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Mark Knopfler — So Far From The Clyde
Album: Get Lucky
Avg rating:
7.7

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2223









Released: 2009
Length: 5:53
Plays (last 30 days): 2
They had a last supper
the day of the Beaching
She's a dead ship sailing
- skeleton crew
The galley is empty
the stove pots are cooling
with what's left of the stew

Her time is approaching
The captain moves over
The hangman steps in
to do what he's paid for
With the wind down the tide
she goes proud ahead steaming
and he drives her hard into the shore

so far from the Clyde
together we'd ride
we did ride

As if to a wave
from her bows to her rudder
bravely she rises
to meet with the land
Under their feet
they all feel her keel shatter
A shallow sea washes their hands

Later the captain
shakes hands with the hangman
and climbs slowly down
to the oily wet ground
Goes bowed to the car
that has come here to take him
to the graveyard and back to the town

so far from the Clyde
together we'd ride
we did ride

They pull out her cables
and hack off her hatches
Too poor to be wasteful
with pity or time
They swarm on her carcass
with torches and axes
Like a whale on the bloody shoreline

Stripped of her pillars
her stays and her stantions
When there's only her bones
on the wet, poison land
steel ropes will drag her with winches and engines
'til there's only a stain on the sand

So far from the Clyde
together we'd ride
we did ride
So far from the Clyde
together we'd ride
we did ride
Comments (207)add comment
 misterbearbaby wrote:
Has  the same oily, fishy  smell as "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald"...
 
You say that like it's a bad thing...

We recently visited a little fishing town on the Texas coast - in the 70's my grandfather ran the bait and tackle shop - and that smell took me back to six or seven years old.
Tanks full of bait shrimp bubbling. Walking out a rickety gangplank to the slips, where he had a deep sea charter boat, the 'Ima Jewel' (my grandmother's name). Terrified of falling in, but excited to go on an adventure. Standing on the flybridge as we left sight of land. Big stuff for a little kid.

We stopped in at the old bait shop - it survived Carla but most of the rest did not - and the smell was exactly the same. Not pleasant, okay, but memorable.
c.
Mark is my main guy!!
what a great tune.
And lyrics. 
Holy cow, I was half listening while I was  doing another task, and I stopped, clicked the lyrics- task temporarily discarded while I cried over the fate of an old ship.
Listening from the Clyde here in Gourock tonight with beautiful views of the Cowal Peninsula, but so far from my original home in Colorado where I first heard Mark Knopfler as part fo the Dire Straights.  A little bittersweet.  
 DaidyBoy wrote:

I like the cut of your jib, friend.
 
Yes, what a songwriter.
Wonderful song. Another favorite of mine along the same thread is Stan Rodgers “Last Watch on the Midland”
 Isabeau wrote:
This just underscores a sense that through his songs, Knopfler was once a sailor in a former life. His playing has a groove harkening to JJ Cale and Clapton. A sweet, smooth and syrupy seduction.

.. pardon me. I just left for a few moments.
 
I like the cut of your jib, friend.
 ShockwaveRider wrote:
Saddest song about an inanimate object ever.

 
For anyone who has ever spent any time out on the ocean, you innately understand that your survival at sea is directly dependent on your ship/boat - such that you develop a spiritual relationship with it that goes beyond the practical to the metaphysical. That is one of the reasons that ships are so frequently personified as "she".

"Bravely she rises to meet with the land"

"With the wind down the tide she goes proud ahead"

To any sailor, youtr ship is not inanimate, but a living being capable of emotions. Hence, the reason for the abject sadness of the song. Kind of reminds me of having to put down your favorite old hunting dog after years of working the fields and blinds together....

I drift away from RP every once in a while because I get sick of hearing Mark Knopflechops at least once a day. 3 hrs in from my 6 week  break and here we are...
He's OK, perhaps just a bit over represented on RP.
This just underscores a sense that through his songs, Knopfler was once a sailor in a former life. His playing has a groove harkening to JJ Cale and Clapton. A sweet, smooth and syrupy seduction.

