Ain't No Rest For the Wicked

Album: Cage the Elephant (2008)
Charted: 32 83
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • 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."
  • The song can be heard on the car radio during the beginning of the January 25, 2016 pilot episode of Fox's Lucifer when the title character is stopped by the cop. It plays again at the end of the episode, when Lucifer leaves his bar and visits his therapist girlfriend.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 10

  • Elmer H from Westville, OkThis 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!
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlI love this song! This band is slowly making their way to the top! I sing this all the time at school....
  • Doug from Dakota City, IaAccording 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.'"
  • Kira from San Francisco, CaActually, 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.
  • Joe from Lincoln, NeThis song appeared on the opening cinematic for the game Borderlands.
  • K from Nowhere, OnActually, 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.
  • Alajandro!!!! from Burlington, VtThis song was so overplayed. Great song nonetheless, but I hate it when good songs like this are played way too much.
  • Dylan from Dodge City, Ksthat's cuz it's got pieces of Loser in there. Genius
  • Jim from Philadelphia, PaAn 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.
  • Ryan from New Lexington, OhReminds me a lot of Beck's "Loser".
see more comments

Janis IanSongwriter Interviews

One of the first successful female singer-songwriters, Janis had her first hit in 1967 at age 15.

Vanessa CarltonSongwriter Interviews

The "A Thousand Miles" singer on what she thinks of her song being used in White Chicks and how she captured a song from a dream.

What Musicians Are Related to Other Musicians?Song Writing

A big list of musical marriages and family relations ranging from the simple to the truly dysfunctional.

Jello BiafraSongwriter Interviews

The former Dead Kennedys frontman on the past, present and future of the band, what music makes us "pliant and stupid," and what he learned from Alice Cooper.

Music Video Director David HoganSong Writing

David talks about videos he made for Prince, Alabama, Big & Rich, Sheryl Crow, DMB, Melissa Etheridge and Sisters of Mercy.

Roger McGuinn of The ByrdsSongwriter Interviews

Roger reveals the songwriting formula Clive Davis told him, and if "Eight Miles High" is really about drugs.