I'd like to know the meaning of this phrase from a song by TheLastFiveYears:

If I didn't believe in you
I couldn't have stood before all of our friends
and said, 'This is the life I choose-
This is the thing I can't bear to lose.
Trip us or trap us, but we refuse to fall.'
That's what I thought we agreed on, Cathy

Can anyone explain what trip us or trap us means in this context?

  • 2
    Lorien, song lyrics fall in the murky realm of poetry. They're usually open to interpretation, and that's the case here. I should also point out that not all writers of pop songs are necessarily brilliant poets, and searching for deeper meanings in their lyrics is often futile. Anyway, the singer seems to be referring to marriage vows. "Trip us or trap us, but we refuse to fall" is the singer's way of paraphrasing the part of the marriage vows in which the couple promise to stick together even through adversity. (To "trip" somebody is to cause them to stumble.) Does this help? Mar 31, 2015 at 8:54
  • 2
    Welcome to ELU, Lorien. When you get a moment click on this Link and take the TOUR and also click on the HELP button on the right-side of the title bar and check–out the “HELP CENTER”, if you haven’t already done so. There’s a lot to learn about this site, such as how to ask good questions and provide good answers, all about rep points and the site privileges they confer. It’s well worth looking around. Anyway, enjoy yourself, and we’ll see you around. :-)
    – user98990
    Mar 31, 2015 at 9:01
  • What is menaning? Mar 31, 2015 at 10:10

2 Answers 2


sTrip us:

From dictionary.com, sense 21:

to cause to stumble:

Trap us:

From dictionary.com, sense 14:

to catch in a trap; ensnare:

I believe these are the two meanings referred to in your phrase, clubbed together for alliteration.

The phrase means however hard you try to make us fall, we won't.


To me, it seems like another way of saying "whatever happens". Judging from the sample of the song you gave us, this is a break-up song, or a song about someone who wants to get back together with someone. The two lines, "Trip us or trap us, but we refuse to fall / that's what I thought we agreed on, Cathy," Is another way of saying, "You told me that whatever happens, we would be together." Does that make it more understandable? Also, I hope you enjoy using StackExchange. I'm new here, myself, but I hope I helped you understand this phrase!


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.