MUSIC

Mark Knopfler Down The Road Wherever Album Cover

Down The Road Wherever

Released: November 16, 2018

Album Credits

Down The Road Wherever is Mark Knopfler's ninth solo studio album. Released on November 16, 2018, the album was created at Knopfler's own West London recording studio, British Grove Studios. The legendary artist has worked with long-time producer collaborator Guy Fletcher on the follow-up to his 2015 album Tracker.

Down The Road Wherever

  • 1. Trapper Man
    The trapper man’s in from the hinterlands
    Filth and grease on his clothes and hands
    From the outermost, the farthermost
    Comes riding in to the trading post
    Got a pack horse loaded up with hides
    Steps in to see the man inside
    ‘I got furs, skins, a little meat too
    Here, I got a good piece just for you’

    ‘You take this home to give the wife’
    The trapper draws his skinning knife
    Now the fat man’s desk is a butcher’s block
    The trapper cuts the meat and talks
    ‘You’re gonna lose your shirt on a nowhere man
    Lose your shirt in nowhere land
    Back out there is my country
    And you best let this trapper be the trapper
    You need the trapper man
    The trapper man

    If you don’t want to be where lightning strikes
    Better let me work the way I like
    You don’t want to know how I fill my sacks
    You go out there you don’t come back
    You got nature red in tooth and claw
    And you ain’t got no rule of law
    And if you don’t know nature’s way
    All that’s gonna stop you being the prey is the trapper
    You need the trapper man
    The trapper man

    You wanna wear them gems and rings
    You wanna show off them shiny things
    Shake your money maker, bro
    Where the movers and the shakers go
    You wanna go do what you do
    Let the gold and silver come to you
    So leave the dirty work to me
    Yeah, you best let this trapper be the trapper
    You need the trapper man
    The trapper man

    When he’s done his thing and gone his way
    The fat men light cigars and say
    “Holy smokes did you see that?
    We all made money on the trapper cat”
    Sit back in their big ass chairs
    Say, “Boys, that is the man right there”
    I’m the lifeline for your big soft ass
    It’s the trapper puts it in first class, the trapper
    You need the trapper man
    The trapper man
  • 2. Back On The Dance Floor
    Hand me down my high roller Stetson
    Hand me down my smokeless .41
    We’re gonna look so sharp when we walk in
    They’re gonna be jazzed we come

    We’re going for the major comeback
    For the motherlode, the mighty score
    We’ll be the toast of every knocked out boogie shack
    Now we’re back on the dancefloor

    Going all the way is the only way to go
    The only game in town
    Shake your moneymaker closer to the floor
    Shake ‘em on down, shake ‘em on down

    Hand me down my two-tone wingtips
    Hand me down my skull head walking cane
    You all gotta wear them shantung gambler suits
    They’re gonna be jazzed we came

    We’re going for the major comeback
    For the motherlode, the mighty score
    We’ll be the toast of every knocked out boogie shack
    Now we’re back on the dancefloor

    Going all the way is the only way to go
    The only game in town
    Shake your moneymaker closer to the floor
    Shake ‘em on down, shake ‘em on down

    We’re going for the major comeback
    For the motherlode, the mighty score
    We’ll be the toast of every knocked out boogie shack
    Now we’re back on the dancefloor
  • 3. Nobody’s Child
    The ragged kid nobody wanted
    Left alone to ramble wild
    Long ago he was abandoned
    Nobody’s child

    Never smiles and never chatters
    Never quarrels or complains
    Grown as hard as the Sierras
    And the Western Plains
    Come a’cow cow yicky yicky yea
    A’come a’cow cow yicky yicky yea

    Learned to swing a broken bottle
    Learned to use his fists and knife
    In the bar rooms and bordellos
    Of his life

    He drifted down towards the borders
    The sky was dark but it did not rain
    Came the meanest pistoleros
    In the Western Plains

    He fell in with these desperadoes
    Thieves and killers every one
    Prizes hanging from their saddles
    With their guns
    Come a’cow cow yicky yicky yea
    A’come a’cow cow yicky yicky yea

    The ragged kid nobody wanted
    Left alone to ramble wild
    Now he rides beside the Devil
    Nobody’s child
    Come a’cow cow yicky yicky yea
    A’come a’cow cow yicky yicky yea
  • 4. Just A Boy Away From Home
    When I was just a boy I’d be kicking a tin
    Take the short cut home through the loony bin
    I never gave much thought to the souls in there
    I was just a boy, too young to care