.. pardon me. I just left for a few moments.
Sorry, but this really sounds like retirement. It's okay, but it hasn't got the spirit of the Dire Straits. Lots of you don't agree, I suppose.
I love this song... reminds me of some Andrew Latimer (Camel) material, which, by the way, I'd love to hear on this station.  If you play Camel or Latimer, I've missed it, sorry to say.
 plaid wrote:

Try Josh Ritter's "Another New World".
 
I gave it a try. It's also in the running for saddest.
 ShockwaveRider wrote:
Saddest song about an inanimate object ever.

 
Try Josh Ritter's "Another New World".
Mark Knopfler soothes all my pains.
First time I've heard this. Got a lump in my throat. It's beautiful.
 cavemanleong wrote:
Such amazing guitar work. I'm in constant awe of Mr Knopfler.
 
Have to agree, Mark Knopfler is one of the greatest guitarists and performers of all time. Superb
Such amazing guitar work. I'm in constant awe of Mr Knopfler.
 ozzie1313 wrote:
The consummate story teller and finest guitarist.  Hard to not to give all his songs a "10."  

 
I agree 
Mark Knopfler
So Far From The Clyde


My rating 8 - Most Excellent

      More MarkKnopfler please
Melancholy so deep it hurts.
 Ben_Smedley wrote:
For all the MK fans out there, be sure and watch the Sky Arts production - Mark Knopfler: Guitar Stories, worth watching with the best video quality and sound you can find, taught me a much greater appreciation of his music post Dire Straits.

MK makes you stop and listen, his style is truly original, evocative, vivid, haunting, and insightful.  I have never tired of any of his music, despite jibes from friends....who just dont get it.....too bad, so sad...
 


 
Just finished watching the Sky Arts production you recommended - thank you so much! An hour so well spent.
John
 coyote620 wrote:
Is there a day that goes by here in Paradise that we don't hear Mark Knopfler?  Maybe, but it sure doesn't feel like it.

 
I hope not.

Ideally we should be hearing him 2 or 3 times a day. At least.

Anyone who is able to stop you from what you are doing (no matter how 'important') with just a couple of chords, deserves to be in our lives a lot. We need to stop more often.
 Ben_Smedley wrote:
For all the MK fans out there, be sure and watch the Sky Arts production - Mark Knopfler: Guitar Stories, worth watching with the best video quality and sound you can find, taught me a much greater appreciation of his music post Dire Straits.

MK makes you stop and listen, his style is truly original, evocative, vivid, haunting, and insightful.  I have never tired of any of his music, despite jibes from friends....who just dont get it.....too bad, so sad...
 


 
Thanks Ben, for the tip, and for saying what I'm thinking.
For all the MK fans out there, be sure and watch the Sky Arts production - Mark Knopfler: Guitar Stories, worth watching with the best video quality and sound you can find, taught me a much greater appreciation of his music post Dire Straits.

MK makes you stop and listen, his style is truly original, evocative, vivid, haunting, and insightful.  I have never tired of any of his music, despite jibes from friends....who just dont get it.....too bad, so sad...
 

 ShockwaveRider wrote:
Saddest song about an inanimate object ever.

 
I couldn't agree more... Bits of me were dying listening to the lyrics. MK is obviously a boating man. I have new respect for him.
Another gem I had not heard.  Mark Knopfler is the whole package, guitarist, song writer, hearty/heart-felt vocals, composer etc. etc.
Saddest song about an inanimate object ever.
Knoffler's style and sound is definitely recognizable! I had an old Strat; the guy who sold it to me showed me the "Dire Straits" position on the pickup-selector lever. No kidding! It's actually one that David Gilmour likes, too, but they each have their unique after-tweaks...
 nutrod42 wrote:
A couple of guitar notes in I knew it was Knopfler (never heard the song before). I can't put my finger on what's so distinctive about his playing but it is unique.

  Part of it is that, like Jeff Beck, he doesn't use a plectrum (pick). 


The consummate story teller and finest guitarist.  Hard to not to give all his songs a "10."  
I have travelled a lifetime with MK's music, from Dire Straits (the first album) and first seeing a performance of Sultans of Swing on the BBC's Old Grey Whistle Test though to hearing this, again, today. Every piece I've heard has made me stop & listen, what he evokes from his guitar is like another voice. Simply brilliant.
 nutrod42 wrote:
A couple of guitar notes in I knew it was Knopfler (never heard the song before). I can't put my finger on what's so distinctive about his playing but it is unique.

