My review on Brothers in Arms, Dire Straits

Brothers in arms is a 1985 song by the British rock band Dire Straits. The song was written by the band songwriter, guitarist and singer Mark Knopfler who is famous for his great fingerstyle guitar solos.

The dialogue between the guitar and the lyrics is so powerful. Fortunately, there are tons of videos about the song. From the following line from the lyrics, “we’re fools to make war…” we obviously understand the message of the song. As the message of the song is clear I’ll try to narrate the events that the song manifests. This will make you be able to interact with the song and find out what the narrator tries to convey.

As you read (and listen to) the first lines you understand that it’s about a soldier— probably a commander—who is in high mountains far away from his home: “these mist covered mountains…” You also understand that he is in a situation as if he has lost everything: “…are home now for me.”

The soldier is convinced that his death time has arrived as he says: “every man has to die”, and thus he’s saying goodbye to his fellows: “let me bid you farewell…” However, his fellows seem to be good men as they “did not desert” him while he was “hurt so bad” in the battlefield.

I think he is their commander as he tells his men: “I’ve witnessed all your suffering”. It’s clear that he regrets having participated in this war and also having them participated and endure all the sufferings of the battlefield. In spite of that, he’s glad that his fellows will someday “return to [their] valleys and farms”, and that they will never be soldiers. “…and you’ll never longer burn to be brothers in arms”, he says.
“Now the sun’s gone to hell and the moon’s riding high”, the commander says referring perhaps to the end of the war and the coming of peace. This foreshadows his death and his everlasting stay in the mountains.

What’s different about the commander is that he uses the expression “brothers in arms” to refer to both to his fellows – “you did not desert me, my brothers in arms”— and those who are fighting against them: “we’re fools to make war on our brothers in arms”.

So, we realise that both sides are brothers as they “have just one world.” The commander is trying to make his fellows understand that there is just one World and one goal in this world which is to live peacefully and happily. Even though, people may have different views and cultures, they are still equal i.e. brothers.

By Abderrazak BADDOU

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