Live versions appear on "Live at the Bass Performance Hall" (2008) and One Man Show (2012)
This song is about loving someone despite your better judgment. It reminds me of that line in Go Your Own Way - "loving you isn't the right thing to do" - and indeed this could be applied to Stevie in that sense.... she spelled "trouble" for him, that's for sure! It could also mean that he's skittish about loving again after having been burned by Stevie - but he's lonely so he reaches out for someone anyway. He doesn't want to fall in love again because it makes him vulnerable to more pain, but he misses being in love, too, having someone to keep him warm and vice versa. That need for love wins out over his reservations and so he falls all over again, despite the fact that it could mean more trouble.
This song is really catchy and it is the only reason I bought "Law & Order". I put it on a special Lindsey-mix CD for the car, and my 7 and 9 year old boys just love the counting at the beginning.
The lyrics are typical Lindsey, and the arrangement is very similar to what he does within FM. It could easily have fit on a Mac record because it has that same sound. I tend to think it was written, or at least inspired, somewhere during the Tusk tour. I don't know for sure, but since he is talking about feeling conflicted and being with someone he really shouldn't be with, I feel he is referring to being drawn to Stevie. He was with Carol Ann Harris at that time, and she was around for at least some of the tour dates. Could Lindsey be talking about being in Stevie's suite when perhaps Carol is waiting for him in theirs? He knows he should leave, he "really shouldn't stay anymore" but Stevie has done something to tempt him into staying.
In the first verse he is fighting what he feels, and is trying to run away from it. It's "not the right thing to do" al la "Go Your Own Way". He knows that he can't help himself once things get started, and the only solution is to "run on the double". The emotions he is talking about feeling here remind me of so many lines from Stevie's songs.....things like "he fights the way he feels" from "The Highwayman", and "you miss those arms that used to go around you" in "No Questions Asked", in "Violet and Blue" she sings about "warnings that speak trouble" and "make you lose your composure" and "with the touch of your hand it all begins again". That last line is used a number of times in too many Stevie songs to count, and Lindsey also likes to hint around in his lyrics that all he and Stevie need to do is touch each other and........it's pretty much a given from that point that intimacy will follow. Once they touch it is too late to turn back. By the third line of the song, she's touching him, and he's responding with a definite "Yes, I think I'm in trouble".
By the second verse, he's given in, and he's putty in her hands. "Come to me darlin' hold me, let your honey keep you warm" is confirmation that he's ready to proceed, even though he knows there is going to be "trouble" if he does this. He knows he shouldn't be there, he's supposed to be somewhere else. He is describing a feeling, a certain mixed emotion, that continued to evolve, and he later expressed it again in "Come" with even more intensity by saying,
"Now I lay me down to sleep in this enemy bed, tomorrow morning I will wake up, hurting from things that we said".
My favortie lines in the song are "been so long since I held you, I've forgotten what love is for" because this is the part that clinches the fact it HAS to be about Stevie and not his current main squeeze. As with so many Lindsey songs, he is singing about someone remote, someone he is not with all the time. This woman he likes to sing so much about is someone from his past with whom he has major issues, someone with whom the physical bond was incredible, and someone for whom he still cares, no matter how hard he tries to convince himself, and everyone else, he doesn't. He wouldn't be saying these things about his girlfriend with whom he lives and can have physically anytime he wants. A person doesn't long for and crave what is right under their nose. I get the impression Lindsey gets a little bored sometimes within the confines of a normal relationship, and he was drawn to Stevie for a number of reasons. One of them was that she was a little more exciting and thrilling to be with than the average girlfriend.....just slightly forbidden, so he couldn't help himself. I also, for the record, think Stevie liked it that way. She liked, and probably still likes, taunting and teasing him and making him give in to her. It was really very mean of her when you get right down to it. She wouldn't let him get over her, she had to keep stirring his emotional pot!
He's "forgotten what love is for", and that just emphasizes what I said earlier about him becoming bored easily. He has forgotten what it felt like to hold her, and Stevie is going make sure she reminds him. Once he has the beautiful Stevie, with her star persona and mystery aura, in his arms, he gets a charge from it that he doesn't get anywhere else. She's "the object of his desire",(see "Loving Cup") and he's not going to turn it down. Since he uses the word "love" in that line, possilby he still regarded Stevie as the love of his life. What they had was real love to him, and what he has now with Carol is merely OK, so he has forgotten what his perception of love felt like....until he holds Stevie again. It could be more of Lindsey and his pattern of equating sex with love. Talk about convoluted and "twisted"! Oh yeah, that's another song.....
As we all know, Lindsey became less and less a willing participant in Stevie's little drama plays as time went on, but this song was written when he was still rather pliable. During the Tusk era, Stevie still appeared to be able to draw him in, but she had to work a little harder in the Mirage era. Just watching the Mirage tape is proof of that. She is working her mojo for all it's worth during "Siters of the Moon" on that one! And of course he can't stand it any longer by the end......he just has to touch her. By the Tango era, he had put up a very thick wall of defenses to sheild himself from her, but even that wasn't enough. He had to leave the band altogether to stop this cycle, (no wonder he uses that word so much, it is so applicable!) because he knew she wouldn't stop on this next tour until she got him to give in again, and he was determined not to let her get him in "trouble" again.
"Trouble" is a nice little poppy song on the surface, but underneath it really expresses everything he was feeling about Stevie circa 1980. It spells out his fear, his longing, his lust, his regret, and his sense of responsibility to his "real" realtionship with Carol. All this in so very few words. That is one of the reasons I think he is so gifted!