For many years I wondered whether it was this road that had inspired
Mark Knopfler to write the song. The first verse tells a story
very similar to that in the opening chapter of Robert Lacey's biography
of [Henry] "Ford" about the founding of Dearborn, through which
Telegraph Road runs.
This seems to be the case as documented in Wikipedia "Inspired
by a bus trip taken by Knopfler, the lyrics narrate a tale of changing
land development over a span of many decades along Telegraph
suburban Detroit, Michigan.
In the latter verses, Knopfler focuses on one man's personal struggle
with unemployment after
the city built around the telegraph road has become uninhabited and
barren just as it began."
Dire Straits "Telegraph Road"
"Telegraph Road" by Mark Knopfler
A long time ago came a man on a track
walking thirty miles with a sack on his back
and he put down his load where he thought it was the best
he made a home in the wilderness
he built a cabin and a winter store
and he ploughed up the ground by the cold lake shore
the other travellers came riding down the track
and they never went further, no and they never went back
From "Ford" by Robert
Alexis de Tocqueville landed in America in May
1831, he was
disappointed to find the place so civilised.
He was expecting savagery. So,
forsaking New York and the cities
of the East, the Frenchman went in
search of the raw, wild heart
of the continent, and as he headed inland, he asked people where
the real frontier was. Where were the
Tocqueville was told that there
was a steamer leaving in twenty-four hours for Detroit and the Michigan
territory. There he would find his savagery.
Michigan did not disappoint him. A mile out of Detroit the forest
started, and for whole days, as Tocqueville travelled, he scarcely
saw the sun through the trees
was in a clearing in the Michigan woods that Henry Ford was
born on July 30, 1863.