Don't often open up this floor
Since I handed in my gun
What all these keys are for
Now my tour of duty's done

You got to know the switches
Now you got your turn
Watch and learn, junior
Watch and learn

Now you will get your trouble spots
Here's one from down voodoo way
Bragged he had me by the you-know-what's
Very funny, you don't say

The big enchilada
Stealing elections
Had to go down there
Trash collection

Got his cojones on my desk in there
Made into a souvenir
Set of cufflinks, nice pair
The rest of him's someplace up here
Sometimes you got to
Put a shoulder to the door
Not so fast, junior
Listen to your pa
Here, son
I'm handing over to you

Don't crash the ambulance
Whatever you do
What we have here's a dung hole place
Thought it was fly shit on the map
Fat bastard, ugly face
And the personal crap

You can't move the barriers
You can't mess with oil and gas
Had to go down there
Stick a couple aircraft carriers in his ass

Fancy dress medals chest
It's all in here for all the gigs
Gas mask bullet-proof vest
All the usual rigs

There'll be things they missed
They didn't mention
You've even got a whistle in there
For attracting attention

Well, I think you're gonna be okay, son
You've had the tour, I guess
These two buttons by the way
This one I hope you never press
Some holy fool, just watch
Who's not like you or me
That one's the whole shooting match
Right there
It's the whole shitaree

We don't forget who put us here, jack
That's page one
We talk soft but carry a big stick
And pack the biggest gun
We don't like accidents
Major or minor
You don't want yourself an incident
Don't ever invade china here, son
I'm handing over to you
Don't crash the ambulance
Here, son
I'm handing over to you
Don't crash the ambulance
Whatever you do

Lyrics submitted by redmax

"Don't Crash the Ambulance" as written by Mark Knopfler

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Don't Crash the Ambulance song meanings
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  • +3
    General CommentThis is a very witty, well-thought out song. However you feel about the Bush administration, the idea of a sort of nepotistic "handing-over"
    going on between father and son is rather hilarious. The lyrics are spot-on - just this side of caustic, so no real offence would, I imagine, ever be taken.
    Nice groove with a Latino-feel riff. Very cool, just right.
    diluna25on May 25, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis is a really great song. I see there are no comments currently describing this song, so I'll give my opinion.

    Through the song, it seems to be describing the presidency of George Bush Sr. and George Bush Jr. As the song progresses, it has parts that in my opinion suggest GB Sr. is basically showing GB Jr. the 'ropes' and all the basic do's and don't's.

    The "ambulance" in my opinion represents the United States around the 9/11 timeframe.

    There is some humour in this song, which I find funny and quite delightful.
    smfan7on January 09, 2006   Link
  • +2
    General CommentIf you still aren't sure this is about the two Georges, look at the two verses:

    "Here's one from down voodoo way ... Big enchilada, stealing elections" - this is clearly a reference to Manuel Noriega, who nullified the Panamanian election in May 1989.

    "Fat bastard, Ugly Face ... You can't move the barriers, You can't mess with oil and gas, Had to go down there stick a couple aircraft carriers in his ass" - is clearly the Iraq invasion of Kuwait and Saddam Hussein in 1990.

    cjbncon September 05, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhile the advice could apply to any president handing over the reins to his successor ("Don't ever invade China."), I tend to agree with the people who interpret it to mean GHW Bush showing GW Bush the ropes ("...listen to your pa..."). Of course, GW didn't pick up the presidency from his dad (there was that other guy in between), but I think that's the best explanation.
    rvbuilderon January 01, 2008   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationIf anyone's still reading this thread, I'm certain the title of the song refers to a quote from " Bush 41", Pres. George H. W. Bush when asked by an interviewer from Time Magazine on what advice he would give his son who had been just elected president of the U.S. His reply, of course, was for him to "not crash the ambulance." Which of course Bush 43 did, at least in regard to Iraq. In that light the song references an imaginary conversation between father and son, citing some events of Bush 41's presidency, Noriega especially is obvious here; and some of his observations of life and poltics. By far my favorite song on the album by the way, and I really liked nearly every song on it.
    tka2013on September 12, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Commentyes, i agree with bush senior and junior thing. he's comparing the bushes to the mafia.
    awdrgon February 09, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI don't see the mafia comparison.. but I can see the Bush thing. (BTW .. it's not senior and junior, though.. given that there is George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.. but people tend to forget this).
    celtsguy81on March 06, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with most of the comments. The only item I would offer is that I believe this is more about one US Prez passing the reigns of power to the next one. Senior to Junior. "Tour of duty is done, now its your turn, watch and learn junior, watch and learn"
    rojorobon February 19, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt's seemingly obvious that it's about a US president handing down the torch to his successor. However, there are some interesting things pointing towards it being a General or otherwise, such as the reference to a "whistle - for attracting attention". What's a president needing a whistle (as in whistle-blower) for?
    nwintheron December 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe life jackets on planes has 'a whistle for attracting attention' after you survive a sea landing. I would guess that air force one has such a standard item too. And it probably falls in the category "things they didn't mention", for being one of the least important things in the presidential toolkit.
    Haftingon January 27, 2015   Link

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