MUSIC

Mark Knopfler Tracker Album Cover

Tracker

Released: Virgin/Verve (2015)

Album Credits

All songs written by Mark Knopfler
Published by Hornall Bros Music Ltd / Will D Side Ltd

Produced by Mark Knopfler and Guy Fletcher

Engineered by Guy Fletcher
Assisted by Joe Kearns, Jason Elliott, Andy Cook and Martin Hollis
at British Grove Studios, London
Mastered by Bob Ludwig
at Gateway Mastering Studios, Portland, Maine

All guitars: Mark Knopfler
All keyboards: Guy Fletcher
Fiddle and cittern: John McCusker
Whistle and wooden flute: Mike McGoldrick
Upright and electric bass: Glenn Worf
Drums: Ian Thomas

Guest vocals on tracks 2, 4, 7, 11 and 13: Ruth Moody
Saxophones on 3 and 11: Nigel Hitchcock
Trumpet on 11: Tom Walsh
Fiddle on 1 and 5, acc rhythm guitar on 8 and banjo on 12: Bruce Molsky
Accordion on 1, 5, and 8: Phil Cunningham
Tenor guitar on 1 and 8: Mike McGoldrick
Bass on 3 and 6 and ukulele on 4: Guy Fletcher
Washboard on 4: Ian Thomas
Terz guitar on 2, 3, 5, 11 and 13 and mandolin on 2: Mark Knopfler

Tracker

  • 1. Laughs and Jokes and Drinks and Smokes
    Laughs and jokes
    And drinks and smokes
    And no lights on the stairs
    We were young, so young
    And always broke
    Not that we ever cared
    Not that we ever cared

    Well, the holes in the walls
    Were such a lot
    Welcome to London town
    But when you’re new to it all
    And you think you’re hot
    You’re not planning on hanging around
    People would go on their different ways
    I left to start a band
    A note came through the letter box
    In your childlike hand

    Oh, laughs and jokes
    And drinks and smokes
    And no lights on the stairs
    We were young, so young
    And always broke
    Not that we ever cared
    Not that we ever cared

    One day I rode to where you were
    The doorbell jangled a note
    They buzzed me in
    I climbed the stairs
    In my boots and leather coat
    There’s an old brass
    Standing there at the top
    Without her witch’s broom
    It almost seemed like a knocking shop
    When the girls came out of their rooms

    And they all stood around
    And stared at me
    Two brunettes and a blonde
    Then the old brass shrugged and said
    We don’t know where she’s gone
    Later on I picked up the ball
    And I took off down the line
    I suppose by then I’d realised
    You’d run into hard times

    Oh, laughs and jokes
    And drinks and smokes
    And no lights on the stairs
    We were young, so young
    And always broke
    Not that we ever cared
    Not that we ever cared
  • 2. Basil
    My Saturday job pays six and six down
    A copy boy at the Chronicle
    Five cigarettes and two silver half crowns
    Meeting Vince at Mark Toney’s in town
    Boy, do we get around

    Basil sits there on the table for subs
    But not a part of the Bri-nylon club
    Ancient blue sweater, too old for the job
    Bored out of his mind
    With the Colins and Bobs

    I’m a jack and a lad
    And I’m up for the world
    And I’ve kissed a Gateshead girl

    He calls for a copy boy, grumpy as hell
    Poets have to eat as well
    What he wouldn’t give just to walk out today
    To have time to think about time
    And young love thrown away

    I’m a jack and a lad
    And I’m up for the world
    And I’ve kissed a Gateshead girl

    Starlings swarming
    A cloud over Grainger Street
    Over the black church
    Over the Black Gate
    And the shadowy Keep

    He peers through his wire rims
    At the fish and chip words
    He’s supposed to dish up and forget
    His drudgery now has become slightly blurred
    By one of his Players untipped cigarettes

    Bury all joy
    Put the poems in sacks
    And bury me here with the hacks

    In the summer the fair
    Will stretch over the Moor
    Lovers will lie and make out in the park
    Basil puts on his old duffel and scarf
    And goes out into the dark
  • 3. River Towns
    I came in three days early
    To meet my boat
    It ain’t the life of Riley
    But it’s keeping me afloat
    It’s quiet over Christmas
    If you got no place to go
    I got my home from river rats
    The only home I know

    I found myself a flophouse
    And I hit the streets at nine
    Get some grub and drink a beer
    Maybe go down the line
    These chips will take your money
    Shake a young man down
    It’s the same in every one of these
    Sorry river towns

    River towns, sorry river towns
    River towns
    River towns, sorry river towns
    River towns

    Well I picked me up a bottle
    To take back to the room
    Then I saw a young girl standing
    In a doorway in the gloom
    We’d hardly started talking
    The old scenario
    And I just let her work me over
    Down by the Ohio

    River towns, sorry river towns
    River towns
    River towns, sorry river towns
    River towns

