Sting - In Darkness Let Me Dwell Lyrics

In darkness let me dwell; the ground shall sorrow be,
The roof despair, to bar all cheerful light from me;
The walls of marble black, that moist'ned still shall weep;
My music, hellish jarring sounds, to banish friendly sleep.
Thus, wedded to my woes, and bedded in my tomb,
O let me dying live, till death doth come, till death doth come.

In darkness let me dwell

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Sting In Darkness Let Me Dwell Comments

    He's been listening to this version, which was originally released back in 1979:

  2. Roger Barrett

    When I'm depressed, I choose this genre of music over country any day. As well as songs by Henry Purcell such as "The Cold Song" and "Death". Henry Purcell and John Dowland were great composers, and their compositions are ones to treasure a lifetime long.

  3. Théo Goldberg

    Just before he dwells into darkness I'd like him to Sting his Bee just a bit more. It gives quite many explosions and hard ons around...!!!

  4. defbt5

    One word: yuck.

  5. Box of Chocolates

    I greatly appreciate Sting's effort to keep this timeless music relevant for today! 🖤🖤🖤
    If you're interested: Check out our contemporary electrified version of "In Darkness": 🎸

  6. Ei8htBernal

    Sting is OK on this record but got DAMN karamazov played the hell outta that thing!!!

  7. Alek Erickson

    I was surprised to find this to be my favourite version of the song, even after scouring the depths of YouTube

  8. fullimmerzion

    fuoriclasse assoluto ma ogni tanto tira fuori delle mattonate che se sei un po' giù di corda ti butti a mare con un masso al collo…

  9. Cindy Styles

    What an amazing composition. Powerful stuff, no matter who sings it. I'm in awe.....

  10. Professor Snowberg

    Sting may not perform this work as the pundits expect, but Sting still does this piece great justice!
    Sting is one of the anomolies of the Music World, since he is prepared to move out of his comfort zone , but as a result, he makes music available to a wider audience than it was originally intended!

  11. Paul Crawford Zzzzz

    on the other hand 'feed the birds... tuppence a bag' is just as sad. In addition this song has a kind of self inflicted misery which the julie andrews version does not suffer from. In conclusion then I think the julie andrews version is more sain. Downlands song is misery but he seems to delight in it or think it is a more refined sophisticated misery :-) perhaps the fact it is a self indulgent misery means it is worse because one must also feel guilty for that. So Dowland imagines a self inflicted misery perhaps along with an imposed misery and in addition the added guilt that the sufferer can't get off his ass to do something about it. Tuppence a bag is indeed just as sad. But it is not perhaps as philisophical depending on your own analysis. Of the two songs I think Dowland wins for pretentiousness and spookiness whereas Tuppence a bag relates much more to misery in the 'real' world and things we can put to rights. Dowlands misery is just a result of inevitable human emotional interaction whereas Tuppence a bag is much more relavant to the world around us and the hidden but preventable causes of misery many of which have their roots in money, greed, and related human goals. Lutes are of course very beautiful. But so are chicks

  12. Paul Celebi

    accompanied by "a lute?" does it play itself..? maybe give some credit to the other artist making this possible....

  13. grazia23

    Coming back to say, Sting, you destroyed this one...

  14. Brian Crowley

    damn, Mr. Karamoizov.... let your hands play with your hair.... damn, boy!!!!

  15. justabitty

    Listen to this unforgettable song on Faire, Sweet, Cruell, Elizabethan Songs performed by Christina Hogman. In fact, the entire recording is exquisite.

  16. Zayit

    After listening to this song years ago last year I decided to perform the song and I have to say it was not an easy piece as a singer to sing. If you look at the sheet music for this one you can see that literally there are two melodies the singers and the accompaniment and they are like jarring sounds they clash and follow there own rhythm as a singer I was by myself usually accompaniment helps me keep tempo and keep the pace. Nope not this one it was the hardest one I have done and I loved performing it none of it would have been possible if Sting wasn't my role model for music ,great song it was worth the challenge

  17. petrostheviolinist

    exceptional i really deeply enjoyed 1

  18. Richard Jackman

    Sting singing Dowland ---- Now I'm convinced

  19. izNiotcuda vNicogda

    Ах-ринеть , как здорово ! ))) *

  20. Giordano Bruno

    Uhu... Different. Nice barrels! :)

  21. I_Dont_Eat_My_Friends

    Drinking game: take a drink every hair flip

    Brian Crowley

    drinking game Sting has no hair

  22. Brian Crowley

    Sting is a modern musician but changes up musical style every handful of years like Paul Simon and U2. His depth includes reggae, classic and the classic police stuff. He admits he is a poor imitator of John Dowland but he has taught himself how to play a 24 string lute and has assisted lots of people to enjoy John Dowland for the first time. I think John Dowland would appreciate the effort


    agree ! Stings raw &sensual voice is a great treat for Jazz & Rock/Pop , yet ppl are not used to hearing him sing John-DowLand-songs .

    And yet , tHere is a Mystery in his voice .. an undercurrent , that blends beautifully with the music . Dig deeper , folks !

  23. Daniel Sturm

    No, Sting! This is how it is done.

  24. Carey Coleman

    He is quite the renaissance man. Pun is very much intended.

  25. Delta Lou

    chills through my whole body. Sting's best album in my opinion. WOW

  26. Ray Vanlanot

    Sting does it again, and allows us to hear the wonderful roots to that which we are listening to today, and the bards sung so many years ago. I find that Sting's voice comes through wonderfully during the playing of the lute by Dowland. I am truly mesmerized by this era of Sting's performances with Lutist Dowland, as well his his own playing of the arch lute. What a wonderful part of musical history we are taking part of.


    LutePlayer s name is Edin Karamazov :)

    Composer is John Dowland (16th century)

  27. aelm oo

    Dowland is so beautifull that even this interpretation cannot ruin it.

    craig Mitchell

    al or how else would a new generation who never otherwise would have heard it, hear it?...i appreciate the effort, knocked my socks off when it came out last decade

  28. Peter Boughton

    God, I loath Sting beyond measure or end. John Potter wees on this from a great height.

    Susan DA

    Mr. Potter would not, er, could not stoop so low. This is the sub-basement of taste.

  29. Catherine Deslandes

    J'en suis bouleversée de tant de profondeur et de beauté !

  30. jimmy burgess

    REALLY fine arrangement.

  31. John Martin

    Let's just be happy someone is bringing dowland to the masses-not that they deserve him or anything requiring true emotion and feeling.Mendellssohn did the same thing with Bach and Handel using huge romantic era sized forces .So fooking what keep it all alive.Those who really want it will seek the info they need.Bernstein 's t.v. shows used to keep me thrilled a a child when my mother sat me down.I don't know what to say.If you love Boulez or Messiaen or the old stuff we are a small population .Just keep it alive .we don't hear or see with thesame eyes and ears as the 17th century or any other for that matter does.Just keep da stuff present.I hate much performance practice.pianofortes sound awful with Schubert and Beethoven and its obvious for most of the sontas esp. the later ones Beeth would pick a modern Hamburg Steinway.People want to career that's all Sting is doing and for a good purpose: he loves this music.Who wouldn't .


    +John e martin III "not that they deserve him or anything requiring true emotion and feeling" Spare us the snobbery; it's not a matter of a "deserving" public, it's what gets put out or doesn't.

  32. Badmintonforall

    without any doubt, Sting's best record...

  33. hdholl

    'The most perfect song' irreparably massacred by the most hideous voice. Sting had better stick to his profane pop persona possessively watching every step you take, than recklessly and vainly venturing into the lofty realms of pure art where only professionally trained voices can meet the high demands imposed by this celestial music.

    Thomas Munn

    +hdholl What utter twaddle. Dowland flipped hither and thither to gain employment, and usually with the wrong religion. "Lofty realms of pure art!" When has Art ever been pure? More like lowly realms of the impure fart of his days. That his music must have made things seem better for many "people" is true, but often by sharing in their misery, giving it substance. They liked him in Denmark, but on his return he attracted suspicion for seeming to be too rich for a mere musician. His music caught life, and everybody living may sing it. I never paid much attention to Sting, but I realised after the initial shock that this was a perfect rendering, from the heart, of this superb song.

    Paul Crawford Zzzzz

    sting sings it well in my opinion.. as for killing a song.. heard message in a bottle on the lute??

    matthias fuchs

    Preposterous fart, hdholl.

    John Fenner

    Hdholl. Your Heart has Obviously Been Replaced By A Mechanical Pump.
    Full Marks To Sting For Bringing A New Slant To This. Dowland Was A Man Of The People.
    Let’s Hear Your Version !.

  34. Alcyde Van

    rock'n roll ce "hellish jarring sounds" !

  35. PianoSchoolMuenchen

    Thats really burning music.

  36. fingerhorn4

    He cannot sing. Cannot hold a note. Does not know what to do with a held note. The vowels and inflections are cod-classical and naff. The whole thing is forced, un-natural and unmusical.

    Professor Snowberg

    fingerhorn , her's my advice to you:- Locate the nearest wall to you, than bash your head into it as hard as you can!!
    This will then knock some sense into you!
    Sting is a consumate musician , capable of crossing genres that few others apart from him can!
    Please don't try and bullshit anyone, especiallly about Stings interpretation about this piece!