    Well the years go by and you get to see
    A dream’s not the same as reality
    Well a dream or two is going to crash and burn
    And that’s the way that you live and learn

    Well it was late one night and I woke at two
    And I lay there thinking the way you do
    But it’s a long dark night of the soul
    When those thoughts are turning sad and old

    And then outside on the empty street
    I heard the sound of walking feet
    Well it was just a boy away from home
    And he was singing the song ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’
  • 5. When You Leave
    When you leave
    There’s cordite in the air
    A ringing in the stillness
    Smoke drifting up the stair
    When you leave

    When you leave
    My heart sounds in my ears
    A beating in the darkness
    A trace of you still here
    When you leave
    When you leave

    Like it or not
    How could I not have fallen for you?
    And now that I’m caught
    How could I not be blue?

    When you leave
    I’ll hear the smallest sound
    And turn to look behind me
    As though you’re still around
    When you leave
    When you leave
  • 6. Good On You Son
    Flash goes a little hummingbird
    A darting, whirring thread
    At the screen door by his lemon tree
    Out here with the quick and the dead
    Designer blinds above L.A.
    Frame the perfect view
    It’s going to be another day
    Of sun and shameless blue

    By his cutting block the time has come
    For the fruit there by the juicer
    He grinds fresh coffee for himself
    He’s meeting a producer
    The L.A.Times lies on the stone
    Warming there like bread
    Hey, what’s not to like out here
    With the quick and the dead?

    Good on you, son, good on you
    The Camden Shuffle and the old one-two
    Good on you, son, good on you
    Uh-huh, oh yeah
    Good on you, son, good on you
    The Camden Shuffle and the old one-two, yeah

    Well, you want to know what happiness is?
    In his eye there’s a hunter’s gleam
    Something to look forward to
    This cat’s gonna get the cream
    The skin of a mango is so smooth
    Smoother than the devil
    Cut it, slice it, chop it up
    To the rhythm of a Cockney rebel

    Back in Blighty there’s a flat
    On a grimy sink estate
    That’s why he walked out of that
    And went to the Golden State
    Left the baccy and the beer
    Where he was born and bred
    Now he’s cutting it out here
    With the quick and the dead

    Good on you, son, good on you
    The Camden Shuffle and the old one-two
    Good on you, son, good on you
    Uh-huh, oh yeah
    What would you’d have had him do?
    The Camden Shuffle and the old one-two

    Yeah good on you son, good on you
    The Camden Shuffle and the old one-two
    Good on you, son, good on you
    Uh-huh, oh yeah
    Good on you, son, good on you
    The Camden Shuffle and the old one-two, yeah
  • 7. My Bacon Roll
    I never got the elbow
    Just telling you
    Before you go
    Only telling you
    Just so you know

    I never got the elbow
    I slung it in
    Had it up to here
    I just pulled the pin
    Went and had a beer

    I used to love a bit of folding
    Just for getting by
    A wad of cash
    Now that’s out of date
    And so am I
    As pie and mash

    S’cuse me, s’cuse me
    Have you got my roll?
    My roll? My bacon roll?

    The time they took us bowling
    What was that about?
    I thought what a joke
    I just went out
    And had a smoke

    Then the white water rafting
    Just some know-it-all
    With the new regime
    There to show us all
    How to build a team

    He says what do you think we’re doing?
    I said don’t ask me
    I’ve no idea
    They all laughed at that
    That was pretty funny actually

    S’cuse me, s’cuse me
    Have you got my roll?
    My roll? My bacon roll?
    Have you got my roll?
    My roll? My bacon roll?

    I could order you a toastie
    Just like that one there
    Or the same in plain white bread
    When you’re dealing with a toastie
    What do you prefer
    Brown or red?

    I never got the elbow
    Just telling you
    Before you go
    Only telling you
    Just so you know
  • 8. Nobody Does That
    I like the way you put yourself together
    Nobody does that quite the way you do
    I like the way you put yourself together
    Nobody does that quite like you

    Nobody does that
    Nobody does that
    Nobody does that

    I like the way you’re holding my attention
    Nobody does that quite the way you do
    That stuff too hot for me to mention
    Nobody does that quite like you

    Nobody does that
    Nobody does that

    I like the way you work the opposition
    Nobody does that quite the way you do
    When you want to smoke the competition
    Nobody does that quite like you

