Alchemy

Alchemy

Find out more about this album below.

Vertigo/Warner Bros. (1983)

Mark Knopfler: guitar & vocals
John Illsley: bass
Alan Clark: keyboards
Hal Lindes: guitar
Terry Williams: drums
Tommy Mandel: additional keyboards
Mel Collins: saxophone
Joop de Korte: percussion

Recorded by Mike McKenna, Rolling Stones Mobile, July 1983
Mixed at Air Studios, London, November 1983
Engineered by Nigel Walker, assisted by Jeremy Allom
Artwork by Brett Whitely, © adapted from Alchemy 1974
Design by C More Tone Studios

All songs written and produced by Mark Knopfler
Published by Rondor Music (London) Ltd/Straitjacket Songs
Published by Rondor Music (London) Ltd/Chariscourt Ltd
Intro written by Richard Rodgers, published by Chappell Music Ltd

Once Upon A Time In The West (live)

Sound bite

Lyrics

Some people get a cheap laugh breaking up the speed limit
Scaring the pedestrians for a minute
Crossing up progress driving on the grass
Leaving just enough for room to pass

Sunday driver never took a test
Oh yeah, 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 don’t do something

Sitting on a fence that’s a dangerous course
Oh, you could even catch a bullet from the peace-keeping force
Even the hero gets a bullet in the chest
Oh yeah, once upon a time in the west

Mother Mary your children are slaughtered
Some of you mothers ought to lock up your daughters
Who’s protecting the innocenti
Heap big trouble in the land of plenty

Tell me how we’re gonna do what’s best
You guess once upon a time in the west
Once upon a time in the west…

Expresso Love (live)

Sound bite

Lyrics

She gets the sun in the daytime
Perfume in the dusk
And she comes out in the night time
With the honeysuckle musk

Because she smells just like a rose
And she tastes just like a peach
She got me walking where the wildlife goes
I’d do anything to reach her

And she was made in heaven
Heaven’s in the world
Is this just expresso love
You know I’m crazy for the girl

She call me just to talk
She’s my lover, she’s a friend of mine
She says hey mister you wanna take a walk
In the wild west end sometime

And I get trouble with my breathing
She says boys don’t know anything
But I know what I want I want everything
Well I feel so good cos I feel so good

And I feel so good cos it feels so right
I was made to go with my girl
Like a saxophone was made to go with the night

And she can raise one eyebrow
Put her hand on my hip
And I close one eye now
Sweat on her lip

And I surrender to the fever
She love me so tender
I got to believe her
Love? Expresso love’s alright
I don’t want no sugar in it

Thank you very much
All wired up on it all fired up on it
Expresso touch
Hey maestro expresso
It’s just another one just like the other one
Hey maestro expresso
Is this another one just like the other one

Romeo and Juliet (live)

Sound bite

Lyrics

A lovestruck Romeo sings a streetsusss serenade
Laying everybody low with a lovesong that he made
Finds a convenient streetlight steps out of the shade
Says something like you and me babe how about it?

Juliet says hey it’s Romeo you nearly gimme a heart attack
He’s underneath the window she’s singing hey la my boyfriend’s back
You shouldn’t come around here singing up at people like that
Anyway what you gonna do about it

Juliet the dice were loaded from the start
And I bet and you exploded in my heart
And I forget I forget the movie song
When you gonna realise it was just that the time was wrong Juliet?

Come up on different streets they both were streets of shame
Both dirty both mean yes and the dream was just the same
And I dreamed your dream for you and now your dream is real
How can you look at me as if I was just another one of your deals?

When you can fall for chains of silver you can fall for chains of gold
You can fall for pretty strangers and the promises they hold
You promised me everything you promised me thick and thin
Now you just says oh Romeo yeah you know I used to have a scene with him

Juliet when we made love you used to cry
You said I love you like the stars above I’ll love you till I die
There’s a place for us you know the movie song
When you gonna realise it was just that the time was wrong Juliet?

I can’t do the talk like they talk on TV
And I can’t do a love song like the way it’s meant to be
I can’t do everything but I’d do anything for you
I can’t do anything except be in love with you

And all I do is miss you and the way we used to be
All I do is keep the beat and bad company
All I do is kiss you through the bars of a rhyme
Julie I’d do the stars with you any time

Juliet when we made love you used to cry
You said I love you like the stars above I’ll love you till I die
There’s a place for us you know the movie song
When you gonna realise it was just that the time was wrong Juliet?

