The Sting track Paul McCartney wishes he wrote: “You stole my song!”

In a less culturally transformative echo of The Beatles’ chart success a decade or so prior, Sting led The Police to the heights of stardom. The trio joined the transatlantic new wave scene alongside the likes of Talking Heads and Blondie to bring a vibrant artistic flair to the recent punk explosion. The Police dealt in a distinctive brand of reggae-infused punk that profited handsomely from Stewart Copeland’s virtuosic drumming.

Copeland was inspired greatly by the innovative rhythms of psychedelic-era drummers such as Ginger Baker and Mitch Mitchell. As for Sting, it was all about the Beatles, especially Paul McCartney. During a 2021 interview with YouTube personality Rick Beato, Sting explained that he felt a kinship with the Fab Four.

“I’m glad you mentioned the Beatles because the reason I’m a musician is because of the Beatles,” Sting said. “They were from Liverpool, I was from Newcastle; both port towns in the north of England – working class. They had the same education as me: I went to grammar school, they were scholarship boys. Smart working-class kids.”

Sting noted the group’s enormous global influence that transcends generation divides to this day. “They conquered the world with their own songs, and therefore gave permission to a younger generation, a decade younger, to try the same thing [and think] ‘Oh, we’ll try that, I know those four chords – I could do that, probably,’” Sting explained. “And we all tried. We owe a lot to the Beatles; they really were an amazing influence on all of our lives.”

Much to Sting’s arousal, Paul McCartney has, on several occasions, expressed his Police fandom and once picked a Sting solo hit for a shortlist of songs he wishes he could have written.

”There’s always a couple that I hear that I think I’d have liked [to have written],” McCartney told host Jarvis Cocker at the Liverpool Institute in 2018. “I liked Sting’s ‘Fields Of Gold’, and I thought, ‘Y’know what, I should have written that. How dare he?’ I told him, ‘You stole my song.’ I thought that was a nice one, y’know?”

After catching wind of this praise, Sting took to Twitter, writing: “Paul McCartney says he wishes he would have written ‘Fields Of Gold’. There are more than a few of Paul’s that I wish I would have written. To hear this from someone I owe my life to is very special. Thank you, Paul.”

Listen to Sting’s ‘Fields of Gold’ below.

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