Room a Thousand Years Wide

Album: Badmotorfinger (1991)

Songfacts®:

  • A track from Soundgarden's breakthrough album Badmotorfinger, this one has music written by their drummer at the time, Matt Cameron, and lyrics by their guitarist Kim Thayil. It's one of the few songs by the band that lead singer Chris Cornell had no part in composing.

    The lyrics can be interpreted many ways, and Bible scholars will find parallels to a verse in the Book of Revelation: "When the thousand years come to an end, Satan will be let out of his prison."

    In this context, the song could be about death and judgment. However, in our interview with Kim Thayil, it became clear that he was not reaching for anything so profound. When he writes lyrics, he starts by humming melodies to fit the groove, then finding the right words to fit those melodies. "I try to get a feel for the song, what it evokes with me," he said.

    Of course, there may have been a higher power guiding his hand as he wrote the words - perhaps even the same one that influenced "Stairway To Heaven." Like Robert Plant, however, Kim doesn't think so.
  • Regarding the line, "Tomorrow begat tomorrow," Kim Thayil says that came from a movie, which he's pretty sure is the 1922 film Häxan, which is about witchcraft. He remembers a scene where witches are saying it in some kind of ceremony.

Comments: 3

  • Camilo from Temuco, ChileThe lyrics are written by Thayil, not Cornell.
  • Cel from Philadelphia, PaMaybe Chris is talking about an alter personality that he has. It's a little weird but the song's still awesome.
  • Stink from Male'I love this song. The lyrics is deep and hard to say what it is about. I have been thinking about the lyrics for a long time and still dont know what Chris is talking about. Is he talking about someone who is trying to live? Or a lost chance?
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Soul Train Stories with Stephen McMillianSong Writing

A Soul Train dancer takes us through a day on the show, and explains what you had to do to get camera time.

Charlie Benante of AnthraxSongwriter Interviews

The drummer for Anthrax is also a key songwriter. He explains how the group puts their songs together and tells the stories behind some of their classics.

Mike Love of The Beach BoysSongwriter Interviews

The lead singer/lyricist of The Beach Boys talks about coming up with the words for "Good Vibrations," "Fun, Fun, Fun," "Kokomo" and other classic songs.

David Paich of TotoSongwriter Interviews

Toto's keyboard player explains the true meaning of "Africa" and talks about working on the Thriller album.

Randy NewmanSongwriting Legends In Their Own Words

Newman makes it look easy these days, but in this 1974 interview, he reveals the paranoia and pressures that made him yearn for his old 9-5 job.

Bob Dylan Lyric QuizMusic Quiz

Think you know your Bob Dylan lyrics? Take this quiz to find out.