    John Fenner

    Finger horn. You Obviously Were Not In Line When Ears And Heart Were Issued !.
    I Can See Dowland Nodding At These Interpretations. Bravo Sting.

  37. L Crosby García

    Some were mentioning coming from the classical style and how Sting just killed it, but for a tune that was published in an anthology for voice and lute, it should allude that this song was meant for anyone to sing. I think the misjudgment is that today we believe any piece that is deemed from ancient periods must have been sung in a bel canto voice when the reality is many of these tunes were aimed at the general masses. Unless it is part of an opera or a church piece, most likely, these tunes were for regular, unschooled and untrained people to sing; if that is the case, then Sting's voice is perhaps more accurate than someone singing this tune in a classical style. (Though personally, I have never liked Sting's voice, and he does seem a bit melodramatic, lol).

    Ted Zeppelin

    Absolutely, 100% There was no Classical snobbery then. You wrote a song and sold it for the general populace to sing, or you starved and had to get a proper job!


    Well said......

    Steven Bastien

    Correct, and all the more correct since the classical style was more than a century away from being invented when Dowland composed his countless masterpieces.

    D. Rapsky

    I agree with you ma'am.


    @Ubu987 thank you for your intelligent & appeasing comment . . i do hope

    (at least some) people will be able to open their minds and LEARN from it !

    saludos desde españa :)

  38. Paula Tatarunis

    He probably did not imagine audience winces and guffaws at "Hellish" .... there's some melancholy, rough sweetness to some of his performance, but it quickly becomes overblown and purple -- can't blame him for wanting to sing this beautiful song -- ! 
    (No need for a loud, long, (hellish, jarring)  Beatles ad preceding it, though.)

  39. thy wraith

    Silence is a beautiful thing? Why are people making a big deal about the comment

  40. TheBlacbits

    Ladies and gentlemen, please allow me to introduce two people; A musician and Sting. It's bad enough to be pretentious, but pretentious and wrong is unforgivable. Why Sting has to talk such crap (silence being the perfect music), I'll never fathom. He can't help himself. Only the truly stupid could say something like that with a straight face. His mate, Terry the banjo player, looks skyward. Sting thinks it's a reverent appreciation of a profound comment. Terry is actually thinking, "What a cock!!

    And he murders the song too. 

    Peter Lockhart

    Very well said, I honestly couldn't put it better. It is a beautiful song but when Sting does it I just wanted to burst out laughing.


    That is one of the funniest yt comments I've read in a while. I'm going to be chuckling all day now, cheers!

    Glen Shannon

    +TheBlacbits Oh please. Yes, Sting is a pop singer -  but with a newfound appreciation for the great music of the Elizabethan Renaissance. He's not a trained singer of the period, we all know that. A little self-absorbed and pompous? We all know that too. But we shouldn't be slamming him for doing it.

    Jack Fletcher

    That is quite obvious

    Susan DA

    "murder" is an understatement, he grinds it into an unrecognizable pulp.

  41. Dragica Petrović

    Braviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii Edin Karamazov & Sting. "In Darkness Let Me Dwell" by
    John Dowland it is fantastic. ~ <3 ~ :D:P

  42. Henry McGuinness Guitar

    Hilarious conversation, including the gem "I've always maintained that silence is the perfect music"

    Henry McGuinness Guitar

    Good effort though - doing these songs :) Love a bit of Dowland

  43. Monique Vance

    what instrument is be played in this song?


    It's a lute. John Dowland's signature instrument.

  44. giuseppe nalin

    Le immagini sono superlative, con ottimi tagli di luce, mentre il livello esecutivo è assolutamente penoso, soprattutto per la voce del cantante, Se Dowland potesse sentire una simile esecuzione, credo che perlomeno scoppierebbe dal ridere

  45. jojo Guest

    I personally feel that the very late and very,very great Mr Do(ough)wland would be turning, nay spinning in his melancholic grave. I know I would be!

    John Fenner

    doodledots . Absolute Balderdash ! . Were He Here Today. Dowland Would Be Interested In Stings Recorded Portfolio. And Probably Give A nod To This Performance. So Easy To A Pompous Critic.
    Let’s Hear Your Version !. Sing Up I Can’t Hear You ! !.

  46. JasonMasters

    As Matthew E hinted, the song was written in an era when emotional music was the fashion. I think this music dates from the time when the old tragedy classic "babes in the wood" became (in)famous. This song follows a similar theme by expressing despair instead of triumph.

