10 years old and in the boot of my Dad’s spanking new navy Vauxhall estate I first heard it. Rolling around as he thumped the cassette home, with a duck-egg blue vista spread above me, amidst a tangle of comradely limbs en route to swimming club. That song on the speakers. The one about the man in the tunnel. Transfixed by a new sound.
23 years later and the walk of life is my path. I know those words, and have lived them. Every note felt. Alike Brothers in Arms I face baptisms of fire, and I dodge the Sultans of Swing. When the man’s too big, I use my latest trick. Yet as a weathered adult, I acknowledge that there really is just one world, and that there are things so far away from me. Nevertheless, in matters so far beyond my control, why worry?
Right now, Christmas time, with CD in hand marked 2015 I regress, and rejoice drinking in both note and voice. My son upstairs in his slumbering tender shoots of youth will hear the pleasures and pain of Dire Straits in the fullness of time; both in life and soundtrack. He will listen as he chooses, as should be.
I will still listen. Even during a ride across the river, my ears are open.