    When I asked her if she’d like to stay
    She was down my stairs so quick
    I never asked what got her started
    With the sorry river tricks
    So I get the bottle open
    But something’s hit a nerve
    And I’m looking in the mirror
    At the face that I deserve

    River towns, sorry river towns
    River towns
    River towns, sorry river towns
    River towns
  • 4. Skydiver
    I’ve been banned from every racecourse in the country
    There’s something about the unsure thing
    Like scoring with a beauty of the county
    It always makes the old bell ring

    I like to go for broke and I’ll be randy
    It’s got to be the unsure thing
    In the Bentley Continental with the brandy
    It always makes the old bell ring

    And when it’s gone, all gone
    I’ll stand on a hilltop and sing
    I go where I want, I do what I want
    And I don’t give a damn about a thing

    Skydiver

    Today I lost a packet at Wincanton
    Dive Bomber in the 2.15
    All on the nose and no-one counting
    Nothing wishy-washy in between

    Back when I made the pivotal decision
    To take a winding road that I could see
    It was just like being given an incredible permission
    The rules don’t apply to me

    And when it’s gone, all gone
    I’ll stand on a hilltop and sing
    I go where I want, I do what I want
    And I don’t give a damn about a thing

    Skydiver

    I’m not being brave, it’s my money, not my life
    When I need to take a break from the brushes and the knife
    And I always took a fancy to the ones
    Heading straight into the teeth of the guns

    Skydiver
  • 5. Mighty Man
    A room on the top floor
    And the chest all but knackered
    Two fingers not working
    And the back’s shot to hell
    It’s a lifetime of digging trenches
    In the cold and wet weather
    And for laying half the roadway
    In England as well

    You’d finish in the one place
    It was straight to the next one
    And you never could settle
    And you were always alone
    Just a drifter in limbo
    I was best off away, son
    Just one of the thousands
    Who could never go home

    That’s your mighty man, son
    Your mighty man

    Well, the boat and the train ride
    In a misty November
    We had the worst of the lodgings
    And we hated the subs
    Ma’s face on the leaving
    I will always remember
    And we wouldn’t get paid
    Until they had closed up their pubs

    And I could stand up on horseback
    Was the man for the singing
    Put my hand up for boxing
    At the fairground on the heath
    I could play my accordion
    And charm all of the women
    And dance round the taproom
    With a chair in my teeth

    That’s your mighty man, son
    Your mighty man
    That’s your mighty man, son
    Your mighty man
  • 6. Broken Bones
    She likes a man with a broken nose
    Lucky for me, I suppose
    Shots coming in like the monthly bills
    Soon they’ll be saying I’m over the hill

    Well the bell goes clang and you’re on your own
    You take your medicine and go home
    You take it like a man, on the chin
    And you don’t make a fuss when the towel comes in

    Now let me go home, got to lay in ice
    And I don’t want to hear no more advice
    Just give me my clothes
    Get me out of this place
    How many more stitches in my face?

    Those broken bones, you pick ‘em up and carry ‘em
    Broken bones, you carry ‘em home
    Broken bones, you pick ‘em up and carry ‘em
    Broken bones, you carry ‘em home

    He had the punch lines, I was the joke
    Every shot felt like something broke
    It was all much more than a man should stand
    And I finally went down to a big right hand

    Now let me go home, got to lay in ice
    And I don’t want to hear no more advice
    Just give me my clothes
    Get me out of this place
    How many more stitches in my face?

    Those broken bones, you pick ‘em up and carry ‘em
    Broken bones, you carry ‘em home
    Broken bones, you pick ‘em up and carry ‘em
    Broken bones, you carry ‘em home

    Broken bones, you pick ‘em up and carry ‘em
    Broken bones, you carry ‘em home
    Broken bones, you pick ‘em up and carry ‘em
    Broken bones, you carry ‘em home
  • 7. Long Cool Girl
    All I do is think of you
    As I go around the world
    All I do is think of you
    Long, cool girl

    Long, cool girl
    I like to say her name
    Long, cool girl
    With a showgirl frame

    You took a look at me
    I took a look at you
    Now I just can’t see
    What a man’s supposed to do

    Long, cool girl
    I like to say her name
    Long, cool girl
    With a showgirl frame

    Me and you we’re 3 and 2
    Something’s gonna happen now, it has to
    Me and you we’re 3 and 2
    Something’s gonna happen now, it has to

    Pressure drop and weather change
    All around the world
    You got me at point blank range
    Long, cool girl

    Long, cool girl
    I like to say her name
    Long, cool girl
    With a showgirl frame

    All I do is think of you
    As I go around the world
    All I do is think of you
    Long, cool girl
  • 8. Lights of Taormina
    There’s laughter in the darkness
    Music floating in across the bay
    He’s half listening and wondering
    How he could have let her slip away
    So long ago but still he wants to know
    If anyone has seen her
    And he’s sitting out in the night
    Looking down upon the lights of Taormina

    They were young and love was shining
    Like the colours of the rainbow
    Desire felt like choking
    Love was smoking under the volcano
    He can still taste her kisses
    Sweet as the red wine from Messina
    Now he’s sitting out in the night
    Looking down upon the lights of Taormina

    Seems like another lifetime
    When they rambled along the shore
    Seems like another lifetime
    She used to call him her sweet senor
    Maybe in another lifetime
    On a pathway to the sea
    Maybe there they’ll be

    The crowd calls for the emperor
    Raise their hands to hail another king
    But he’s been so long a wanderer
    Another crowd can never mean a thing
    He came, he saw, he conquered
    Ten thousand voices roared in the arena
    Now he’s sitting out in the night
    Looking down upon the lights of Taormina

    He hears the chimes of history
    Myths of gods and men forever ringing
    Ancient dreams in all their mystery
    Wars for Sicily and Spartan women
    In the mists of antiquity
    Ships of war set sail from Carthagina
    Now he’s sitting out in the night
    Looking down upon the lights of Taormina
    Sitting out in the night
    Looking down upon the lights of Taormina
  • 9. Silver Eagle
    It was so late and she’d be sleeping
    He came through her home town
    With the moonlight on the crossroads
    And the green light shining down
    And the bell at the railroad crossing
    And the horn from far away
    And his Silver Eagle passing
    Half a mile from where she lay

    At his feet a sea of faces
    Make devotions with their love
    Clap their hands and plead their cases
    Call for blessings from above
    Like the rolling waves forever massing
    To crash and foam and creep away
    And the Silver Eagle passing
    Half a mile from where she lay

    Road signs flow into the headlights
    Whisper names and fall behind
    He finds some honor in the darkness
    Hopes for grace and peace of mind
    And he thinks of how they’d lay together
    He’d run his fingers through her hair
    And he wonders if she’ll ever
    Come to know that he was there
  • 10. Beryl
    Beryl was on another level
    When she got a Booker medal
    She was dead in her grave
    After all she gave
    After all she gave

    Beryl, every time they’d overlook her
    When they gave her a Booker
    She was dead in her grave
    After all she gave
    After all she gave

    It’s all too late now
    It’s all too late now
    It’s too late, you dabblers
    It’s all too late
    It’s too late, you dabblers
    It’s all too late

    Beryl, the tobacco overtook her
    When they gave her a Booker
    She was dead in her grave
    After all she gave
    After all she gave

    It’s all too late now
    It’s all too late now
    It’s too late, you dabblers
    It’s all too late
    It’s too late, you dabblers
    It’s all too late

    Beryl was on another level
    When she got a Booker medal
    She was dead in her grave
    After all she gave
    After all she gave
    After all she gave
    After all she gave
  • 11. Wherever I Go (featuring Ruth Moody)
    Maybe I’m bound to wander
    From one place to the next
    Heaven knows why
    But in the wild blue yonder
    Your star is fixed in my sky

    Just another bar at a crossroads
    So far from home
    But that’s alright
    Whenever I’m going down a dark road
    I don’t feel alone in the night

    There’s a place in my heart
    Though we’re far apart
    May you always know
    No matter how long since I saw you
    I’ll keep a flame there for you
    Wherever I go

    They’re looking to close up in here
    They’re pulling down the blinds
    But they’ll let you stay awhile
    They’re not going to mind

    Now I’ve got to leave you, brother
    So this round’s mine
    Here’s looking at you, anyhow
    You can go on and have another
    They won’t call time
    I’m going to say my goodbyes now

    There’s a place in my heart
    Though we’re far apart
    May you always know
    No matter how long since I saw you
    I’ll keep a flame there for you
    Wherever I go
  • 12. .38 Special [Deluxe & Box Set Bonus Track]
    The fate of a roving gambler
    Is waiting down the bloodthirsty highway
    The highway is my home, I’m a rambler
    And I have to pay the devil every day

    Now if I should owe a friend a million dollars
    He knows my guarantee is sound
    If we should get hijacked by robbers
    There’d be no big money laying all around

    I may be gone to the devil
    But I ain’t rollin’ over for you
    If you’ve got a pistol in your pocket
    I’ve got my .38 Special too

    Are you dancing for the payers of the piper?
    Are you jumping through your party hoops for them?
    You won’t see any nine to fivers
    At the tables of my poker playing friends

    So take your politician or your banker
    Take your friendly health insurance man
    I never met a cold hearted gambler
    Could carry off a hustle like they can

