Sting shares why he no longer performs “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” in concert

Rob Ball/WireImage

Sting fans may be disappointed when they see him in concert, because he’s no longer playing one of his classic tunes live.

In an interview with People, Sting looks back at some of his hit songs and discusses the Police tune “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” which is about the relationship between a male teacher and a female student, and why you won’t hear it in his set list.  

“It’s certainly not biographical, but people having relationships with teachers, it definitely happens,” Sting, who was a teacher before becoming a rock star, says. “And in the song’s defense, nothing happens. It’s just the danger of, something happens and the teacher is aware of it, which is why he’s saying, ‘Don’t stand so close to me.'”

Sting says the song could be interpreted in “many, many different ways,” which can become an issue.

“In the current climate, I don’t sing that live,” he says. “People with a sort of puerile sensibility will say, ‘Oh it’s about you.’ And of course it’s not, but it’s an interesting situation.”

Sting will be honored as a Fellow of the Ivors Academy at the Ivor Awards on May 18 in London, and he’s certainly proud of the honor.

“If you ask me my profession, I would say I’m a songwriter, so to receive this honor is very special,” he shares. “I get people coming up to me saying, ‘Oh, I got married to your song,’ or ‘We buried Uncle Charlie to your song’ or ‘I fell out of love to this’ … People mark their lives with the songs of their era, as do I.”

As for seeing Sting live, his My Songs tour comes to North America starting September 1 and 2 in Vienna, Virginia. A complete list of dates can be found at sting.com.

Copyright © 2023, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.