"You Tripped at Every Step" as written by and Elvis Costello....
Take your tiny feet out of your mother's shoes
Or there is going to be a terrible scene
It's not just the lipstick drawn on crooked
When they find how wicked we are
How wicked we have been
How I've been tempted

How you tripped at every step
You tripped at every step, you tripped at every step
How you tripped at every step

There's a merry tune that starts in "I"
And ends in "You," like many famous pop songs do
You would sing along with little tell-tale staggers
While balancing on daggers
Though they were killing you
You looked so deadly


And I would try to catch you
Anytime you call
Only you drank that potion
And went out of control
There's nothing to stop you
So how can you fall?
Let me take your hand
Put down that frying pan

Darkness would become me underneath the table
As the fury raged around the house
Your despairing tread was angry and unstable
You never suspected
Just as that cartoon mouse
Went undetected

So you tripped at every step
In another world of gin and cigarettes
Those cocktail cabinets put mud in your eye
Maybe that is why you find it hard to see me
And if you don`t believe me
Before you start to cry
"Don't ever leave me"

As you start to lose your grip
(Once you start losing your grip)
You will stumble as you slip
(And you will stumble and slip)
As you tripped at every step
You tripped at every step, you tripped at every step
As you tripped at every step

Lyrics submitted by Mopnugget

"You Tripped at Every Step" as written by Declan Macmanus

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

You Tripped at Every Step song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentDefinitely not about incest. I think this is told from the perspective of an old friend, or an imaginary friend who is observing the subject from broken childhood until alcoholic adulthood. The girls mother was an alcoholic, and while the girl mocked her alcoholic mothers actions as a child with the narrator, she eventually became an alcoholic as well.
    HapaDon January 10, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthat last verse makes me really sad. You can just imagine the person being so desperate, and clinging on to the other persons arm saying 'don't ever leave me'. Elvis is a genius
    uncomplicatedon May 27, 2008   Link
  • -1
    General CommentOK, this has to be about incest, doesn't it. I don't understand all the references, but I am assuming that Elvis is talking about the torment that both the father and the daughter are going through--they are walking this knife's edge knowing that sooner or later everything will become known to mom and then their life, as disturbing as it is, will change forever. What's the "cartoon mouse" line about?
    CoffeeStainson September 30, 2007   Link
  • -1
    General CommentThere is something about drinking going on in this song... tripping at every step of the 12 steps of AA.

    "It's not just the lipstick drawn on crooked" - she's so drunk she can't put her makeup on correctly

    "Only you drank that potion, and went out of control" - drank too much

    "In another world of gin and cigarettes" - obvious, the gin is a type of booze

    Who is the cartoon mouse that he is referring to? Mickey mouse? i don't get that part..
    julian1010on August 17, 2015   Link
  • -1
    My InterpretationCartoon mouse I believe to be the children's show, Tom and Jerry ( cat and mouse). Vids on YouTube. Think the the beginning to be brother and sister/or friend. during his mothers alcoholic rants hid under the dining room table hiding and watching, later married the same type of person.
    john107045on May 11, 2016   Link

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