What does Fortress Around Your Heart mean?

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Sting: Fortress Around Your Heart Meaning


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Song Released: 1985

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Fortress Around Your Heart Lyrics

Fields Of Gold
Fortress Around Your Heart
Under the ruins of a walled city
Crumbling towers in beams of yellow light
No flags of truce, no cries of pity
The siege guns had been pounding all through the night
It took a day to build...

  1. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 11th 2020 report

    To me, this song is the painful dance one experiences when dealing with someone they loved but that love has gone awry.

    Anger, accusations, pride, and resentment have been allowed to grow so strong between the two that what once was an easy dance of trust and companionship now becomes fraught with mistrust over believed 'hidden meanings and underlying intent' --> which are really more the meanings and intent the observer imputed to the action, based on their own anger and resentment, rather than what was really intended.

    The fields leading to an individual were open and easy to cross but the 'mines I laid' reveal how every step, once easy, is now taken carefully for fear of triggering some explosion which will blow up any attempt to approach.

    The mines are akin to when we hurt someone, emotionally, so badly, that the slightest thing we do that reminds them of that act can bring back all those feelings of pain and, despite our current intent, we are now faced with the emotional recriminations the initial act left. So we end up having to walk on eggshells around them.

    The walls and battlements are the psychological barriers we erect as a defense against someone, so they can't get close to us anymore. Oftentimes those barriers are actually memories of the wrongs they have done to us or the pain they have caused and our belief that the pain or wrong was based on malicious intent.... which feeds our resolve to never let them get emotionally close to us again.

    The tattered flag references the love and union they used to have, which he and she both still retain the memory of -- hence the flags still fly -- but they are torn and battle-scarred from all the attacks, out of anger, that each of the two lovers enacted upon the other. It's impossible to see that love (flags) without acknowledging the horrendous fights and pain that happened within the fight (in tatters).

    The prison becoming a home, a 'sentence she seems prepared to take', reflects on how he has changed but she is so desirous of not being hurt again that she will never lower her defenses, let go of resentment, and find that out. So, she is now in a one-sided battle, still filled with anger and resentment, and unable to let it go, over a man who -- though admitting he did take a part in the battle -- is no longer fighting... she is now stuck in a war, fighting ghosts of battles that ended many years earlier.

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