LyricsFragile

"In the current climate it's becoming increasingly difficult to distinguish 'Democratic Freedom Fighters' from drug dealing apolitical gangsters from Peace Corp workers from Marxist revolutionaries. Ben Linder, an American engineer, was killed in 1987 by the 'Contras' as a result of this confusion."
...Nothing Like The Sun A&M Press Release, 10/87


"I never tire of singing my songs. I really don't. I love performing. I'm still performing songs I wrote 15 years ago, and I don't really think about it. I think every time you perform a song you have to breathe new life into it, and sometimes the meaning evolves. The meaning of a song like Fragile (from ... Nothing Like the Sun, 1987) changes yearly. When I sing it now I think of Bosnia and Yugoslavia."
The Miami Herald, 2/94


"A lot of people think Fragile is some kind of ecological hymn, sort of 'fragile Earth', but it's not. The song was written about a man called Ben Linder who was an American Peace Corps worker in Nicaragua, who was shot by the contras. I thought there was a wonderful irony about this young idealistic American was shot by a US funded bunch of basic gangsters. And I basically wrote about that irony and that sadness."
All This Time CDRom, '95

(On tour, during the Gulf War)
"What is interesting is that, even though I'm just singing my songs and they have nothing to do with the war, there are interpretations of songs that can change in a certain context. I sing a song like Fragile, which has nothing whatever to do with this war, and there's a line that goes, 'Nothing comes from violence, nothing ever could.' In New York and L.A., the reaction has been very positive. People applaud that line. Once we crossed the Mason-Dixon line, played Atlanta, people didn't applaud - it just goes over their heads."

Now Magazine, 3/91


"I was reading about a young American in the Peace Corps in Nicaragua who was shot by the Contras. I felt very sad. This guy had gone to Nicaragua to try to help, and ended up being mistaken, deliberately or otherwise, for a Marxist guerrilla. I think there was a lot of that kind of mistake being made. This idea of fragility was a very important one for me. It's very easy to kill people. It's almost a casual thing. The song's taken on many meanings since then, though. People think its an ecological song, because of my other interests. I suppose they think of the fragile eco-system and think, Sting must be singing about that. But I suppose it's the mark of a good song that it can have many different shades of meaning, so I'm not arguing. I've never written a tree-hugging song in all my years of tree-hugging."
Independent On Sunday, 11/94

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