Dire Straits — Industrial Disease
Album: Love Over Gold
Avg rating:
7.2

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1081
Ratings histogram:
Released: 1982
Length: 5:44
Plays (last 30 days): 1
Warning lights are flashing down at Quality Control
Somebody threw a spanner and they threw him in the hole
There's rumors in the loading bay and anger in the town
Somebody blew the whistle and the walls came down
There's a meeting in the boardroom they're trying to trace the smell
There's leaking in the washroom there's sneak in personnel
Somewhere in the corridors someone was heard to sneeze
'Goodness me could this be Industrial Disease?'

The caretaker was crucified for sleeping at his post
They're refusing to be pacified it's him they blame the most
The watchdog's got rabies the foreman's got the fleas
And everyone's concerned about Industrial Disease
There's panic on the switchboard tongues are tied in knots
Some come out in sympathy some come out in spots
Some blame the management some the employees
And everybody knows it's the Industrial Disease

The work force is disgusted downs tools and walks
Innocence is injured experience just talks
Everyone seeks damages and everyone agrees
That these are 'classic symptoms of a monetary squeeze'
On ITV and BBC they talk about the curse
Philosophy is useless; theology is worse
History boils over there's an economics freeze
Sociologists invent words that mean 'Industrial Disease'

Doctor Parkinson declared 'I'm not surprised to see you here
You've got smokers cough from smoking brewer's droop from drinking beer
I don't know how you came to get the Bette Davis knees
But worst of all young man you've got Industrial Disease'
He wrote me a prescription he said 'you are depressed
But I'm glad you came to see me to get this off your chest
Come back and see me later - next patient please
Send in another victim of Industrial Disease'

I go down to Speaker's Corner I'm thunderstruck
They got free speech, tourists, police in trucks
Two men say they're Jesus, one of them must be wrong
There's a protest singer singing a protest song - he says
'They wanna have a war to keep their factories
They wanna have a war to keep us on our knees
They wanna have a war to stop us buying Japanese
They wanna have a war to stop Industrial Disease

They're pointing out the enemy to keep you deaf and blind
They wanna sap your energy incarcerate your mind
They give you Rule Brittania, gassy beer, page three
Two weeks in Espana and Sunday striptease'
Meanwhile the first Jesus says 'I'll cure it soon
Abolish Monday mornings and Friday afternoons'
The other one's out on hunger striker he's dying by degrees
How come Jesus gets Industrial Disease?
Comments (181)add comment
Best Dire Straits album EVER
To me 8 -Most Excellent
 Alastair wrote:

Jeez, what's with the dancing bananas?  Animated GIFs were probably never a good idea but FFS this is 2017.  

 
You must be a new comer to this board.  Just be thankful that the vomit gif seems to have been retired.
 gregskrtic wrote:
Best song on this great album!

{#Bananajam}{#Bananapiano}{#Dancingbanana_2} 

 
Jeez, what's with the dancing bananas?  Animated GIFs were probably never a good idea but FFS this is 2017.  
 gregskrtic wrote:
Best song on this great album!

{#Bananajam}{#Bananapiano}{#Dancingbanana_2} 

 
I would vote for Telegraph Road.
Best song on this great album!

{#Bananajam}{#Bananapiano}{#Dancingbanana_2} 
 Chinto wrote:
1st album on CD

 
I worked in a record store back then, and the owner had one of the first CD players, which I think he bought for around $1,000.00.

I remember this being one of his first discs:

 Frida - Something's Going On (1982).jpg
 Elroweho wrote:
After listening to this song several times I had to find out what the line"you got brewers droop from drinking too much beer" meant. My first thought was it was the UK's version of declaring a beer belly. Boy was I wrong! It is actually a slang for a guy not able to - well -"perform" since he drank too much alcohol! Man I get a kick out of UK/Aussie slang!

 
like
 
1st album on CD
I've known this song for decades. Never really listened to the lyrics until Bill played it. Brilliant! Thanks RP!
                   Might be a tad late, If  realization comes at 'How come Jesus gets Industrial Disease'?
Only think I am complaining is kids sitting on Doctor Parkinson couch,  and wait  for their turn to be psychoanalized for industrial disease.
                                                                          I never seen a sicko kid.
A 7.1 score. Rats. This song floats high in the stratosphere for satire, imagery, knife-sharp comment and plain ingenious fun. Get with the program. 
One of my fav D.S. songs
Lyrics below are slightly incorrect: 

