Message in a Bottle – The Police Meaning

Rock musicians, judging by their memories, often create future hits during long trips. They say the story of the song “Message in a Bottle” (“Letter in a bottle”) also began in transport. Allegedly, Sting composed it in the back seat of the bus and immediately recorded it on tape using a tape recorder with a built-in drum machine.

He later said that “Message in a Bottle” is one of his songs that came into being through sacred music. As a child, he helped the priest in the church and often sang Gregorian chants and monodies. This experience had a significant impact on his future work and helped write many famous compositions.

“Message in a Bottle” is performed from the point of view of a man who ended up on a desert island after a shipwreck. His only hope for a return is a note in a bottle thrown into the sea. However, a year later he saw a myriad of the same messages washed ashore by the waves. By this, the author of the song makes it clear that a huge number of people in the world suffer from loneliness, although he does not call for somehow changing the situation.

The Police performed “Message in a Bottle” for the first time on the television show “Rock Goes to College”, which was filmed at one of the British polytechnic colleges.

In September 1979, the song was released as the first single from the album “Reggatta de Blanc”, the second in The Police’s discography. It topped the UK Singles Chart and became a hit in other countries. But American listeners did not appreciate it. On the Billboard Hot 100, she only reached number 74.

In 1995, a new version of the song, called “A New Classic Rock Mix”, was included in the “Every Breath You Take: Classics” compilation.

“Message in a Bottle” has been covered by Excel, Machine Head, John Mayer, Thirty Seconds to Mars, Graveworm and others.

Rolling Stone magazine named “Message in a Bottle” one of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.

Interesting Facts

  • Sting has repeatedly cited “Message in a Bottle” as the Police’s favorite song, and guitarist Andy Summers has claimed that he especially enjoyed playing it live.
  • Former members of The Police performed “Message in a Bottle” at Sting and Trudie Styler’s wedding. They later also played it at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

Message in a Bottle
Translation of the song
Message in a Bottle
Just a castaway, an island lost at sea
Another lonely day, no one here but me
More loneliness than any man could bear
Rescue me before I fall into despair
Another lonely day and no one around but me
No man can bear so much loneliness
Save me before I fall into despairChorus:
I’ll send an SOS to the world (x2)
I hope that someone gets my (x3)
Message in a bottle (x2)
I’ll send an SOS to the world (x2)
I hope someone finds mine (x3)
Letter in a bottle (x2) A year has passed since I wrote my note
But I should have known this right from the start
Only hope can keep me together
love can mend your life
But love can break your heart A year has passed since I wrote the note
But I should have known right away
That only hope will give me the strength to hold on
Love can change life for the better
But love can also break a heart Walked out this morning I don’t believe what I saw
A hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore
Seems I’m not alone in being alone
A hundred billion castaways looking for a home
A hundred billion bottles washed ashore
Seems I’m not alone in my loneliness
A hundred billion outcasts are looking for a home

Song quote

…an inspiring anthem…


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