What does When We Dance mean?

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Sting: When We Dance Meaning

Tagged: Dancing [suggest]

Song Released: 1994


When We Dance Lyrics

If he loved you
Like I love you
I would walk away in shame
I'd move town
I'd change my name

When he watches you
When he counts to buy your soul
On your hand his golden rings
Like he owns a bird that sings

When we dance, angels will run and hide...

  1. anajay
    click a star to vote
    Jan 18th report

    "If he loved you
    Like I love you
    I would walk away in shame
    I'd move town, I'd change my name
    When he watches you
    When he counts to buy your soul
    On your hand his golden rings
    Like he owns a bird that sings"

    The singer is in love with somebody who is with someone else. This other guy is probably rich and sees her more as a trophy than anything else, and he's probably possessive as well (on your hand his golden rings, like he owns a bird that sings). I'm also inclined to believe that this girl is MARRIED to the rich dude, considering the singer would "walk away in shame", "move town", and "change [his] name" if not for his love. As for the girl, perhaps she loves or thinks she loves the rich guy...

    "When we dance, angels will run and hide their wings"
    The fact that it says when they dance angels WILL run and hide their wings makes me think this is a thing that is yet to happen - they haven't danced before. Perhaps in his dreams he will dance with her. The angels will run and hide their wings because the dancing holds such passion that their wings are mild in comparison.

    "The priest has said my soul's salvation
    Is in the balance of the angels
    And underneath the wheels of passion
    I keep the faith in my fashion
    When we dance, angels will run and hide their wings
    I'm still in love with you"
    He asked his priest for advice, and the priest told him that his soul's salvation is in the hands of the angels, soon to be decided. In his own way ("in my fashion"), his faith is kept, but it's underneath the "wheels of passion" (he's prioritizing his love over faith - as he wants to be with a possibly married woman).
    "I'm still in love with you" implies he's been in love with her for a long time and that perhaps they were even together at one point.

    "I'm gonna find a place to live
    Give you what I got to give
    I will love you night and day
    I'm gonna try it every way
    I will love you more than live
    If you'll only be my wife"
    These are the things he intends to do if she marries him.

    "If I could break down these walls
    And shout my name at heaven's gate
    I'd take these hands
    And I'd destroy the dark machineries of fate
    Cathedrals are broken
    Heaven's no longer above
    And hellfire's a promise away
    I'd still be saying
    I'm still in love, I'm still in love, ..."
    It seems to me that he wants to shout at God and persuade him to change their fate, even at the cost of turning the entirety of heaven upside down (heaven's no longer above) and going to hell. And DESPITE his going to hell, he'd still be in love with her forever.

    "He won't love you
    Like I love you
    He won't care for you this way
    He'll mistreat you if you stay
    Come and live with me
    We'll have children of our own
    I would love you more than life
    If you'll come and be my wife"
    This is the singer basically saying the reason why he's the better choice. All of it is pretty self-explanatory.

    "I had a dream last night
    I dreamt you were by my side
    Walking with me, baby
    My heart was filled with pride
    I had a dream last night
    I had a dream last night
    I had a dream last night
    I had a dream last night"
    This is pretty self-explanatory as well. Also it backs up the interpretation that they dance in his dreams.

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jun 21st 2020 report


    This is a song about a man who is deeply in love with someone else's wife but is unable to convince the woman to be with him. She is too steeped in her faith to feel good about the proposal and so he attempts to alleviate her concerns by telling her the angels will "forgive us." He was hoping to woo her on this basis and to warn her that her husband was interested in her only as a trophy, but that he loved her soul. He mourns the circumstances that have prevented them from loving each other, then finds consolation in his dreams where they are together and are able to establish a lasting relationship. It is a seduction song but with a conscience of a kind. Absolutely beautiful.

  3. Janet
    click a star to vote
    Nov 29th 2018 report

    This song very much seems to be Sting describing his spiritual awakening experience, the gnostic bride and bridegroom.

    He describes angels running and hiding their wings. Such is when there is spiritual communion between Spirit and Soul-minds, when a certain level is reached, the soul is able to taste spirit without the angels' direct involvement as message-teachers in their upaya (skilled means).

    'We'll have children of our own' - this describes that when should makes the transition to Spirit, there is the responsibility to be an angel oneself - to teach other souls to gain enlightenment.

    Sting is a great soul on this earth helping us to release our cultural conceptions which bind us. I am thankful to him, his music surely has been a vehicle and he a messenger for my own understanding and awakening. <3<3<3

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 25th 2015 report

    The song starts when two young lovers meet at school. They dance a pas de deux, but there is another. They are separated, and she marries the safe choice, the other ("on your hand his golden rings, like he owns a bird that sings"). The years pass, but the boy can never forget her. She was the one, and their love is an unstoppable force, even greater than the forces of heaven ("When we dance, the angels will run and hide their wings"). Years later, the smoldering fire causes him to contact her again. They must be together; One day it must come to pass ("I keep the faith in my fashion"), even if he must wait forever ("I will love you more than life, if you'll only be my wife"). Their story is not yet ended. One day it will come to pass.

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Apr 5th 2013 report

    For some reason I imagine this song taking place hundreds of years ago, in a more repressed, religious time. It seems like the singer is saying that by coveting another person's wife or committing adultery he will be denied salvation but he can't help it he loves her so much. And the line about "we'll have children of our own" make me imagine she would have to abandon her children because in older times men always had custody of their children if a woman left her husband. Also the line about "counts to buy your soul" might be the other man buying indulgences to ensure his wife will go to heaven. (or it might mean that other man believes marrying her means he owns her body and soul)

    This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway

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