"they wanna have a war to keep us on our knees
They wanna have a war to keep their factories
They wanna have a war to stop the spying Japanese
They wanna have a war to stop industrial disease
Corrected: 

They wanna have a war to keep their factories
They wanna have a war to keep us on our knees
They wanna have a war to stop us buying Japanese
They wanna have a war to stop industrial disease 
 coloradojohn wrote:
I echo the craving to hear Telegraph Road from this record; Superb Stuff, yeah!  I love the way he used the effect but RESTRAINED it.

 
yes to hearing it here
I echo the craving to hear Telegraph Road from this record; Superb Stuff, yeah!  I love the way he used the effect but RESTRAINED it.
 Gregorama wrote:

Give it 20 years. :)
 
Oops-hadn't read the earlier post.  I thought it was beer belly, too.  D'oh!
 Elroweho wrote:
Happy to say I drink beer but do not have "Brewers Droop"! {#Kiss}

 
Give it 20 years. :)
It would be splendid indeed to hear Telegraph Road, its cousin song from the same album. A one of a kind epic.  
Happy to say I drink beer but do not have "Brewers Droop"! {#Kiss}
 Elroweho wrote:
After listening to this song several times I had to find out what the line"you got brewers droop from drinking too much beer" meant. My first thought was it was the UK's version of declaring a beer belly. Boy was I wrong! It is actually a slang for a guy not able to - well -"perform" since he drank too much alcohol! Man I get a kick out of UK/Aussie slang!

 
I prefer the term "brewers droop" to "whiskey dick", like so much of UK slang versus 'Merican.
In addition to some great lines, many British references and some damn fine humour, That gated Flanged strat sound is great, I've often tried but without really expensive effects I just end up with a big speaker making ssshssshshhhhshhhhhhhhhhshsssssssss noises.
"Next patient please !!!!!!!!!!!"

Class Warfare in a five minute pop song.
I think this is a transitional song in the Dire Straits cannon, unfortunately the transition was from fine guitar tunes with a bit of extras to bombastic overly produced conventionality (for much that came thereafter). This particular song seems to have too much of the new Dire Straits already.
After listening to this song several times I had to find out what the line"you got brewers droop from drinking too much beer" meant. My first thought was it was the UK's version of declaring a beer belly. Boy was I wrong! It is actually a slang for a guy not able to - well -"perform" since he drank too much alcohol! Man I get a kick out of UK/Aussie slang!
 nagsheadlocal wrote:
"Two men say they're Jesus - one of them must be wrong"

One of my all-time favorite rock lyrics . . .  

 
Mine, too! This song is chock full of great lines.
Dire Straits usually threw one or two pop songs on each album to get attention in the US.  This is that song for this album.  IMO, it's the weakest song on an otherwise great album.
 BazH wrote:
I used to like them in the early 80s but find all their stuff Boring now.

 
I would definitely not go that far - some of their stuff is pretty good (particularly Sultans of Swing album), but I totally agree that is dull and lazy, with throwaway instrumentation supporting a simple melody. Probably written as an album filler at the time? A musically accomplished band could probably churn something like this out in an hour in a studio. 
Never found them boring, because I listen to the lyrics and admire the technical expertise on display when he plays.  This is one of my favorite anthems of post-WWII western civilization.

Hello!?!?  This is boring?
 
I'm not surprised to see you here.
You've got smokers cough from smoking,
brewer's droop from drinking beer.
I don't know how you came to get the Bette Davis knees,
But worst of all young man you've got Industrial Disease!

 I used to find them boring in the 80's and still find them boring - added with a tinge of irritation now. This is what we were served up as  guitar based rock in those bad old days.

Not sure why we still get to hear them...Dull



itaish wrote:

I actually used to find their stuff boring during the 80's but learn to like them more and more now :)



 


 itaish wrote:
The older I get the more I appreciate Dire Straits music (that's a complement...)

 
Compliment maybe?
 BazH wrote:
I used to like them in the early 80s but find all their stuff Boring now.