 
Most of his songs are the same in this regard - not that it's a bad thing! Love this one and I don't even like boats! :)
A couple of guitar notes in I knew it was Knopfler (never heard the song before). I can't put my finger on what's so distinctive about his playing but it is unique.
Actually the ships are ran aground on beaches in south Asia, and workers swarm aboard with cutting torches. There is no occupational health and safety, and no environmental protection that "far from the Clyde".
What a beautiful song. It reminds me of my great grandfather"s Clyde built ship the County of Roxburgh. I would love to use the song in my website www.county-of-Roxburgh.com. Please advise. Barbara Seeley
supposed to be working—-not crying over a boat.  I do love this song
Superbly written and performed!!!

{#Hearteyes}
 Foot wrote:
Flat out excellent!

 
Amen!
Is there a day that goes by here in Paradise that we don't hear Mark Knopfler?  Maybe, but it sure doesn't feel like it.
                   Wow ! The Choir
'' And he drives her hard crew  into the shore.''
 Barryelvis wrote:
I believe this beautiful ballad is about a ship that was built on the River Clyde, Scotland and sent to the breakers yard for demolition.

I too lived on ships and they DO have souls.

Great song, Mark!

Privateering is another great seafaring song from MK.

 
I have crossed the Clyde by ferry a few times. A really beautiful place.
 crogers wrote:
To me, this is a song for those who see life and entropy for what it really is.  Humans attach emotions to objects — no one knows why.   But where we find value in our tools and our trappings, we can also find reminders of what it means to love and to be loved.  Days go by in our busy little worlds.  And then we're dead.  It's really nice to have someone like Mark to remind us that it's not all about us — that there is love to be found in the most unexpected places.  Just have to pay attention...

 
Well said. 
Damn you, Knopfler... hitting me right in the 'feelings'.

Superb 
Flat out excellent!
I believe this beautiful ballad is about a ship that was built on the River Clyde, Scotland and sent to the breakers yard for demolition.

I too lived on ships and they DO have souls.

Great song, Mark!

Privateering is another great seafaring song from MK.


 fredriley wrote:

What are the others? I'm curious - I can't think offhand of any other songs about wrecked ships.

 
"The Wreck of The John B" by The Weavers is one...and of course, this classic.
To me, this is a song for those who see life and entropy for what it really is.  Humans attach emotions to objects — no one knows why.   But where we find value in our tools and our trappings, we can also find reminders of what it means to love and to be loved.  Days go by in our busy little worlds.  And then we're dead.  It's really nice to have someone like Mark to remind us that it's not all about us — that there is love to be found in the most unexpected places.  Just have to pay attention...
 hencini wrote:

Yup, Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was the other one I was thinking of. If I've heard other shipwreck songs, I've forgotten them. : )

 
"Mary Ellen Carter"....rise again. And, If you count wrecked sailors, "Barrett's Privateers". Both by Canada's late lamented Stan Rogers.
 planet_lizard wrote:
8>9

 
yeah....me too ! 8 > 9 {#High-five}
Has  the same oily, fishy  smell as "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald"...
All those lyrics and verses and choruses are just a vehicle to deliver the real treat; MK coaxing sweet sounds from his Strat.
This and Privateering have been the songs sticking in my head when I am out riding the motorcycle ever sice I mentioned another song was doing that.
Now I can't even remember which song that was.
Gordon Lightfoot did the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. He also did an earlier shipwreck song called The Ballad of the Yarmouth Castle in the late 60's/early 70's, again based on a true story. Worth a listen - as are most of Lightfoot's songs.
 fredriley wrote:

What are the others? I'm curious - I can't think offhand of any other songs about wrecked ships.

 
Yup, Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald was the other one I was thinking of. If I've heard other shipwreck songs, I've forgotten them. : )
 fredriley wrote:

What are the others? I'm curious - I can't think offhand of any other songs about wrecked ships.

 
"Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald"? 

