"For Waking the Trouble" as written by and Jackson Browne....
For taking the trouble, for hanging on and tryin'
You've been working through the rubble of a shattered mind

Yeah Baby, tell me why the tears are falling from your eye
Tears of laughter, tears of grief, are they the tears of a captured thief?

You thought that you were home free, you thought you had her well in hand
But there were things about her you didn't understand

Yeah Baby, tell me how you're gonna keep that promise now?
To live your life without regret and make it work with what you get

You didn't then, but now you know
When she began to lie, you really should have let her go

You're learnin' how to talk about it, you're learnin' how to bend
It's like you're learning how to walk all over again

Yeah Baby, tell me who you're gonna give your lovin' to?
That girl who catches every eye or the one you can set your compass by

You set it by her soulful smile, the fire in her eye
And the way she goes that extra mile
The love you wanted this to be is somewhere down the line
You'll find her eventually

Your grandma and her grandma are sittin' 'round heaven discussin' the law
Lovin' that girl was not your crime, livin' without her gonna take some time
Lovin' that girl next thing you knew, you'd turned away from the thing you do
Lovin' that girl, you couldn't see, living without her gonna make you free

Lyrics submitted by mikepauer

"For Taking the Trouble" as written by Jackson Browne

Lyrics © Jackson Browne/Swallow Turn Music/Night Kitchen Music/Open Window Music

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For Taking the Trouble song meanings
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  • +1
    General CommentThis song has always fascinated me. We've got what looks like a serious situation juxtaposed with a chill reggae treatment. As with so many of JB's songs, it can be interpreted through one's own lens.

    I think there is an assumption out there of who this song is really about, but unless the man himself comments on it, I will never offer my opinion.

    When I hear it, I have a clear picture of someone in my life and their experience of a failed relationship with a crazy woman. A few times the heat were dispatched when the neighbors were concerned over the volume of the "discussions."

    I don't know if the subject, being in 2nd person voice is the storyteller. Is he talking to himself or a buddy? In either case, there is the recognition that you did your best, but the odds were against the thing ever working out. You tried to reason with her, stick it out and manage an impossible situation. You let go, work at moving on, and think about how you might do things differently in the future.

    At the end, there is some of this "Pull yourself together. You can't assume responsibility for another's behavior. You can't be with her and be your authentic self. Lick your wounds, but get on with it. When you get some distance, you will realize you are better off." I always hear a subtext in my mind. "Don't fuck up again."
    MMMerryon September 29, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentAnother great song about love from a true musical artist. I've always seen this song as a testament to those guys who have been looking for love and found love in a woman who smiled at them, though they eventually realized that all they felt was a temporary kind of physical attraction lust, rather than the love they were hoping for. Consequently, they were forced to begin their search all over again and realizing that they are strong enough to live without that special someone for a while.
    wearydreameron August 18, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Commentlove this song. could never get sick of it.

    i love the refrain - the ending sequence - meant to mimic some children's song. it fits the theme of the song so well - about someone who falls in love for foolish reasons; childishness in adult relationships.
    pompous pigon March 28, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe song's meaning is quite plain, but I still find it cute and a story delicately told.

    Someone is talking to a friend, who has split up with his girlfriend (or wife). The girlfriend was cheating (or at least "lying" since the lyrics clearly say that he really should have let her go when she began to lie).
    The writer is telling his friend "Good on ya" for putting up the good fight, for "hanging on and trying" (for trying to make the relationship work, for being honorable).

    There's a part about how the bad girlfriend was making his friend change for the worse. He tells his friend that being in the relationship was dragging him down, making him somebody he wasn't. I think we have all experienced this. When you have a partner who is not being good to you, you may change your behavior in unpleasant ways to try to please and keep them. And meanwhile, you are not yourself and you alienate your friends.
    ("Lovin' that girl next thing you knew, you'd turned away from the thing you do")

    Finally, there's encouragement. ", living without her gonna make you free" and
    "Somewhere down the line You'll find her eventually "

    In short: "Who needs her? There are plenty of fish in the sea. You'll find the right girl. Glad to have my friend back!"
    mmagliaroon June 11, 2013   Link

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