Sting’s “Russians”: If the Russians Love Their Children

Post author:Happy #SongLyricsSunday! Today’s prompt is to find a song about Army, Soldier, and War in either the song lyrics and/or title. One of the songs that really fit this theme is the 1985 song “Russians” by. Even though this song was composed during the tensions of the Cold War in the 1980s, I think you can rewrite the lyrics to fit even current situations like the conflict in Ukraine and also Trump’s presidency. I actually wrote some modern takes on “Russians” and maybe when I have confidence, I can share them on social media.

Let’s explore more about this poignant 80s song that is often overlooked (I feel) in Sting’s discography. (Of course, I think every song off The Dream of the Blue Turtles album is a masterpiece. It is a wonderful album!)

If the Russians Love Their Children

Sting released “Russians” in the summer of 1985 as part of The Dream of the Blue Turtles album. The singer-songwriter was inspired to write the song when he watched Soviet TV one day:The song was written as a pro-children plea for all sides of the Cold War conflict in hopes that the Russian would have the compassion and mercy of their enemies as they have for their own children. If Russia loved their children, then why would the Russians and Americans would point missiles at each other. The song also criticizes the then-dominant Cold War foreign policy and doctrine of mutually assured destruction of the United States and the Soviet Union. All of these are sung over the Romance theme from the Lieutenant Kijé Suite by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev.

James Cameron was inspired by this song when writing the character John Connor for the movie Terminator 2. I remember sitting there once, high on E, writing notes for Terminator, and I was struck by Sting’s song, “I hope the Russians love their children too.” And I thought, “You know what? The idea of a nuclear war is just so antithetical to life itself.” That’s where the kid came from.”[2]

But others didn’t like the song’s presence. ex-The Police bandmate Stewart Copeland, whose father was a CIA agent, didn’t agree with the stance. However, he did comment that no matter what was the argument, Sting could write indefensible lyrics that you couldn’t argue over.[3]

What do you think of “Russians”? Listen to the song below and let me know what you think in the comments!

Sting re-recorded this song a couple of weeks ago due to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here is what he had to say about the song:

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