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Welcome to Music Friday when we bring you fun songs with jewelry, gemstones or precious metals in the title or lyrics. Frontman Mark Knopfler and Dire Straits sing about life’s ups and downs (“one day you’re a diamond and then you’re a stone”) in the comical 1991 tune called “The Bug.”
Written by Knopfler, “The Bug” is a clever commentary on how “everything can change in the blink of an eye, so let the good times roll before we say goodbye.”
In the song’s famous reprise, Knopfler sings, “Sometimes you’re the windshield / Sometimes you’re the bug / Sometimes it all comes together baby / Sometimes you’re just a fool in love.”
“The Bug” was released as the fourth single from Dire Straits’ sixth and final studio album On Every Street. The album sold 15 million copies worldwide and served as a fitting punctuation mark to the band’s wildly successful 15-year run, during which Dire Straits sold more than 120 million records.
Dire Straits was a formed in London in 1977 and its name reflected the the group’s shaky financial condition in the early days. Founding members Knopfler, younger brother David, John Illsley and Pick Withers honed their unique sound with inspiration from the worlds of jazz, folk and blues.
The group split for the first time in 1988, but then reformed in 1991. The final breakup was in 1995 when Mark Knopfler pursued a solo career.
The 73-year-old Knopfler was born in Glasgow, Scotland, and grew up in Northumberland, England. A four-time Grammy Award winner, Knopfler is ranked 27th on Rolling Stone‘s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Dire Straits was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.
Fun trivia: Dire Straits was Princess Diana’s favorite rock group.
More fun trivia: Lead singer and guitarist Mark Knopfler is left-handed but plays right-handed.
Please check out the video of Dire Straits’ live performance of “The Bug.” The lyrics are below if you’d like to sing along…
“The Bug”Written by Mark Knopfler. Performed by Dire Straits.
Well it’s a strange old game you learn it slowOne step forward and it’s back you goYou’re standing on the throttleYou’re standing on the brakeIn the groove ’til you make a mistake
Sometimes you’re the windshieldSometimes you’re the bugSometimes it all comes together babySometimes you’re just a fool in loveSometimes you’re the Louisville SluggerSometimes you’re the ballSometimes it all comes togetherSometimes you’re gonna lose it all
You gotta know happy – you gotta know gladBecause you’re gonna know lonelyAnd you’re gonna know sadWhen you’re rippin’ and you’re ridin’And you’re coming on strongYou start slippin’ and slidin’And it all goes wrong because
One day you got the glory and then you got noneOne day you’re a diamond and then you’re a stoneEverything can change in the blink of an eyeSo let the good times roll before we say goodbye because
Sometimes you’re the windshieldSometimes you’re the bugSometimes it all comes together babySometimes you’re just a fool in love
Credit: Dire Straits by Heinrich Klaffs, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons.