"Dire Straits" the Album

Down to the waterline

Sweet surrender on the quayside 
You remember we used to run and ride
In the shadow of cargoe I take you one time
And we're counting all the numbers down to the waterline
Near misses on the dogleap stairways 
French kisses in the darkened doorways 
A foghorn blowingout wild and cold 
A policeman shines a light upon my shoulder
Up comes a coaster fast and silent in the night 
Over my shoulder all you can see are the pilot lights 
No money on our jackets and our jeans are torn 
Your hands are cold but your lips are warm 

She can see him on the jetty where they used to go 
She can feel him in the places where the sailors go 
When she's walking by the river and the railway line 
She can still hear him whisper 
Let's go down to the waterline 

Water of love
High and dry in the long hot day
Lost and lonley every day
Got the flats all around me sky up above 
I need a little water of love
I've been too long lonley and my heart feels pain 
Crying out for some soothing rain 
I believe I have taken enough 
I need a little water of love 

Water of love deep in the ground
No water here to be found 
Some day baby when the river runs free
It'll carry that water of love to me 

There's a bird up in a tree sitting up high 
Waiting for me to die 
If I don't get some water soon
I'll be dead and gone in the afternoon 

Once I had a woman I could call my own 
Once I had a woman now my woman is gone 
Once there was a river now there's a stone 
You know it's evil then you're living alone 

Setting me up

You say I'm the greatest bound for glory 
Well the world is out and I learned 
I got the latest side of the story 
You're pulling out before you get burned 

Well your hands are squeezing me down to the bone 
I never saw you breaking no law 
Stands to reason I've got to leave you alone 
What you taking me for 

You're setting me up to me down 
You're making me out to be your clown 
You're just setting me up to put me down 
You better give it up 
Quit your messing around 

You think I care about your reaction 
You think I don't understand 
All you wanted was a piece of the action 
Now you talk about another man 

Six blade knife
Your six blade knife can do anything for you 
Anything you want it to 
One blade for breaking my heart 
One blade for tearing me apart 
Your six blade knife - do anything for you 
You can take away my mind like you take away the top of a tin 
When you come up from behind and lay it down cold on my skin 
Took a stone from my soul when I was lame 
Just so you could make me tame 
You take away my mind like you take away the top of a tin 

I'd like to be free of it now - I don't want it no more 
I'd like to be free of it now - you know I don't want it no more 

Everybody got a knife it can be just what they want it to be 
A needle a wife or something that you just can't see 

You know it keeps you strong 
Yes and it'll do me wrong 
Your six blade knife - do anything for you 

Southbound again
Southbound again I don't know if I'm going or leaving home 
Boy got to be moving 
Seems like the boy is bound to roam 
Southbound again got no money I've got no place to go 
That woman's with her lover boy 
Never want to see her face no more 

Every single time I roll across the rolling River Tyne 
I get the same old feeling 
Every time I'm moving down the line 

Soutbound again last night I felt like crying 
Right now I'm sick of living 
But I'm going to keep trying 

Sultans of swing
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 blowing Dixie double four time 
You feel alright when you hear that music ring 
You step inside but you don't see too many faces 
Coming in out of the rain to hear the jazz go down 
Too much competition too many places 
But not too many horns can make that sound 
Way on downsouth way on downsouth London town 

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 
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 doing alright 
He can play honky tonk just like anything 
Saving 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 
The don't give a damm about any trumpet playing band 
It ain't whet they call rock and roll 
And the Sultans played Creole 

And then the man he steps right up to the microphone 
And says at last just as the time bell rings 
'Thank you goodnight now it's time to go home' 
and he makes it fast whith one more thing 
'We are the Sultans of Swing' 

In the gallery
Harry made a bareback rider proud and free upon a horse 
And a fine coalminer for the NCB that was 
A fallen angel and Jesus on the cross 
A skating ballerina you should have seen her do the skater's walz 
Some people have got to paint and draw 
Harry had to work in clay and stone 
Like the waves coming to the shore 
It was in his blood and in his bones 
Ignored by all the trendy boys in London and in Leeds 
He might as well have been making toys or strings of beads 
He could not be in the gallery 

And then you get an artist says he doesn't want to paint at all 
He takes an empty canvas and sticks it on the wall 
The birds of feather all the phonies and all of the fakes 
While the dealers the get together 
And they decide who gets the breaks 
And who's going to be in the gallery 

No lies he wouldn't compromise 
No junk no bits of string 
And all the lies we subsidise 
That just don't mean a thing 
I've got to say he passed away in obscurity 
And now all the the vultures are comming down from the tree 
So he's going to be in the gallery 

Wild west end

Stepping out to Angellucci's for my coffe beans 
Checking out the movies and the magazines 
Waitress she watches me crossing from the Borocco Bar 
I'm getting a pickup for my steel guitar 
I saw you walking out Shaftesbury Avenue 
Excuse me talking I wanna marry you 
This is seventh heaven street to me 
Don't be so proud 
You're just another angel in the crowd 
And I'm walking in the wild west end 
Walking with your wild best friend 

And my conductress on the number nineteen 
Ahe was a honey 
Pink toenails and hands all dirty with money 
Greasy hair easy smile 
made me feel nineteen for a while 
And I went down to Chinatown 
In the backroom it's a man's world 
All the money go down 
Duck inside the doorway gotta duck to eat 
Right now feels alright now 
You and me we can't beat 

And a gogo dancing girl yes I saw her 
The deejay he say here's Mandy for ya 
I feel alright to see her 
But she's paid to do that stuff 
She's dancing high I move on by 
The close ups can get rough 
When you're walking in the wild west end 


Red sun go down way over dirty town 
Starlings are sweeping around crazy shoals 
A girl is there high heeling across the square 
Wind blows around in her hair and the flags upon the poles 
Waiting in the crowd to cross at the light 
She looks around to find a face she can like 

Church bell clinging on trying to get a crowd to Evensong 
Nobody cares to depend upon the chime it plays 
They're all in the station praying for trains 
Congregation late again 
It's getting darker all the time these flagpole days 
Drunk old soldier he gives her a fright 
He's a crazy lion howling for a fight 

Strap hanging gunshot sound 
Doors slamming on the overground 
Starlings are tough but the lions are made of stone 
Her evening paper is horror torn 
But there's hope later for Capricorns 
Her lucky stars give her just enough to get her home 
The she's reading about a swing to the right 
But she's thinking about a stranger in the night 
I'm thinking about the lions tonight 
What happend to the lions


Songs by Mark Knopfler

Recorded at Basing St. Studios, London, February, 1978

Engineered by Rhett Davies

Produced by Muff Winwood

Design & Artwork by Hothouse

Cover painting by Chuck Loyola at Hothouse

Photography by Paddy Eckersley

Art Direction by Alan Schmidt

For Charlie Gillett

Thank you Robert Allan

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