Don't Crash The Ambulance

I never know with music anymore if a musician is parodying the subject or its context. This is the case with this song from Mark Knopfler’s Shngri La album. On first listen it seems to be using George II & George III as the subjects, using the POTUS office as a context. But that seems really a bit simple and provincial. Might be what he had in mind, I guess, but I’m not comfortable saying as much even though the whole album is one of lyrical “portraits.”

Anyone have any interview references/insight that can shed a little more light on what Knopfler was thinking?

There’s this one on NPR, (RealAudio or Windows Media Player needed to listen to the interview) in which Knopfler says that it’s about “the handover of power, from one to the next.” He doesn’t name names, but I can’t really imagine it being about anyone else than POTUS in general and the Bush family specifically.

It’s an interesting interview.

Although I like a couple of the singles, Shangri-La as an album hasn’t really caught on with me yet. It usually takes many listenings by me to be really taken by Knopfler’s work; once I like one of his albums, I listen to it hundreds of times. I didn’t much care for it upon my initial listen, but now The Ragpicker’s Dream is probably my all-time favorite album, by anyone. *Golden Heart * and *Sailing to Philadelphia * are right up there as well.

I didn’t take it as specifically the Bushes, but I can see why anyone would think so.

On my first listening, Shangri-La did not grab me. This is not the usual case with me, with Knopfler.
Most often, I am captured right away.
Anyway, I gave it another listen, and soon I was well into the “hundreds of times” mode.
My absolute favorite Knopfler is probably his soundtrack to Local Hero, but Sailing to Philadelphia is way up there–as is Shangri-La.
Funny, I saw this thread title and it pushed a little toggle switch in my brain, now all the songs are circling through my head.