The legend of this song is that one rainy night in south London, Mark Knopfler ducked in to dingy bar to wait out the storm. Inside bar was a table of maybe 4 or 5 drunks sitting at a table, still dressed in their work clothes and dirty from the factory they must have just came from, after their shift. Off in the corner of the bar was a band dressed all in red pullovers, playing on a small stage. Mark says they were the worst band, they were off time, the singer was horrible, the guitar was way out of tune and they even had a trumpet. They were the worst band Mark had ever heard. The storm raged on outside, leaving Mark trapped inside forced to experience this horrible band. Then Mark started to focus on the table of factory workers, 4 or 5 men still in their work clothes, fresh from a hard day of labor, talking, laughing, drinking pints, not being phased by this horrible music trying overpower the room.
That’s when Mark started to write this song, about a group of guys that “don’t give a damn about no trumpet playing band” They go to their pub every day after work, to reset and go back to being men instead of the laborers they had been for the past 12 hours.
As the storm outside was letting up, the band finished their last song and said to the small crowd “Thank you, good night, we are the Sultans of Swing”
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