A lovestruck Romeo sings a streetsuss serenade
Laying everybody low with a lovesong that he made
Finds a convenient streetlight steps out of the shade
Says something like you and me babe how about it?

Love Over Gold (live)

Sound bite

Lyrics

You walk out on the high wire
You’re a dancer on thin ice
You pay no heed to the danger
And less to advice
Your footsteps are forbidden
But with knowledge of your sin
You throw your love to all the strangers
And caution to the wind

And you go dancing through doorways
Just to see what you will find
Leaving nothing to interfere
With the crazy balance of your mind
And when you finally reappear
At the place where you came in
You’ve thrown your love to all the strangers
And caution to the wind

It takes love over gold
And mind over matter
To do what you do that you must
When the things that you hold
Can fall and be shattered
Or run through your fingers like dust

Private Investigations (live)

Sound bite

Lyrics

It’s a mystery to me – the game commences
for the usual fee – plus expenses
confidential information – it’s in a diary
this is my investigation – it’s not a public inquiry

I go checking out the reports – digging up the dirt
you get to meet all sorts in this line of work
treachery and treason – there’s always an excuse for it
and when I find the reason I still can’t get used to it

And what have you got at the end of the day?
what have you got to take away?
a bottle of whiskey and a new set of lies
blinds on the window and a pain behind the eyes

Scarred for life – no compensation
private investigations

Sultans Of Swing (live)

Sound bite

Lyrics

You get a shiver in the dark
It’s been raining in the park but meantime
South of the river you stop and you hold everything
A band is blowing Dixie double four time
You feel all right when you hear that music ring

You step inside but you don’t see too many faces
Coming in out of the rain to hear the jazz go down
Too much competition, too many other places
But not too many horns can make that sound
Way on down south, way on down south London town

You check out Guitar George he knows all the chords
Mind he’s strictly rhythm
He doesn’t want to make it cry or sing
And an old guitar is all he can afford
When he gets up under the lights to play his thing

And Harry doesn’t mind if he doesn’t make the scene
He’s got a daytime job he’s doing alright
He can play honky tonk just like anything
Saving it up for Friday night
With the Sultans, with the Sultans of Swing

And a crowd of young boys they’re fooling around in the corner
Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles
They don’t give a damn about any trumpet playing band
It ain’t what they call rock and roll
And the Sultans, the Sultans played Creole

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’
And he makes it fast with one more thing
‘We are the Sultans of Swing’

Two Young Lovers (live)

Sound bite

Lyrics

It was the last day of summer
It was the first of a new romance
He walked into her on the corner
She said, I don’t dance

He said, baby let me teach you
She said, o.k., when?
He said, how can I reach you baby
I’d really like to see you again

He picked her up on a Friday night
He took her for a bite to eat
His heart was beating and his hands were shaking
She thought he was sweet

And he stood on her shoes on the dance floor
Well, they were doing it cheek to cheek
And he walked her home and he kissed her
He was walking on air all week

Well, they couldn’t stand to be apart
They couldn’t leave one another alone
Her mama used to say, it’s getting late sweetheart
It’s time that boy went home

And upstairs papa kissed mama
And she gave him a sweet caress
He said, here’s to the two young lovers
Let’s wish ’em every happiness

It was the last day of summer
They came walking home hand in hand
They went and told her mama
They showed her the wedding band

Mama cried and poured the wine
Papa just said God bless
Now, here’s to the two young lovers
Let’s wish ’em every happiness

Tunnel of Love (live)

Sound bite

Lyrics

Getting crazy on the waltzers but it’s the life that I choose
Sing about the sixblade sing about the switchback and a torture tattoo
And I been riding on a ghost train where the cars they scream and slam
And I don’t know where I’ll be tonight but I’d always tell you where I am

In a screaming ring of faces I seen her standing in the light
She had a ticket for the races just like me she was a victim of the night
I put a hand upon the lever said let it rock and let it roll
I had the one arm bandit fever there was an arrow through my heart and my soul

And the big wheel keep on turning neon burning up above
And I’m just high on the world
Come on and take a low ride with me girl
On the tunnel of love

It’s just the danger when you’re riding at your own risk
She said you are the perfect stranger she said baby let’s keep it like this
It’s just a cake walk twisting baby step right up and say
Hey mister give me two give me two ‘cos any two can play

