"Monteleone" as written by and Mark Knopfler....
The chisels are calling
It's time to make sawdust
Steely reminders of things left to do
A mandolin's waiting for you

My finger plane's working
Gentle persuasion
I bend to the wood and I coax it to sing

Your new one and only will ring
Your new one and only will ring

The rain on the window
The snow on the gravel
The seasons go by to the songs in the wood

Too quick or too careless
It all could unravel
It so easily could

The chisels are calling
It's back for an encore
Back to the shavings that cover the floor

A call for more
A call for more

Lyrics submitted by DogSwede

"Monteleone" as written by Mark Knopfler

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Monteleone song meanings
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  • 0
    General CommentIt IS about making guitars but there's actually a man called John Monteleone who builds the most beautiful guitars from scratch in his workshop in NY state. He started by making mandolins, as mentioned in the lyrics.

    uffyon February 03, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My Opinionoh! i read something on . . . liner notes? the web? either MK himself or someone who i recognized as being personally involved mentioned this Monteleone gentleman. said that MK went to him ever so humbly and asked if he would make a mandoline for him in honor of his eldest daughter, Isabella. the finished instrument was indeed named "The Isabella" or something like that, and, of course, it now belongs to MK.

    the words about the seasons passing too quickly would seem to echo the sentiment of most parents: where do their children's young years go? they seem to fly by so quickly. they seem so fleeting.

    aye, this is a warm and tender song, and i wonder if the out-of-character style of music MK chose to write for it was similar to the type of music his daughter was enjoying at the time.

    precious. <3
    puppygirlon August 25, 2010   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningHere's what the maestro himself said about it during the concert on (German) radio station WDR 2 in 2009:

    "This song [...] is about a man in New York who is like Stradivari really. He builds these beautiful orchestral guitars [...], and he started to make me a guitar. I said "Don't make me a guitar. They are too good, too good." But he wanted to make me a guitar, and as he's making me the guitar he's sending me little emails. And he says things about making the guitar like: "The chisels are calling", "it's time to make sawdust", and I realized that he was a little bit like me: slightly obsessed with what he's doing. Inspiring guy, so I wrote this song for him. His name is John Monteleone, and the song is called Monteleone."

    On the concert in London (2010) Knopfler told the same story, and added that he came to meet Monteleone because "a friend of mine took me along to see him in his workshop".

    I didn't hear the story about his daughter, though it sounds nice. However, I wonder if Knopfler is the guy to go around and ask people to do a guitar for him. Also, why would he tell the story the other way round in his concerts?

    Anyway, it truly is a warm and tender song, as you put it.
    p0liseon October 22, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentTakes me to another place ..
    modarxmodaron November 23, 2012   Link
  • -1
    General CommentA beautiful waltz.
    leafverton September 27, 2009   Link

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