Communiqué – Once Upon a Time in the West – Lyrics

Communiqué – Once Upon a Time in the West – Lyrics

Communiqué – Once Upon a Time in the West – Lyrics1979

After their big success with the debut album, Dire Straits released their second album on June 15, 1979, under the name Communiqué. Band’s old lineup including Mark, David, John, and Pick, continued to make world hits that we know well today as 20th-century retro classics.

This album was recorded from November to December 1978 at Compass Point Studio in Nassau, Bahamas. It was mixed in New York City in January 1979, and five months later the album was on the air.

This album has two sides and nine songs all written by Mark Knopfler. The first song on this album is called ‘Once Upon a Time in The West,’ in which Mark has shown his magnificent writing skill and slow guitar picking style that made him famous. This song is almost six-minute-long.

This song is about the dangers of living in London’s West-End area. So, Mark compares life in the West-End with life in the American far west. He uses the Wild West just as the metaphor in his song.

In the third verse of the song, there is a reference to Mother Mary’s children being slaughtered may have different interpretations. She could be the Virgin Mary, so her children are everybody, or she could be just a woman called Mary, used as an example of any mother, or it could even be the same image used by John Lennon and be a metaphor for drugs.

The verse goes on with another reference “Heap big trouble in the land of plenty” which is about Wild West seen as a place for opportunity. The very lawlessness that made it dangerous allowed people to become rich. This is perhaps best shown by the Gold Rush in California. The lack of government and law increased danger and violence, but the presence of gold and the promise of prosperity allowed many to become rich.

To sum up, the message of the song is: London’s West-End is just as wild as the American Wild West.


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 room to pass
Sunday driver never took a test
Oh, yeah, once upon a time in the West

Yes and it’s no use saying that you don’t know nothing
It’s still gonna get you if you don’t do something
Sitting on a fence that’s a dangerous course
Ah, 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?
Now 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

Oh yeah, once upon a time in the West (x3)
Once upon a time in the West (x7)

Once Upon a Time in the West

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