  47. Themostamazinguy

    "In darkness let me dwell" Sounds like a happy song to me! (I'm being very sarcastic)


    Perfect from a marriage, or a birth, obviously

  48. 00100000station

    This music video (1:30 onwards) is not Poncey at all!

  49. Oussama Hridis



  50. Francis7a

    I llike the creative way he sings the line "hellish jarring sounds" with a cacophony and dissonance. It really exampifies the expression of the line.

  51. arfurlife

    I agree. Its so nice to hear such an unusual slant and boy does it work. I have to put any negative feelings to one side I may have about Sting and admit this is fabulous, dark and brooding . This is most powerful and moving, incredible infact.

  52. pascal jan

    frissons ...demesure et dignité !

  53. titus diodoros

    open up this song in 2 tabs and try listening to it at the same time with the videos only 1 or 2 seconds apart. IT'S MAGICAL!!!!

    Federico Andre

    My friend, that was genius! I put them 1 second apart, and the harmonies and counterpoint they produced were simply amazing. Such eeriness and melancholy!

  54. carolineleiden

    Renaissance Music is very difficult to sing just from sheet. The notes seem to make no sense, getting the rhythm is virtually impossible, and if you listen to other versions, you'll get their idea and not your own, so you're kind of stuck. :). Chapeau Mr. Sting!

    It is very very good that Sting is transferring this music, our musical heritage, really, to the modern pop world. Hopefully he'll do more than Dowland in the future, and hopefully he'll do it with Karamazov.

    Dermod Wood

    I like it.

  55. arnaud

    c'est vraiment laid ce que fait sting avec la musique de dowland. c'est n'importe quoi. il faudrait lui dire.

  56. NRYoung14

    I want that theorbo

  57. JasonMasters

    Yes, it's Dowland. My mistake.

  58. Lucas H

    you don't know anything about madrigals. I'm glad Sting brings attention to this genre of music, too bad he shits on all of it.

    Also it's Dowland not Dowling.

  59. emile593

    Right,but,may be as a matter of personal taste, I prefer the interpretations of Alfred Deller,the best ones since ever,in my opinion.
    Any way:music and poetry,beauty and joy for ever!

    Susan DA

    Amen to that. (1950s Deller not 1970s Deller)

  60. Assclown

    Love It!

  61. ONeirda

    I do admire Sting for his musicality. When I listen to his singing here with my classical ears on, it's rather a pain, judged from the values of art in classical singing. But, after all, he's building a bridge here, and I deeply acknowledge that. I'm singing mostly classical and do some Heavy Metal in between, so I do support the crossover. Music is human and global, when it's good.
    A. von Uri, Switzerland

  62. yupyup1562

    You really posted that? Hahahaha

  63. TheLivingHeiromartyr

    Don't you mean its
    Jarring sound? ; )

  64. molealto

    THIS is how you do it: watch?v=f7vLOjzG4no

  65. ashtreexx

    I've got a 60s recording by Peter Pears, his voice is more pure but sounds quite sanitised. I really like this alternative interpretation. It is a strange song, full of assonance and certainly not cheerful. About being in deep depression I suppose.

  66. Christopher Trueman

    Who told Sting this would be a good idea? I think he must be trolling the music world with this one.. Call the Police!!!!!!!!!

  67. yupyup1562

    "possibly the most perfect song ever written in the English language"

    I disagree...most adamantly.
    I listened to it and hope never to hear it's grating sound again.

  68. Matthew E

    The whole point of Early Music is that it is music driven by emotion - the Renaissance era of music perhaps one of the most emotionally deep eras of music. The composers give simply no marks on the page other than the notes themselves - not even accidentals most of the the time. Thus, the performer has a lot of room for interpretation which is why I love early music and especially original performances such as this one.

  69. mozzevel

    Could you give me several examples of "other level of musical enjoyment"?

  70. gothips

    thought the perfect song in english language is greensleeves.

  71. Jeff Stanley

    You're right, you don't come off as haughty at all.

  72. Jeff Stanley

    Crossovers have their limitations, no doubt about it.

  73. Simón Esain

    John Dowland

  74. Jeff Stanley

    Kudos to Sting for introducing Dowland to his audience. As far as his performance, there's nothing at all wrong with box wine. I just hope that his fans don't let the haughtiness in some classical fans' reactions to it stop them short of developing a taste for fine wine.

  75. noon noon

    awful... leave it to the professionals, sting.

  76. JaredMakesVideos

    A few years ago me, my dad, and brother in-law saw these two doing a song on PBS together, Actually, I think it was this very song. But anyway, Ever since then I've seen Mr. Karamazov several times, performing everything from Dowland to Bach, very well I might add. It was very suprising to hear Mr. Karamazov say it couldn't be compared to anything and it's his favorite.

