"Synchronicity II" is a song by The Police, and the third single from their album Synchronicity. Released as a single in the UK and the U.S. by A&M Records, it reached number 17 in the UK Singles Chart and number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1983. It featured the non-album track "Once Upon a Daydream" on the b-side. The song was described by People Weekly as "aggressive" and "steely."
Contents[edit | edit source]
Meaning of the song[edit | edit source]
The song, which refers to Carl Jung's theory of synchronicity, nominally tells the story of an emasculated husband and harried father whose home, work life, and environment are terrible and depressing. In an early stretch of lyrics we find "Grandmother screaming at the wall" (family trouble/mental illness), as well as "mother chants her litany of boredom and frustration, but we know all her suicides are fake" (nagging, unhappy spouse). Later, we hear about humiliation by his boss ("and every single meeting with his so-called superior/is an humiliating kick in the crotch"), all the while he "knows that something somewhere has to break". Meanwhile something monstrous is emerging from a "dark Scottish lake/loch", a reference to the Loch Ness Monster—a parallel to the father's own inner anguish. In "Synchronicity II" guitarist Andy Summers "forgoes the pretty clean sounds for post-apocalyptic squeals and crashing power chords", writes Matt Blackett in Guitar Player magazine.
"The late-inning number that really gets [the crowd] galvanized is the edgy old Police staple that has the most old-fashioned unresolved rock tension in it, 'Synchronicity II'—which, after all, is a song about a domestic crisis so anxiety producing that it wakes up the Loch Ness monster."
"Jung believed there was a large pattern to life, that it wasn't just chaos. Our song Synchronicity II is about two parallel events that aren't connected logically or causally, but symbolically."
"Synchronicity II" also may have taken inspiration from the poem "The Second Coming" by William Butler Yeats. The theme of "The Second Coming" is similar to that of "Synchronicity II"—a civilization beginning to collapse, and the rise of something new, something perhaps savage, to take its place.
Throughout the song, the musical tone follows the lyrics closely. The description of the man's working day is first underlaid with confident-sounding but chordless guitar notes, which in each verse segue through rising tension into a menacing scene of the creature. The final verse carries an image reminiscent of a horror movie: "There's a shadow on the door / Of a cottage on the shore / Of a dark Scottish lake / Many miles away." A longer than usual melodic linemakes the transition between the urban and creature horror.
The music video for the song was directed by Godley & Creme. In it the band are seen performing on top of giant piles of guitars, drums, junk, car parts, wires, etc. with debris and papers flying about, punctuated by footage of Loch Ness for each chorus.
Track listing[edit | edit source]
|12" UK Single AMX 153|
|2.||"Once Upon A Daydream"||3:28|
The song in music games[edit | edit source]
"Synchronicity II" is covered and appears as a playable track on the PlayStation 2 game Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s. The master track of the song also appears as downloadable content for the music video game series Rock Band and Rocksmith.
Covers[edit | edit source]
- The song was covered by The Casket Lottery, appearing on their compilation album Possiblies And Maybes.
- Progressive metal band Queensrÿche covered the song for their 2007 cover album Take Cover.
- The album ¡Policia! - A Tribute to the Police (2005) contains a cover by No Motiv.
- The song was also covered by Rosetta Stone as part of their Unerotica: Reformatted Eighties album in 2000.
- Heavy Metal/Prog rocker Rob Gravelle released a cover as a single in 2008.