Telegraph Road (14:20)

Cover of Love Over Gold

From Love Over Gold and 25 other releases

Telegraph Road appeared on Dire Straits’ 1982 album Love over Gold and is written by Mark Knopfler. Clocking in at 14:21 minutes long, it is rarely played by radio stations, yet has remained well-regarded over the years by many fans of the band. The coda of the live recording on the 1984 album Alchemy features one of the band’s most brilliant guitar improvisations.

Inspired by a bus trip taken by Knopfler, the lyrics narrate a tale of changing land development over a span of many decades along Telegraph Road in suburban Detroit, Michigan. In the latter verses, Knopfler focuses on one man’s personal struggle with unemployment after the city built around the telegraph road has become uninhabited and barren just as it began.

The song starts out with a quiet crescendo that lasts almost two minutes, before the song’s main theme starts. After the first verse, the main theme plays again, followed by the second verse. After a guitar solo, a short bridge slows the song down to a quiet keyboard portion similar to the intro, followed by a slow guitar solo. Next, the final two verses, with the main theme in between, play. The main theme is played one last time, eventually turning into a five minute guitar solo that eventually fades out.


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A long time ago come a man on a track
Walkin' thirty miles with a sack on his back
And he put down his load where he thought it was the best
Made a home in the wilderness

MetroLyrics Full lyrics at MetroLyrics


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