    Nobody does that
    Nobody does that
    Nobody does that

    I like the way you put yourself together
    Nobody does that quite the way you do
    I like the way you put yourself together
    Nobody does that quite like you

    Nobody does that
    Nobody does that
    Nobody does that
  • 9. One Song At A Time
    My whistle under the archways
    Still echoes down the street
    All the way back to Deptford days
    Nights down by The Creek
    Notes as big as river boats
    Still echoing through the clubs
    With the horns of the trains
    Down the old back lanes
    And the lights of the corner pubs

    In a taproom lined with mirrors
    There’s a man there at the bar
    Reminds you of somebody
    He says I know who you are
    He’s right, I know I could be him
    But anyway who is who?
    You could be looking at
    What he’s looking at
    And he’s looking at you

    And I’ll be out of this place
    And down the road wherever
    There but for the grace, etcetera
    I’ll see you later but it’s 1979
    And I’m picking my way out of here
    One song at a time

    The slaving ports of plunder
    Used to stink to heaven on high
    Companions of honour
    Always were in short supply
    The Bristol ships and Liverpool’s
    On every tide they came
    The times they may have changed, my friend
    Some people stay the same

    And I’ll be out of this place
    And down the road wherever
    There but for the grace, etcetera
    I’ll see you later but it’s 1879
    And I’m picking my way out of here
    One song at a time

    A grinning mogul greets the crowd
    At Execution Dock
    All come to see three mutineers
    Turned off at twelve o’clock
    The shyster takes a ringside seat
    As they’re bringing them from the jail
    And twenty thousand tickets
    Sold online on premium sale

    So if you need to reach me
    You can leave word at The Pig
    I have no wish to stay around
    To watch that Newgate jig
    Or any more poor old fakers
    Trying to dance in my old shoes
    I’ll be gone over the ocean
    With the transatlantic blues

    And I’ll be out of this place
    And down the road wherever
    There but for the grace, etcetera
    I’ll see you later somewhere down the line
    I’ll be picking my way out of here
    One song at a time
  • 10. Floating Away
    It’s the weight I’m trying
    To get inside the frame
    I’ve been painting a fat man
    He’s big and fat and heavy
    As a man can be
    But he’s been floating away, floating away
    He’s been floating away from me

    In the mirror my withering skin
    Is a thorny pleasure
    I stand unflinching
    And I mark each crease and sting
    My brush my wooden flail
    My ancient thresher
    As unforgiving time flays everything

    It’s the truth I’m trying
    To get inside the frame
    Now I’m painting myself naked
    But I need a pair of boots
    About as heavy as boots can be
    Or I’d be floating away, floating away
    I’d be floating away from me

    And every thorn sends thistledown
    Drifting all around
    And floating away, floating away
    Floating away from me
  • 11. Slow Learner
    People say ‘Where have you been?’
    Or ‘Where did you go?’
    I’m a slow learner
    I do everything slow
    It’s my way, has to be true
    The world goes by me fast
    But where you’re concerned
    I like good things to last
    Where’s the point in worrying
    If we should start a little late
    Where’s the point in hurrying
    When waiting feels so great?
    I’m a slow burner
    My last train left a while ago
    I’m a slow learner
    I do everything slow

    So where’s the point in worrying
    If we should start a little late
    And where’s the point in hurrying
    When waiting feels so great?
    I’m a slow burner
    My last train left a while ago
    I’m a slow learner
    I do everything slow

    Yeah, I’m a slow burner
    My last train left a while ago
    I’m a slow learner
    I do everything slow
  • 12. Heavy Up
    Your slack-jawed dimness is our loss
    Condemns us to your point of view
    Who could give a flying toss
    What you like to chill out to?
    And why should I lighten up for you
    If you can’t heavy up for me?
    Why should I? Why should I?

    You grunt and root your patch of earth
    Adrift from shame and deaf to sound
    How much is your praise really worth?
    About the same as your thumbs down
    And why should I lighten up for you
    If you can’t heavy up for me?
    Why should I? Why should I?

    So heavy up, heavy up for me
    Heavy up, heavy up for me
    You can give it up
    Give it up with me
    Or heavy up, heavy up for me

    What would it take
    To get you to shut it?
    I’d so love it

    And why should I lighten up for you
    If you can’t heavy up for me?
    Why should I? Why should I?

    So heavy up, heavy up for me
    Heavy up, heavy up for me
    You can give it up
    Give it up with me
    Or heavy up, heavy up for me

    You won’t of course, you will be heard
    Ah, but at least a man can dream
    I’m afraid, alas, the turd
    Who thinks he’s an ice cream
    And why should I lighten up for you
    If you can’t heavy up for me?
    Why should I? Why should I?

