Top 10 Protest or Socially Conscious Songs from the ‘80s – Russians by Sting

Russians by Sting

by Robert Mishou

I am an enormous Sting fan. I got hooked on him with the Police’s album Synchronicity. I own and continually listen to the entire Police and Sting catalog because of his songwriting abilities (are you seeing a theme here?). This song caught my attention because, like most of us living in the ‘80s and the Cold War, I was convinced that nuclear war was inevitable. In this song Sting speaks directly to my fears and urges those in power to consider the innocents. Sting echoes the situation during this period of the Cold War:

In Europe and America there’s a growing feeling of hysteria.
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets.
Mister Krushchev said, “We will bury you.

This resonated with me because I was fully aware that there were Russian missiles pointed at the American base I lived on and that we had just as many missiles pointed at them. It is Sting’s chorus to this song that really hit me then, and now:

We share the same biology, regardless of ideology.
Believe me when I say to you,
I hope the Russians love their children too

Sting does not place blame solely on the Russians, the Americans also play their part in this conflict:

There is no historical precedent
To put the words in the mouth of the president
There’s no such thing as a winnable war,
It’s a lie we don’t believe anymore.
Mister Reagan says, “We will protect you.”
I don’t subscribe to this point of view

The sound of this song has a foreboding feel to it and it still haunts me a it today. So far, I am very thankful that enough leaders seem to take Sting’s message to heart and show that we still love our children enough to avoid nuclear annihilation.

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