You get a shiver in the dark
It's a raining in the park but meantime-
South of the river you stop and you hold everything
A band is blowing Dixie, double four time
You feel alright when you hear the music ring

Well now you step inside but you don't see too many faces
Coming in out of the rain they hear the jazz go down
Competition in other places
Uh but the horns they blowin' that sound
Way on down south
Way on down south
London town

You check out guitar George, he knows-all the chords
Mind, it's strictly rhythm he doesn't want to make it cry or sing
They said an old guitar is all, he can afford
When he gets up under the lights to play his thing

And Harry doesn't mind, if he doesn't, make the scene
He's got a daytime job, he's doing alright
He can play the Honky Tonk like anything
Savin' it up, for Friday night
With the Sultans
We're the Sultans of Swing

Then a crowd a young boys they're a foolin' around in the corner
Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles
They don't give a damn about any trumpet playin' band
It ain't what they call Rock and Roll
And the Sultans
Yeah, the Sultans, they play Creole

And then the man he steps right up to the microphone
And says at last just as the time bell rings
"Goodnight, now it's time to go home"
Then he makes it fast with one more thing

"We are the Sultans
We are the Sultans of Swing"

Lyrics submitted by Novartza, edited by jan1097800

Sultans of Swing Lyrics as written by Mark Knopfler

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Sultans Of Swing song meanings
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  • +16
    General CommentThere was an actual jazz band that mark knopfler had witnessed playing in a dingy local pub in south london, near to where he was living at the time.

    And there really were just a few lads playing pool in the corner. ignoring the band as it played on regardless, until finally announcing " Thank you for coming along we are ..The Sultans Of Swing !"

    I suggest we track down that original band, get them back together. and have them record their own version of this classic song.. maybe mark could even guest on it with them !

    TheMindFieldon January 30, 2011   Link
  • +12
    General CommentThis is a great song which captures what music is all about. It doesn't matter what your position is, or the wins and losses; all that matters is playing the music and feeling the soul of the song. It's not about fancy guitars, record deals, insane soloing, pleasin' the ladies; it's about feeling the music and playing with heart and soul.
    abuseforapieon May 15, 2011   Link
  • +7
    General CommentOMG!! This is the songmeanings website!! You post the meaning of the song.
    It´s not the write your age and say what you think of the band/artist.
    vikke22on August 13, 2011   Link
  • +7
    My InterpretationIt's about the grass roots of music - these guys who aren't trying to become famous or make lots of money out of music. They are just there for the love of the art and to try and make the lives of people around them brighter.

    I think it's a beautiful celebration of this kind of part time musician, there is a certain romance about playing your music just for pure enjoyment.
    DRB00on July 10, 2014   Link
  • +3
    General CommentThis is my favorite song of all time along with Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd...The intro is just amazing i really feel alright when I here this song...I remember many years ago when my dad would play it on the cars CD player and Id tell him that Dire Straits, Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin and many other Greats sucked and that Linkin Park and all the new rock bands are better and he'd laugh at me and say "when u grow up ull understand" and I do now and laugh at how stupid I was back then

    PS: for those who didn't listen to the Alchemy live version of the song I recommend u do its out of this world..the whole alchemy live is amazing
    ktk2002on June 29, 2009   Link
  • +3
    General CommentSultans of Swing, Alchemy Live, July 1983 @ Hammersmith Odeon....

    Bloody Hell! Fantastic!

    If it doesn't make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up, then you've got no soul... it's out of this world and makes me smile from ear to ear totally involuntarily, and bop around with the rhythm.

    Just incredible. I haven't figured out the meaning of this song yet, but to be honest, it's one of those rare few that don't need a meaning... just listening to them for the sheer musical prowess is enough.

    I can only thank my Dad for getting me interested in Dire Straits when i was a very young child... it's a love of music that I hope will never leave me...

    joe1982_yorkon December 17, 2010   Link
  • +3
    General CommentIt's a cold and rainy night in London. A man is out walking south of the river, perhaps through Battersea Park towards Brixton when suddenly he hears music coming from a local pub. It's the sound of a band playing jazz - it's fast and it sounds great and makes him feel good.

    He goes into the pub. There aren't too many people in there taking shelter from the rain to listen to the band. There's too much competition from places playing trendier music. But the sound coming from the saxophone and trumpet is fantastic - a bit of the American deep south right here in London.

    He watches the guitar player - he's playing some fruity jazz chords - rhythm guitar is his thing, leaving the soloing to the horns. The band don't make much and the guitar is old and battered.

    The piano player doesn't mind if they don't make the big time - he's got a decent job and happy to wait for Friday night to let rip with the band. He's a brilliant player.

    There's a crowd of young trendy boys in the corner - drunk and messing about. They don't care about the band, they don't get this music. The band play on - this tune now Louisiana creole.

    And then, as the bell behind the bar rings to signal last orders, the lead band member announces that the next tune will be their last. '"We are the Sultans of Swing" - he says as the band play one more tune, hard and fast.
    palinurus1on September 18, 2016   Link
  • +2
    General CommentGuitar George and Harry - - - -

    ever heard of the band THE EASYBEATS thats who Mark is talking about.

    George Young - Guitarist
    Harry Vander - Guitarist

    Two of the savours of rock and roll in Australia. George Young is Angus Youngs older brother and Harry and George were main push in recording ACDC.

    Calvanoon February 16, 2007   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOne of the best songs ever made. :)
    Thia007on November 23, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General CommentDuring the week these guys, they do the usual things, go to work etc., and then on the Friday night they go play at the local club, they don't care how old the equipment is, or whos listening to them or not, they just go there to play, You know? It's what they do.

    P.S. I love Dire Straits. I'm 18, and I likethis way better than all that new age crap out there at the moment.
    Cliffyon September 02, 2002   Link

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