Check out this blog link and the comments therein for quite a few more...

https://shipsontheshore.wordpress.com/2011/09/27/shipwreck-culture-more-songs-some-old-some-new/

 
 Rmike wrote:

I lived (sick and well) aboard a 700 foot ship- three and a half years.  Many years later i learned she was broke up for the steel in her.
It was hard to accept this news. Those were the most memorable life-changed years for me.  This song always hits my gut.
Mark seems to be very much familiar with water borne life, and he is  a man of two voices: flesh and metal. Master of both.

 
{#Clap} Nicely put. I've never lived aboard and have no special affection (or disaffection) for ships, but this song nearly gets me greeting* every time. 10 from the lachrymose Nottingham jury.

* Scots: 'crying'
 hencini wrote:
One of my two or three most favorite songs about a wrecked ship. 

 
What are the others? I'm curious - I can't think offhand of any other songs about wrecked ships.
One of my two or three most favorite songs about a wrecked ship. 

 
reminds me "working class hero" a little bit ...
 nice song
 
 planet_lizard wrote:
8>9

 
 .... me to :))
8>9
 ppaull wrote:

It,s a trick and he's repeating it for 30 years now, the same guitar licks over and over..
  And I could be listening it for another 30 years ... Saw him on live recently and he is and will ever be a Master!!


 kymoonshine wrote:
Ship Breaking always makes me sad...great song

 
I lived (sick and well) aboard a 700 foot ship- three and a half years.  Many years later i learned she was broke up for the steel in her.
It was hard to accept this news. Those were the most memorable life-changed years for me.  This song always hits my gut.
Mark seems to be very much familiar with water borne life, and he is  a man of two voices: flesh and metal. Master of both.


 stevendejong wrote:

Yes, two notes in I knew who was playing this guitar. Wonderful, unique musician.

 
It,s a trick and he's repeating it for 30 years now, the same guitar licks over and over..
{#Idea}  Can we hear Gordon Lightfoot's "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" after this please?



 Decoy wrote:
I heard it too, instantly heard that guitar and knew it was Knopfler. Amazing how a person can stand out even by instrument.
 
Yes, two notes in I knew who was playing this guitar. Wonderful, unique musician.
 dsd wrote:
I know what you mean.  In the Internet discussion world where cleverness and cynicism have the loudest voice, I find nothing more beautiful than an honest heart with a wise voice who is unafraid of sentimentality and vulnerability.  We have been fortunate. She is most certainly missed.    
 
Yes indeed. Well said. And maybe, just maybe, we can carry Ann's example with us.
 RedTopFireBelow wrote:
Silly as it may sound, every time I hear this song my eyes fill with tears.   I know it's about a ship's last sail and tells the tale of the decline of Scotland's ship building industry...   it doesn't matter.   The story is so beautifully told and one can imagine it told about a person, a pet, and favorite car.....   

One of my all-time favorite tunes.    (drip, drip, drip)

{#Cry}  
  Yep. Gets me every time too.



 unclehud wrote:
Hey, cc_rider:  Found your Grandfather -- "Pick out the biggest one and fire!"  Sounds like the kind of guy I'd sail with any day.  Can't figure out how to link the photo (and don't want explanations, thanks) so here's the link.

 
That's my grandfather's skipper. I haven't been able to find anything on my grandfather directly, but the ship had a crew of almost 900 (!)

The Wiki entry is short but gives some good highlights. It's still hard to imagine what those guys did. Still do.

Thanks!

 
 bc wrote:
I heard the first few notes and the tone of the guitar and knew exactly who it was.

His sound and style are so unique, he just stands out, even on a simple intro.

 
I heard it too, instantly heard that guitar and knew it was Knopfler. Amazing how a person can stand out even by instrument.
 
bc wrote:
I heard the first few notes and the tone of the guitar and knew exactly who it was.

His sound and style are so unique, he just stands out, even on a simple intro.

 
I thought it was Tommy Emmanuel … {#Eh}
Silly as it may sound, every time I hear this song my eyes fill with tears.   I know it's about a ship's last sail and tells the tale of the decline of Scotland's ship building industry...   it doesn't matter.   The story is so beautifully told and one can imagine it told about a person, a pet, and favorite car.....   

One of my all-time favorite tunes.    (drip, drip, drip)



{#Cry}  
 james_of_tucson wrote:
Most people hear this song literally.  Does anyone else hear this as an allegory on Britain's industrial decline?

