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What It Is
by Mark Knopfler

The drinking dens are spilling out
There's staggering in the square
There's lads and lasses falling about
And a crackling in the air
Down around the dungeon doors
The shelters and the queues
Everybody's looking for
Somebody's arms to fall into
And it's what it is
It's what it is now

There's frost on the graves and the monuments
But the taverns are warm in town
People curse the government
And shovel hot food down
The lights are out in city hall
The castle and the keep
The moon shines down upon it all
The legless and asleep

And it's cold on the tollgate
With the wagons creeping through
Cold on the tollgate
God knows what I could do with you
And it's what it is
It's what it is now

The garrison sleeps in the citadel
With the ghosts and the ancient stones
High up on the parapet
A Scottish piper stands alone
And high on the wind
The highland drums begin to roll
And something from the past just comes
And stares into my soul

And it's cold on the tollgate
With the Caledonian blues
Cold on the tollgate
God knows what I could do with you
And it's what it is
It's what it is now
What it is
It's what it is now

There's a chink of light, there's a burning wick
There's a lantern in the tower
Wee willie winkie with a candlestick
Still writing songs in the wee wee hours
On Charlotte Street
I take A walking stick from my hotel
The ghost of Dirty Dick
Is still in search of little nell
And it's what it is
It's what it is now
Oh, it's what it is
What it is now

Lyrics © BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Written by: MARK KNOPFLER

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Comments from YouTube:

Daniel Wolf

I walked into a grocery store one midnight, heard this song over the speakers for the first time. Before I heard his voice, I recognized the guitar and knew it was Mark Knopfler - no one else plays like him! - and also knew I had to get it for my iPod. Now, more than a decade later, it remains one of my favorite songs, and it amazes me every time I hear it still.

Amanda Braun

Daniel Wolf it still amazes me too ;) what a gem he is ♥️

Peter West

What a brilliant man, composer, guitarist no one better

Tom Kovats

Brilliant. Mark is a genius.

Scott Campbell

Tom Kovats High on a parapet a Scottish piper stands alone.....

Michał Szczerbiec

What it is? .... It's a one of the songs of my life...

bruin ruin

"...And something from the past just comes and stares into my soul. "
One of my favorite lyrical bits of all time. Maybe it's the high concentration of Scottish blood I inherited from my Mom's side of the family.

Jerry Shonkjerry

Probably my favorite Mark Knopfler song now, tho I love them all! Mark, your a musical genius!

Jules B

Beware, a genius is in our vicinity.

Ghost Rider

The song is always reminded me of All Along the Watchtower I don't know why. But it always has. I feel like I can play the two songs back to back and they're almost siblings in a way. Maybe it's just me

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