A Story of Our Times

Here is a 14 minute masterpiece from one of the greatest rock bands ever.

Dire Straits  –  Telegraph Road (The Complete Studio Version).


You don’t see too many intelligent comments on Youtube but here is one about this song that is worth including here:

Who else ever thought to write a song about the history of a road, tracing it from the time that it was a dirt track through the wilderness, to the time when it was a six lane freeway through an industrial, commercial urban sprawl, and on to the time when it became the scene of urban decay, of unemployment and despair. What this song is really about is the illusions of the American Dream.

Lyrics:

A long time ago came a man on a track
Walking thirty miles with a pack on his back
And he put down his load where he thought it was the best
Made a home in the wilderness

He built a cabin and a winter store
And he ploughed up the ground by the cold lake shore
And the other travellers came riding 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 loads
And the dirty old track was the telegraph road

Then came the mines – 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
There’s 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

You know I’d sooner forget but I remember those nights
When 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

But 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

— Telegraph Road, Dire Straits

Source

I  was very happy to become re-aquainted with this song through a post on the Permaculture Research Institute website:  Letters from Ladakh – Culture Demolition in Fast Forward   –  an article also well worth reading.

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