Menu

The raving thoughts of a misanthropic academic

June 4, 2007

Song of the Week: Walk of Life

We're all about change here at Pax Plena. After a one time song of the week siesta (due largely to a confused blogger coming off a long weekend), this week's Pax Plena song of the week is back with a vengeance. Stretching the boundaries of genre, good taste and form, the Pax Plena song of the week comes to you courtesy of 80s sensation Dire Straits and is titled Walk of Life.

Time for a scary confession of the sort I typically try to avoid on this blog.

More than any song, Walk of Life defined the earliest memories of my childhood. To this day, I can vividly recall the backseat of my parents dusty, fourth generation Chevy Monte Carlo as we bustled down the country roads of Cotton County listening to the radio. Blaring on the radio was nothing less than our featured tune Walk of Life. Oddly, for some reason, I also recall associating elephants with the song. Silly dancing elephants. Apparently, somethings remain beyond the realm of apprehension. Nevertheless, released in May of 1985 Walk of Life is easily the earliest song I can recall. As an avowed connoisseur of country music, the realization troubles me. Then again, on another level, it really doesn't. What self-respecting 20-something didn't hear Walk of Life as a youngster? And what product of the 1980s wasn't wrought in ostentatious hair and a mellow beat? It could have been worse after all. I might have been born during the 1970s- suffice it to say I'd much rather have been young during the Reagan years than the Carter years any day.

Musically, what Dire Straits did best in the song was take rock 'n' roll back to its roots. Literate lyrics, simple chords, and syncopated rhythms. In fact, the song as performed on an acoustic guitar features mainly the A and E chords that any beginner would learn straight away. What most sets the song apart from other works and gives it its rockabilly feel is the memorable keyboard riff and bass guitar line which sustains the song throughout its four minute duration. One word comes to mind while listening: happy. The music video follows suit. While the British version is markedly different, the U.S. video features sports bloopers and features cameo appearances from Michael Jordan to Roger Clemens (back before the Yankees sucked).

Lyrically, the song was said to describe the plight of young music artists trying to make it big in the days before mass marketing and record deals. Think music bard as opposed to American Idol. It's interesting to note that for an optimistic song, there are a number of darker references but the melody and keyboard riff make it difficult to do anything but smile- in my case, perhaps nostalgically. Feel free to indulge your 80s music craving with the music video below. Lyrics follow after the jump.




Walk of Life

Here comes Johnny singing oldies, goldies
Be-Bop-A-Lua, Baby What I Say
Here comes Johnny singing I Gotta Woman
Down in the tunnels, trying to make it pay
He got the action, he got the motion
Yeah, the boy can play
Dedication devotion
Turning all the night time into the day

He do the song about the sweet lovin' woman
He do the song about the knife
He do the walk, he do the walk of life

Here comes Johnny and he'll tell you the story
Hand me down mu walkin' shoes
Here come Johnny with the power and the glory
Backbeat the talkin' blues
He got the action, he got the motion
Yeah, the boy can play
Dedication devotion
Turning all the night time into the day

He do the song about the sweet lovin' woman
He do the song about the knife
He do the walk, he do the walk of life

Here comes Johnny singing oldies, goldies
Be-Bop-A-Lula, Baby What I Say
Here comes Johnny singing I Gotta Woman
Down in the tunnels, trying to make it pay
He got the action, he got the motion
Yeah the boy can play
Decidation devotion
Turning all the night time into the day

And after all the violence and double talk
There's just a song in the trouble and the strife
You do the walk, you do the walk of life
Share:

0 comments:

Welcome!

Organic, free-range thought courtesy of your average, coffee-addicted, American Indian, academic. Program Manager @IGPatUA.


The thoughts here are mine alone and should not be attributed to my employers, colleagues, or any other sentient being.

Me

Recent Posts

Latest Comments

Blog Archive

Copyright © Pax Plena | Powered by Blogger

Design by Anders Norén | Blogger Theme by NewBloggerThemes.com