Posted by: deerharas | November 16, 2006

Streetsus Serenade

Almost a month and no post.  No good.  Today’s lunch plans fell through, and I have a few minutes before my one on one with Ai this afternoon, so I thought I would do something about that.

First thought:  Back to my misheard song lyrics post.  I recently discovered another lyric faux pas.  Ever since my 9th grade Enlgish Laureate teacher played us Dire Straits’ “Romeo and Juliet,”  I thought the first line said, “A love struck Romeo sings a streetsus serenade.”  I don’t think I got there on my own either … I’m pretty sure Mr. Monroe made us a lyric sheet with that exact line.  So I love that word, “streetsus.”  I love the sound.  I couldn’t find it in the dictionary, so I figured that Mark Knopfler made it up because it sounded good.  If I had to give it a definition based on the song, I would say that streetsus means something like incredibly intense … full of longing.  “Romeo and Juliet” happens to be one of my very favorite songs, made even moreso by the Indigo Girls cover.  One of my best concert moments was hearing Amy Ray scream out in her beautiful raspy voice “How can you look at me as if I was just another one of your deals?”  It’s just such an emotionally raw song, be it the acoustic/intense Indigo Girls version or the classic waltzy ballad of Dire Straits.  Anyway, all that to say that it turns out that the line I’ve been singing and loving for years happens to be “A love struck Romeo sings the streets a serenade.”  Not near as pretty. 

So if I could go back and re-choose my Xanga screen name, it would totally be StreetsusSerenade.  Sarah even sounds like serenade.  It would be perfect. 

In other news, I am going to be a bridesmaid for the fourth time come Saturday.  And I am pretty much the best Bachelorette Party planner ever.  Here’s why:

IMG_1438_1_1

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Responses

  1. I, too, wondered about the meaning of ‘streetsus’. There is that Brit word ‘sussed’ – to have something figured out something.

    Maybe he means ‘street-smart’ by that made up word.

  2. It’s actually “Sing the streets a serenade.”

  3. It is actually streetsus serenade. I just recently found this out. I thought for years it was sang the streets a serenade and had been singing along as such. I looked at a few different websites and they were pretty much equally divided between the two. But I have found mark knopflers website(the lead singer of dire straits and the writter of the song) and it says streetsus serenade. I must say I’m a little disappointed as I kinda preferred the lyric I understood. Still it’s one of my favourites.

  4. Alison, do you think Knopfler wrote that webpage himself or rather someone was employed to knock it up and copied and pasted from lyricswhatever.com?

  5. It’s definitely “sings a streetsuss serenade” (with the ss at the end), and NOT “sings the streets a serenade”. I bought the LP back in 1980 when it came out and memorized the lyrics (which were included in the jacket). It is also printed as such on the CD.

    The interwebs mistake is the latter, not the former.

  6. Tom, unless you can provide evidence of lyrics inside the jacket cover, your info is hardly credible. Personally I think its ‘streets a serenade’. Immediately prior to this lyric he clearly says ‘the’ rather than ‘a’. Although ‘streetsus’ does not make sense, it would make even less sense for it to be ‘the streetsus serenade’ where the word ‘the’ indicates common usage whereas ‘a’ does not.

    This version of the song: (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BRrbbzrZ2s&feature=related) appears to support my opinion where Mark accentuates the ‘a’.

    Also, in some other versions such as (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHbkBQXNAe0&feature=related) he sings ‘got a serenade’. This isn’t conclusive but he does use the word ‘a’ before serenade.

    So unless someone can find lyrics handwritten by the band, authorised for publication by them or performances of the line which are crisper, I think it should stand as ‘sings the streets a serenade’.

    • I´ve been listening to this song for years, i learned the lyrics from the booklet of my uncle’s cd, and it says “Streetsuss”, ok, it may not make sense to you the ones who don’t want it to make sense, but what are we gonna do if the song was written like this, the word makes sense to me, “Romeo is not singing the streets a serenade, he is singing a street serenade to Juliet.”
      Also “Suss” is a British slang to “wise” or “knowledgeable”. “Suss out” means “to figure out”. So street-suss likely means street-wise.
      And in those YouTube videos, he clearly says stretsuss…

  7. The lyrics ARE PRINTED on the 1988 Dire Straits Greatest Hits CD “money for nothing.” As Mark said, the lyric indeed IS:

    “sings a streetsuss serenade.”

    Sorry Fanny, that said lyrics aren’t handwritten, notarized, and signed, but there you have it.

  8. “Sings a streetsus serenade” makes no sense in any possible iteration of the English language. “Sings the streets a serenade” makes perfect sense and fits in properly with the theme of the song. Common sense, people.

  9. I can also verify that the booklet is printed as “streetsuss” on a later edition of the Making Movies album.

  10. I´ve been listening to this song for years, i learned the lyrics from the booklet of my uncle’s cd, and it says “Streetsuss”, ok, it may not make sense to you the ones who don’t want it to make sense, but what are we gonna do if the song was written like this, the word makes sense to me, “Romeo is not singing the streets a serenade, he is singing a street serenade to Juliet.”
    Also “Suss” is a British slang to “wise” or “knowledgeable”. “Suss out” means “to figure out”. So street-suss likely means street-wise.

  11. Gang, let’s try to be mellow, ok? Up above, someone got it right, me thinks. “Suss” is Brit slang for “understand”, so “streetsuss” makes perfect sense as a twist or slang (possibly Aussie?) of the more commonly American “street smart.”

    And I agree, this is one of the most touching and affecting songs anywhere. Knopfler has a true gift.

  12. Way late to this party but will add my .02….

    Have to agree with Tom. I also had this album back in 1980 and the lyric “streetsus” was definitely there. I remember it because the word made no sense to me and so it stuck out.

    Take it for whatever it is worth. I suppose one could a used copy of the album on eBay and look up the lyrics there.

  13. Please folks…Obtain a copy of the original album…The liner notes say the words are…the streets a serenade………….Now let’s debate whether CCR says there’s a bad moon on the rise or there’s a bathroom on the right. Also there is a version of Mark and Chet atkins doing it where he has an obvious break and says a serenade.Let’s have a conversation about hendix saying scuse me while I kiss this guy…or kiss the sky.

  14. Or just visit the songwriter’s own website, which brings us back to “streetsuss” (as in street-wise or street-smart).

    http://www.markknopfler.com/Music/Songography/SongDetails_direStraits.aspx?songid=34325a66-0f14-407d-85aa-d478bd57f05e

  15. I have a copy of the LP my dad purchased in 1984, and the sleeve says “a streetsuss serenade,” I agree with Bob’s interpretation that it is British slang for street smart. Mark probably just added the extra “s” as an artistic flourish like so many artists do. I have seen countless words in songs bent or a series of words jammed together into one on a lyric sheet to add emphasis. In fact, if anyone else has an original copy of the LP and they flip over the sleeve and look at the lyrics to Solid Rock you’ll see that “cause” is spelled “cos” in the line “when you point your finger cos your plan fell through,” so just try to remember these are Brits were talking about, and on top of that they’re artists… so expect to be surprised and be thrown curve balls.

  16. could be a situation like” the pompitus of love” in the joker by steve miller band where he made the word up to fit a song.


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