently sexy about the sight, something primal, as if the wind were making love to the barley. Lovers have made promises here, I'm sure, their bonds strengthened by the comforting cycle of the seasons."
  • "Fields of Gold" is also the title of Sting's 1994 hits compilation.
  • Along with many songs by The Police, this was featured in The Office (US) episode "Phyllis' Wedding" in 2007. It was also used on The Sopranos episode "Full Leather Jacket" in 2000.
  • Audiences have taken to swaying like the barley fields in the breeze when Sting performs this, which annoys the singer to no end. He told Mojo in 1995: "It's disconcerting. But you can't stop them, can you? Oi! Stop that f---ing shite!"
  • Of the lyric, "So she took her love for to gaze awhile upon the fields of barley," Sting told interviewer Daniel Rachel (The Art of Noise: Conversations with Great Songwriters): "I'm using poetic license to alter syntax. I wanted to create a timeless idea that the song could have been written in the sixteenth century."
  • The song was re-recorded by Katie Melua as the official BBC Children in Need single for the charity's 2017 Appeal in tribute to Life President Sir Terry Wogan. ("Fields of Gold" was one of the late radio broadcaster's favorite tunes.) Recorded at Hoxa Studios in West Hampstead, Katie Melua's performance of the Sting track found her playing solo acoustic guitar accompanied solely by band-mate Mark Edwards on Hammond organ.
  • In a 2018 discussion at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, Paul McCartney named this as the song he wished he'd written. "I like Sting's 'Fields Of Gold,'" he said. "I thought, 'I should have written it. How dare he.'"

Comments: 103

  • Larry Krudy from Cleveland, OhioThis song to me is very emotional. Sting with his great mind. Has put together a song with beautiful words. And I love the meaning. You can twist the meaning to whatever you desire. But in the end it all comes down to that great four letter word love
  • Barry K. from Madera, Ca.This song makes me think about all the couples in the summer of 1914 that would "Walk in Fields of Gold" then the man would go off to war and never come back. Thinking of those relationships that sparked a flame that was extinguished by the loss in a tragic way like this, to my thoughts when listening to this song makes it more emotional. Great song even if nobody understands my rantings.
  • Yvette M from Wichita Falls Tx I absolutely love this song and Sting. I lost my brother in 2016. One of my memories of us was dancing to Sting's 'Message in a bottle' at a concert once. I wanted to use one of Stings songs for the funeral so I chose Fields of Gold. My brother's wife had left him for another man and never remarried. Afterwards he had many girlfriends. In his fifties he finally met the love of his life and five years before his death he had lost her to cancer. He had never gotten over her. I wanted to have something to remember both of them with and this song just touched my heart.
  • Ronsha from New JerseyThe song is so beautiful!! Makes me want to walk in actual fields of gold lol
  • Bace from Usa Sting vs Cassidy, it’s all in the ears of the beholder. Why does one have to be better than the other? I’m just thankful that sting wrote this song.
  • Joe W. from Chicago, IlBobby from Germany-
    I respectfully disagree. Sting's genius was to write the song. Eve Cassidy's genius was to perform it in a way Sting could not. It was his genius, AND her genius in concert.

    It would not surprise me in the least if Bach himself played his Goldberg variations and I preferred Glenn Gould's. No one person has a monopoly on genius
  • Thomas Carter from Plano Texas, Late Of California BurningWho would have thought. Sting is a human being, cursed with a heart. Most beautiful and tragic. The first time I heard this song I heard “among the fields of folly”! How poetic. How painfully poetic and perhaps prophetic. I am so touched you have lived and loved and found a way to share both with the listening world.
  • Bobby From Germany from GermanyTo all the simpletons who consider Cassidy's version better than the original by Sting: That is so sad.
    There is a genuine, honest, beautiful, melodic piece of music and you cannot cherish it. Sting's song is so rich, so well tempered. A number of instruments have been perfectly modulated and recorded. There is so much music in this. It is so delicate, it softly sways you, a light breeze on a late summer's night.
    It is a moderate, modest song of course. It does not seek a high emotional level in the listener.
    And of course, he wrote the song, so anyone who takes it and tries to make it his own and be successful with it, is just a crook.

    But just for the fun of it: How about Cassidy's version?
    It is much more emotional, sentimental, kitschy. It approaches the listener directly, there is much less content but everything that is there is right on the surface. Those of you who prefer it will probably like it because it is more accessible. Your emotions are at once raised. But the pleasure is much more shallow than the deep content and feeling for beauty that the original can produce.

