The story of Sting's forgotten tribute to a slain engineer in Nicaragua

Published Nov. 28, 2016

Many '80s anniversaries go unnoticed, but the anniversary of Band Aid's Do They Know It's Christmas always draws plenty of attention this time of year, so Lost and Found will join the fray this week profiling some of the artists, like Sting, that participated on the king of charity songs.

Besides Band Aid talk, Sting has also been in the news lately with the arrival of his recent album 57th & 9th and its lead single I Can't Stop Thinking About You. In 1988, Sting's hit album Nothing Like The Sun was still going strong and the fourth single released was the poignant Fragile. The song was a tribute to Ben Linder, an American who was killed in Nicaragua in 1987 by the American-funded Contras while working on a dam as a civil engineer. Fragile did not chart in the U.S. and only made it to No. 70 on the U.K. charts.

With the seriousness of the song, the video for Fragile has no shenanigans, just Sting playing his acoustic guitar in a cloudy background. Linder, the subject of Fragile, was posthumously award the Courage of Conscience Award as the Oregon native and University of Washington graduate devoted his short life to working to help the living conditions of the poor of Central America before he was murdered at the age of 27. Besides lending his engineering knowledge, he spent his spare time befriending and entertaining the children of Nicaragua as an ace juggler and unicyclist.