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Telegraph Road - What's the Meaning?

Discussion in 'Music, Box Office, TV & Books' started by rich_g85, 22 May 2006.

  1. rich_g85

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 12 Jun 2003

    Posts: 2,022

    Location: Either Tonbridge or Biggin Hill

    Just recently heard this song and think it's good. Now, I understand the first two verses but what's the meaning of the song overall?! :confused:

  2. MarcLister


    Joined: 7 Mar 2005

    Posts: 18,922

    Location: LU7

    Thanks for reminding me to look up another song on wikipedia. I couldn't find anything about Telegraph Road there but there was a link to the Rolling Stone site (magazine not the band) review of the album Love Over Gold from which Telegraph Road is taken.

    From what I could make out the song is about America and the building of that country:

    "the song's historic sweep and intimate tension–the building of America and the dashing of one man's dreams in the wake of its accelerating crumble" taken from the Rolling Stone review of the album.
  3. KPeh


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 2,852

    Location: UK

    I know Mark Knopfler is British, but it reminds me very much of a National Geographic Article concerning how a lot of old and small 'upstart' towns in America (set up for say mining or agriculture in the 19th C) were becoming desolate, for either mines had run out of resources, or more often whatever the produce was, just wasn't profitable enough - so people moved to the cities for work. I know this could happen anywhere, but it was/is of particularly large scale in America, and I don't think tracks, cabins and wilderness really describes the UK too well.

    The last verse (second to last) is slightly different, for it seems to be talking about two persons in love etc rather than soley the development of a town, but the theme is nevertheless the same: "From these rivers of headlights these rivers of rain" - of prosperity to collapse.

    Now this is reading it quite literally.. There might be more to it than this, but I'm no English lit student.
  4. v0n


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 8,047

    Location: The Great Lines Of Defence

    Every time I hear this song I immediately see Detroit. I see young people who spent their youth in late sixties in golden era of American Dream, with neons, glitter and chrome, spending their evenings between greasing their hair, street racings and cruising down to cofee bars full of Fonzies. Then comes the end of industrial age. Once the capital of motorized world, today there's no work, no future, just ruins:
  5. rich_g85

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 12 Jun 2003

    Posts: 2,022

    Location: Either Tonbridge or Biggin Hill

    Yep, I can see it now - the founding of a town, the prosperity and success which it brings followed by the decline and 'bust'...

    It's a very emotive song, and Knopfler really paints a very vivid picture through some excellent 'musical imagery'.
  6. lee32uk


    Joined: 9 Nov 2005

    Posts: 10,490

    Location: manchester,uk

    my fav dire straits song :) absolutely brilliant
  7. Vandle


    Joined: 14 Jul 2004

    Posts: 2,618

    Location: Melbourne , Oz.

    There is a boozer behind the station in Newcastle called the Telegraph.
    Its a great pub but with pretty much nothing around it.
    Theres a long road that runs under the trainlines that leads straight to the front door of the pub.
    Getting to the pub is almost the sole reason for using that road.

    Check out the pub review from the link in my sig.

  8. Pinkeyes

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 30 May 2005

    Posts: 1,528

    Location: Greater Manchester

    and good value for money on a jukebox due to it being really long ;)