Single Handed Sailor - Misintrepted Song | Reviewer: Mike | 1/2/14
I've often seen people refer to this song as a homage to Francis Chichester. The reference to the Gypsy Moth (and the Cutty Sark) is just scene setting by Knopfler. The song is actually about a stowaway (the mother and her baby in the college of war) escaping an abusive relationship. The man they are escaping from being 'The mariner of dry-dock land' who happens to be 'up on the bridge on the self same night' as they 'slip away below him, away from the things he has done'.
The irony of the song is that the Single Handed Sailor isn't alone at all. The only question really is does he know she's on board?
Few artists write music like this anymore - designed to move your heart and make you take a look at the world around you in a different way. There's a little bit of melancholy, a little romanticism, all mixed up with a beautifully haunting melody and a sublime use of the lead and bass guitar. It's better than folk music, better than rock, but it's a child of both. As much as I love Dire Straits, they never did anything before or since that I love as much as this song.
The Best on the album..... | Reviewer: Jon Bingham
Today is all about, less and less true living. But we still cherish excellent music....And this track still, after all these years gives me so much gratifaction. So full of rock but so still horizontal.....