"Silvertown Blues" as written by and Mark Knopfler....
On Silvertown Way, the cranes stand high
Quiet and gray against the still of the sky
They won't quit and lay down though the action has died
They watch the new game in town on the Blackwall side

From the poisonous drains a vision appears
New circle of cranes, a new reason to be here
A big silver dome rising up into the dawn
Above the church and the homes were all the silver is gone

If I'd a bucket of gold, what would I do
I'd leave the story untold Silvertown blues
Going down Silvertown
Down in Silverdown
Going down Silvertown
Down in Silverdown

A silver dawn steals over the docks
A truck with no weels up on cinderblocks
Men with no dreams around a fire in a drum
Scrap metal schemes are rusted over and done

If I'd a bucket of gold, silver would do
I'd leave the story untold Silvertown blues
Going down Silvertown
Down in Silverdown
Going down Silvertown
Down in Silverdown

When you're standing on thin and dangerous ice
You can knock and walk in for citizens' advice
They'll tell you the where you can turn, where you can go
There's nothing they can tell me I don't already know

If I'd a bucket of gold, silver would do
I'd leave the story untold Silvertown blues
Going down Silvertown
Down in Silverdown
Going down Silvertown
Down in Silverdown

From the Caning Town train I see a billboard high
There's a big silverplane raising up into the sky
And I can make out the words 'seven flights every day'
Says six of those birds are bound for JFK

If I'd a bucket of gold, silver would do
I'd leave the story untold Silvertown blues
And I'm going down in Silvertown
Down in Silverdown
Going down Silvertown
Down in Silverdown


Lyrics submitted by redmax

"Silvertown Blues" as written by Mark Knopfler

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Silvertown Blues song meanings
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7 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentVastly under-rated song.

    To me, it always reminds me of Buffalo, NY.
    Some say "A dying city", a "shrinking city".
    Yet others say "A vibrant city", a "hopeful city".

    A city past it's prime and part of the rust belt?
    Or a city shaking off it's old demons and emerging fresh and new?


    Great song, either ways.
    mobileinfantryon August 13, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentA great song indeed. Silvertown is a district in London's East end, near the ill-fated Millennium Dome.
    ShineYouDiamondon August 30, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm actually thinking it is a song that shows the disgraceful waste of money that was the millenium dome and how a wealthy area such as Canary wharf is right next to tower hamlets./ It highlights the paradox of this.
    DrizztUKon August 26, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song is just awesome.
    Anolyricson June 21, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI always thought this song was about Newcastle and the North (of England) during the hard times in the Thatcher years. That said, if one listens to Telegraph Road, Silvertown Blues, and then 5:15 A.M., it almost seems like a trilogy - a biography of a town from founding to bad times to resurgence with the coming of night clubs and casinos.

    This song also reminds me of my hometown, Pittsburgh, and the sad rust-belt town where my son lives, Johnstown, PA.
    cealemelagon August 29, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentMy maternal Great Grandmother lived in Silvertown in the '20s & '30s, my mum still has vivid memories of visiting her as a child just before WW2. The area had many problems including an explosion in an armaments factory in WW1 that killed many and hundreds of men had to queue up for work outside the docks during the Depression. It was also heavily bombed during WW2. Silvertown way is a long road that runs roughly east to west, north of the Thames past the Royal Victoria & Royal Albert Docks. Mark asks: If I'd a bucket of gold what would I do? Leave the story untold. If he had a lot of money he wouldn't be telling this story, he'd have just left. Later he adds: If I'd a bucket of gold, silver would do? He wouldn't need a lot, he'd just go anyway. But he doesn't, so he can't. Even when he goes to the CItizens Advice Bureau they don't tell him anything new. He's heard it all before. The glamour of long distance flights just rubs it in. Flour mills, sugar refineries, docks and chemical companies used to line the Thames & provide manual work which has now all gone. But then, nothing stays the same.
    fudgepandaon February 17, 2014   Link
  • 0
    Song MeaningEveryone who posted here is right to some degree. The song is about the Silvertown neighborhood of East London. It refers to the building of the doomed Millennium Dome that hosted the new years eve 2000 festivities. The silver bird is flying out of London City Airport, the new single-runway airport near Canary Wharf, the home of many too-big-to-fail banks. I think this may have struck a chord with Mark because he lived for a few years (when he was forming Dire Straits) in the east end neighborhood of Deptford.
    daveth1218on March 26, 2016   Link

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