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Quiz about Anatomy of a Song Sultans of Swing
Quiz about Anatomy of a Song Sultans of Swing

Anatomy of a Song: "Sultans of Swing" Quiz


Just how much do you know about Dire Straits' classic "Sultans of Swing"? Pit yourself against ten questions about the song and/or associated facts. Song #32 in the 'Anatomy' series.

A multiple-choice quiz by FussBudget. Estimated time: 3 mins.
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Author
FussBudget
Time
3 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
269,883
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
7 / 10
Plays
2561
Awards
Top 5% quiz!
Last 3 plays: Guest 98 (8/10), Guest 47 (2/10), Guest 172 (5/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. Which side of the river gets mentioned during the song's lyrics? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. What's the weather like during the song? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. Which of the following instruments does not get mentioned in the song? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Which song by Wings inadvertently gets a mention in the lyrics? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. When "The band is blowin' Dixie", in what time signature are they playing? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. "Guitar George" gets mentioned in the song. What other given name is found in the lyrics? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. What day of the week gets mentioned in the song's lyrics? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. What type of guitar does "Guitar George" play? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. What type of music is playing when the singer first "steps inside"? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. A lyric in the song states: "He can play the honky tonk like anything".

Which of the following artists has two songs and an album with a title that includes the word "Honky"?
Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Jun 17 2024 : Guest 98: 8/10
Jun 17 2024 : Guest 47: 2/10
Jun 17 2024 : Guest 172: 5/10
Jun 17 2024 : Guest 75: 4/10
Jun 11 2024 : Guest 158: 10/10
Jun 05 2024 : Guest 136: 4/10
May 29 2024 : demurechicky: 7/10
May 27 2024 : Harrygeorge10: 9/10
May 21 2024 : Guest 71: 0/10

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Which side of the river gets mentioned during the song's lyrics?

Answer: The south side

"South of the river you stop and you hold everything"

Ordinarily, I would have told you which river this refers to, but to do so would betray another question in the quiz. So, I won't!
2. What's the weather like during the song?

Answer: It's raining

Ah! But the weather is mentioned twice.

"You get a shiver in the dark,
It's raining in the park but meantime"

and

"And now you step inside but you don't see too many faces,
Comin' in out of the rain you hear the jazz go down"

Who'll stop the rain? "Sultans of Swing" was Dire Straits' first single release in 1979. The song reached number four in the U.S. and number eight in the U.K. The album from which the single was lifted, "Dire Straits", reached number two in the U.S. charts, and number five in the U.K. charts.
3. Which of the following instruments does not get mentioned in the song?

Answer: Drums

"Oh but the horns, they're blowin' that sound"

and

"Check out Guitar George, he knows all the chords"

and

"They don't give a damn about any trumpet playin' band"

There must be drums in there though! There has to be. Whoever heard of a band with no drums? Pick Withers (surely a name that would have led to a career playing guitar!) was the Straits' original drummer. He left the group in 1983 and was replaced by Terry Williams, who left the group in 1988. Thereafter, apparently, they had no drummer.
4. Which song by Wings inadvertently gets a mention in the lyrics?

Answer: London Town

"Way on down south, way on down south, London town"

So, now you know where the song was set, you would have a pretty good idea of the river referred to in the earlier question, which is of course, the Thames.

"London Town" is a song on the 1978 Wings album..."London Town"! As a single, the song reached number 39 in the U.S. charts, and number 60 in the U.K. charts. The album "London Town" reached number two in the U.S. charts, and number four in the U.K. charts.
5. When "The band is blowin' Dixie", in what time signature are they playing?

Answer: Double four time

Double four time is a time signature. It is Mark Knopfler's lyrical way of saying four four time.

The time signature that appears on a musical staff defines the number of beats in a bar.
6. "Guitar George" gets mentioned in the song. What other given name is found in the lyrics?

Answer: Harry

"Check out Guitar George, he knows all the chords"

and

"And Harry doesn't mind if he makes the scene,
He's got a daytime job, he's doing alright"

Now, there is a lot of conjecture out there in net land as to just who Harry and George are. Some theories would see them as being Harry Vanda and George Young of The Easybeats. As much as this Australian would like to think that is the case, to borrow a line from "Russians" by Sting: "I don't subscribe to this point of view"! Another opinion suggests that "Guitar George" was George Borowski, a London session musician, and that Harry was therefore nobody in particular! Personally, I would like to think that George was a sideways nod to the musicianship of one George Harrison.

Perhaps they are simply two ordinary names that fit nicely into the song's lyrical structure.
7. What day of the week gets mentioned in the song's lyrics?

Answer: Friday

"He can play the honky tonk like anything,
Savin' it up for Friday night"

Hmmm, another possible link to Harry and George of The Easybeats. "Friday On My Mind", anybody? No, I don't think so either!
8. What type of guitar does "Guitar George" play?

Answer: Rhythm

"You check out Guitar George, he knows all chords,
Mind he's strictly rhythm, he doesn't wanna make it cry or sing"

Back to my George Harrison theory! George was famed for his rhythm and slide guitar work. However the line "he doesn't wanna make it cry or sing" belies George's Beatles song "While My Guitar Gently Weeps". Then again, George said Eric Clapton played lead on "Weeps", so maybe my theory holds water. That, or it leaks like a sieve...
9. What type of music is playing when the singer first "steps inside"?

Answer: Jazz

"And now you step inside but you don't see too many faces,
Comin' in out of the rain you hear the jazz go down"

Dire Straits are invariably pigeon-holed as Classic Rock, Country Rock or simply Rock musicians. If they are Rock, they are a watered-down version. They certainly were a refreshing change to the angst that was Punk Rock when they first emerged in the late 70s.

Knopfler makes another reference to Jazz in one of the Straits' other single releases, "Lady Writer":

"Yes and your rich old man,
You know he'd call her a dead ringer,
You got the same command,
Plus your mother was a jazz singer"
10. A lyric in the song states: "He can play the honky tonk like anything". Which of the following artists has two songs and an album with a title that includes the word "Honky"?

Answer: Elton John

Elton John? Elton had a song entitled "Honky Cat" on his 1972 album "Honky Chateau". He also had a version of The Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women" on his live album "11-17-70".

Best known of the "Honky Tonk" titled songs is undoubtedly The Rolling Stones' "Honky Tonk Women". Patsy Cline sung "Honky Tonk Merry-Go-Round". Trace Adkins sings "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk", a song that contains lyrical gems such as:

"Got it goin' on,
Like Donkey Kong,
And whoo-wee,
Shut my mouth, slap your grandma,
There oughta be a law,
Get the Sheriff on the phone,
Lord have mercy, how's she even get them britches on,
That honky tonk badonkadonk"

Yep! There oughta be a law, alright! Truer words...
Source: Author FussBudget

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor agony before going online.
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Related Quizzes
This quiz is part of series Anatomy of a Song - Part 2:

This is part 2 of a collection of all of my "Anatomy of a Song" quizzes. They were the originals, much imitated since. I guess I should take that as a compliment!

  1. Anatomy of a Song: "Maggie May" Easier
  2. Anatomy of a Song: "Daniel" Easier
  3. Anatomy of a Song: "Sultans of Swing" Average
  4. Anatomy of a Song: "The Boxer" Easier
  5. Anatomy of a Song: "Piano Man" Easier

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