This song was inspired by the Falklands War, which was going on when Dire Straits lead singer Mark Knopfler wrote the song. The Falklands War was a conflict between Argentina and the UK over islands off the coast of Argentina that each country claimed rights to. The islands are British territories, but in 1982 Argentina tried to reclaim one of the islands. Britain reclaimed their territories, but lost 258 soldiers in the conflict.
In this song, Mark Knopfler sings about a soldier who is dying on the battlefield, surrounded by his comrades, who remain by his side as he slips away. It's a look at the folly of war and the plight of those who fight them. "We've got just one world but we live in different ones," he told the BBC. "It's just stupid, it really is. We're just foolish to take part in anybody's war."
The title is something Knopfler's dad said. In discussing the Falklands War, he described the Russians and Argentinians as "Brothers In Arms," meaning they had similar ideologies. That phrase ended up being used as the title for the album.
"Brothers in Arms" won Grammy Award for Best Music Video at the 29th Annual Grammy Awards in 24 February 1987.
These mist covered mountains Are a home now for me But my home is the lowlands And always will be Someday you'll return to Your valleys and your farms And you'll no longer burn to be Brothers in arms
Through these fields of destruction Baptisms of fire I've witnessed your suffering As the battle raged higher And though they did hurt me so bad In the fear and alarm You did not desert me My brothers in arms
There's so many different worlds So many different suns And we have just one world But we live in different ones
Now the sun's gone to hell and The moon's riding high Let me bid you farewell Every man has to die But it's written in the starlight And every line in your palm We are fools to make war On our brothers in arms
Songwriters: Mark Knopfler Brothers in Arms lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group