Song of the night: “The Trap Door” by Jules Shear (1992)

Image from artistdirect.com

Can’t sleep tonight. Up listening to Jules Shear, another one of those singer-songwriters who would be on every radio station in the country if we lived in a just universe. My friend John Savereide introduced me to Jules’s music, and then I realized I’d really liked the album he’d made in 1979 as part of Jules and The Polar Bears. Always wondered what had happened to him!

This is the first song off his 1992 album “The Great Puzzle,” one which many consider his best. To me it’s almost impossible to anoint any of Jules’s albums as his “best.” But this one is hard to overlook. And “The Trap Door” is one of the great karma songs of all time.

Your enemy’s guard cornered you in the yard
You paid him off and ran
You knew he’d understand
He’s just a workin’ man

But you think he’s a fool, just a capitalist tool
Who plays the games of life to tie
If the tables had been turned tonight
There’d be nothin’ that his money could buy

But soon the trap door gives in under the wicked weight of sin
You fall down, down, down, farther than you’ve ever been
Yeah, the trap door falls open just as you were smugly hopin’
That you could cheat and win
The trap door falls in

So one escape does not a life make
The earth floats under your feet
You can’t trust who you meet
Your bravery’s a conceit

It’s no longer suspense, it’s a fear that makes sense
Pullin’ you through the ground
The trap door makes no sound
One day you’re just not around

‘Cause the trap door gives in under the wicked weight of sin
You fall down, down, down, farther than you’ve ever been
Yeah, the trap door falls open just as you were smugly hopin’
That you could cheat and win
The trap door falls in

I should have known when I was struck with a stone
That you were aiming at the moon
That like a gas balloon
You’d come falling soon, yeah

Yeah, the trap door gives in under the wicked weight of sin
You fall down, down, down, farther than you’ve ever been
Yeah, the trap door falls open just as you were smugly hopin’
That you could cheat and win
The trap door falls in
That you could cheat and win
The trap door falls in

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2 Comments on “Song of the night: “The Trap Door” by Jules Shear (1992)”

  1. dr.troppo says:

    Ah, 1979- you may be showing your age, ScottMac. That was a pretty good year for music, and I am pretty sure that Jules and the Polar Bears played the Longhorn Bar in Minneapolis that year.

  2. […] was long a fan of Jules Shear since his days with the Polar Bears and later as a solo singer/songwriter. I also was long a fan of […]


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