Browse by Title
V W X Y Z #  

Ain't No Rest For the Wicked


Cage the Elephant

Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Cage the Elephant come from the town of Bowling Green in Kentucky, which is best known for manufacturing Chevrolet Corvettes. The Alternative Rock group was formed in 2005 by front man Matt Shultz and his guitarist brother Brad. They were joined by their friends Daniel Titchenor (bass), Lincoln Parish (guitar) and Jared Champion (drums).
According to their MySpace site the band's name comes from Indian Hindu philosophy where the elephant is the symbol of strength and goodness. They explained: "It's strong and it's honest and it's loyal. And our name kind of stands for people, the whole of society, the people we all are by nature – it seems like people want to cage the elephant. It seems like they want to cage all the good in the world. It's not just the government or the media, it's everywhere. But you turn on the news and hear 'today 26 people got gunned down, and one guy got his head chopped off, and here's a picture of it. It's like there's no hope, and somebody's caged the elephant. But you can't do that."
This sing-along rhythm and blues anthem was a Top 40 hit for the band in the UK in 2008.
Lincoln Parish first got into slide guitar when the band wrote this tune. He explained to Orange Amps that the song "was a bouncy thing that kind of suited slide. I played in regular tuning on that but I also play in open tuning. I first put the slide on my little finger but then found I could do a lot more by putting it on my ring finger."
When Shultz penned this song, he was working a construction job and he wrote some of the lyrics in a wall on some drywall while he originally wrote the chorus on a paper plate. He recalled to Spinner UK in a 2011 interview: "When I was working construction I got in trouble for going to the side and writing lyrics so I had to get creative and do it real sneakily like writing on the drywall and on paper plates and stuff. And at the end of the day, I'd go back and write down everything I'd written."
Cage the Elephant
Cage the Elephant Artistfacts
More Cage the Elephant songs

Comments (10):

This is definitely a cool song. I love Cage The Elephant anyway so I love everything they have out & their facebook page. Love the lyrics on this song. In the past half-year, I've heard a lot more of The Elephant here in eastern Oklahoma. More fans! And I never get tired or stressed over hearing too much Elephant. Just open up that shriveled-up skull and enjoy!
- Elmer H, westville, OK
I love this song! This band is slowly making their way to the top! I sing this all the time at school....
- Megan, Stevenson, AL
According to a July 2010 Spin Magazine interview "We were in Knoxville, Tennessee, hanging outside a club after a show - this is probably in 2006," remembers singer Matthew Shultz, "and we saw this guy with a shaved head and a long goatee yelling and screaming and talking to himself. I'm pretty sure he had some mental issues going on. He all of a sudden beelined towards us. Everyone jumped into our car and shut the doors. But I didn't make it into the car. I was stuck outside. I thought for sure the guy was gonna stab me or something, but then he came up to me and gave me a hug. The whole time he was saying, 'You have to cage the elephant, you have to cage the elephant.' Afterwards, I was like, 'We gotta name the band that.'"
- Doug, Dakota City, IA
Actually, Matt Schultz (lead singer) said in an interview with in 2010 that they got the name "Cage The Elephant" when they were living in the band house. Matt was eating an off-brand cereal, and on the back, and elephant had escaped, so you had to connect the dots to Cage the Elephant.
- Kira, San Francisco, CA
This song appeared on the opening cinematic for the game Borderlands.
- Joe, Lincoln, NE
Actually, the preacher doesn't give the excuse. The narrator/singer already knows it. He just thinks to himself when he watches he story on the news.
- K, nowhere, ON
This song was so overplayed. Great song nonetheless, but I hate it when good songs like this are played way too much.
- Alajandro!!!!, Burlington, VT
that's cuz it's got pieces of Loser in there. Genius
- Dylan, Dodge City, KS
An interesting song, the reason for confusion is because of the popular acoustic version. The story deals with three completely different people (a prostitute, a robber, and a preacher) who all give the same answer for their wrong-doings and faults.
- Jim, Philadelphia, PA
Reminds me a lot of Beck's "Loser".
- Ryan, New Lexington, OH
You have to to post comments.
Dave Pirner of Soul AsylumDave Pirner of Soul Asylum
Dave explains how the video appropriated the meaning of "Runaway Train," and what he thought of getting parodied by Weird Al.
Chad Channing (Nirvana, Before Cars)Chad Channing (Nirvana, Before Cars)
Chad tells tales from his time as drummer for Nirvana, and talks about his group Before Cars.
Dan ReedDan Reed
Dan cracked the Top 40 with "Ritual," then went to India and spent 2 hours with the Dalai Lama.
Lou Gramm - "Waiting For A Girl Like You"Lou Gramm - "Waiting For A Girl Like You"
Gramm co-wrote this gorgeous ballad and delivered an inspired vocal, but the song was the beginning of the end of his time with Foreigner.