    If you say that Cassidy's version is better than Sting's original, what you are actually saying is this: I prefer a Mars bar over a dinner of five courses at a good restaurant.
  • Aariz from Fullarton Rd Sa Auswhat is the texture, timbre and form in terms of elements of music in this song
  • Wade Collins from ParisTo the simpleton who proclaimed that since she had never heard Eva Cassidy’s version of Fields of Gold, it couldn’t be superior to Stings. Really, maybe you need to open you ears, there is a plethora of music beyond Top 40.
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaFirst heard Eva's version of this watching Michelle skate to it. Never knew who she was until years later. Song just does something to me. Want it signed at my funeral but I bet my family won't do it.
  • Maddie from TacomaThis song is beautiful and thoughtful provoking. I want to dance to this dog at my wedding with my dad. To me, the lyrics are reminiscent of a time when things were great, when we walked in fields of gold. We may not have had a field of barely outside our house but we had a stream running though the backyard and my mind always goes back to my father putting flowers in my hair and giving me bread to feed the ducks. I imagine him thinking about how my out relationship may be broken, and how I'll be moving forward in life with my husband but my father and I will always share and cherish the times when we walked in fields of gold.
  • Roy from SloughFor me Eva Cassiday did the best version of this song. Leaving Sting's & all the other versions in the dust.
  • Dar from Sf, CaI've got a different take. My understanding fits with Eva's more melancholy sound and feeling, which she employs for this lovely (admittedly ambiguous) song. It's a guy and younger girl, sung from the guy's perspective. And he's taken her to the field, out in nature, and during the day, no less. Passions run high and he implores her to "be his" with all that means to young people, physically particularly. However the dominant thread of the song, the very first quartet of lines, the first warning, is that (She) "You'll remember me..." will be losing him, no matter what promises he makes. Here we might be reminded of Carole Kings "Will You Still Love Me, Tomorrow?". The inevitable happens, and the song, then spans the years, where an old lady, childless and abandoned, is reviewing her life, particularly the first and only love of her life, as she has waited in vain for the man to return. After all, he's made promises he couldn't keep, and he warned her. Quite poignant.
  • Jackie from Newmarket, United KingdomFor me, this song tells of a young couple during WW1...he is going off to fight soon and wants to tell his love that he wants her and adores her...he has never made promises like this before...and never will again...and the song says, 'I swear in the days still left, we''ll walk in fields of gold'......he knows he will not be coming back....and then after many years, she walks among the fields of gold...remembering him, her first, true love...and sees the children running...they are not their children, but a symbol to her of how she and her love used to, young and full of the joys of innocent love and happiness...
    I think of this period of time because her hair came long hair was worn and was fashionable during the early 20th century.
    And I do prefer Sting's version...Eva Cassidy had a beautiful voice, but Sting's version does it for me...a very beautiful and moving song...thanks Sting..
  • Sandy from Enterprise, FlI have never heard of Eva Cassidy until I read these comments. So I guess that says it all.
  • Pj from Dublin, IrelandThis song has everything for me its a summer song about adore it really ...brilliant writing...stings verision second to none original always the best
  • Jessie from Clanton, AlMany years have passed since those summer days
    Among the fields of barley
    See the children run as the sun goes down
    Among the fields of gold
    You'll remember me when the west wind moves
    Upon the fields of barley
    You can tell the sun in his jealous sky
    When we walked in fields of gold
    When we walked in fields of gold
    When we walked in fields of gold

    This last verse makes me tear up every time; makes me think of my grandfather, and the summers i spent with him. Even though i'll always love and prefer sting's version, Eva Cassidy's remake is absolutely gorgeous! The words and melody are already so heartbreaking and beatuful, and eva's pure voice just makes it even more enchanting. And as far as the interpretation goes, i like that this song is vague enough so that it can mean different things to different people.I personally think that the "fields of gold" are memories. As in "you can tell the sun in his jelouse sky about our life together." I don't think the children mentioned toward the end are the couple's children; i think it just means "watch the young kids walk in the fields of gold and make their own memories like we used to do whe we were just starting out." I agree that the end of the song is about the man's death, and him telling her that she'll remember him at special places and times. But that's just me:) Timeless, beautiful song, no matter what you wanna make of it.
  • Kris from Baton Rouge, LaThis song is absolutely gorgeous. Sting frequently uses allusion in his poetry, and I feel certain the opening lines are alluding to Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind," perhaps invoking the cyclical nature of things that's described in that poem. The love described in the song may end on earth but it will be reborn when the two meet in the afterlife.
  • Abdul from Bangalore, IndiaI think Eva Cassidy certainly did a Beautiful version. Her voice is heavenly. But Musically I love Sting's version.
  • Xuaan from Mumbai, Indiai think this song is about a guy who is full of memories in an empty heaven..

    coz in this video sting is full of memories and the place is empty...
  • Ivy from Springfield, NeThis was sooo much better when Eva Cassidy did this. I love this song. Sting did something cool with it though. Made it happier. This version 7/10
  • Jay from Philadelphia, PaThis song is about commitment (promises), and family. It was inspired by those fields between Sting's house and Stonehenge, which is a 3 mile walk, through fields of barley, from the house. The lines suggesting that the sun is jealous are profound statements of what it is to be wholly human - the sun, despite all it's power, can only watch as we humans joyfully experience all the Earth (and Sun) have to offer. This song is a gift to romantics and great thinkers everywhere. Thank you, Sting.
  • L from Brisbane, Australia"the jealous sky" is Time. Our days on this Earth are measured by the passing of the sun and eventually he claims us all ... thus the poetic characterization as "jealous". He bides his time, jealously awaiting for our time to depart this mortal coil.
  • Valerie from Niles, OhWhen I listen to this song,I think of summers long ago-just as he must have,and literally summer love...very romantic,Sting is though....
  • Elle from Iowa City, IaIf you call him Gordon, you aren't his friend. Even his family calls him Sting, liar.
  • Natalie from Berwick, Australia"Fields Of Gold" - This song is about the workers of the Barley fields in Europe and a couple who fall in love there. Google "The Angelius" picture, the couple stopping to pray in the fields of Barley when the bells of the church "Angelius" ring at 12 noon and six o'clock, they still ring in Ireland and everyone still stops and remmebers those workers ... Now you will have a picture of exactly what Sting was writing about when he wrote that beautiful song that Eva Cassidy took to another level...Natalie
  • Julia from New York, NyBecause the song mentions a woman with her long hair pinned up, I imagined the story happened a hundred years or more ago. I thought the girl was taken in by false promises of marriage, and was abandoned. But she can never forget the man she loved in her distant youth. The running children suggest she bore his child outside marriage.
  • Lee from Huntsville, Althe song is about savoring those precious memories of time well spent with the ones you love in this life.
  • Trace from New Castle, Vathis has no metaphor to 2012 or to any book about a barley godess and its not about indians, Gordan(aka Sting) has actually been a personal friend of mine for years. this song is just about his love and was inspired, as this page says, when he moved into his new house across from a barley field.
  • Rachel from Somewhere, Wii put this song on repeat on my ipod...i listen to it over and over & never get sick of it!! my all time favorite song!! beautiful.
  • Brenda from Kernersville, NcThis is a love song, pure and simple. Anyone who has ever been so deeply in love they felt even the sun and sky would be jealous understands. Knowing that as I fall asleep every night listening to this treasue there's also a young person in another part of the world falling asleep listening to the same song just emphasizes my belief that we are all the same, all inter-connected, all one. It's a very spiritual expression of love. Thank you Sting and (gone too soon) Eva.
  • Kaiya from Dekalb, IlThis is about two young lovers who may be Indian or aborigine or from another tribal race now vanquished and are now of the downtrodden class. They promise each other they will remember their history, who they are and will someday regain the glory of their heritage.
  • John from Limerick, IrelandAnother possible dimension to Sting's 'Fields of Gold' is that at some intuitive level it relates to the ancient Barley Goddess of the Mediterranean and Northern Europe, the subject of Robert Graves' book The White Goddess, A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth. John, Limerick, Ireland.
  • Emily from Around Chicago, IlOh yeah, the 2012 thing! I was watching a program saying the Aztecs or something made a very accurate calender that mysteriously ends on December 22nd, 2012. It predicted things like 9-11, the World Wars, etc. Also some good things. It was pretty scary. A friend pointed out to me that 2012 is when we get our driver's licences-go figure.
  • Invisible Sun from Carson, Cacould very well relate to 2012 !? coming of the Golden Age!?, as some experts beleive !!! Shall the Spirit of Jesus Christ/God become us all when it happens!!! God Bless Sting !!!
  • Emily from Around Chicago, IlOh my gosh, David from Anaheim, CA, your theory about Annabell Lee... I thought the SAME thing!!!I was really suprised that anyone else would relate it to an old poem like that...except myself (even though I'm only 13). This song makes me feel like I'm in love already, though I've never met THE ONE yet. What I think it means is just a story about being all alone (like the only two people in the world) and just loving each other and having fun. Then they grow up and have children together and as their children play they ask each other if they remembered their days in the 'Fields of Gold'. The sun in its jealous skies reminded ME of Annabell Lee as well. All and All, this song is one of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard.
  • Ivana from Baltimore, MdI just had to interpret the words "jealous sky" in the song as well. I forgot but the person that commented below my comment made me remember. I think that the "jealous sky" refers to God and the heavens. This is because God is a jealous god and He can take people back to heaven at anytime. Just like Lindsay said. Also, I'd have to add that the part of the song that says.."for she took her love for to gaze awhile...among the fields of his arms she fell as her hair came down...among the fields of gold..." means to me that they were courting first because then Sting asks his lady to marry him. Hence when he asks, "Will you stay with me???? Will you be my love???? Upon the fields of barley..."
  • Lindsay from Washington, MiIn my opinion, the "jealous sky" is a symbol of God and the Heavens. I say this because I just lost my grandfather and have been doing a lot of reading and trying to be more in touch "spiritually". Through much of my readings, I've learned that God sent you here on earth and when you pass away, he wants you back. Sadly for some people, God wants them back too early and takes our loved ones from us far too soon. This is where I think the word "jealous" comes from in the term. Maybe the Jealous Sun is God. Of course, we can all interpert it as we wish - whether we're spiritual or not. But I do know it's a beautiful son.
  • Ivana from Baltimore, MdAlso, I just wanted to add that I agree with what that guy from Cape Town, South Africa said. That the song is refering to God as barley is related to bread and Jesus is the bread of life and gold does symbolize truth. So basically "Fields of Gold" is about two lovers that are spending time in heaven here on earth in the barley fields:)
  • Ivana from Baltimore, MdAfter reading all the comments of this great song I just have to say what I think it means.To me, it's about Sting and his lover that met in fields of gold. So Sting says she'll remember him there once he passes away hence when he says "You'll remember me when the west wind moves...upon the fields of barley", you know. Then he recalls the time they spent in fields such as when his lady falls into his arms because she likes to be around him.Then Sting asks for his lady to marry him hence the part "Will you stay with me???? Will you be my love???? Upon the fields of barley..." Then even the sun is jealous of their love for each other. Also Sting describes the west wind making love to the fields as he and his lover do. So then Sting says that though he hasn't kept promises like that before he's willing to try again in the fields of gold. So then years pass and the couple has children together and they watch their children spending time in those fields of gold as they did. So then Sting is heaven and he dedicates this song to his lover for him to remember him by since that's where they meant. It's such a peaceful beautiful song!!!!!!!! No matter who sung it. It is truly a classic and one of the best in history of songwriting. Sting's voice is truly haunting and heavenly when he sings it as well as Eva Cassidy. It's just that the lyrics are so nice!!!The music in the background just makes the listener go to another world, a nice state of serenity and beauty. This is just one of those songs that I'll never get tired of as time goes by.
  • Rob from Salt Lake City, UtWhat an incredible song. I think music is a form of magic all its own. Any time a musician ventures into the sad realm of the relative minor chord then shifts back to the subdominant chord the listener's soul shifts with it as the sadness is transformed. Sting's chord progression takes us there and brings us back repeatedly then moves to the dominant, which leads gently back to the tonic chord where it all began...and we are home, (likely in tears). It's like the magic of perspective in the visual arts; if you do the angles right the depth takes care of itself. How skillfully he used this musical magic. In this case it was genuine inspiration to mix such beautiful poetic imagery with just the right musical chords. It is is one of my favorite pieces of all time, and I can count on it for a tearful cleansing whenever I need one. Hats off to Sting and his band.
  • Rob from Salt Lake City, UtWhat an incredible song. I think music is a form of magic all its own. Any time a musician ventures into the sad realm of the relative minor chord then shifts back to the subdominant chord the listener's soul shifts with it as the sadness is transformed. Sting's chord progression takes us there and brings us back repeatedly then moves to the dominant, which leads gently back to the tonic chord where it all began...and we are home, (likely in tears). It's like the magic of perspective in the visual arts; if you do the angles right the depth takes care of itself. How skillfully he used this musical magic. In this case it was genuine inspiration to mix such beautiful poetic imagery with just the right musical chords. It is is one of my favorite pieces of all time, and I can count on it for a tearful cleansing whenever I need one. Hats off to Sting and his band.
  • Dp from Edinburgh, United KingdomGreat song. Pity Sting seems to be such a self centered arrogant hypocrit
  • Karl from Cape Town, South AfricaBarley symbolises bread,The Bread of life and thats God.
    Gold symbolises truth.
  • Stargene from Ben Lomond, CaA number of you have wondered about meanings of
    the line referring to The Sun in His Jealous Sky".
    I venture to guess that one meaning Sting may have
    injected is his well-known antipathy toward re-
    pressive dogma in the Church (Any Church!) His
    earlier songs for example refer to priests coming
    'round after his father's death, ...flapping like
    a murder of crows'. There are other sharp examples.
    In Fields of Gold, the Sun may then be The Son
    of God in the western canons, representing a very
    jealous church, wary of an 'outlaw' thinker like
  • Mike from Santa Barbara, CaThis song conjures up some beautiful images. It's one of Sting's more romantic works.
  • Danielle from North Brunswick, NjThis is one of the most beautiful / emotion envoking / songs ever written. To me the lyrics of this song tell the story of a person who knows he doesn't have long to spend with his love. He opens the song by saying "You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley" (to me he is trying to give his love something beautiful to remember him by...which is their time spent in those fields)
    When he says "i swear in the days still left, we'll walk in fields of gold," it's as if he is saying he doesn't have much time left but the time he does have he will spend enjoying life with her.
    Then he says "You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley
    You can tell the sun in his jealous sky
    When we walked in fields of gold
    To me he is saying that after years have passed and he is long gone she can always remember their time as the wind among the fields will evoke his presence in her heart.
  • Kevin from Memphis , Tnone of the most simple, yet excellent videos made, within sting is life and color outside dark and bleakness.
    ***** video.
  • Dennis from Pensacola, FlOne more observation: This song is firmly rooted in the Celtic traditions of lush poetry and lilting musical simplicity. If you love this song, then please do go to YouTube, type in "Luke Kelly Raglan Road" and listen to a song called, "Raglan Road". I won't bore you all with the background to this gorgeous poem/song. You can look it up further if you fancy the tune. Suffice to say it is as haunting and lush as "Fields Of Gold"...and then some. Perhaps even Sting's inspiration.
  • Dennis from Pensacola, FlWell, I guess I'll sit on the fence on this work of art, and fairly agree with everyone's previous comments: The original Sting version and Eva's version are both breathtaking examples of simple beauty. More credit due to Sting for the poetry, of course. But, how one interprets and portrays another artist's work is not to be dismissed. There would be no need for orchestra Conductors were this ever the case. As to the idea that no one can ever make another artist's song their own, I'll simply refer you to but one example: Jimi Hendrix, Bob Dylan, and "All Along The Watchtower".
  • Fred from Laurel, Md***(1)*** First off I want to stand in agreement with all who say that this is a true gem of simplicity, and yet, depth. If I were a songwriter, it's songs like this that would discourage me from setting pen to paper ever again. Incidentally, I believe that Sting was an English teacher before launching his musical career, so it should come as no surprise that his command of literature and the use of language are well applied in his songwriting. ***(2)*** Anna (Perthshire), and Markus (Stockholm), on the meaning of the "feel her body rise..." lyrics--Actually, I think it's a bit simpler, and has nothing to do with either one being taller, because I think they're horizontal -- she's supine, he's prone above her, and when they kiss, she arches her back, raising her body to meet his, in order to feel more joined with him. This could work whether they're just kissing, or whether they're 'further along.' Either way, I find it a stunningly beautiful image, fitting quite well the whole mood of the song. To me, this song solidifies, a bit, for me, a previously somewhat vague notion that the truest, most heartfelt, done-with-abandon, mutually surrendering love is a gateway from this earth into paradise, like a door opening just a crack to reveal a breathtakingly brilliant, warm, infinitely tranquil light. Just one of the many images I get when I even think of this song. ***(3)*** On the question of a cover artist making a song 'their own'--of course this phrase is never to be taken literally; the writer is forever the writer. It just means that the cover artist reveals new aspects in their rendition of the song. And this does indeed sometimes happen, even with a song of utmost quality, when the singer is exceptionally good at interpreting someone else's material, perhaps even adding a completely new interpretation. I would cite, f'rinstance, Bonnie Raitt's cover of "Love Has No Pride," written by Eric Kaz, formerly of The Blues Project. I've never heard Eric's performance of it, nor do I even know whether he HAS recorded it; yet, I don't need to, to know that Bonnie and her outstanding sidemen have created something truly remarkable. I would say she owns that. This takes nothing whatsoever away from Eric, who wrote this little masterpiece. A better example might be Janis Joplin's cover of Me and Bobby McGee. I guess I'm one of few who first heard the writer, Kris Kristofferson, sing it (on The Smothers Brothers show), then Gordon Lightfoot, before Janis' version was released. It was a wonderful song by Kris, and by G.L., but no one can deny that Janis did an amazing and very different thing with it than did either of those two. Still, the singer who can do this is relatively rare. Just not nonexistent. Sounds like this Eva Cassidy is one such. I'm intrigued by her praise here, and will now have to seek out her work.

