Trip Through Your Wires

The other part to “The Sweetest Thing”, apparently – both were intended to end up on The Joshua Tree, but then the band decided that the 18-song double album was pushing things too far. Yet both songs are probably about as good as one another, all things considered. That said, it’s obvious why “Sweetest Thing” was rejected – “Trip Through Your Wires”, with its lyrical references to deserts and rain, its not-terribly-subtle harmonica usage, and its rootsy stomp, is just far more fitting on the album.

That said, whereas “Sweetest Thing” is an apology, in that context “Trip” ends up being a further apology, and somewhat hyperbolic one at that. The character of the song talks of an “angel or devil”, a mysterious “she” who has apparently clothed, fed and watered the individual. We’re given this image of a somewhat helpless and useless individual. The titular image of tripping through wires brings to mind the capturing of game, suggesting that the woman of the song is somewhat dominating in some way, or else has more cunning and strategic nous. Yet the extra details at the end of the song – Thunder, thunder on the mountain/There’s a rain cloud in the desert sky – suggest that the trap was probably really a rescue.

Overall, the imagery of the song is ambiguous and possibly confused, but perhaps the biggest issue with the song is that there doesn’t seem to be a twist, merely a piling-on of praise and gratitude. It’s a somewhat average song, then, especially when contrasted with the next 15 minutes of the album.

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~ by 4trak on May 3, 2008.

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