If there is a song you would associate with The Police it is this song. Even more than ‘Roxanne’, ‘Every Breath You take’ is THE song associated with the English rock band born in 70’s led by Sting:
Every breath you take
Every move you make
Every bond you break
Every step you take…
I’ll be watching you
Who will be watching you? Who was inside Sting’s head when he wrote this song?
I woke up in the middle of the night with that line in my head, sat down at the piano and had written it in half an hour. The tune itself is generic, an aggregate of hundreds of others, but the words are interesting. It sounds like a comforting love song. I didn’t realize at the time how sinister it is. I think I was thinking of Big Brother, surveillance and control.
Now it’s clear: NSA will be watching you, GCHQ will be watching you, and who knows how many more 3 or 4-letter government agencies! Oh, Can’t you see it?
You belong to me
Since you’ve gone I been lost without a trace
How my poor heart aches with every step you take
—Signed: NSA, GCHQ
Is this love? Is it paranoia? Have all governments gone crazy, like a lover in a jealous rage?
Since Eduard Snowden began to blow the whistle(2), a couple of weeks ago, on the latest implementation of Jeremy Bentham’s panopticon, sales of George Orwell’s 1984 have surged. I do not know if the same has happened with The Police’s nice song, but I recommend you listen to it while you think what you are going to do about the Internet as a Surveillance State.
Featured Image: Cover of the Single Every Breath You Take by The Police, May 1983
(1) Interview for The Independent newspaper, May 1993
(2) Starting on Friday 7 June 2013, The Guardian has been publishing Edward Snowden’s revelations on US and UK mass surveillance programmes of which he became aware as a former technical contractor for the National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) employee:
- NSA Prism program taps in to user data of Apple, Google and others, Friday 7 June 2013
- Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations, Monday 10 June 2013
- GCHQ intercepted foreign politicians’ communications at G20 summits, Monday 17 June 2013
- Snowden spy row grows as US is accused of hacking China, Saturday 22 June 2013