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Bible, religion and Catholicism in Sting’s album and musical The Last Ship

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Sting, aka Gordon Sumner (b. 1951 in Wallsend, close to Newcastle upon Tyne), is a famous songwriter and performer who grew up in a Catholic environment. Although he does not identify as Catholic anymore, the religious images and notions he grew up with appear rather frequently in his work. This article explores examples of religious imagery in his album The Last Ship (2013), and in the musical of the same name based on the album. To date, the musical has been produced from two very different books: a US version by John Logan and Brian Yorkey (2014), and a UK one by Lorne Campbell (2018). The US version includes many religious notions, and in particular, includes a priest as one of its central figures. The UK version has little to no religion in it. The article suggests that each of these versions reflects a certain historical moment in the life of Wallsend, from where, supposedly, the ‘last ship’ was launched.
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Keywords: Catholicism; Gordon Sumner; North East; Northumberland; Sting; The Last Ship

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2018

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