I’m about to take you with me on a trip back in time, to some of the most magical years of my life. Fear not, this story has a direct bearing on you and your money in the present.
The Dire Straits’ self-titled debut album was a revelation for me in high school There’s not a “throwaway” song in the lot, and it became the first album that I literally wore out. I listened to that vinyl album so much that the grooves wore down and one line on “Sultans of Swing” (And Harry doesn’t mind…) would play over and over until I bumped the stylus forward.
The high energy hit songs “Sultans of Swing” and “Down to the Waterline” are breathtaking. But there’s a more reflective and mellow song on that album that has won my heart. Here’s the story…
Two years after graduating from college, in front of a secluded park bench in central London, I knelt down on one knee (I’m a traditionalist at heart) and asked my girlfriend of six years to marry me.
The woman who is now my lovely and talented wife said, “Yes”.
Weeks later, I realized – quite by coincidence – that a passage from the song “Wild West End” on that first Dire Straits album was a perfect narration of that engagement night.
Before that fateful moment at the park bench, we had enjoyed the play Figaro in the West End, London’s predominant theater district. And in the West End, the main thoroughfare is Shaftesbury Avenue.
That’s about all the background you need to see why these song lyrics still bring a thrill to my soul every time I hear them:
I saw you walking out – Shaftesbury Avenue
Excuse me for talking, I wanna’ marry you
This is the seventh heaven street to me
Don’t you seem so proud
You’re just another angel – in the crowd
And I’m walking in the wild West End
Walking with your wild best friend
When I heard that song play weeks after our engagement moment, my jaw dropped. I called my fiancee and excitedly told her about my musical epiphany.
And then I did the (almost) impossible – I wore out a CD version of the same album I had listened to so much in high school.
Why this musical walk down memory lane? Because much like my old Dire Straits album, I’m about to sound like a broken record – the market narrative is STILL driving almost every twitch in the stock market…