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"I'm Caught Up In Your Trap Again"

Sun Jul 07, 2013 8:41 am

It's Bruce Springsteen here, but it's a Jimmy Cliff song. And it starts out with a familiar refrain "Well, it's seems like I'm caught up in your trap again." Could be coincidence, I guess. But anyway, it's very moving, and I think Bruce carried the day with the song. It also inspired a book title by Dave Marsh, warning another star about being "Trapped."

I thought it appropriate in "Classic Artists" because the first line stuns you, it's probably just . . . coincidence.

Any thoughts on this great song, and on this interpretation. Surely Bruce heard the coincidental lyrics that hit you pretty hard.


Re: "I'm Caught Up In Your Trap Again"

Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:42 am

Bruce Springsteen completely re-imagines Jimmy Cliff's brightly-arranged original, which he claims he heard on a compilation tape of reggae cuts during a break in "The River" tour in early 1981. Bruce's version begins in brooding and dark fashion, and he builds to the chorus in a manner that turns the lament "Trsapped" into the sound of freedom. It's just another example of the stunning talent and creativity of the kid from Freehold, N.J.

Here's the original:

Jimmy Cliff and Jamaica "Trapped" (Island WIP 6132, April 1972)
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:51 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: "I'm Caught Up In Your Trap Again"

Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:51 am

Thanks for the background, Doc! I had heard the Cliff version, and even though he wrote it, I MUCH prefer Bruce's version! Big time.

And yes, it is entirely reimagined. Which is why that lyrical bit with which the song opens is so provoking. Maybe it meant nothing outside of the song to Cliff, but to Bruce, well. You know that he well knew the line "I'm caught in a trap, I can't walk out . . ." sung over, and over, and over . . .

Clearly, Bruce was saying "this is NOT gonna happen to me!" And also, that it shouldn't happen to anyone. It becomes part of his whole body of work on freedom, dignity and self-determination. And a lot of that was inspired by what happened to his earliest inspiration. "Something happened," he once said on stage, introducing "Bye, Bye Johnny."

"When the game is over, I know that I'll walk out of here again."


Re: "I'm Caught Up In Your Trap Again"

Tue Jul 16, 2013 8:07 pm

Bruce's rendition of this song is simply amazing.

It's always one of the hightlights of the show if Bruce performs it live, with all the (house)lights being turned on at exactly the right moment and the full audience singing (more yelling, really) along with the words, and moments later it's almost completely dark again and that haunting music is back. Great great song!

Lyricwise it's also something nearly every person can relate to in one way or another. Just a brilliant song.

Re: "I'm Caught Up In Your Trap Again"

Wed Jul 17, 2013 5:59 am

Sometimes, you get caught in a trap, and you can't walk out.