    So heavy up, heavy up for me
    Heavy up, heavy up for me
    You can give it up
    Give it up with me
    Or heavy up, heavy up for me

    Yeah, heavy up, heavy up for me
    Heavy up, heavy up for me
    You can give it up
    Give it up with me
    Or heavy up, heavy up for me
  • 13. Matchstick Man
    So there he was then, Penzance to play
    Christmas Eve in a nowhere band
    Now early morning Christmas Day
    He’s hitching home to Geordieland

    Last night the snow came, just my luck
    And who the hell do you think you are
    Climbing up into that truck
    With your old bag and your guitar

    And you, you would-be vagabond
    No-one invited you, you know
    Matchstick man, up in the dawn
    You’ve got five hundred miles to go

    The driver now must drop off his load
    The snow still laying thick on the ground
    Leaves him on a high crossroads
    Where he can see for miles around

    The sun is shining, sky is blue
    And everything is white and bare
    Not a car comes into view
    There’s nothing moving anywhere

    And you, you would-be vagabond
    No-one invited you, you know
    Matchstick man, you speck upon
    These vast and silent plains of snow
  • 14. Rear View Mirror [Bonus Track]
    Last I saw of you was in the rear view
    That rear view mirror of mine
    Last I saw of you was in the rear view mirror
    Getting so much smaller all the time

    And when I think of you you’re in the rear view
    That rear view mirror of mine
    When I think of you you’re in the rear view mirror
    Getting so much smaller all the time

    Do I owe you for letting me know
    Do I? I guess so
    Do I owe you for letting me know
    So I’m thanking you for letting me go

    Do I owe you for letting me know
    Do I? I guess so
    Do I owe you for letting me know
    So I’m thanking you for letting me go

    Do I owe you for letting me know
    Do I? I guess so
    Do I owe you for letting me know
    So I’m thanking you for letting me go

    So when I think of you you’re in the rear view
    That rear view mirror of mine
    Oh, when I think of you you’re in the rear view mirror
    Getting so much smaller all the time
    Getting so much smaller all the time
    Getting so much smaller all the time

    Getting so much smaller, baby
    So long, baby
  • 15. Pale Imitation [Bonus Track]
    Once I went back and I stayed on the street
    Where I used to live
    Got up in the morning
    Put on my boots and I crossed the road
    Stood in front of our house
    And went back to my tricycle times

    At the end of the terrace I looked up the alley
    And there he was
    A little blonde boy
    With a stick in his hands looking straight at me
    And if he wasn’t me
    Then my god, he was just like I used to be

    We stared at each other
    But he stared me down and I looked away
    After a moment
    When I turned again he was gone

    I don’t think I ever became half the man
    That I used to be
    The warrior captain
    The bold pirate king of the sea
    Nobody does me like I do
    Or that’s what they say to me
    But I’m a pale imitation
    I’ve been keeping my secret safe with me
  • 16. Every Heart In The Room [Bonus Track]
    The barflies chatter
    They don’t know any better
    It doesn’t matter
    You’re hanging on to a dream
    To your own dream
    They’re laughing and talking
    One or two are clapping
    But nobody’s walking
    And you’re hanging on to a dream
    To your own dream

    Let them do what they do
    Say what they say
    It doesn’t matter anyway
    Every heart in the room
    Will belong to you one day

    Let them do what they do
    Say what they say
    It doesn’t matter anyway
    Every heart in the room
    Will belong to you one day

    A beer glass shatters
    The bar staff clatters
    It doesn’t matter
    You’re hanging on to a dream
    To your sweet dream
    You don’t hurry, don’t worry
    They’re going to know your story
    It doesn’t matter
    You’re hanging on to a dream
    To your sweet dream

    Let them do what they do
    Say what they say
    It doesn’t matter anyway
    Every heart in the room
    Will belong to you one day
  • 17. Don’t Suck Me In [Bonus Track]
    She was dancing at the Lucky Spot
    Then she was at The Flame
    Then she went to the Red Rooster
    But the story was the same
    Had a boyfriend name of Buddy
    Then she had a guy called Slim
    Married a cat played bebop drums
    Whatever happened to him?
    Who knows what kind of a dive
    She’s currently working in
    Don’t know, don’t care
    Don’t suck me in

