The position and stability of the sense wires in very long drift tubes are affected by both gravitational and electrostatic forces, as well as by the wire tension. For a tube to be used as an element of a high-resolution detector all these forces and their effects must be understood in appropriately precise detail. In addition, the quality control procedures applied during manufacture and detector installation must be adequate to ensure that the internal wire positions remain within tolerances. It may be instructive to practitioners to review the simple theory of a taut wire in the presence of anisotropic gravitational and electrostatic fields to illustrate the conditions for stability, the equilibrium wire displacement from straightness, and the effect of the fields on the mechanical vibration frequencies. These last may be used to monitor the wire configuration externally. A number of practical formulae result and these are applied to illustrative examples.