Sultans of Swing
Dire Straits Lyrics


Jump to: Overall Meaning ↴  Line by Line Meaning ↴

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 the music ring

Well now you step inside but you don't see too many faces
Coming in out of the rain they hear the jazz go down
Competition in other places
Uh but the horns they blowin' that sound
Way on down south
Way on down south
London town

You check out guitar George, he knows all the chords
Mind, it's strictly rhythm he doesn't want to make it cry or sing
They said 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 the Honky Tonk like anything
Savin' it up, for Friday night
With the Sultans
We're the Sultans of Swing

Then a crowd a young boys they're foolin' around in the corner
Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles
They don't give a damn about any trumpet playin' band
It ain't what they call Rock and Roll
And the Sultans
Yeah, the Sultans, they play Creole
Creole

And then the man he steps right up to the microphone
And says at last just as the time bell rings
"Goodnight, now it's time to go home"
Then he makes it fast with one more thing





"We are the Sultans
We are the Sultans of Swing"

Overall Meaning

The song "Sultans of Swing" by Dire Straits takes us on a trip to a rainy night in the southern part of London, where a band is playing Dixie music. The song starts with the singer walking in the park and hearing the music ringing in his ears, making him feel alright. The music takes him to a club where jazz plays down, and he sees guitar George playing rhythm with an old guitar, who's saving it up for Friday night with the Sultans. Also, there is Harry, who can play Honky Tonk like anything, and he does it while having a daytime job. Then, there are young boys making a fool in the corner, dressed in their best brown baggies and platform soles; they don't care about the trumpet playing band or what they call Rock and Roll.


In the end, the man steps up to the microphone and introduces the band, "We are the Sultans of Swing." The song talks about the band that plays jazz and swing music that sets them aside from rock bands. Mark Knopfler wrote the song from his experiences playing in different pubs with different bands in London. He wanted to highlight a band that played swing with no other intention but to make great music. The lyrics are a testament to the fact that memorable music can come from anywhere, be it a jazz club, a pub, or the corner of the street.


Line by Line Meaning

You get a shiver in the dark
You experience a feeling of excitement or anticipation in the night


It's a raining in the park but meantime-
Despite the rain in the park, something else is happening


South of the river you stop and you hold everything
You pause and pay attention to what's happening south of the river


A band is blowing Dixie, double four time
A band is playing Southern-style jazz at a fast tempo


You feel alright when you hear the music ring
The music makes you feel good and satisfied


Well now you step inside but you don't see too many faces
When you go inside, there aren't many people around


Coming in out of the rain they hear the jazz go down
People come in out of the rain and hear the jazz music playing


Competition in other places
There may be other places with jazz music


Uh but the horns they blowin' that sound
The instruments, especially the horns, are playing loudly and energetically


Way on down south
The music has an influence from the southern United States


Way on down south
The music has an influence from the southern United States


London town
The song is taking place in London


You check out guitar George, he knows all the chords
You pay attention to Guitar George, who is a skilled guitarist


Mind, it's strictly rhythm he doesn't want to make it cry or sing
He focuses on playing rhythm and not on flashy soloing


They said an old guitar is all, he can afford
People say he can only afford an old guitar


When he gets up under the lights to play his thing
When he plays guitar under the spotlight


And Harry doesn't mind, if he doesn't, make the scene
Another musician, Harry, doesn't care if he's not in the limelight


He's got a daytime job, he's doing alright
Harry has a regular job and is financially stable


He can play the Honky Tonk like anything
Harry is skilled at playing Honky Tonk-style music


Savin' it up, for Friday night
He's saving his energy for Friday night gigs


With the Sultans
With the rest of the band, the Sultans of Swing


We're the Sultans of Swing
We are the skilled and talented band, the Sultans of Swing


Then a crowd a young boys they're a foolin' around in the corner
A group of young people are messing around in the corner


Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles
They are drunk and wearing their best bell-bottom pants and platform shoes


They don't give a damn about any trumpet playin' band
They don't care about the jazz band playing trumpet


It ain't what they call Rock and Roll
It isn't the type of music they prefer, which is rock and roll


And the Sultans
The band, the Sultans of Swing


Yeah, the Sultans, they play Creole
The Sultans of Swing play Creole-style music


Creole
A style of music with African, European, and Caribbean influences


And then the man he steps right up to the microphone
The announcer steps up to the microphone


And says at last just as the time bell rings
The end of the performance is being announced


Goodnight, now it's time to go home
The announcer is telling the audience to leave


Then he makes it fast with one more thing
The announcer quickly adds one more statement


We are the Sultans
We are the talented band, the Sultans of Swing


We are the Sultans of Swing
We are the skilled and talented band, the Sultans of Swing




Lyrics © O/B/O APRA AMCOS
Written by: Mark Knopfler

Lyrics Licensed & Provided by LyricFind
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Most interesting comment from YouTube:

@AlfredoJacome

what a monSter of grOup ! yo fliPo chavaLes, flIpo y lo peor de tout es que dentro de poco me voy a perder un concertazo da FAR-rite guayaquiLeña , pero C'EST LA VIE y a morte con O madrid y hala madrid en coupe d'euRope ante tout, niñatos y niñas querIdxs !!


Abur by now !


Alfredo DANIEL j

😍🎨🥣🥣🥣🥣🥣🥣🕎💛👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍👍



All comments from YouTube:

@boris8787

Who is still watching in 2024.

@user-gm5et7eg7c

I do

@arturolopez1923

I do

@PlainsPup

Always

@egletammeleht9280

I do 😊

@user-wx8kh6bx3s

Hail from Russia❤

285 More Replies...

@micheledevoll4067

I brought the cassette tape home and pushed play. My Dad who was born in the 20's immediately keyed in on the band. He couldn't get over the guitar and I would come home and he would be in my stereo room with this blasting on Max LOL!!! Miss ya Dad, will ALWAYS think of you when this song comes on - that's your way of saying Hi, I know it!!! ♥

@Aa-Sadam

God damn that's special. Probably one amazing gift from life to have a great song remind you of your dad. 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻

@pssr5233

Y'all gotta stop asking who is still listening. This is timeless

@TPS-models

frrrr

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