Saturday, May 28, 2011

love song for a truck?

There have been a LOT of love songs about cars, especially during the “muscle car” decade of the 1960’s. The Beach Boys probably hold the record for the MOST songs about cars (9) during that decade, but they were far from the only group singing about their cars. Apart from the ones done by the Beach Boys, one of my favorite songs is “Hot Rod Lincoln”, by Commander Cody.

Long before either “409” or “Little Deuce Coupe” hit the charts, people were writing songs about their cars. The earliest known example is Billy Murray’s 1909 recording of “My Merry Oldsmobile”

Trucks, however, are a different story.

“Convoy” and "Turn the Page” are songs about journeys across America in commercial vehicles. Apart from them, though, there aren’t many songs about trucks.

In 2009, Mark Knopfler released a song titled “Border Reivers”. Like most people, I enjoyed listening to the song, but didn’t pay much attention to what he was actually singing about.

The Albion Motor Car Company Ltd. was founded in Scotland in 1899. Although the company made private passenger cars for the first 20 years of the 20th century, it was known to be primarily a producer of commercial vehicles. It’s still in business today, but is now a subsidiary of an AMERICAN company called American Axle & Manufacturing.

Sure as the sunrise, the company will probably be in business for years to come.

In the final analysis, Knopfler’s song is actually a tribute to the guys who make a living driving trucks, even though Mark himself apparently never earned any money in that position.

Since he was born in Glasgow (in 1949), the title of this song is a mark of respect for the fierce warriors who defended Scotland against English armies from roughly 1300 to 1600. The best known “border reiver” is a man named William Wallace, who was portrayed in the movie “Braveheart” by Mel Gibson. The ORIGINAL border reivers were Scottish patriots who (successfully) resisted an English “land grab”.

Mark Knopfler is truly blessed, because he makes a very handsome living doing exactly what he loves to do. In a sense, you could say that he gets “money for nothing”

If you’d like to read the lyrics for “Border Reivers”, they are posted below:

Border Reiver lyrics

In the meantime, keep on truckin’

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