Meaning of Shape of My Heart by Sting & The Story Behind

Sting’s soulful voice and lyrical melodies of his compositions give the impression that they are all about love. Many listeners who do not know English and are not interested in the history of songs are sincerely sure of this. They are very surprised when they find out what their real meaning is. In the case of the track Shape of My Heart, it’s even easier to get confused, because the title “Silhouette of My Heart” suggests a romantic relationship.

The song is well known not only to Sting fans, but also to all movie lovers, as it sounded very impressive in Luc Besson’s cult film “Leon”. Who does not remember, it can be heard in the final scene of the picture. The main character is killed, the girl transplants his flower from the pot into the ground – it’s time to cry.

The story of creation & the meaning of the song Shape of My Heart

But still, let’s turn to what Sting wanted to say in Shape of My Heart. We have no reason not to trust the author, so here is his explanation:

I wanted to write about a card player, a risky person who plays not to win, but to try to guess something; to know some mystical logic of luck or fate; some scientific, almost religious law. So this guy is a philosopher. He does not play for the sake of winning and not for the sake of money, he is simply trying to understand the law, because there must be some logic in it. He is a poker player, so it is not easy for him to express emotions. In fact, he doesn’t show them at all. He is wearing a mask, he has one and never changes.

However, if you read some of the lines, it seems that there was some love here.

Moreover, some fans are haunted by the lyrics of the song. They try to find a secret meaning in it and make various assumptions. Some say that Sting sings in Shape of My Heart about his relationship with his wife and mistress, others believe that Tarot cards are meant here, and some in all seriousness claim that this is a song about a British intelligence spy.

The original version of Shape of My Heart will be of interest to those who study English. In the chorus, Sting successfully plays with the names of card suits and their homonyms: hearts – hearts, spades – edged weapons, clubs – clubs, diamonds – diamonds. I must say, Sting’s songs always delight with interesting stylistic figures and rich language.

The meaning of Sting’s song “Shape of my heart”

Sting’s song “Shape of my heart” is about a card player, a person who is willing to take risks. Listening to Sting’s compositions, people who do not speak English believe that melodic works are dedicated to love stories. However, this is not always the case. In the song “Shape of my heart”, as the performer himself says, there is an image of a player who does this not for profit, but to reveal the secrets of the game. He acts as a philosopher who wants to unravel the probability of issuing a particular card, to defeat fate itself.

From the first verse, we get to know the hero, who enjoys the game, “as if meditating.” He is not interested in winning, he came for a clue. The hero wants to subdue the game, to know the previously drawn card. He believes that the whole card process is subject to some law of geometric randomness. Here he acts as an admirer of the theory of probability, but he still has not been able to fully understand its main motives, because “this is not an easy task.”

The next verse talks about the possibilities of the move. The secret of the “ace in the hole” is revealed, in this case the hero hides “in the king’s hand”. This characterizes the player himself as a master of manipulation and a keeper of secrets.

From here comes the next verse about love, which speaks of distrust. “If I told you that I love you, you would think something was wrong.” The hero recognizes the power of actions, considers words to be empty sounds, because “he who talks a lot, in fact, knows nothing.” Words can hurt a lot, forming a bitter experience for a person. The player wears a mask, as the game of poker requires maximum concealment of true emotions in order not to give yourself away. The hero is not an emotional person, so he is not good at expressing his own feelings.

It was because of these verses that fans believed that the song was actually dedicated to Sting’s wife and mistress. Here, allegedly, their relationship, wearing a mask, lying words of love are described. The same description of the relationship is suitable for every male and female. Unfortunately, a large number of relationships are accompanied by lies on the part of one person or both participants at once. This game of love is comparable to poker: someone folds, someone takes another, the other hides a card in his sleeve.

The chorus takes a separate place in the song “Shape of my heart”. Here is a comparison of all four card suits. As Sting said, playing cards evolved from tarot cards, and have the same magical aura. Therefore, in the chorus there is a comparison of peaks with the swords of soldiers, clubs with weapons of war, tambourines with money for military needs, and hearts are compared with the heart. Since the painted heart of this suit differs from the shape of a real human pump, the main phrase “this is not the outline of my heart” is used.

The song about a gambler who is not afraid to take risks by making big bets is perfect for the film “Leon”, where it was performed at the end of the film. In the center of the plot is a killer who puts his own life on the line, because he is sure that a minute of delay can cost too much. He is passionate, not afraid to take risks, forced to hide behind a mask.

Video of Shape of My Heart by Sting

I propose to watch the official music video for Sting’s song online.

Release and achievements

Shape of My Heart was the tenth track on Ten Summoner’s Tales (1993). Sting co-wrote it with guitarist Dominic Miller. She did not enjoy much success in foreign charts, and her highest achievement was 57th place in the UK Singles Chart.

But in the vastness of our Motherland, Shape of My Heart has become one of Sting’s most famous compositions.

Interesting Facts

  • The song Rise and Fall that Sting sang with Craig David is based on the tune Shape of My Heart. It contains the line “Is it too late to show you the shape of my heart?” (“Is it too late to show you the silhouette of my heart?”).
  • Originally, The Experience of Love by composer Eric Serra was supposed to play in the end credits of “Leon”. Later, she was included in the picture “Golden Eye” from the James Bond series.
  • It is possible that the phrase “queen of spades” is a reference to the “Queen of Spades” by A.S. Pushkin, since Sting is very fond of literature. But this is nothing more than a guess.

Let’s watch the clip Shape of My Heart – Sting with footage from the movie “Leon”.

Shape of My Heart Lyrics

He deals the cards as a meditation
And those he plays never suspect
He doesn’t play for the money he wins
He don’t play for respect

He deals the cards to find the answer
The sacred geometry of chance
The hidden law of a probable outcome
The numbers lead a dance

I know that the spades are the swords of a soldier
I know that the clubs are weapons of war
I know that diamonds mean money for this art
But that’s not the shape of my heart

He may play the jack of diamonds
He may lay the queen of spades
He may conceal a king in his hand
While the memory of it fades

And if I told you that I loved you
You’d maybe think there’s something wrong
I’m not a man of too many faces
The mask I wear is one

Well, those who speak know nothin’
And find out to their cost
Like those who curse their luck in too many places
And those who fear are lost

Shape of My Heart Lyrics Sting Alternative

He deals cards like he’s meditating
And those he plays with don’t know
What he does is not for the money he wins
And not for respect

He deals cards to find the answer
Understand the sacred geometry of chance
Secret law of possible outcome
But numbers only cause confusion

I know that pikes are soldiers’ swords,
I know clubs are fighting weapons
I know diamonds mean money in this art
But this is not the silhouette of my heart

He can play the jack of diamonds
He can lay out the Queen of Spades
He can hide a king up his sleeve
Until he is forgotten

And if I said that I love you
You might find this unusual.
But I’m by no means multifaceted,
And the mask that I wear, I have one

Well, the talkers don’t know a thing
And they will understand everything from their own bitter experience,
As well as cursing luck on every corner,
And those who are afraid are already lost

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