And the big wheel keep on turning neon burning up above
And I’m just high on the world
Come on and take a low ride with me girl
On the tunnel of love

Well it’s been money for muscle another whirligig
Money for muscle and another girl I dig
Another hustle just to make it big
And rockaway rockaway

And girl it looks so pretty to me just like it always did
Like the Spanish city to me when we were kids
Oh girl it looks so pretty to me just like it always did
Like the Spanish city to me when we were kids

She took off a silver locket she said remember me by this
She put her hand in my pocket I got a keepsake and a kiss
And in the roar of the dust and diesel I stood and watched her walk away
I could have caught up with her easy enough but something must have made me stay

And the big wheel keep on turning neon burning up above
And I’m just high on the world
Come on and take a low ride with me girl
On the tunnel of love

And now I’m searching through these carousels and the carnival arcades
Searching everywhere from steeplechase to palisades
In any shooting gallery where promises are made
To rockaway rockaway from Cullercoats and Whitley bay out to rockaway

And girl it looks so pretty to me like it always did
Like the Spanish city to me when we were kids
Girl it looks so pretty to me like it always did
Like the Spanish city to me when we were kids

Telegraph Road (live)

Sound bite

Lyrics

A long time ago came a man on a track
Walking thirty miles with a sack on his back
And he put down his load where he thought it was the best
He made a home in the wilderness

He built a cabin and a winter store
And he ploughed up the ground by the cold lake shore
The other travellers came riding down the track
And they never went further and they never went back

Then came the churches then came the schools
Then came the lawyers then came the rules
Then came the trains and the trucks with their loads
And the dirty old track was the telegraph road

Then came the mines – then came the ore
Then there was the hard times then there was a war
Telegraph sang a song about the world outside
Telegraph road got so deep and so wide like a rolling river. . .

And my radio is saying tonight it’s gonna freeze
People driving home from the factories
There’s six lanes of traffic
Three lanes moving slow. . .

I used to like to go to work but they shut it down
I’ve got a right to go to work but there’s no work here to be found
Yes and they say we’re gonna have to pay what’s owed
We’re gonna have to reap from some seed that’s been sowed

And the birds up on the wires and the telegraph poles
They can always fly away from this rain and this cold
You can here them singing out their telegraph code
All the way down the telegraph road

You know I’d sooner forget but I remember those nights
When life was just a bet on a race between the lights
You had your head on my shoulder you had your hand in my hair
Now you act a little colder like you don’t seem to care

But believe in me baby and I’ll take you away
From out of this darkness and into the day
From these rivers of headlights these rivers of rain
From the anger that lives on the streets with these names

‘cos I’ve run every red light on memory lane
I’ve seen desperation explode into flames
And I don’t want to see it again. . .

From all of these signs saying sorry but we’re closed
All the way down the telegraph road

Solid Rock (live)

Sound bite

Lyrics

Well take a look at that I made a castle in the sand
Saying this is where it’s at you know
Couldn’t understand now
If I realised that the chances were slim
How come I’m so surprised when the tide rolled in

I wanna live on solid rock
I’m gonna live on solid rock
I wanna give I don’t wanna be blocked
I’m gonna live on solid rock

Well I’m sick of potential I’m sick of vanity now
I’m sticking to essential reality now
I don’t know what’s worse
Try to make a silk purse
Living an illusion living in confusion

I wanna live on solid rock
I’m gonna live on solid rock
I wanna give I don’t wanna be blocked
I’m gonna live on solid rock

Well a house of cards
Was never built for shock
You could blow it down in any kind of weather
Now two solid rocks two solid blocks
You know they’re gonna stick
Yeah they’re gonna stick together

Because the heart that you break
That’s the one that you rely on
The bed that you make
That’s the one you gotta lie on
When you point your finger ‘cos your plan fell through
You got three more fingers pointing back at you

I wanna live on solid rock
I’m gonna live on solid rock
I wanna give I don’t wanna be blocked
I’m gonna live on solid rock I’m solid rock now

Going Home (Theme From Local Hero – live)

Sound bite

Instrumental

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© Mark Knopfler News 2018

Website by Lean Mean Digital

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© Mark Knopfler News 2018

Website by Lean Mean Digital

Privacy Policy

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