 
Knofpler has many storytelling songs that are just literal. But I can see the fit.
I used to live on the Clyde when I was a wee boy - from about 1966 to 1972.  My bedroom window looked out over the Clyde to the hills of Rothesay and Dunoon.  Talk about not knowing what you have until it's gone.

We used to take the ferry from Wemyss Bay across the Clyde.  A simpler time . . . in many ways I am so far from the Clyde, but I have never forgotten my time there or the kids I grew up with.
Hey, cc_rider:  Found your Grandfather -- "Pick out the biggest one and fire!"  Sounds like the kind of guy I'd sail with any day.  Can't figure out how to link the photo (and don't want explanations, thanks) so here's the link.
 Byronape wrote:
While I am getting a bit burned out with Mark Knopfler, I have to say that this is a compellingly deep and rich song.

It's like writing a song with a story this thoughtful is a lost art anymore.
 
I love MK's guitar playing and singing, and Dire Straits is one of my favorite bands.  But I wish he'd pick up the pace a little on some of his newer stuff.  Part of what made DS great was the energy and rocking.  Now it's all ballads.


Ship Breaking always makes me sad...great song
I heard the first few notes and the tone of the guitar and knew exactly who it was.

His sound and style are so unique, he just stands out, even on a simple intro.
After many years of boring music... a great record. Old rocker never dies...
Giving this a 10 because it doesn't go to 11!
 Sawyer wrote:
Nothing better than MK's signiture guitar riffs.
 




Very well said.
 Byronape wrote:
While I am getting a bit burned out with Mark Knopfler, I have to say that this is a compellingly deep and rich song. It's like writing a song with a story this thoughtful is a lost art anymore.
 
I love Knopfler, but this one is particularly deep and sweet.
Nothing better than MK's signiture guitar riffs.
RP making me like this guy and Dire Straits is really something :)
wonderful to hear this again ... makes me want to sit down with a stiff drink
While I am getting a bit burned out with Mark Knopfler, I have to say that this is a compellingly deep and rich song.

It's like writing a song with a story this thoughtful is a lost art anymore.
so bloody brilliant
 
 dsd wrote:

I know what you mean.  In the Internet discussion world where cleverness and cynicism have the loudest voice, I find nothing more beautiful than an honest heart with a wise voice who is unafraid of sentimentality and vulnerability.  We have been fortunate. She is most certainly missed.    
 
 
Beautifully put dsd...{#Angel}
 
 ziakut wrote:
I'm missing Cynaera right now. Ann...you are greatly missed and I hardly even knew you.{#Daisy}
 
I know what you mean.  In the Internet discussion world where cleverness and cynicism have the loudest voice, I find nothing more beautiful than an honest heart with a wise voice who is unafraid of sentimentality and vulnerability.  We have been fortunate. She is most certainly missed.    
 
I have become "The Clyde"
I'm missing Cynaera right now. Ann...you are greatly missed and I hardly even knew you.{#Daisy}
This slays me. Beautiful.
Too many mournful songs from Mr. Knopfler.
So smooth
 Phototrekker wrote:
Come on Bill...... admit your having a bromance with Mark - we won't judge you...seriously -

 

Hmmm...
It seems Bill really likes a lot of MK.
But so what?
Nobody is perfect...
Bill has lots of credit...
 neuticle wrote:
The world only needs one Bob Dylan
 

Leave the old man alone - he turns 82 next month!
 neuticle wrote:
The world only needs one Bob Dylan
 
Yes, and we already have one. Fortunately we also have Mark Knopfler, and James Taylor, and dozens of other amazingly talented tellers of stories who make life more beautiful.


People who know him say Mark is an asshole,
when I saw him playing a full paid concert in 45 minutes

in....................MOSCOW!!!!

I knew this people, who knew him, must be right!

Still - when one hears his music, his voice and guitar,
it's hard to imagine this is really true! 

PS
Just imagine!

Moscow - 1995!
5 years into freedom!
A hungry crowd waits for the master - for the first time!
European/US ticket-prices (in Moscow)!
45 minutes and the self-proclaimed guitar-god leaves the stage
and does not return, despite a crowd that hurt their hands, clapping,
begging for his return!