    Remember that jack of all trades
    And a master of none
    Played rock or pop, they’d tell him what
    He was just another gun
    Teenybop in Tokyo
    Bubblegum in France
    A mister glass half-empty
    A pessimist in advance
    Now it’s looking like free fall
    The work’s not coming in
    Don’t even ask, my friend
    Don’t suck me in
    Don’t suck me in

    And your so-called business partner
    Was another fair weather friend
    All he really cared about
    Was what was due his end
    He liked to check his bank account
    Hang with the pimps and liars
    Come creeping by to sniff the wind
    Show up to kick the tyres
    Now he’s in some kind of a dive
    Maybe it’s a tailspin
    I don’t want to know, my friend
    Don’t suck me in

    Your second cousin’s Uncle Frank
    Is coming into town
    With crap for all the family
    And to see what’s going down
    He’ll eat you out of house and home
    Disappear your wine
    Says he could have been a concert pianist
    If he’d only had the time
    You pulled the pin on that grenade
    Now you’re stuck with him
    Don’t even ask, my friend
    Don’t suck me in
    Don’t suck me in
  • 18. Sky And Water [Bonus Track]
    There’s only sky and water
    As far as we can see
    You came in a dream last night
    Dear heart, you spoke to me
    There’s only sky and water
    And never so alone
    When we cut the captain loose
    We cut all ties with home
    Lord, we cut all ties with home

    We let the tyrant drift away
    In one of his own boats
    I don’t know why I stopped the hands
    From going for his throat
    Every man did curse the day
    He signed up for the trip
    And every man did know
    This was no way to run a ship
    Lord, no way to run a ship

    Good riddance to his bitter soul
    And now we have the brig
    It’s sure we’ll not be sailing home
    To dance the hempen jig
    There’s only sky and water
    We sleep and dream of land
    But free of chains of iron
    And the captain’s iron hand
    Lord, the captain’s iron hand

    He lashed me to a grating
    For the nine claws of the cat
    And now I have a fever
    But I give no thought to that
    I am high over the water
    I sleep and dream of land
    Free of chains of iron
    And the captain’s iron hand
    Lord, the captain’s iron hand
  • 19. Back In The Day [Bonus Track]
    You had to know what you were doing
    Up on the band
    Nobody lining up
    To come give you a hand
    No way could you fake it
    At 18th and Vine
    And we could really put the sauce on it
    We’d do it all the time

    We was hot as smokin’ pistols
    Chopping everybody down
    Swinging like dogs, man
    Kings of the town
    There’d be a cutting contest
    You had to do your research
    I’d pull out a lick or two
    From Saturday night church
    Yeah, you’d maybe get to try
    A couple things you learned
    But you had to do your homework
    ‘Cause a gig was earned

    When swing turned into bebop
    It was all going on
    Blowing all night
    On past the dawn
    I might play all day
    I might play all night
    Whatever made you stronger, baby
    That was alright
    Yeah, you’d maybe get to try
    A couple things you’d learned
    But you had to know your business
    ‘Cause everybody burned

    Well a beer was a nickel
    A whiskey was a dime
    They’d come to Kansas City
    See the girls on Vine
    Might get a hot shot
    Wanna bring along his horn
    We liked to clean ‘em up
    And head ‘em back where they belong
    So long

    But it’s just the old malarkey
    That’ll wear you down
    Some people are the pits, man
    There’s always some around
    Some will take advantage
    If they can
    It’s the old baloney sandwich
    You dig me, man?
    I’m talking about a time
    When every man could play
    But that’s the way it was
    Back in the day
  • 20. Drovers’ Road [Bonus Track]
    It’s a drover’s road
    High up where ravens fly
    And soon I’ll lose my way
    And I won’t know
    It’s a drover’s road
    From days so long gone by
    When we knew who we were
    And where to go

    It’s a drover’s road
    It winds a hundred miles
    You’d sleep out in the open
    Calm and still
    You could trust a friend
    To keep a watch awhile
    Your cattle grazing
    Quiet on the hill

    Walk with me
    And you can leave that old dog be
    He does much better on his own
    Leave him be
    He’s a better man than me
    He likes to find his own way home

    On a drover’s road
    With the moon and misty stars
    We walked these hills
    Before this all began
    Before we gazed at screens
    Went shopping in our cars
    And a million houses
    Sprawled across the land

    Walk with me
    And you can leave that old dog be
    He does much better on his own
    Leave him be
    He’s a better man than me
    He likes to find his own way home