Seattle

Many people are familiar with the British guitarist, singer-songwriter and record producer Mark Knopfler (b. 1949). If not, they’d probably know of Dire Straits, the band he co-founded and fronted from 1977-1988 and 1990-1995.

Dire Straits burst onto the music scene in 1978 with their debut, self-titled album. Side two of the record opens with their first big hit, “Sultans of Swing,” which I featured in one of my earliest blog posts. I remember the first time I heard the song; it was at my part-time job, a McDonald’s restaurant. The song was playing on late-night radio over the public address system after the store had closed for the night, and the overnight cleanup crew was listening to music while working.

I’ve also posted about a piece Knopfler wrote and played on the soundtrack for Local Hero, one of my all-time favourite movies.

Since the disbanding of Dire Straits in 1995, Knopfler has had a very successful solo career. A few weeks ago, a friend shared a song he thought I’d like, “Seattle,” telling me a friend of his sings the background vocal on the track.

It’s a lovely, poetic song.

“Above the bar the TVs are showing the game
But we’re not watching it, we’re hardly focussing
Through the windows in the fading day
1st Avenue is turning grey
Do you ever look at me and see another man
Let’s get two more beers and try to make a plan
Sometimes it feels as though I have a key
But every time I try it it won’t turn for me

Seattle – you’ve got to love the rain
And we both love rain
We both love rain

We watched the city skyline from the ferry deck
And you put your arms around my neck
We talked of looking just out of town
Now it’s looking like a dream shot down
I still believe that there’s somewhere for us
But now it’s something that we don’t discuss
And you’re the best thing I ever knew
Stay with me, baby, and we’ll make it to
We’ll make it to

Seattle – you’ve got to love the rain
And we both love rain
We both love rain
Seattle – I want you just the same
And we both love rain
We both love rain”

“Seattle,” by Mark Knopfler.
Lyrics retrieved from Genius.com

In the love letter “Seattle,” it is easy to recognize Knopfler’s trademark evocative, lyrical guitar style and smooth vocals. He’s a fantastic performer and is still active in the music industry.

I have only been to the city of Seattle, Washington once. It was in 1991 with my former partner, for a brief stay en route to visit family in Vancouver, British Columbia. Vancouver was an annual road trip back then, and that year we drove west across the US instead of Canada for a change of scenery, as the drive across the prairies can be quite monotonous… though it was pretty much the same on the other side of the border, too!

While in Washington state, we stopped in a small city called Snoqualmie, the site of the majestic Snoqualmie Falls, and a hotel overlooking the waterfall, plus many other buildings that fans would recognize from the original TV series Twin Peaks (1990-1991). From that lush, mountainous and rainforest-like setting, it was another hour or so to Seattle, and that latter stretch was my first time on a major interstate highway… it was pretty daunting!

“Seattle” comes from Privateering (2012), Knopfler’s seventh solo album, and the first double album in his then-35-year career.

Now you know a little about why this is my Song of the Day for Today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.

Here’s the video for “Seattle” from the official Mark Knopfler YouTube channel. It features moody views of the Seattle skyline, including some handheld video footage of a thunderstorm over the city.

With my best wishes,

Steve

2 thoughts on “Seattle

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