Artist: Dire Straits

Skateaway ~ Dire Straits

Mark Knopfler of Dire StraitsDire Straits was a British rock band, formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (guitar and vocals), his brother David Knopfler (guitar), John Illsley (bass), and Pick Withers (drums), and subsequently managed by Ed Bicknell. Although the band was formed in an era when punk rock reigned, Dire Straits worked within the conventions of classic rock, albeit with a stripped-down sound that appealed to modern audiences weary of the overproduced stadium rock of the 1970s. In their early days, Mark and David requested that pub owners turn down the amps so that patrons could converse while the band played – indicative of their unassuming demeanor. Despite this oddly self-effacing approach to rock and roll, Dire Straits soon became hugely successful.

Dire Straits chose their name mainly due to the financial conditions the four band members were in at the time.

Skateaway

Skateaway” is a 1980 rock song by Dire Straits, dealing with a female roller-skater breezing through busy city streets, while listening to a portable radio through her headphones. It appears on the band’s 1980 album Making Movies. Released as a single in 1981, the song was accompanied by a video that was popular on MTV, featuring musician Jayzik Azikiwe as Rollergirl, though she was credited as Jay Carly in the video.

Skateaway - Mark Knopfler

I seen a girl on a one-way corridor
Stealin’ down a wrong-way street
For all the world like an urban toreador
She had wheels on her feet – on her feet
Well the cars do the usual dances
Same old cruise and the curbside crawl
But the rollergirl – she’s takin’ chances
Just love to see her take them on

No fears, alone at night – she’s sailing through the crowd
In her ears the phones are tight and the music’s playin’ loud

Hallelujah – here she comes – Queen Roller Ball
Enchante – what can I say? Carry on
You know she used to have to wait around
She used to be the lonely one
But now that she been skatin’ around town
She’s the only one

No fears, alone at night – she’s sailing through the crowd
In her ears the phones are tight and the music’s playin’ loud

She gets rock n roll, from the rock n roll station
In a rock n roll dream
She’s making movies on location
She don’t know what it means
And the music make her wanna be the story
And the story was whatever was the song – what it was
Rollergirl – don’t worry
DJ play the movies – all night long

She tortures taxi drivers just for fun
She like to read their lips
Says: “Toro, toro, taxi – see ‘ya tomorrow my son – ”
She just let a big truck graze her hip
She got her own world in the city – yeah!
Ain’t that true – Lord I know -
She got her own world in the city
The city’s bein’ so… rude to her

Slippin’ and a-slidin’
Yeah, life’s a roller ball
Slippin’ and a-slidin’
Skateaway – that’s all
Skateaway
Shala shalay, hey hey, skateaway
She’s singin’ shala shalay, hey hey
Skateaway

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  • Audio from the 1981 Album, Making Movies:

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Brothers in Arms ~ Dire Straits

Memorial Day, May 27, 2013

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This song has always brought tears to my eyes.

Just close your eyes and reflect.  May they rest in peace.

Brothers in Arms

Brothers in Arms” is a 1985 song by Dire Straits, appearing as the closing track on the album of the same name.

These mist covered mountains
Are a home now for me
But my home is the lowlands
And always will be
Some day you’ll return to
Your valleys and your farms
And you’ll no longer burn
To be brothers in arms

Through these fields of destruction
Baptisms of fire
I’ve witnessed your suffering
As the battles raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms

There’s so many different worlds
So many differents suns
And we have just one world
But we live in different ones

Now the sun’s gone to hell
And the moon’s riding high
Let me bid you farewell
Every man has to die
But its written in the starlight
And every line on your palm
We’re fools to make war
On our brothers in arms

  • Audio from the 1985 album, Brothers in Arms:
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Sultans of Swing – Dire Straits

Dire Straits was a British rock band, formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (guitar and vocals), his brother David Knopfler (guitar), John Illsley (bass), and Pick Withers (drums), and subsequently managed by Ed Bicknell. Although the band was formed in an era when punk rock reigned, Dire Straits worked within the conventions of classic rock, albeit with a stripped-down sound that appealed to modern audiences weary of the overproduced stadium rock of the 1970s. In their early days, Mark and David requested that pub owners turn down the amps so that patrons could converse while the band played – indicative of their unassuming demeanor. Despite this oddly self-effacing approach to rock and roll, Dire Straits soon became hugely successful.

Dire Straits chose their name mainly due to the financial conditions the four band members were in at the time.

Sultans of Swing

Sultans of Swing” was the first single release of the British rock band Dire Straits. It was first recorded as a demo, and quickly acquired a following after it was put in the rotation at Radio London. It did not take long for the popularity to find its way to record executives, and Dire Straits were offered a contract with Phonogram, a British record company. The song was then re-recorded and released in both the United Kingdom and the United States, though the demo version remained on the original UK Vertigo single. It entered the American music pop charts in early-1979. Unusually, the success of this single release came more than six months after the relatively unheralded release of the band’s debut album in October of 1978; the song reached the top 10 in both the UK and the U.S., and helped drive sales of the album, which also became a hit.

You get a shiver in the dark
It’s raining in the park but meantime
South of the river you stop and you hold everything
A band is blowin’ Dixie double four time
You feel alright when you hear that music ring

And now you step inside but you don’t see too many faces
Comin’ in out of the rain you hear the jazz go down
Competition in other places
Oh but the horns they blowin’ that sound
Way on down south, way on down south London town

You check out Guitar George, he knows all the chords
Mind he’s strictly rhythm he doesn’t wanna make it cry or sing
Yes and an old guitar is all he can afford
When he gets up under the lights to play his thing

And Harry doesn’t mind if he doesn’t make the scene
He’s got a daytime job, he’s doin’ alright
He can play the honky tonk like anything
Savin’ it up for Friday night
With the Sultans… with the Sultans of Swing

And a crowd of young boys they’re fooling around in the corner
Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles
They don’t give a damn about any trumpet playing band
It ain’t what they call rock and roll
And the Sultans… yeah the Sultans play Creole

And then the man he steps right up to the microphone
And says at last just as the time bell rings
‘Goodnight, now it’s time to go home’
And he makes it fast with one more thing
‘We are the Sultans… We are the Sultans of Swing’

  • Audio from the 1978 album, Dire Straits:
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Telegraph Road ~ Dire Straits

Dire Straits was a British rock band, formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (guitar and vocals), his brother David Knopfler (guitar), John Illsley (bass), and Pick Withers (drums), and subsequently managed by Ed Bicknell. Although the band was formed in an era when punk rock reigned, Dire Straits worked within the conventions of classic rock, albeit with a stripped-down sound that appealed to modern audiences weary of the overproduced stadium rock of the 1970s. In their early days, Mark and David requested that pub owners turn down the amps so that patrons could converse while the band played – indicative of their unassuming demeanor. Despite this oddly self-effacing approach to rock and roll, Dire Straits soon became hugely successful.

Dire Straits chose their name mainly due to the financial conditions the four band members were in at the time.

Telegraph Road

Telegraph Road” is a song by British rock band Dire Straits and written by Mark Knopfler. It appeared on their 1982 album Love over Gold. Clocking in at 14:18 minutes long, it is rarely played by radio stations, yet has remained highly regarded over the years.

Inspired by a bus trip taken by Knopfler, the lyrics narrate a tale of changing land development over a span of many decades along Telegraph Road in suburban Detroit, Michigan. In the latter verses, Knopfler focuses on one man’s personal struggle with unemployment after the city built around the telegraph road has become uninhabited and barren just as it began.

In an interview on RockLine, a “rock radio network” call-in show, broadcast live on 10 May 1983, Mark Knopfler said, while on tour, he… “in fact was driving down that road and I was reading a book at the time called Growth of the Soil [by the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun], and I just put the two together. I was driving down this Telegraph Road… and it just went on and on and on forever, it’s like what they call linear development. And I just started to think, I wondered how that road must have been when it started, what it must have first been. And then really that’s how it all came about yeah, I just put that book together and the place where I was, I was actually sitting in the front of the tour bus at the time.”

A long time ago came a man on a track
Walking thirty miles with a sack on his back
And he put down his load where he thought it was the best
Made a home in the wilderness
Built a cabin and a winter store
And he ploughed up the ground by the cold lake shore
The other travelers came walking down the track
And they never went further, no, they never went back
Then came the churches then came the schools
Then came the lawyers then came the rules
Then came the trains and the trucks with their load
And the dirty old track was the telegraph road

Then came the mines and then came the ore
Then there was the hard times then there was a war
Telegraph sang a song about the world outside
Telegraph road got so deep and so wide
Like a rolling river …

And my radio says tonight it’s gonna freeze
People driving home from the factories
Six lanes of traffic
Three lanes moving slow …

I used to like to go to work but they shut it down
I got a right to go to work but there’s no work here to be found
Yes and they say we’re gonna have to pay what’s owed
We’re gonna have to reap from some seed that’s been sowed
And the birds up on the wires and the telegraph poles
They can always fly away from this rain and this cold
You can hear them singing out their telegraph code
All the way down the telegraph road

I’d sooner forget but I remember those nights
Yeah, life was just a bet on a race between the lights
You had your head on my shoulder you had your hand in my hair
Now you act a little colder like you don’t seem to care …
Well just believe in me baby and I’ll take you away
From out of this darkness and into the day
From these rivers of headlights these rivers of rain
From the anger that lives on the streets with these names
‘cos I’ve run every red light on memory lane
I’ve seen desperation explode into flames
And I don’t want to see it again …

From all of these signs saying ‘sorry but we’re closed’
All the way down the telegraph road

  • Audio from the 1982 album, Love over Gold:
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Walk of Life ~ Dire Straits

Dire Straits was a British rock band, formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (guitar and vocals), his brother David Knopfler (guitar), John Illsley (bass), and Pick Withers (drums), and subsequently managed by Ed Bicknell. Although the band was formed in an era when punk rock reigned, Dire Straits worked within the conventions of classic rock, albeit with a stripped-down sound that appealed to modern audiences weary of the overproduced stadium rock of the 1970s. In their early days, Mark and David requested that pub owners turn down the amps so that patrons could converse while the band played – indicative of their unassuming demeanor. Despite this oddly self-effacing approach to rock and roll, Dire Straits soon became hugely successful.

Dire Straits chose their name mainly due to the financial conditions the four band members were in at the time.

Walk of Life

The song was nearly excluded from the album when the co-producer Neil Dorfsman voted against its inclusion, but the rest of the band out-voted him.

The long introduction has become iconic in some circles, with an instantly recognisable melody played on a synthesiser organ patch. The singer mentioned in the lyrics is said to perform “down in the tunnels, trying to make it pay,” a reference to busking in the subway. The songs he plays are oldies, including “I Got a Woman”, “Be-Bop-A-Lula”, “What’d I Say”, and “Mack the Knife”. He also plays talking blues.

When the song was originally released, the band explained that a “walk of life” in the context of this song is a traditional journey taken by a storyteller in the countryside, in which he went from town to town telling stories, in the days before radio, television, and recording.

[flv]http://djallyn.org/media/walkoflife.flv[/flv]

Here comes Johnny singing oldies, goldies
Be-Bop-A-Lula, Baby What I Say
Here comes Johnny singing I Gotta Woman
Down in the tunnels, trying to make it pay
He got the action, he got the motion
Oh Yeah the boy can play
Dedication devotion
Turning all the night time into the day

He do the song about the sweet lovin’ woman
He do the song about the knife
He do the walk, he do the walk of life, yeah he do the walk of life

Here comes Johnny and he’ll tell you the story
Hand me down my walkin’ shoes
Here comes Johnny with the power and the glory
Backbeat the talkin’ blues
He got the action, he got the motion
Oh Yeah the boy can play
Dedication devotion
Turning all the night time into the day

He do the song about the sweet lovin’ woman
He do the song about the knife
He do the walk, he do the walk of life, yeah he do the walk of life

Here comes Johnny singing oldies, goldies
Be-Bop-A-Lula, Baby What I Say
Here comes Johnny singing I Gotta Woman
Down in the tunnels, trying to make it pay
He got the action, he got the motion
Oh Yeah the boy can play
Dedication devotion
Turning all the night time into the day

And after all the violence and double talk
There’s just a song in all the trouble and the strife
You do the walk, you do the walk of life, yeah he do the walk of life

  • Audio from the 1985 album, Brothers in Arms:

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Ride Across the River ~ Dire Straits

Dire Straits was a British rock band, formed in 1977 by Mark Knopfler (guitar and vocals), his brother David Knopfler (guitar), John Illsley (bass), and Pick Withers (drums), and subsequently managed by Ed Bicknell. Although the band was formed in an era when punk rock reigned, Dire Straits worked within the conventions of classic rock, albeit with a stripped-down sound that appealed to modern audiences weary of the overproduced stadium rock of the 1970s. In their early days, Mark and David requested that pub owners turn down the amps so that patrons could converse while the band played – indicative of their unassuming demeanor. Despite this oddly self-effacing approach to rock and roll, Dire Straits soon became hugely successful.

Dire Straits chose their name mainly due to the financial conditions the four band members were in at the time.

Ride Across the River

“Ride Across the River”, “The Man’s too Strong” and “Brothers in Arms” are lyrically focused on the guerrilla wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua of the 1980s. The title of the album was inspired by a conversation in which Knopfler’s father remarked, “We shouldn’t be at war with our brothers in arms.” This conversation is said to have taken place at the time of the Falklands War, though Mark Knopfler has denied the two have a direct link.

“Ride Across the River” is built on an off-beat rhythm. The song uses immersive Latin American rain forest imagery, accompanied by pan flute and eerie background noises, to allude to the elements of guerilla warfare.

[flv]http://djallyn.org/media/dire-straits_ride-across-the-river.flv[/flv]

I’m a soldier of freedom in the army of man
We are the chosen, we’re the partisan
The cause it is noble and the cause it is just
We are ready to pay with our lives if we must

Gonna ride across the river deep and wide
Ride across the river to the other side

I’m a soldier of fortune, I’m a dog of war
And we don’t give a damn who the killing is for
It’s the same old story with a different name
Death or glory, it’s the killing game

Gonna ride across the river deep and wide
Ride across the river to the other side

Nothing gonna stop them as the day follows the night
Right becomes wrong, the left becomes the right
And they sing as they march with their flags unfurled
Today in the mountains, tomorrow the world

Gonna ride across the river deep and wide
Ride across the river to the other side

  • Audio from the 1985 album, Brothers in Arms:
Click to Purchase

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