  • Connor from San Diego, CaI'd have to say I view this as something of a separation song, set from a future perspective. The fields of barley are the actual fields that he experienced at the time, the fields of gold being the way that both of them think of it now, and the sun being the truth of their inevitable seperation, and the sky being the jealousy that shrouds that inevitability. He does however throw in the hope of it being saved by some rekindling, some sort of saving hope, and then the jealous connotation switched to the aforementioned "Annabel Lee" type. His promise will be fulfilled, but not after some hidden trials, even in the fields of gold.
  • Frances from Vancouver, BcThis song will always be a classic;phenomenal melding of words and sound where the combination of both is mind blowing.Like 'Here Comes the Sun';where the match of sound and lyrics are perfect.Rare but when it happens no-one can fail to be touched.I'm not sure that this was that complex for Sting like some seem to think.To me it seems that Sting looked on the ever changing face of the field of barley,sometimes in sunlight,sometimes moved by the wind and it evoked words and phrses like 'the west wind' and 'the sun in his jealous sky' which are from childhood poems he heard.He perhaps felt filled with awe and passion at the beauty of the earth and his lover (wife),and the lyrics just came rippling out.The only part which seemed to me like his statement was "I never make promises lightly";by which I think he is saying how deeply he loves his chosen woman that he would commit to her...Lucky woman!!
  • Myles from Regina, CanadaI have read some of the facts of what this song is about. But to me it is being sung from the perspective of a man whose wife just left him for another man. That is what I think Fields of Gold is about.
  • Bruce from Minneapolis, MnIncredibly beautiful and moving song. I play guitar and sing, had to look these lyrics up.
    I think I went through it about twenty times before I realized what time it was. Some real creative license going on like the line refering to "the jealous sky" that the lady from Sydney commented on, but that's what he felt at the time the juices were flowing. The only real way to know would be to ask Sting! Bruce. Redwood Falls, MN.
  • Markus from Stockholm, SwedenAnna, Perthshire:
    If you wanna hear my interpretation of those lyrics (feel her body rise...): I think it's quite simply just the he can feel her whole body rise when he kisses her, you know, when he holds her against him kissing her. That is assuming he is taller :P That's what makes this song such a damn killer. It's like Sting's way of romantic poetry just makes you want to bang your head against a rock out of pure, desperate, spontaneous love. That is because it is so simple,including the lyrics, yet so poetically flawless and clean. Despite being simple it has a lot of metaphores too
  • Dean from Phoenix, AzI love this song. I'm 22, but it reminds me a lot of my childhood. I would hear it everywhere when driving around back in those days. Everytime I hear it I get chills to think back to all my old memories and childhood friends.
  • Alyssa from New York, NyMy interpretation of this song is:

    "Fields of Barley" means earth, and "Fields of gold" means heaven.

    It starts out: You'll remember me when the west wind moves...
    meaning when she's on earth and he's in heaven, she'll remember him. But she'll forget the sun (her view of the heaven from earth) when they are in heaven together.

    They're dating, he asks her to marry him, ("Will you stay with me, will you be my love"), and starting a life together on earth... And they're coming together and watching their children from heaven. (the sun going down, is when she dies too and joins him in heaven)

    He also describes her kisses/making love as heaven...

    just my interpretation. great song!
  • Prayerash from Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaOne of my top favourites from Sting... simple yet long lasting.
  • Anna from Perthshire, NeI wanted to leave another comment as I did'nt credit this song to the degree it deserve's.
    Reading other comments I have to say I totally agree with Shred on the meaning of this amazing song, or perhaps we've both took the same out of it due to our similar and unfortunate circumstances.
    So Shred I hope you still come here to browse this site and perhaps you know what lyrics'see her body rise as you kiss her mouth' mean?
    Or anyone else might know what these lyrics mean?
  • Anna from Perthshire, NeThis is this most beautiful song ive ever heard!
    Although Eva Cassidy sing's it in the most unique and beautiful way, ive got to say the original writter and singer own's this song!
    I cant believe I loved this song and somehow related it to me and other person without even listing to lyrics. What I am amazed to now find is that this song could have been written for us.
    Unfortuantley with the sad ending!!!!!
  • Erynn from London, EnglandI'm pretty sure this song is as strait forward as it seems - it's a man's life, with his love. Anyone's. Falling in love, true love, in the country by the feilds of barley. The sun in it's jelous sky - that, I think, is merely about the clouds. It's never a sunny day without clouds. But I'm a simple person ;)

