Dire Straits: Sultans of Swing Meaning
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Song Released: 1978
Sultans of Swing Lyrics
Its been raining in the park but meantime
South of the river you stop and you hold everything
A band is blowing dixie double four time
You feel all right when you hear that music ring
You step inside but you...
anonymous Oct 13th, 2006 10:59am report
This song is about an aging jazzband doing what they love. They never made it big, and the joint isn't full, but they keep at doing what they love, regardless of the silly style of the time( hence the crowd of young boys-that ain't what they call rock n roll, line)
anonymous Jul 15th, 2017 7:55pm report
SoS was the greatest song ever written and played.
I still remember the very first time I heard it.
I was driving to Sun Valley Idaho to go skiing about 1978.
I kept turning the dial to try and hear it again and again.
It started my love of Dire Straits and Knopfler.
Since then I have listened to him for many thousands of hours.
BTW I am 76 years old and still love it as many ch as ever.
Sometimes I am overwhelmed at one of his riffs or his smooth understated style. He makes it look easy
anonymous Jul 2nd, 2017 7:30pm report
About a eastern rock jazz band that were in dire straits to make Themselves known to the west that called Themselves ''The Sultans Of Swing''. Or you can say and feel that this song can also be about the Muslim freedom of power and expression of the Sultans. Going back even before the Ottoman Empire ruled, when the Pope had a big influence on Their Profit that backfired.
anonymous Jan 5th, 2016 1:13pm report
Mark Knoepfler wrote this song on a piccolo and as such had no Bb note until it was recorded on guitars.
anonymous Jul 21st, 2012 7:39am report
Mark Knopfler said that this song was inspired by a band he listened to in a pub in London, and more or less describes his experience of the event.
anonymous Apr 9th, 2012 4:07pm report
The king of rock n roll -----DJ Alan Freed formed a Band called Sultans of Swing long before Dire Straits existed......Just saying!
anonymous Apr 27th, 2011 4:35am report
It was inspired by Harry Vanda and George Young - Classic songwriters Vanda/Young - EasyBeats
anonymous Feb 24th, 2011 2:33pm report
Kam Fong as Chin Ho
anonymous Jul 19th, 2007 7:04pm report
This song I feel is in fact about the dire straits themselves
and about the music scene back then in general....
there was a time when they were fuckin poor n played on the streets.... Thus the name dire straits....
however the beauty of the song lies in Knopfler writing it as a joyful experience rather than a painful saga...
anonymous Sep 22nd, 2006 9:23pm report
Seems like the song is a commentary on the music scene at the time mid-late 1970's in this case, but perhaps in any era. A status-quo of professional,and industry-minded musicians putting out the same competent, commercial, product that was successful over the last few years, with the expected result:
"you check out guitar george, he knows all the chords
mind he's strictly rhythm he doesn't want to make it cry or sing
and an old guitar is all he can afford"
nothing original or heartfelt here, just business as usual without any real spark of originality. Just the "old guitar" ... Old music and ideas.
"and harry doesn't mind if he doesn't make the scene
he's got a daytime job he's doing alright"
doesn't speak to anyone, really! Harry's just in there to make a few dollars, not really say anything.
The song then alludes to the emerging punk/glam/progressive/marginalized/whatever scene ...
"and a crowd of young boys theyre 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 aint what they call rock and roll"
the next "swing" of music is on it's way and things will change ... The "crowd of youg" will decide what shape it will take:
"thank you goodnight now its time to go home
and he makes it fast with one more thing
we are the sultans of swing"
the fact that music is constantly changing and evolving seems to be the theme of the song. Each generation carving it's own unique definition of it.
anonymous Aug 2nd, 2006 8:48pm report
Sultans of swing is about a local rock band (the sultans of swing) that plays "real" rock and are annoyed at all the "trumpet playing bands"
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