I went to a small town, K-8, elementary school. I shared a class with pretty much the same 25 kids every year. In the upper years, I can’t remember in which it started, we did class gift exchanges at Christmas. We’d each draw a name from a hat and give whichever classmate we pulled a gift at the yearly Christmas assembly.
The gifts given at this event were notoriously terrible. First of all it was the early Eighties and parents hadn’t quite gone bonkers yet when it came to celebratory gift giving for kids. Also, Toys R Us had not infiltrated the Great White North as yet and so most toys were still purchased at the local hardware store. The most commonplace gift I recall from that time period was the dreaded Lifesavers Story Book. This was a cardboard container that opened like a book revealing a dozen rolls of Lifesavers candies in an assortment of flavours from the sublime to a waste of time. It was an okay gift once, but if you kept getting it year after year the novelty wore off pretty damn quick.
By Grade 8, puberty was in full bloom and toys nor candy was no longer something you wanted for Christmas anymore. Even if you did, you sure as hell wouldn’t admit to it. I knew above all else that I didn’t want another Lifesavers Story Book. Luckily, one of my best friends drew my name that year and since we were busy swapping our mother’s records at the time, he asked me which album I would like and he would buy it for me.
It was 1985 and I was still pretty green when it came to music but I was slowly finding my grove. A new song at that time had really caught my fancy. It was by some guy named Sting whom I had no idea had been part of a phenomenally successful rock group you might have heard of. Anyway, I decided I wanted his debut solo album for Christmas. This surprised my friend and I recall him questioning me at least twice if I was sure about this decision. I was and so it came to be that I owned this album thanks to my friend in Grade 8.
As a testament to a once very real but short lived proof of my progressiveness and coolness (the album title alone is evidence enough), I’m kicking off the weekend with my favourite song from the multiple hit debut solo album by Sting, formerly of The Police. Enjoy “Fortress Around Your Heart” from The Dream of the Blue Turtles released in 1985.
Official Video Version: