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Dire Straits' lyrics

Posted by Woodchuck on October 28, 2002

In Reply to: Dire Straits' lyrics posted by Arch Stanton on October 28, 2002

: : : : I may be completely off base on this one, but... The song "Money for Nothin'" includes the line "...banging on the bongos like a ???" I checked various websites and they say that the missing word is chimpanzee. However, the word I hear when listening to this song has only 2 syllables and sounds like (and here's where I am not too sure) chimpvet or something like that. For years I assumed I was making up this word until I saw it in a P. D. James novel, which led me to believe that this may be British English. Is there such a word, or have I gone completely mad?

: : : You sound sane enough, but there is no such word. If my name were Knopfler and I were looking for a rhyme for 'chicks for free' and 'MTV', I'd pass over chimpvet and go straight to chimpanzee.

: : I shoulda learned to play the guitar
: : I shoulda learned to play them drums
: : Look at that mama, she got it stickin' in the camera
: : Man we could have some fun
: : And he's up there, what's that? Hawaiian noises?
: : Bangin' on the bongoes like a chimpanzee
: : That ain't workin' that's the way you do it
: : Get your money for nothin' get your chicks for free

: I think the variation of "Chimpanzee" that you're hearing is simply that the singer is laughing while saying the word.

I think you are hearing Knopfler consciously or unconsciously doing a Bob Dylan impression. Knopfler has always been hugely influenced by Dylan but in 1983 he produced Bob Dylan's _Infidels_. Dire Straits released _Brothers In Arms_ in 1985, so it's reasonable to assume the song was recorded during or immediately after Knopfler's work with Dylan.

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