    I may be gone to the devil
    But I ain’t rollin’ over for you
    If you’ve got a pistol in your pocket
    I’ve got my .38 Special too
  • 13. My Heart Has Never Changed [Deluxe & Box Set Bonus Track]
    My car’s in for a brake job
    Be ready in a while
    Something about the waitress
    Made me think about your smile
    I tip her a ten spot
    And I try to read her name
    I’m just an old long hauler
    A grinder at the game

    Heaven knows the highways
    Since we’ve been apart
    But my heart don’t feel like leaving
    Or you won’t leave my heart
    Now and then I might take
    A little something for pain
    But there’s nothing much for heartache
    And my heart has never changed
    My heart has never changed

    Now there’s no more rough and tumble
    Down Highway 199
    Nothing lasts forever
    I just miss it sometimes

    She comes to pour more coffee
    But it’s time to see more world
    I pick up my check and keys
    And go and pay the girl
    My mind’s in Hell’s Half Acre
    And the rooms along Exchange
    And the scenes are always shifting
    But my heart has never changed
    My heart has never changed
  • 14. Terminal of Tribute To [Deluxe & Box Set Bonus Track]
    On the road again in cabaret
    Grey hair and Fenders
    Old ghosts revisited today
    No original members

    Pick out a pretty one and toss your hair
    Seems foolish when you’re older
    You always felt you never had your share
    A chip on both your shoulders

    You’ve been faking it so long
    Now you don’t know right from wrong
    Or what the future has in store for you
    In the terminal of tribute to

    Every day you take the bitter pill
    The minibus driver says and you are who
    You never made it and you never will
    In the terminal of tribute to

    Where your plans are forever falling through
    And your dreams are movies never shot
    And you’re someone, a shadow passing through
    Nobody ever knew, so nobody forgot

    Your bag has fallen from the carousel
    They say one day it could come back to you
    Exactly when nobody can tell
    In the terminal of tribute to

    You’ve been faking it so long
    Now you don’t know right from wrong
    Or what the future has in store for you
    In the terminal of tribute to

    You’ve been faking it so long
    Now you don’t know right from wrong
    Or what the future has in store for you
    In the terminal of tribute to
  • 15. Heart of Oak [Deluxe & Box Set Bonus Track]
    And how he used to thrill the crowd
    The ready eye with bat and ball
    The village fighter, heavy browed
    The Englishman who had it all
    A mighty shoulder to the wheel
    To join in battle with the best
    The iron arm, the will of steel
    And heart of oak to mourn the rest

    A power harnessed to the game
    Once yoked and tempered fades away
    The willing arm, the steady aim
    The youth and fire that won the day
    As twilight shadows dim the field
    The ageing fighter stands bereft
    With just the will to never yield
    And heart of oak to mourn what’s left
  • 16. Time Will End All Sorrow [Box Set Bonus Track]
    The campfires have been lit along the river
    You wouldn’t know of trouble anywhere
    Someone is playing a concertina
    Some old familiar air

    It takes me back into another lifetime
    Before we ever fought in fields of mud
    Where lives like autumn leaves are tossed and scattered
    And lost in the swirling flood

    But how a song can heal a weary heart
    And bring you closer to me where I lie
    A song can heal a weary heart
    Time will end all sorrow by and by

    The moon is laying soft upon the water
    Smoke comes drifting gently from the hill
    They tell us that this war will soon be over
    Maybe in another lifetime it will

    But how a song can heal a weary heart
    And bring you closer to me where I lie
    A song can heal a weary heart
    Time will end all sorrow by and by

    Time will end all sorrow by and by
  • 17. Oklahoma Ponies (traditional melody, lyrics and arrangement by Mark Knopfler) [Box Set Bonus Track]
    We’re a badass band
    From the kick ass south
    Pizza goin’ down the sofa
    A rockin’ little band
    Got a record out
    And buddy it’s a hit all over
    We’re a badass band
    From the kick ass south
    Cornchips in the shagpile
    We’re a’ gonna punch
    One another in the mouth
    They’re giving us a brand new hairstyle

    Get on down, turn ‘em all around
    Kick ’em in the old cojones
    Gotta get on down, turn ‘em all around
    We’re the Oklahoma Ponies
    Get on down, turn ‘em all around
    Kick ’em in the old cojones
    Gotta get on down, turn ‘em all around
    ‘Cos we’re the Oklahoma Ponies

    Now the badass boys
    They’re a’ gonna wanna fight
    Like they do in Oklahoma
    They got a killer girl
    To dress us right
    And buddy do I wanna bone her
    We’re a badass band
    From the kick ass south
    Pizza going down the sofa
    A rockin’ little band
    With a record out
    And buddy it’s a hit all over

    Get on down, turn ‘em all around
    Kick ’em in the old cojones
    Gotta get on down, turn ‘em all around
    We’re the Oklahoma Ponies
    Get on down, turn ‘em all around
    Kick’em in the old cojones
    Gotta get on down, turn ‘em all around
    ‘Cos we’re the Oklahoma Ponies