When I leave this world behind me
to another I will go
And if there are no pipes in heaven
I'll be going down below
If friends in time be severed
someday we will meet again
I'll return to leave you never
be a piper to the end

This has been a day to die for
Now the day is almost done
Up above, a quiet seabird
turns to face the setting sun
Now the evening dove is calling
and all the hills are burning red
And before the night comes falling
clouds are lined with golden thread

We watched the fires together
shared our quarters for a while
walked the dusty roads together
came so many miles

This has been a day to die on
Now the day is almost done
Here the pipes will lay beside me
silent with the battle drum
If friends in time be severed
someday we will meet again
I'll return to leave you never
be a piper to the end


Lyrics submitted by DogSwede

Piper to the End song meanings
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14 Comments

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  • +3
    General Comment

    Hearing Mark tell the story of his uncle , and of the Black Watch during WW2 is very poignant. He remarks that lots of us have uncles we never met, due to their dying in the war. So true. What better job to have? Being a piper to the end.

    caitriona4on April 26, 2013   Link
  • +3
    My Opinion

    One of my favourite gestures in Mark Knopflers folk solo's is his uncanny ability to paint the scene so clearly with so few words.

    His recent songs have been about subtle things that you wouldn't normally notice or pay attention to much such as: So far from the Clyde describing an old ship going to the breakers, but the twist is from a third person describing how cruel it is to see such a material item being destroyed as oposed to a living breathing person / animal or plant. Another example is punish the monkey: a personal favourite where again in a third person veiw of when friends in the workplace are put in the position of "Somebody's got to take the fall". Very clever and yet so simple in words.

    There's not many song writers like him anymore.

    Ali2522on October 20, 2015   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    One of my all time favourites. I can't believe it's got just one comment so far. Kesha's Tik Tok, on the other hand, has over a hundred- that just sums up everything that's wrong with the world, imo.

    stewiegriffin88on January 22, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Mark's uncle was a piper and was killed by the Germans in France, so the song is for him.

    kofblzon January 15, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General Comment

    Mark Knopfler is an example of aging with dignity and wisdom. Few are rock-n-roll heroes who are capable of writing such wise and witty lyrics. Long live Mark!

    asdruzenkoon May 16, 2014   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    This always reminds me of my boyfriend who plays the pipes. We've been together almost two years, mostly long-distance. What a beautiful song. It sounds like autumn. I can't believe I'm the first to comment.

    haxorchickon August 22, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    One of my all time favourites. I can't believe it's got just one comment so far. Kesha's Tik Tok, on the other hand, has over a hundred- that just sums up everything that's wrong with the world, imo.

    stewiegriffin88on January 22, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Comment

    Just getting into Knopflers solo stuff and LOVING this song. Clearly about soldiers, comrades, brothers in arms who have shared their living quarters and marched together and are about to die together in battle.

    thewordgetsaroundon January 26, 2011   Link
  • 0
    My Opinion

    One of my favourite gestures in Mark Knopflers folk solo's is his uncanny ability to paint the scene so clearly with so few words.

    His recent songs have been about subtle things that you wouldn't normally notice or pay attention to much such as: So far from the Clyde describing an old ship going to the breakers, but the twist is from a third person describing how cruel it is to see such a material item being destroyed as oposed to a living breathing person / animal or plant. Another example is punish the monkey: a personal favourite where again in a third person veiw of when friends in the workplace are put in the position of "Somebody's got to take the fall". Very clever and yet so simple in words.

    There's not many song writers like him anymore.

    Ali2522on October 20, 2015   Link
  • 0
    My Opinion

    One of my favourite gestures in Mark Knopflers folk solo's is his uncanny ability to paint the scene so clearly with so few words.

    His recent songs have been about subtle things that you wouldn't normally notice or pay attention to much such as: So far from the Clyde describing an old ship going to the breakers, but the twist is from a third person describing how cruel it is to see such a material item being destroyed as oposed to a living breathing person / animal or plant. Another example is punish the monkey: a personal favourite where again in a third person veiw of when friends in the workplace are put in the position of "Somebody's got to take the fall". Very clever and yet so simple in words.

    There's not many song writers like him anymore.

    Ali2522on October 20, 2015   Link

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