    As for Eva Cassidy's version, it's nice. But not superior. I'd listen to it and make up your own mind.
  • Irwan from Delft, NetherlandsThis song is beautiful... it appears at the of the Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip series (season 1 episode 5). Sting was performing this song on stage using lute in the show. Go check it out.. it is beautiful.
  • David from Anaheim, CaEasy, Sting gives the Sun and sky human qualities and feelings through a literary term called "Personification". He's basically saying that his love and attachment is so strong to his lover, and hers to him, that the sky and the sun are jealous they dont have a someone of their own. There is very similar feelings in Edgar Allan Poe's famous poem "Annabel Lee" where Poe talks about the angels and heavens being envious and jealous of his love for Annabel Lee, which is where sting may have gotten the idea for the Jealous Sun and sky, but just a guess. Read the poem and decide for yourself lol. As for the song, I take it as "courtship, marriage, and eventual death" approach. but id like to hope death turns into eternity for the 2 lovers.
  • Aaron from Johnsonville, TxI could never get tired of hearing this song.
  • Star Daniel from Harare, OtherThe immense power of music... an unforgettable which will always make me have visions of beauty, hapiness and sadness. Whenever i listen to it, in my mind's eye I see children running the wild golden fields, faces smiling, birds singing, the clear blue sky and the bright shining sun. I am not a very soft person, but I cried for some time after listening to this poetic song. Till the day I die, it will forever be embedded in my soul.
    Sting's version (the original one) is still the most powerful one to me. Eva Cassidy was great(beautiful voice), but Sting's has touched my soul in a way that I will never forget
  • Jennie from Columbus, OhI'm sorry but this is STING's song. HE composed it, HE wrote the lyrics, and in my opinion, he sings it the best.

    Very emotional song, too. Every time I think about it I begin to cry.
  • Guy from Oil City, PaI heard this song on the car radio this morning. I heard it many times before and recognized it as being from the early 90s or very late 80s.

    What sticks with this song is that it is bittersweet. Songs and stories that are bittersweet tend to haunt a person. The orchestration, and the way Sting's voice was made to sound echo-like was designed to heighten the haunting character of the song's bittersweetness.

    What it says to me is, one way or another, relationships end. This one seems to reflect a couple in the autumn, or late summer, of their lives, knowing that one will eventually be gone before the other. Sting is telling her she will remember him in a good way when he is gone.

    No song or story better captures the main contradiction of life than one that is bittersweet. You are glad when you meet someone who means something to you, but they can sometimes leave you. The sweetness is in having them around for a time, while the bitterness is their absence, for whatever reason. You can't have the sweet of this life without the bitter.

    So Sting's voice telling us this haunts us with two symbiotic emotions.
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesAdam - no matter how strong a cover version is, the artist who covers a song can never make it "their own". In the case of this song, it was written and originally performed by Sting, for Sting, and no matter how good Eva Cassidy's cover version is, it doesn't change the fact that thesong was written by Sting. It's HIS song, not Eva's
  • Becky from Miller, SdThe "jealous sky" is an intriguing phrase. The sky is "Eternity." And while Eternity has him forever, she knows his true love is someone else . . . so she is "jealous" because it's not her that he loves but another mere mortal.

