Dire Straits: Telegraph Road Meaning
Telegraph Road Lyrics
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 winterstore
And he ploughed up the ground by the...
anonymous Feb 5th 2012 report
Althought i think the song can be interpreted in different ways in my opinion Knopfler sings about the changing realtion between man and nature.
In the first part he mainly recaps the "winning of the west", where settlers used to leave new england (and the united states later) heading west into the untouched wilderness.
Then the time starts to rush ("then..then..then") and became ovewhelming for the hero of the story. The track/telegraph road turns in front of his eyes into a six-roaded street with flashlights overwhere.
In the last part of the song Knopfler directly speaks od the relation between mankind and nature, which once was close and intimidate and know has been colded.
So basically Knopfler critisezes the turning away from nature beginning with the industrialisation, which led to the harsh and cold situation mankind is facing at so many points (unemployment, overcrowding, pollution etc.). The Telegraph road, which is a road along the steel belt in the US, stands as a metaphor for this process.
As Knopfler said himself this song stands under the strong influence of the mainwork of nobel-prize-winner Knut Hamsun "Growth of the soil". Hamsun himself wrote that only touch with soil itself gaves strength and only bad people try to use nature as a proxy. Reading the book while driving throught the US, Knopfler worte down Hamsuns ideas in "Telegraph Road".
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