28 Jan 2013

The Arab Spring Stages – By Dire Straits’ Hits

In addition to their glorious music, Dire Straits proved to be prescient in their choice of song titles. Here’s a breakdown of how their song titles match the different stages of the Arab Spring:

Iron Hand
Stage one before the revolution. The dictator rules firmly with, er, an Iron Hand. In the words of the Straits’

“The belts and boots marched forward in time
The wood and the leather the club and shield“

On Every Street
The uprising erupts, people take to the streets and the squares to shake the status quo.

“And the fireworks over liberty explode in the heat
And it's your face I'm looking for on every street”

Sultans of Swing
Clearly a reference to the Arab League, the ‘Sultans of Swing’. They swing into action by asking for an emergency meeting six weeks from now. Obviously their main desire is to see the uprisings stop.

“And then the man he steps right up to the microphone
And says at last just as the time bell rings
'Thank you goodnight now it's time to go home'”

Brothers in Arms
Self-explanatory. The dictator clings on, the people take to arms. (NOT a reference to the Muslim Brotherhood.)

“As the battle raged higher
And though they did hurt me so bad
In the fear and alarm
You did not desert me
My brothers in arms”

Money for Nothing
This is an allusion to the role of Gulf countries in funding the uprisings. But, as Mark told them, it’s money for nothing, your funding won’t buy you sympathy.

“Now look at them yo-yo's that's the way you do it”.

Heavy Fuel
“When my ugly big car won't climb this hill
I'll write a suicide note on a hundred dollar bill”

The revolution turns sour. Maybe a reference to Jihadis.

Once Upon a Time in the West
“Yes it's no use saying that you don't know nothing
It's still gonna get you if you don't do something”

The ‘do something’ is a familiar refrain in the Arab uprisings, clearly a reference to western intervention.

Walk of Life
It’s about dignity and standing for your rights, the revolution prevails. It is also a reference to victory celebrations running late into the night.

“Dedication devotion
Turning all the night time into the day”

And no, we won’t make a lame joke about it all ending in dire straits…

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Karl reMarks is a blog about Middle East politics and culture with a healthy dose of satire.

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