All the late night bargains have been struck
Between the satin beaus and their belles
Prehistoric garbage trucks
Have the city to themselves

Echoes roars dinosaurs
They're all doing the monster mash
And most of the taxis, most of the whores
Are only taking calls for cash

I don't know how it happened
It all took place so quick
But all I can do is hand it to you
And your latest trick

Well now my door was standing open
Security were laid back and lax
But it was only my heart that got broken
You must have had a pass key made out of wax

You played robbery with insolence
And I played the blues in twelve bars down Lover's Lane
And you never did have the intelligence to use
The twelve keys hanging off from my chain

I don't know how it happened
It all took place so quick
But all I can do is hand it to you
And your latest trick

Now it's past last call for alcohol
Past recall has been here and gone
The landlord he finally paid us all
The satin jazzmen have put away their horns

And we're standing outside of this wonderland
Looking so bereaved and so bereft
Like a bowery bum when he finally understands
The bottle's empty and there's nothing left

I don't know how it happened
It was faster than the eye could flick
But all I can do is hand it to you
And your latest trick


Lyrics submitted by kevin, edited by BacHolz, euand, avner, freedom2012, skyreader

"Your Latest Trick" as written by Mark Knopfler

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Your Latest Trick song meanings
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43 Comments

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  • +2
    General CommentYes, this song is about prostitution as most Dire Straits songs are. Wild West is not about the US but about the West End London where prostitution used to flourish. Sad, depressing songs but amazingly real and hardcore blues with some excellent guitar work and in this song awesome trumpet and sax solos.
    kevhenon March 03, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentHe got his wallet stolen by a hooker.
    Caledonon November 27, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think it's about the sometimes blurry lines between prostution and relationships which when broken can end up feeling emtpy and transactional than originally felt in the honeymoon period. Perhaps the protagonist was robbed by a prostitute, but I think the keys represent the keys to the heart, and she apparently made a copy although really it looks like he left the door wide open. the twelve keys represent musical notes in my opinion represent the full harmonic potential of genuine romance
    barrymacon January 20, 2015   Link
  • +1
    General CommentProstitutes, like taxis, closing-down bars, and garbage trucks, are the background setting for the events in the song, but there's no indication that the addressee is a prostitute (nor a taxi, etc.).

    A musician has had his heart broken by someone he loved; she is not a prostitute, but he likens her to one (see below). And he feels part of the late-night city where nobody is really getting what they want. Everything is dirty, everything for pay.

    There are numerous ambiguous terms with one musical meaning and one other: "monster mash" (a novelty song from 1962 and the way the garbage trucks consume trash), bars (portions of a song and drinking establishments), keys (what open a lock, and the key in which a song is played). As a musician, he sees things in terms of music. Also, the double meanings set up the significance of the more important one in the title.

    She robs him of his heart (with insolence) not of his money (the literal keys she could have used, but didn't, to break into his home).

    And so, broken-hearted, he does liken her to a prostitute, with the ambiguous term in the title. He "hands it to her" (gives her credit for her success in leading him on) and her latest "trick" (her behavior that fooled him, as well as the next man she will be with – by calling him a "trick", he's calling her a whore).

    Perhaps unimportant, but I always felt that this was about New York, not London. There's a reference to a Bowery bum, and that's a street in New York, although it's only in a simile. Perhaps the city doesn't matter, but the late closing hour for bars in New York separates the night folk and the rest of the world more completely than in London, making it a little more desperate, and a bit more prone to making those who end the night feeling lost.
    rikdadon August 11, 2017   Link
  • +1
    Song Meaning@rikdad I think you nailed it. She's not a hooker, but to him she acted just like one by the way she stole his heart.

    A couple other notes:
    + This is her *latest* trick... meaning that she's done this before. There is perhaps an undercurrent of self-loathing in the sense of "How stupid am I to let her do this to me again?"
    + This song is full of musical imagery:

    "You played robbery with insolence
    And I played the blues in twelve bars down Lover's Lane"

    -- He's sad / bemoaning this situation, so he plays The Blues about Lover's Lane
    -- ...in twelve bars - 12 bar blues is the most famous / common blues progression

    "And you never did have the intelligence to use
    The twelve keys hanging off from my chain"

    -- The insult says that if she had been smart, she could have taken much more.
    -- The twelve keys - there are exactly 12 musical keys that music can be played in
    -- Hanging off of my chain - he is shackled to the life of a musician

    + The last segment is a reflection on the situation:

    "Now it's past last call for alcohol
    Past recall has been here and gone
    The landlord he finally paid us all
    The satin jazzmen have put away their horns"

    + After last call, the customers leave and the band waits to get paid (by the landlord). Past recall are his reflections while performing; a musician leaves a part of himself and his experiences behind on the stage with each performance. He characterizes the band as 'the satin jazzmen' who are now finished for the night.

    + His imagery finishes with a final, dual reflection on the situation: she's gone, and the music has ended ('there's nothing left')

    "And we're standing outside of this wonderland
    Looking so bereaved and so bereft
    Like a bowery bum when he finally understands
    The bottle's empty and there's nothing left"
    BobHylandon June 12, 2018   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCan anyone tell me if I'm right? This song is about nightime in a big city. I love the line, "prehistoric garbage trucks Have the city to themselves" But is this song about prostitution?
    LAbabeon June 17, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti doubt it...it seems more to me about getting ditched by ur woman but being too impressed by how easily she did it to feel bad about it...but i could be wrong...
    ZinbobDanon March 17, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIf I can add my input without rambling I believe his reference to "lastest trick" could be jealousy he has directed to a prostitute he has fallen for and her next john. Classic story. Also the night life may represent the emptiness he feels he sees her with her "tricks". That's just my 2 cents.
    sleestack4evron December 24, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is one of the most powerful and spiritual song ever I imo. If you've ever been in a Dire Straits concert you probably know the feeling you get when they play this song. The sax' gives me the shivers everytime I hear this song.
    CJeron May 23, 2005   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen I was young (about 14), I thought this song is a conversation with God, telling him how bad and filthy this world became, all due to his "latest trick".

    But again, I was young - and naive then :-)
    AgentOrenon March 12, 2006   Link

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