Song of the Day #3,606: ‘Rock Steady’ – Sting

Sting gets a bad rap for being both too middle-of-the-road and too pretentious. He has earned that criticism to a degree (the man released a lute album, for crying out loud!) but any sensible music fan would be silly to dismiss him.

Even setting aside his groundbreaking work with The Police, you need look no farther than his sophomore release, 1987’s …Nothing Like the Sun, for evidence of his greatness.

In addition to singles ‘We’ll Be Together,’ ‘Englishman in New York,’ ‘Fragile’ and ‘They Dance Alone,’ this album features a strong batch of sultry, jazz-infused pop, from the opening swing of ‘The Lazarus Heart’ to the mournful ‘Sister Moon.’

Today’s SOTD, ‘Rock Steady,’ is one of the album’s lighter moments, a bouncy retelling of the Noah’s Ark story.

[Verse 1]
Saw an ad in the newspaper that caught my eye
I said to my baby this sounds like a ticket for you and I
It said volunteers wanted for a very special trip
To commune with Mother Nature on a big wooden ship
We took a taxi to the river in case any places were free
There was an old guy with a beard
And every kind of creature as far as the eye could see
This old guy was the boss, he said
“I won’t tell you no lie
But there’s more to this journey that is apparent to the eye
He said he’d heard God’s message on the radio
It was going to rain forever and he’d told him to go
“I’ll protect you all don’t worry I’ll be a father to you all
I’ll save two of every animal, no matter how small
But I’ll need some assistants to look after the zoo
I can’t see nobody better so you’ll just have to do”
I said, Just tell me something before it’s too late and we’re gone
I mean just how safe is this boat we’ll be on?

[Chorus]
“It’s Rock steady Rock steady
Rock steady Rock steady[x3]

[Verse 2]
It rained for forty days and forty long nights
I’d never seen rain like it and it looked like our old friend
Was being proved right
We had no time to worry though there was just to much to do
Between the signified monkey and the kangaroo
We had to wash all the animals we had to feed them too
We were merely human slaves in a big floating zoo
She said, “Hey Baby I don’t mean to be flip
But it seems this old man is on some power trip”
I said, “No, no sugar you must be wrong
I mean look at the size of this boat we’re on
We’re as safe as houses, as safe as mother’s milk
He’s as cool as November and as smooth as China silk
He’s God’s best friend, he’s got a seat on the board
And life may be tough but we’re sailing with the Lord.”

[Chorus]
Rock steady Rock steady[x4]

[Verse 3]
Woke up this morning and something had changed
Like a room in my house had just been rearranged
She said, “It’s stopped raining and I know the guy’s kind
But if we stay here much longer I’m gonna lose my mind.”
So we said we had a mission for his favorite dove
To see if there was any mercy from this great God above
So to find dry land, away the white bird flew
We didn’t need no country just a rock would do
When the dove came back to us, he threw down a twig
It was manna from heaven and meant we could blow this gig
“But the rock’s too small,” he said, “can’t you see?”
I said, “It’s just perfect for her, it’s perfect for me.”

[Chorus]
Rock steady Rock steady[x6]

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5 thoughts on “Song of the Day #3,606: ‘Rock Steady’ – Sting

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    Not to be too nit picky, but Sting’s debut solo album was The Dream of the Blue Turtles. However, in my opinion, Nothing Like the Sun is arguably Sting’s best record overall. And I’ve always been a big fan of “Rock Steady,” both musically and lyrically.

    Sting lost me by the time he released that flute album and never won me back, but I still love most of his solo work before that.

  2. Peg Clifton says:

    I love Sting and appreciate his musical adventures including the classical ones. I have to get Alexa to play his music more often

  3. Andrea katz says:

    Was it lute or flute?

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