Here comes Johnny singing oldies, goldies
"Be-Bop-A-Lula," "Baby What I Say"
Here comes Johnny singing, "I Gotta Woman"
Down in the tunnels, trying to make it pay

He got the action, he got the motion
Oh yeah, the boy can play
Dedication, devotion
Turning all the night time into the day

He do the song about the sweet lovin' woman
He do the song about the knife
He do the walk, do the walk of life
Yeah, he do the walk of life

Woohoo

Here comes Johnny, gonna tell you the story
Hand me down my walkin' shoes
Here comes Johnny with the power and the glory
Backbeat the talkin' blues

He got the action, he got the motion
Yeah, the boy can play
Dedication, devotion
Turning all the night time into the day

The song about the sweet lovin' woman
He do the song about the knife
Then he do the walk, do the walk of life
Yeah, he do the walk of life

Woohoo-hoo

Here comes Johnny singing oldies, goldies
"Be-Bop-A-Lula," "Baby What I Say"
Here comes Johnny singing, "I Gotta Woman"
Down in the tunnels, trying to make it pay

He got the action, he got the motion
Oh yeah, the boy can play
Dedication, devotion
Turning all the night time into the day

And after all the violence and double talk
There's just a song in all the trouble and the strife
You do the walk, yeah, you do the walk of life
Hmm, they do the walk of life

Woohoo

Woohoo-hoo

Woohoo-hoo

Woohoo

Woohoo-hoo

(Yeah, you do the walk of life)


Lyrics submitted by kevin

Walk of Life Lyrics as written by Mark Knopfler

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Walk Of Life song meanings
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35 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentI can't help wondering if this song is in some sense a homage to Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode" - describing the same Johnny, a few years later on and still on his way to stardom.

    (Just an idea ... I might be completely wrong about this.)
    MCDon January 16, 2005   Link
  • +5
    General CommentThere never was, and there never will be a better intro to a song than Walk of Life by Dire straights. The end
    andy78on January 22, 2016   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis is a happy song, exuberantly done, and fun to listen to and to sing along with. To me, it's about a young musician, down in the subway tunnels, playing for change, just having a good time while he plays, and trying to pass some of that fun on to his listeners.
    storysongmanon December 27, 2004   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIt's a bit sad, actually, from a musician's viewpoint. The kicker here is the last stanza, where after the listener enjoyed a great performance that took him away for a moment, he walk's back into real life. It was just a song; nothing has changed.
    Pete R.on January 03, 2005   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIn the live version on On the Night, Mark changes the last "I Gotta Woman" to "Bony Moronie," which Lennon also covered on Rock and Roll. And of course, these are all songs Lennon grew up listening to and being inspired by.
    jcfieldson June 27, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI have never tried to make sense of this song but it never has failed to cheer me up when chips are down. There is something that just makes you feel good and somehow it just doesn't seem to matter to me what he meant with this song. Saw Mark Knopfler live here in Mumbai,India couple of weeks back and I am still floating from the experience of seeing the "god" in concert. and walk of life incidently was the second song in the concert.
    Atmaon March 18, 2005   Link
  • +2
    General CommentTo me, this song is about you quintessential subway guitarist. Johnnys down in the tunnels trying to make it pay, just trying to get noticed. "Backbeat, the talkin' blues" suggests a blues song, which is spoken rather than sung, and only has a quiet, simple guitar beat, but deep, meaningful lyrics. "The Walk of Life" could have a few interpretations. One being that "Walk of Life" is this subway guitarists greatest song, and the keyboard bit played after ...Do the Walk of Life..." is a brief representation of this song. This seems appropriate when you take into account Dire Straits pentiant for working subtle redundancy into their songs, i.e. a song written about itself, or a song about a band who is, in many ways, Dire Straits themselves. Another interpretation is that the Walk of Life is the cycle this young guitarist is going through, waiting to be noticed. Waking up, hitting the tunnels, playing his thing, and going home.
    CrappyBassiston May 05, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAww no one has said anything about this song? Despite the heavy 80's feel this song has, it's really good. The lyrics seem to mean something but I can't figure it out.
    Muzzyon June 23, 2003   Link
  • +1
    General CommentFirst part of the song is about a guy on top of the world despite his somewhat pitiful surroundings. The second part emphasizes this more, and leads into the third part, in which the character falls from happiness. But at least he remembers the good times and that is the walk of life. I like the cajunish sound to it. Reminds me of my old Louisiana home.
    Ander Knighton December 06, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commentthis makes a lot more sense when the songs mentioned in the lyrics are put on quotes...johnny isn't singing that he's got a woman; he's singing "I Gotta Woman" ...other songs he sings are "Be-Bop-A-LuLa" and "Baby, What'd I Say"

    ...now, i can't remember which of the three it was, but i was wondering if johnny was possibly john lennon, as two of those songs were covered by the beatles in their early years...could not find out about the third, whichever it was
    ZinbobDanon February 08, 2005   Link

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