  77. ThePrydonianChapter

    I love how the lutenist looks like he's making love to the lute. He also looks like a young Snape <3 However Mr Dowland, you are fabulous :D

  78. mozzevel

    Perfection of perfomance.

  79. AOConnellHarp

    its funny how people will disregard sting entirely, considering we have no recordings of what people sounded like in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Perhaps singers did take this approach? As some other viewers said, i do enjoy the heightened drama Sting brings by speaking the text emphatically. Personally, i admire (and prefer) Hargis's interpretation for its crystalline acuity and superb ensemble. But why should that prevent sting from presenting his two cents?

  80. Adam Logan

    @pianomags Kudos on using reckon.

  81. freshpickleslice

    @JasonMasters Dowland. not dowling.

  82. jorge manuel silva f. goncalves

    emtiness arraund silence liffe, it im sellf its dramatic ,song thers no saud weadaut silence,..

  83. Jaime Andres Arroyave Ramirez

    @JasonMasters Dowling or Dowland?

  84. Gpcola 04

    Have Sting's Labyrinth album, Karamazov is an outstanding lutinist, and Sting has brought this music to the attention of a wider audience. I like the interpretation by Ellen Hargis also on you tube. personal preference, not to deminish Sting.

  85. CharlieOnTheNet

    @pianomags It's not a madrigal. It's an ayer.

  86. JasonMasters

    Many people seem to think that this version is "not as good" as others because Sting makes the song sound dark and melancholy. Those people seem to be forgetting that this song is intended to be dark. It most definitely should not sound light-hearted or sweet, as some versions I've heard sound. At least, that's my opinion, for whatever that's worth. I think that Sting has managed to capture the intended feeling of Dowling's original song, and has done so brilliantly.

  87. kris

    A quote of my friend upon hearing this "Oh Sting, where is thy death?"


    One of the FUNNIEST things I have ever read. Well played indeed kris.

    John Fenner

    Well, Kris. You’ve had 7 years with few comments. Hardly worth it Really.
    No doubt by now you have your own “ Superior Version”, On Record And Ready
    for us to hear. I look forward to it !.

  88. Maciej Kamienski

    WOW!! I never hear this song. It's Wonderfull !! Great lirycs.

  89. Lynda Murray

    @pianomags Well said.

  90. tupiornot

    Raoni te saúda, Dowland!

  91. Even Gods Suffer

    Finally, someone is singing the words instead of the supporting notes.
    Thank you @JasonMasters

  92. federipal

    Sting makes this introspective song something of his own.

  93. Carsick Phil

    Great version by Sting. I had a go at updating Dowland myself earning a slightly stuffy response from those in the classical world but entertaining those in blues world. Enjoyed myself, learned a lot and still love listening the original pieces played by early music buffs. If you're interested in my attempts on blues slide guitar then go to my carsickphil channel and see what you think. There's a version of Mr Dowland's Midnight and Orlando Sleepeth available among my videos.

  94. Niamh Leonard


  95. vedranaflips

    Where is this?

  96. Emily Harris Hernandez

    I think this is simply wonderful.

  97. Colin Welch

    I enjoyed everything except for Sting's diction, which altered the pitch of his voice, and at some points was downright indecipherable

  98. danablett

    @danablett what i think he means by "the counterpoint is very awkward, eerie, mysterious" is the way that the harmonic relationship between the 2 instruments constantly change on a note per note basis and in a fairly non traditional way... lets not forget that the definition of counterpoint is "point to point" i can totally understand what he is saying. I don't see how you don't get this... ive been to your channel, ive watch some videos, you are smart and talented. Why bother picking on Sting?

  99. danablett

    @dxf323 doubt if you want... doesn't change the truth. you do know there are other people in the world besides yourself that are musicians, right? some of them use youtube? ;) just a quick english lesson.. poly=more then one. 2 instruments (lute and voice) is... more then 1! i think a strong example of this is in the video at 3:14 til 3:30... if you transcribed exactly what was played onto a score... you would analyze that as counterpoint.

  100. danablett

    @dxf323 Haha, cute. Nice work achieving your grade 6 theory. now... listen to what the lute is ACTUALLY playing. He is playing heaps of arpeggios, and heaps of lines above his chords, or lines in the top note voicings of his chords. An arpeggiated chord can be seen and heard as line sustained... much like playing 5 or 6 notes on a piano with the pedal down. Counterpoint is about the relationship between 2 moving lines. It can be rubato, it can be improvised. BTW, I have a B.Mus(composition)