  I actually used to find their stuff boring during the 80's but learn to like them more and more now :)


I used to like them in the early 80s but find all their stuff Boring now.
Ah, yes...This made me pull over to listen when it first came out...I was driving along PCH near Huntington Beach with a tasty buzz on...sat there and laughed till I almost cried...Surely some of the funnest lyrics ever!
One of the very finest sing along and timely and spot-on songs ever. Brilliant!  A rock solid 10. 
Don't konw how did MK manage to do, so that Dire Straits songs never felt to be as lenghty as they really are.
The older I get the more I appreciate Dire Straits music (that's a compliment...)
"Two men say they're Jesus - one of them must be wrong"

One of my all-time favorite rock lyrics . . .  

 fredriley wrote:
The verse about war is a direct reference to the Falklands/Malvinas war in 1982 - I don't know if this song was written before, during or after this nasty little pointless war, 

Hydrocarbons have now been found in reasonable quality offshore. . . 
 Frater_Kork wrote:
Farfisa!
 

Indeed! Great sound.

Good all the way around.

{#Dancingbanana_2}


 Cynaera wrote:
I love this song - so delightfully cynical and snarky...  Not vouching for the lyrics, but couldn't find anything totally accurate...
 
Yes, you're right...  I have felt ambivalent about this song, but you point out how good it really is...  love it...

 
Farfisa!
Ahh my youth.
 Cynaera wrote:
I love this song - so delightfully cynical and snarky...  Not vouching for the lyrics, but couldn't find anything totally accurate...

 
Did you transcribe the lyrics?? You must have a lot of time on your hands ;)

The lyrics take me back a couple of decades as they obliquely reference the state of the UK back in the Thatcherite 80s when the Tories were actively carrying out class war against the labour movement, and the movement was trying to fight back, with economy and society as 'collateral damage' (as they say these days). The verse about war is a direct reference to the Falklands/Malvinas war in 1982 - I don't know if this song was written before, during or after this nasty little pointless war, but Thatcher soon after 'victory' (at the cost of 2000 lives) talked freely of "the enemy within" by which she clearly meant striking workers. The war cemented her regime's power and led to its eventual victory in the class war it had started. This isn't so much a song as a piece of social history.

Nice proof that Mark's also quite a poet... {#Clap}
I love this song - so delightfully cynical and snarky...  Not vouching for the lyrics, but couldn't find anything totally accurate...
Warning lights are flashing down at quality control
Somebody threw a spanner and they threw him in the hole
There's rumors in the loading bay and anger in the town
Somebody blew the whistle and the walls came down
There's a meeting in the boardroom they're trying to trace the smell
There's leaking in the washroom there's a stinkin personnel
Somewhere in the corridors someone was heard to sneeze
Goodness me, could this be industrial disease?

Caretaker was crucified for sleeping at his post
They're refusing to be pacified it's him they blame the most
The watchdog's got rabies the foreman's got fleas
Everyone's concerned about industrial disease
There's panic on the switchboard tongues are ties in knots
Some come out in sympathy some come out in spots
Some blame the management some the employees
And everybody knows it's the industrial disease

The work force is disgusted downs tools and walks
Innocence is injured experience just talks
Everyone seeks damages and everyone agrees
That these are classic symptoms of a monetary squeeze
On ITV and BBC they talk about the curse
Philosophy is useless theology is worse
History boils over there's an economics freeze
Sociologists invent words that mean 'industrial disease'

Doctor Parkinson declared "I'm not surprised to see you here
You've got smokers cough from smoking, brewer's droop from drinking beer
I don't know how you came to get those Betty Davis knees
But worst of all young man you've got industrial disease"
He wrote me a prescription he said "you're not depressed
But I'm glad you came to see me to get this off your chest
Come back and see me later - next patient please
Send in another victim of industrial disease"

I go down to speaker's corner I'm thunderstruck
They got free speech, tourists, police in trucks
Two men say they're Jesus - one of them must be wrong
There's a protest singer singing a protest song - he says
"they wanna have a war to keep us on our knees
They wanna have a war to keep their factories
They wanna have a war to stop the spying Japanese
They wanna have a war to stop industrial disease
They're pointing out the enemy to keep you deaf and blind
They wanna sap your energy incarcerate your mind
They give you rule Brittania, gassy beer, page three
Two weeks in España and Sunday striptease"
Meanwhile the first Jesus says "I'd cure it soon
Abolish Monday mornings and Friday afternoons"
The other one's out on hunger strike he's dying by degrees
How come Jesus gets industrial disease


Nice tune from a GREAT album.
 gregr79 wrote:
2 men say they're Jesus  -  One of them must be wrong Notworthy

Porto Rico is full of Jesus's 


Nice, reminds me of Dylan's Highway 61.