Sting is covering a 1960s classic for a very good cause.
In a new video, the former frontman of the Police performs an acoustic version of Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”, originally released in 1967.
Sting’s cover is one of many from a variety of musical artists on behalf of the Alzheimer’s Association’s “Musical Moments” project, with other participants including Nile Rodgers, Sharon Van Etten, Jason Isbell, Band of Horses, Joan Jett, Lee Ann Womack, Anthony Hamilton, Brett Eldredge, and the Head and the Heart.
As Sting performs the song — even nailing Redding’s iconic whistling — the performance is intercut with footage of the 68-year-old rocker discussing his very personal relationship with Alzheimer’s.
“My wife’s mother died from premature Alzheimer’s, and it’s a tragic and horrifying disease,” he explains. “It’s a potential in all of our lives, so whatever research we do at this present time is absolutely important.”
He also looks back at the connection he has with the song, bringing him back to when he was growing up in the small town of Wallsend, England.
“When I was 16, I had no idea how to achieve my dreams,” he says. “And so I lived near the river in my town. I’d go down to the ferry and I’d watch ships go back and forth. I wondered where they were going, and I realized my life was like that. I had to leave where I was.”
You can hear the full version of Sting’s cover below.