"Caught in the Briars" as written by and Samuel Ervin Beam....
Back alleys full of rain
And everything shining
As holy as she can be
The trick’s in the timing

Free as a morning bird,
Fragile as china,
She’s stuck in the weakest heart
Of South Carolina

Where all of the naked boys
Lay down beside her,
Sing her the saddest song
All caught in the briars

I never meant to fall
So hard in the doorway
And all the sinners here
Have crosses for Sunday

Kissed at the county fair,
Frisked in the city,
Which proves as an answered prayer
But ain’t it a pity

That all of the naked boys
That laid down beside her
Sing her the saddest song
All caught in the briars


Lyrics submitted by mike, edited by cataphone, Mellow_Harsher, CileSuns92, smallwonderrobot

"Caught in the Briars" as written by Samuel Ervin Beam

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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Caught in the Briars song meanings
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  • +2
    My InterpretationPretty sure this is about a relationship with a prostitute, and how the man feels shame, but also confides in her, in an attempt so escape life's problems (briars).

    "The back alley's full of rain
    And everything's shining
    As holy as she can be
    The trick’s in the timing"

    Introduces the woman. However, I hear "The Tricks AND the Timing", which reinforces the idea that she's a prostitute - she knows where and when to turn a trick.

    "Free as the morning birds
    Fragile as china
    She’s stuck in the weakest heart
    Of South Carolina"

    'Free' in that she probably doesn't have a 9-5 type job, but 'stuck' in that she has fallen into the routine of supporting herself solely by turning tricks in SC.

    "Where all of the naked boys
    who lay down beside her
    Sing her the saddest song
    All caught in the briars"

    The sad gentlemen that pay for her services also confide in her the hardships of their daily lives.

    "I never meant to fall
    So hard in her doorway
    And all the sinners here
    Have crosses for Sunday"

    The only verse that's in the first person, this is one of the guys that visits our prostitue. Things are bad for him. His life is hard, and he NEEDS to see this woman. This verse also suggest that the other men "sinners" who go to her are not necessarily lowlife street urchins, but perhaps like him, churchgoers with lives in which they feel trapped.

    "Kissed at the county fair
    Frisked in the city
    Where proof is an answered prayer
    But ain't it a pity

    That all of the naked boys
    Who lay down beside her
    Sing her the saddest song
    All caught in the briars"

    This last passage seems to indicate that perhaps our prostitute ALSO has a 'normal' life outside of her prostitution -- one in which she goes to the county fair with her husband. Maybe she's trying to escape, just as her clients are?

    My 2 cents, anyway.
    bagofbeefon May 22, 2013   Link

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