    Eva's rendition of this song is heavenly.
  • Hannah from Loughboroughi have recently left school as i am 16. and at our leavers service my two friends sang this and it was soooo beautiful, it had my whole year in tears and many of our parents who came.
    It was simply amazing and i'll always remember it because it summed up how i was feeling perfectly.
    This song still makes me cry now
  • Shred from Lusby, PaFirst off let me say that no matter what this song means to me, you, or anyone else...I truely believe that this is one of the greatest, most emotional songs ever written. I think that we certainly need more music like this in the world. Having said that I guess I will throw in my two cents about what this song means to me...To me I think that this about a lost love or a love that just wasn't meant to be, and just wanting what is best for the other person knowing that you just try to love them. To me, the "Fields of Gold" or the "fields of barley" represent peace or being in a happy place in life...So when he says "You'll remember me when the west wind moves among the fields of barley" I think that hes saying that when the other person or lost love gets to that happy place, that they will remember you and the relationship you had. The lyrics "So she took her love for to gaze awhile
    upon the fields of barley. In his arms she fell as her hair came down among the fields of gold.
    Will you stay with me, will you be my love among the fields of barley. We'll forget the sun in his jealous sky As we lie in the fields of gold." To represent him thinking back on how the relationship began and perhaps a bit sadden by the memories it brings back. Also when the bridge of the song happens and the lyrics "I never made promises lightly and there have been some that I've broken. But I swear in the days still left, we'll walk in fields of gold" I think that this represents just wanting the other person to be happy and over comming anger or hurt feelings of them leaving...and having the courage and strength that to know one day that things will be ok. And finally the lyrics "Many years have passed since those summer days among the fields of barley. See the children run as the sun goes down among the fields of gold.
    You'll remember me when the west wind moves upon the fields of barley. You can tell the sun in his jealous sky when we walked in the fields of gold."
    i think that these again sort of just represent that in the end the one who left you will hopefully remember you when they reach thier place of peace among the Fields of Gold...I understand that some of you may find this farfetched and you can probably tell that i have adapted this song to a person who left me...well your right...but atleast we have music out there like this to help ease the pain a bit eh?
  • Miya from Mcclure, PaI got to see Sting play this song live, and it was simply amazing.
  • Jamie from Madison, WiThis song is truly amazing. I can honestly say that this is the best song I have ever heard in my entire 15 years of living. I immediately fell in love with it the first time I heard it. I listen to it every night before I go to bed which I know sounds kind of pathetic but the song is so wonderful and so meaningful. I can never get enough of it.
  • Kate from Sonoma , CaOh, I just listened to Eva Cassidy's version. It never fails to make me cry. It's lovely, bittersweet . . . I am getting married to my long-time love soon, and he is (so far) a cancer survivor. We have been through the "for better, for worse" in so many ways and remain so committed. I am thinking of how to incorporate this song into our day.
  • Clyde from Wicklow, IrelandPersonally, it is my favourite song. The melody is truly heavenly and although I am an athiest it creates a little version of paradise for me to unwind in. The lyrics are beuatiful and can bring me to tears over and over again.
  • Joe from Hoffman Estates, IlSuch a great song, it's lyrics sound happy, while the way he sings and the music sounds sad to me.
  • Alexandra from Devonport, AustraliaAt my school they play music over the PA to sound the end of lunch.
    I first heard the song Fields Of Gold by Eva Cassidy there. I searched everywhere to find it and eventually did.
    When i first sat down and really listened to it i couldn't believe how beautiful it was. It is just so relaxing and calming.
    Eva sings it really well.
    If you stop and really listen it can make you highly emotional.
  • Markus from Stockholm, SwedenThis is very long, but for anyone who really L-O-V-E-S this song:

    This song is, in my oppinion, the absolutely best song ever written & composed... Sting is truly a musical genius (also having written 'Shape Of My Heart' and 'Every Breath You Take' to mention a few)... The song is very special to me, and relating and fantisizing while listening to it, sometimes even touches me into tears' The lyrics are so(oooo) beautiful and they fit right into the melody somehow' Eva Cassidy's version gives a sadder mood to the song (in a very good and skilled way), but I must say, though Eva Cassidy's version is extremely good, I think Sting's version outclasses it more or less... 'Cause Stings version is not only fantastic as a poem and a base melody that is so simple that I can hardly believe myself the beauty of it' but also as a composition' Cassidy's version is hardly a composion at all' there are just so many details in Sting's composition that cannot be uttered in the melody with just one guitar and a voice;
    Like, for instance: the harmonica in between the verses' You might say you just listen to the verses and form a picture of them in your mind, and the harmonica takes you there' I love the way Sting uses exactly a harmonica' It could have been a guitar or a piano or a sackpipe or' well' whatever' I probably wouldn't have had the creativity to choose one myself if I had composed the song, cause I don't exactly love the sound of them usually, but he did choose it' and it is perfect' as if 'Fields of Gold' was the purpose of the harmonica being invented at all'
    And then there is the 'rapid fingers' as someone called it' the fast guitar fingering in the background of the last three verses (and in the intro)' Playing the song to find the right word for the feelings it brings out, it's hard, but I'd say it adds a certain 'sweetness' or 'pleasance' (or both and among other feelings) which just makes you wanna hold and feel someone and just love her* and kiss her* (*in my case)
    Then there is the solo, which is a little too slow and irregular in Cassidy's v.,,, There's just something very special about the simplicity in Stings version of the song', not excluding the solo, where he just, quite simply, plays the melody, in which he sings, and which the whole song is built around, on guitar' just leaving maybe a few notes out and sliding on the string between a couple of notes to make the feeling even softer' I think the solo in Sting's version just ties the whole song together somehow' A delightful break where you can just close your eyes and let your emotions flow'
    And the atmosphere, which was among the earliest things I focused my ears on in the song, and which sounds in the background through the whole song, lets you drown (or 'dive' if you like that more) into the song' as if the melody surrounds you' If you hear a good song (on high volume), and you can feel like you are inside of the song kind of' it is a very successful song in that way'
    Sting also doesn't over-use percussion' I'm not saying drums are bad, I just like when they are used in the right way, as by Sting' I like the sound of the drumstick-hitting-the-hard-edge-of-a-drum sound in 'Fields of Gold'
    And then there is the combination in the composition between melody (vocals), bass guitar and atmosphere' The different ways and tones in which they are played is what makes the song so bittersweet you know, half sadness, half joy' like a sweet sadness' I adooore the feeling' you know, sadness alone is what's mostly known for making tears drop down over your cheeks' but to me, i think, tears are most likely to be summoned through beauty and this 'bittersweet-ness':' like memories of something beautiful' you cry because something so sweet has ended (like a summer romance or something) or someone so sweet has been parted from you, but you smile when you remember it' so you cry with a smile on your face' that's the kind of feeling i think the Fields of Gold-melody brings you'
    And then, retorting (maybe a little brazenly) to something someone said about Eva Cassidy making it 'her song' in her version, there is Stings deep and somewhat unpersonal voice, making the song 'clean'' Although I admit Eva Cassidy had a voice that could touch one's soul through her version, Sting's deep, dark voice (which I consider one of the best singing voices ever, when used right that is (and not like in 'Message In A Bottle)) fits into the song really good' After all, the singer sings about someone else: ''Feel her body rise, when you kiss her mouth, among the fields of gold'', which partly makes the song even easier and lovelier to relate to yourself' Eva Cassidy makes it 'her song' in a way that makes it, not bad, but less 'clean' relating to it'
    Well, That's some of my oppinions about this song :P
  • Emily from Abingdon, VaThe video is amazing. He's walking throughh the grey, deserted ruins of a city and through his silhouette the city becomes golden and full of life. You kind of have to see it to know what I really mean.
  • Samantha from London, EnglandI love this song, it reminds me of being with the one person who makes my life complete in a place which is so boring but the weather and the person i'm with makes it feel like the best place in the world.
  • Adam from Poplar Bluff, MoEva Cassidy's version was good, but I still much prefer Sting's. There's no such thing as an artist taking someone else's song and making it their own.
    - Dave, Cardiff, Wales

