Rat Trap

Album: A Tonic For the Troops (1978)
Charted: 1
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  • There was a lot of rocking going on that night
    Cruising time for the young bright lights
    Just down past the gasworks, by the meat factory door
    The five lamp boys were coming on strong

    The Saturday night city beat had already started
    And the, the pulse of the corner boys just sprang into action
    And young Billy watched it all under the yellow street light
    And said "tonight of all nights, there's gonna be a fight"

    Billy don't like it living here in this town
    He says the traps have been sprung long before he was born
    He says "hope bites the dust behind all the closed doors"
    And pus and grime ooze from its scab crusted sores

    There's screaming and crying in the high-rise blocks"
    It's a rat trap Billy, but you're already caught
    And you can make it if you wanna or you need it bad enough
    You're young and good-looking and you're acting kind of tough

    Anyway it's Saturday night time to see what's going down
    Put on the bright suit Billy, head for the right side of town
    It's only 8 o'clock but you're already bored
    You don't know what it is but, there's got to be more
    You'd better find a way out, hey kick down that door
    It's a rat trap and you've been caught

    In this town Billy says "everybody's trying to tell you what to do"
    In this town Billy says "everybody says you gotta follow rules"
    You walk up to those traffic lights
    You switch from your left to right
    You push in that button and that button comes alight
    And hits you

    "Walk, don't walk
    Walk, don't walk
    Talk, don't talk
    Talk, don't talk"

    "Walk, don't walk
    Walk, don't walk
    Talk, don't talk
    Talk, don't talk"

    Hey Billy take a walk, take a walk, take a walk
    Billy take a walk, take a walk, take a walk
    Billy take a walk, take a walk, take a walk
    Hey Billy, take a walk with me

    Take a walk that leads to me
    Sweet high school blues

    Oh little Judy's trying to watch "top of the pops"
    But mum and dad are fighting don't they ever stop
    She takes off her coat and walks down into the street
    It's cold on that road, but it's got that home beat
    Deep down in her pockets she finds 50p
    Hey is that any way for a young girl to be?
    I'm gonna get out of school work in some factory
    Work all the hours God gave me get myself a little easy money
    Now, now, now na na

    Her mind's made up, she walks down the road
    Her hands in her pockets, coat buttoned 'gainst the cold
    She finds Billy down at the Italian cafe
    And when he's drunk it's hard to understand what Billy says
    But then he mumbles in his coffee and he suddenly roars
    "It's a rat trap Judy; and we've been caught"

    Rat trap, you've been caught
    In a rat trap, you've been caught
    In a rat trap, you've been caught
    In a rat trap, you've been caught
    In a rat trap, you've been caught
    In a rat trap, you've been caught
    In a rat trap, you've been caught
    In a rat trap, you've been caught (the boys are 'round and they're lookin' for a mate)
    In a rat trap, you've been caught
    In a rat trap, you've been caught
    In a rat trap, you've been caught
    In a rat trap, you've been caught Writer/s: Bob Geldof
    Publisher: Mute Song Limited
    Lyrics licensed and provided by LyricFind

Comments: 1

  • Anonymous"Rat Trap" was considered Ireland's equivalent of "God Save The Queen" (until the even more scathing "Banana Republic" came along). It was about the casual violence, boredom and feeling of no future for everyone in Dublin, where even the prospect of the old route of escape to London no longer seems plausible as Britain plunged deep into recession.

    It was the second time Geldof has written specifically about the despair of living in Dublin, the first being "Joey's On The Street (Again)" about a wide boy who was eventually murdered when he tried dabbling in petty crime to make ends meet and fell foul of a local organised crime syndicate, and the impact his death had on so many of his peers, as his antics had given them the only colour in their lives.
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