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Dire Straits Industrial Disease Analysis Essay

"Industrial Disease" is a song by the Britishrock bandDire Straits written by Mark Knopfler. It appeared on their 1982 album Love over Gold.

The song was released as a single in the U.S. and as a rare B-side to "Private Investigations" on cassette tape in the United Kingdom. The B-side to the U.S. "Industrial Disease" single was "Solid Rock" from the previous Dire Straits album Making Movies.


The song takes a look at decline of the Britishmanufacturing industry in the early 1980s, focusing on strikes, depression and dysfunctionality. For example, the absurdity of media-driven maladies is laid out in a segment of the song describing the narrator's visit to a doctor's office for treatment of his "Industrial Disease".

The reference to "Brewer's Droop" as a medical condition is an in-joke, referring both to the effect of alcohol on libido and to the band of the same name that Mark Knopfler played in prior to Dire Straits.

The fictitious "Industrial Disease"[edit]

While most of the song is about the reaction of different characters to the outbreak of Industrial disease, there are still plenty of references to the actual ailment itself.[1] None are definitive and many seem to contradict and confuse, and make use of double entendre and irony.

  • A sneeze arouses fear of a possible case of Industrial Disease
  • Workers are reported to come out "in sympathy" and "in spots" (sympathy strikes and spot strikes)
  • 'Dr Parkinson' diagnoses a patient with 'Smoker's Cough', 'Brewer's Droop', 'Bette Davisknees', Industrial Disease and depression. He writes an unknown prescription but it is unclear whether the depression (clinical or economic) is a symptom of any conditions above.
  • The 'Bette Davis knees' line has been subject to various interpretations. It may be related to an English joke[2] or a parody of "Bette Davis Eyes".
  • The singer poses the hypothetical question of 'How come Jesus gets Industrial Disease?' but it is unknown which one if not both of these men he is referring to:
  • The first man at Speaker's Corner declaring he is Jesus claims he will cure Industrial Disease soon by abolishing Monday mornings and Friday afternoons
  • The second man at Speaker's Corner declaring he is Jesus is on hunger strike


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Но она понимала, что надежды нет: электроника вряд ли уцелела после катастрофы. Двигаясь в дыму, она вдруг вспомнила слова Хейла: «У этого лифта автономное электропитание, идущее из главного здания. Я видел схему!» Она знала, что это. Как и то, что шахта лифта защищена усиленным бетоном. Сквозь клубящийся дым Сьюзан кое-как добралась до дверцы лифта, но тут же увидела, что индикатор вызова не горит.