    Not entirely true...what about Hendrix's "All Along the Watchtower"? Or Johnny Cash doing "Hurt". They made those their own. Eva Cassidy had one of the most beautiful voices ever and it's a shame she is gone. I love Sting's version, but Eva just owns that song.
  • Joe from Ontario, CaWould like to hear anyones opinion or fact on the reference to the sun or the "jealous sky"
  • Kacie from Columbus, OhEva Cassiday def does a wonderful cover of this song, she also has covered John Lennon's Imagine and Somewhere over the rainbow.

    And in reponse to the question of the reference to the jealous sky, i think its the idea that the sun is sort of watching them, how he says, we'll forget the sun in his jealous sky...i think that because the song is about love and how wonderful it is to feel that way, but also recognizing that the feeling eventually ends, is like the suns rising and setting, their love in the fields of gold is magic as long as the sun is up, its a huge metaphor...does this make sense?
  • Catherine from London, Englanddefinitely. Eva Cassidy makes each song she covers like giving out a piece of her heart, she sings with such emotional clarity. Over in ther UK her version of this song was used on an advert for cancer research....very heart-wrenching
  • Ben from Lexington, KyThis song is covered on Dan Jacob's Blue After Hours (2005, Simplicity Jazz Records). Jacobs is a jazz trumpet player. You should give him a listen.
  • Dave from Storrington, EnglandSting stated in an interview that he preferred Eva's version to his. But you've gotta write them before people can cover them.
  • Ronnie from Huddersfield, EnglandWhat a song! Sting's version is amazing but i prefer Eva Cassidy's version, it is something else. It's a shame that she isn't alive to see the influence of her music.
  • Paul from Greenwood, ScThis is one of those "motion picture in your mind" songs. It wouldn't matter if I was in a driving rainstorm, when I hear this song it takes me to that place...the field. I can see the stalks swaying and the sun shining down and bare feet walking in the fields of gold. What a great song!
  • Jonathan from Indianapolis, InI am a lover of beautiful music, and this song truly fits the category. To me, this song is like a small piece of Heaven, taking me back to when i was a child. This song is very meaningful, my favorite hands down
  • Dude from Tx, TxThis song sounds like an old Irish love tale.
  • Victor from Vienna, Vaa very beautiful song...hopefully someday i'll have a lover with whom I could make love in fields of gold
  • Victor from Vienna, Vaa very beautiful song...hopefully someday i'll have a lower with whom I could make love in fields of gold
  • Dave from Cardiff, WalesEva Cassidy's version was good, but I still much prefer Sting's. There's no such thing as an artist taking someone else's song and making it their own.
  • Aaron from New Glasgow, CanadaSting and his wife were walking through a barley field (that Sting owns) and there was a light breeze blowing. Sting joked that it looked like there people making love in the grass. The song was written as a person looking back on the day when he and his lover made love in the field of gold. This has been confirmed in interviews with Sting as well as his wife.
  • Jeff from Richmond, KyThis song seems to me to be about growing old with someone. Fields of gold is an analogy for the couple in this songs' life - looking back on it pleasantly. It starts with the person singing about how much his partner will miss him, but look back at their time together as something great. Then it moves to their relationship when they first met, and works it's way through their life together.

    The end is an old man (or woman really) talking to his/her love about their life. "Many years have passed, since those summer days, among the fields of barley. See the children run, as the sun goes down, among the fields of gold. You'll remember me...."

    At the end of the song, he's alluding that even something as timeless as the sun would look upon their life as well spent.

    Pathetic attempt to explain such a meaningful song. One of my favorites.

  • Larry from Aurora, KySylvia, you need to hear Eva's version, it is angelic. She took every song she did to another level!
  • Paddy from Sydney, AustraliaWhat is the reference to "the jealous sky"???
  • Justin from Felts Mills, NyNo matter what version you hear, either Sting's soaring version or Eva Cassidy's heart-wrenching cover of it, this song will always be one of those songs that will never get away...a true classic.
  • Sylvia from Dddddd, Mdwho is Eva Cassidy?
  • Jim Paquette from Santa Claus, InI have to agree with Cassandra. Eva Cassidy really did take this to another level, but then again, she did that with everything.
  • Cassandra from Tulsa, OkThis is a great song, but you should hear the cover Eva Cassidy did. I think she actually takes it to another level!
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