"Caves" as written by and Mcmahon Carpenter....
I'm caught
Somewhere in between
And living a dream
No peace
Just clicking machines
In the quiet of compazine
The walls caved in on me

And she sings
My bird dressed in white
And she stings
My arm in the night
I lay still
Still I'm ready to fight
Have my lungs
But you can't take my sight
The walls caved in

And out here
I watch the sun circle the earth
The marrows collide in rebirth
In God's glory praise
The spirit calls out from the caves
The walls fell and there I lay

The walls are caving in
As far as I can see
The walls are caving in
The doors got locked for sure
There's no one here but me

Beat my body like a rag doll
you stuck the needles in my hip
Said 'we're not gonna lie
Son, you just might die
Get you on that morphine drip, drip

The walls are caving in
As far as I can see
The walls are caving in
The doors got locked for sure
There's no one here but me

I fought a war to walk a gang plank
Into a life I left behind
Windows leading to the past
Think it's time I broke some glass
Get this history off my mind

And what if we were married forever?
Like the past never happened
And time did not exist for us at all
I still think we'd still be traveling together
Through all kinds of weather
Everything's a piece of everyone

As far as I can see
Walls are caving in
Doors got locked for sure
But I see these doors have keys

The walls are caving in
As far as I can see
The walls are caving in
The doors got locked for sure
There's no one here but me

There's no one here but me
No one here but me, yeah
There's no one here but me
No one here but me

Lyrics submitted by ellie117

"Caves" as written by Andrew Ross Mcmahon


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Caves song meanings
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  • +2
    My InterpretationI was surprised with the amount of activity on this song, that no one has come up with the same conclusion for the last half as I did. The first half is quite obvious, and I agree with what everyone has said about it. He's talking about the battle with cancer, the ups and the downs, the side effects of medication and eventually, about being saved by his sister's blood marrow and recovering.

    But after that, I think he continues to talk about struggling, not about hope or inspiration. The line that makes this most obvious is "I fought a war to walk a gang plank into a life I left behind."

    I've never had cancer, so I can't speak from personal experience, but its not at all hard to imagine that surviving cancer would be almost as difficult as fighting the cancer. He was on so much medication during the fight that his body will likely never be the same. He also likely had to completely put the rest of his life on hold so he could focus entirely on fighting the cancer. The people closest to him might have stuck around for that process, but others probably would have lost patience and disappeared from his life.

    He's also repeatedly saying "doors got locked, there's no one here but me."
    I think going through any event that makes you confront your own mortality and then trying to relate to other people who have not been through that would be incredibly difficult. Just hearing people complain about their mundane problems when you know that any day you could die would be impossible. I'm sure going through that would basically, again, put an end to many relationships, or "lock the door" on those relationships, leaving him alone, as the only person that really understands what he went through.

    I can hear the struggle in the music as well. Right after he say's "the walls fell and there I lay saved" you hear the joyous piano line. It almost sounds like Ode to Joy, and I'm sure that when he first got the news that the cancer was gone, that's how he must have felt. But then the music changes. You start to hear sounds of the music rewinding as if he is now traveling back in time. He's trying to get back to life the way it was before the cancer and slowly realizing that he can never go back. He may have survived the cancer, but it still stole many years of his life that he can never get back.
    ralissaon June 25, 2014   Link
  • +1
    My OpinionI see that this subject is nearly dead, but I still feel like I'd like to add a bit. I see that there isn't really any comments about the religious aspect (or at least spiritual) of the song. The last verse isn't married, but burried. The entire thing is saying what if we die and nothing happens. What if nothing is what we become? That is the question that stares us all in the face as we approach death, and to have faced it at such a young age, as Andrew did, and come away with this outlook, is wonderful. Truly inspiring song.

    K2007 says it best. It's so powerful, you're not sure what to do with it.
    willd27on April 19, 2009   Link
  • +1
    General CommentAnd out here
    I watch the sun circle the earth
    The marrows collide in rebirth
    In God's glory praise
    The spirit calls out from the caves.
    The walls fell and there I lay

    I don't know if Andrew is religious but it would be pretty cool if he was referring to actually being saved, like becoming a Christian.
    Whenever I listen to this song, I have this image of him sitting in a hospital bed talking to God.

    It's a beautiful song. The first part of the song is all melancholy as he's dealing with the leukemia and the surgeries and the recovery time and such.
    The second part is about how he becomes inspired.

    Lovely :)
    HelloApathyon June 17, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe lyrics are fantastic but when put with the song, I don't like it that much. Though I'm sure it'll grow on me by the time the album comes out.

    Andrew said in an AP Interview that this was the song he wrote while trying to figure out "the sick thing". It definitely relates to his cancer and I'm sure it means a lot to him...
    NotHardToDreamon February 03, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentWhen I heard it, I thought it was "my bird dressed in white" or something.

    I agree with nothardtodream, it'll probably take some time to get used to. Still, the piano sounds super pretty and so are the lyrics.
    nights-like-thison February 05, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah...

    "And she sings
    my bird dressed in white
    And she stings
    my arm in the night."
    NotHardToDreamon February 06, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI'm pretty sure the opening lyrics are
    "I'm caught somewhere in between a lie, and living the dream"
    "I'm caught somewhere in between a lie and lying to me"
    but that's just from what i've heard on youtube and other videos. I was at the Ramapo concert and the piano is AMAZING in person.
    13jession February 17, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentYeah it's definitely "alive and living in dreams".

    I agree about Ramapo. I've seen videos and they're fantastic.
    NotHardToDreamon February 21, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commenti can't wait for the release i love andrew.
    debbie scoressson March 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentIt took no time at all for this song to grow on me. I thought it was beautiful and loved it from the moment I heard it, especially once I figured out the lyrics. These lyrics are only part of the song. I guess it's going to be another long one, like "Konstantine." I can't wait to hear the rest! I have a feeling it'll be one of my favorite JM songs..

    To get into the actual meaning (since that's what this site is, after all), it's obviously about his cancer. The bird dressed in white represents a nurse, the stings are the needles... I think I read somewhere that pazine is a drug given to cancer patients. There are several meanings, I think, to the word "marrows." It could be referring, in part, to friends or strengths or whatever. And then there's the literal meaning since he received his sister's marrow, which saved his life.... I do wonder about the line "have my lungs, but you can't take my sight." I know he almost died from pneumonia, but I wonder if it affected his sight.... Either way, I think this will be one of those "perfect" songs..
    Lizzo13on July 16, 2008   Link

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