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Brothers in Arms

Soul Music, Series 14 Episode 4 of 5

Duration:
30 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 18 September 2012

An exploration into the enduring appeal of the Dire Straits classic, Brothers in Arms.
Although thought to have been written by Mark Knoffler in response to the Falklands war in the mid 80's, it's a piece that people now associate with many other conflicts ; military, personal and social.
Dire Straits bass player, John Illsley explains why it remains such a special piece for the band, while Marines chaplain, Nigel Beardsley, recalls the important part it's played in the lives of so many soldiers in Iran and Afghanistan and why it's now often heard at military funerals.
The Irish playwright, Sam Millar describes why he based a very personal play around the song and Snuffy Walden, music director of the hit American TV show, The West Wing, talks about how the series writer, Aaron Sorkin insisted on it being used in its entirety during a crucial episode.
Prof Alan Moore of Surrey University explains how it's Knopfler's brilliant use of harmony that gives the song the sense of yearning that has made it into one of the most enduring pop songs of the last century.
Producer: Lucy Lunt.

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