"Trap Doors" as written by and Brian Joseph Burton James Mercer....
Walk out before you make it worse on yourself
Now's not the time for that elegant laugh
Digress from the people
Once by your side
Once by your side
But now that it's over
You have to pick up
And just start again, start again

Falling to earth
And you're calling it out
You're burning yourself and your challenge to winter
Gotta clip the lines and move for yourself
Just move for yourself, love
Now that it's over
You have to pick up
And just watch your back, watch your back

And close your eyes to us
Fight fire
Trap doors to endless wisdom
Young lad, have we grown too tired
Longing to find

Learned that in time
You want it to end
Your life at this temperature
Life under water
You gotta let these fools all trample themselves
They trample themselves, just dying to enter
You're preaching to the choir
So turn around, turn around

And close your eyes to us
Fight fire
Trap doors to endless wisdom
Young lad, have we grown too tired
Longing to follow

And close your eyes to us
And fight fire
Trap doors to endless wisdom
Young lad, have we grown too tired
Longing to follow


Lyrics submitted by Konversekid

"Trap Doors" as written by James Mercer Brian Burton

Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., BMG RIGHTS MANAGEMENT US, LLC

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Trap Doors song meanings
Add your thoughts

9 Comments

sort form View by:
  • +4
    My InterpretationWhat I love about James Mercer's lyrics is that they can be so infinitely interpretable.

    I think this song is about a person who recedes from people; a person who has trouble letting others in; a person who insists on isolating himself because it is all he knows how to do. This person cuts people out of his life and turns his back on them, and when he inevitably begins to feel lonely, he replaces those people with new friends/relationships. Such a cycle has a tendency to continue until the person catches it and learns to work on the real problem.

    The narrator is sick of fighting this person, just to stay in his life and is finally throwing up his hands, saying "You're so tired of suffocating under the pressures of other human beings ["life under water"] (or "you're so tired of burning up in the problems of other human beings" ["life at this temperature"]: Both are metaphors I have used in my day-to-day life) and you're so blind to the people who love you, so just do it, close your eyes to us, turn your back on us. You're preaching to the choir, man, because I'm done with this." The narrator also mentions the "fools" who, like himself, fruitlessly exhaust themselves in futile attempts to be let in by this person (which also ties to the line, "young lad we've grown too tired").

    Pain is a good teacher and hindsight is 20/20: "trap doors to endless wisdom" teach us a hard lesson. I have seen so many many friends, significant others, and family members give up on me and give me my own treatment, turning their backs and closing their eyes to me--the final surrender to helplessness. And that is what I hear when I listen to this song.
    Hraesvelgon June 13, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentWow, I was skeptical of BB at first, probably because I was not overly impressed when I saw The Shin's live shows. This studio collaboration is so dark and catchy.

    My two favorite songs of late are this one and "Your head on fire" which nobody has commented on yet either. To me this "Trap Doors" is about making a move, making a break, and moving on. Maybe from a relataionship, a friendship, and job, way of life, a social circle. Don't burn bridges. Know when it's time. Watch your back while you leave. Everyone has advice.

    Best verse:
    Learned that in time
    You want it to end
    Your life at this temperature
    Life under water
    You gotta let these fools all trample themselves
    They trample themselves, just dying to enter
    You're preaching to the choir
    So turn around, turn around


    I love the lyric "Trap doors to endless wisdom"
    200DiscChangeron April 17, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General Commentbest song on the self-titled broken bells album.
    the sounds has a late-1980's moodiness to it.

    "trap doors" perfectly captures where i'm at in life.
    how i feel. what i'm looking for. what i'm thinking.
    the pressure. the frustration. ignoring the fools.
    fighting fire. longing to find. endless wisdom.
    growing tired. breaking down. free-falling.
    cutting losses. starting again. moving on.

    "Young lad, have we grown too tired" chills me.
    codyjoon April 23, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI think this song is about someone realizing that his lifestyle is dragging him down - i'm not sure if it is referring to his job, town, friends or whatever.
    Instead of just laughing along like he usually does, he should move on and start again. He's tried to fix things, but just can't do it so it'd be better if he just leaves them to "trample themselves"
    doogster18on May 11, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI had been a political activist in the Freedom movement for the last 25 years. I know what it means to work in the "Belly of the Beast." At the age of 52, I have struggled giving up the fight because I have missed so much in life trying to get our nation back on track towards Liberty. It is seemingly futile. However, once I realized that the world is on a track that nobody can change, I decided to move on with my life...play the drums, writes some songs, write a book, date my wife.

    This song, the first time I heard it while following the lyrics, resonated on a parallel that can scarcely be articulated in words. I played it over and over and it just kept getting better and better.

    To hell with the Establishment...let it destroy itself because its actions are not infinitely sustainable. But, music is, and music is where I will devote the latter years of my life.
    ArrowDynamicon December 16, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis is probably my favorite song on the album right now! mostly because I'm a sucker for this chord progression and I can really relate to the lyrics. I agree with doogster's analysis
    bohofionaon May 13, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis song makes me feel like crying. Just plain beautiful to me. This album is.
    joshisthugon December 05, 2010   Link
  • 0
    My InterpretationTo me, it sounds like a young politician becoming tempered by the system. People set out with genuine passions and ambitions, only to realize how rigged the entire thing is (Mr. Smith Goes to Washington). They fall into the pitfalls of internal affairs, manipulated like a puppet by party lines. They’ll do anything to gain political leverage, and it will drown the honesty out of a man of integrity. Break away from that, and let those fools have their sh*t show.
    AnamDuineon December 15, 2010   Link
  • 0
    General CommentSociety is sinful, and when teens are starting to leave their adolescence, peer groups try to create a social power scheme to protect their sinful motivations in life. The song is directed to one of James Mercer's friends that is trying to claim independence for himself as a mature adult, while all of his friends are trying to harass him into accepting their sinful lifestyles and conforming.

    I think the timing of the song is meant that James' friend has been at battle against his peers for awhile and he's losing himself. He doesn't want to see his friend as a tragedy in the end, so James is trying to remind his friend of what his motivations for life originally were.

    The references of "trap doors to endless wisdom" and "preaching to the choir" are metaphors for the lies that are plotted out by the collective group of manipulative sinners practicing bigotry over their peer groups to keep control for personal indulgences. When you're continually harassed, and you continually explain the immorality of the group harassing you, you are "preaching to the choir", but you are educating yourself with the wisdom of knowing the "trap doors" that are used to manipulate peers into succumbing.

    Pick the pieces up, keep your eyes looking forward, and watch your back so you don't let your sloth or wrath drag you down into carelessness, foolishness and immorality. Let the sheep trample each other like wolves, and forget "us", even if that includes James as a friend to be forgotten.
    Links420on May 07, 2011   Link

Add your thoughts

Log in now to tell us what you think this song means.

Don’t have an account? Create an account with SongMeanings to post comments, submit lyrics, and more. It’s super easy, we promise!

Back to top
explain