No way! God did not show up again!
The asshole-side of Mark...?
wondered all of my Russian friends, I saw the show with!

I felt ashamed for this working-class hero aka multi-million-$ superstar!
In the end they are all the same - arrogant pricks, once they got a status!

PPS
When he did the VERY SAME thing in Cologne,
a few years later,
I promised him and myself,
to take any chance to tell people about his true colors!


Mark's transition to "historical" folk is quite soothing and very enjoyable.
See the 60 Minutes special.  Describes everything in the song.  https://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=2154127n
The world only needs one Bob Dylan
My god, this is an amazing song.  
Come on Bill...... admit your having a bromance with Mark - we won't judge you...seriously -

 james_of_tucson wrote:
Most people hear this song literally.  Does anyone else hear this as an allegory on Britain's industrial decline?
 
I wouldn't go that far, but it's likely an implicit tale of the decline of Clydeside shipbuilding. From being one of the largest and busiest shipbuilding yards in Britain, the Clyde docks have been reduced to a pitiful rump with consequent major impacts on local employment and communities. I suspect, though, that Knopfler's just telling a simple tale of a ship's death - that's his style, to sing emotionally and powerfully about small things.

 ThePoose wrote:


Scrapes on a hull can be filled and polished.
 
{#Clap}{#Mrgreen}
+ ThePoose wrote:


Scrapes on a hull can be filled and polished.
 
I'm sure xtalman meant "scrapped" - no need to be nit-picky (that's MY job.)  I think we all can agree that the scuttling of a ship is like a funeral, and can be a very sorrowful, emotional event. That's why I can't listen to this song if I want to keep a good mood, and why I'll deliberately listen to it if I need to cry and the tears won't come otherwise...

 ThePoose wrote:
Scrapes on a hull can be filled and polished.
  Brutal, Poose. Brutal.


 xtalman wrote:

Dad was in the Navy for 4 years and I remember he was sad when he found out that the two ships he served on were scraped.  I think he figured they were but still....

 

Scrapes on a hull can be filled and polished.
 unclehud wrote:
 xtalman wrote:
Dad was in the Navy for 4 years and I remember he was sad when he found out that the two ships he served on were scraped.  I think he figured they were but still....

When I realized the submarine I served aboard ('78 to '82) was cut up for scrap, it put me in a funk for days.  She was my home for four years.  She was a good ship, took us to strange places, and helped create many, many memories.
  Yeah, we've discussed it here before, why does a ship, or even a boat, elicit such strong emotional ties? I think it's for exactly the reasons you mention.

Thank you for your service.


 Stingray wrote:

Great shot - thank you!

 
That's what she said...

 xtalman wrote:
Dad was in the Navy for 4 years and I remember he was sad when he found out that the two ships he served on were scraped.  I think he figured they were but still....

When I realized the submarine I served aboard ('78 to '82) was cut up for scrap, it put me in a funk for days.  She was my home for four years.  She was a good ship, took us to strange places, and helped create many, many memories.

Illigtimi Non Carborundum.
 james_of_tucson wrote:
Most people hear this song literally.  Does anyone else hear this as an allegory on Britain's industrial decline?
  I think that's a fair interpretation, since the Empire was built on the Navy and merchant marine. But I think it was written to be taken literally, with all the very specific references to the galley, stanchions, hatches and whatnot. The literal image is searing enough, isn't it? I think of the ship my grandfather served on, it suffered pretty severe battle damage and limped into port, only to be repaired and sent back into the fray. Men fought and died on that ship, and even with eleven battle stars, it ended up in the scrapyard just like the ship in this song. Sad.

See 'USS Boise' and Captain 'Mike' Moran. My father is named after the captain.


Most people hear this song literally.  Does anyone else hear this as an allegory on Britain's industrial decline?
Another Gordon Lightfoot? At least the guitar is top notch.

 Byronape wrote:
More like heart breaking.
 
Yes indeed.

 gvan wrote:

Ship breaking.
 
More like heart breaking.


Ship breaking.


Definitely a 9, this album is one of the greatest things to come out from music industry in the last years. The soul in this is almost palpable.