"Caveman" as written by Tim Kasher, Matthew Ryan Maginn and Ted James Stevens....
I want to live life duty free
Let my instincts take the lead
I want to take what I can get
Don't want to choose don't want to beg
I want down from this family tree
I don't need no upward mobility

I want to unlearn what I've learned
Want to unearn what I've earned
Want to burn my bridges down
Find a place I can't be found
This is my manifesto destiny
Tear down this awkward mobility

Because I'm tired of standing upright
The taller we become the more dollars we can grab from that highest branch
And then step on your back given the chance
But not me I'm a bipedal backpedaler just as sure-footed as I can

I'm no high society man
No suit and tie, no Dapper Dan
I'm no happy family man
I'm no husband, ain't no dad
I'm a goddamn caveman
This upward mobility is more than I can understand

I won't stand, no, I won't stand for it
I won't stand, no, I won't stand for it
I won't stand, no, I won't stand for it

I'd rather be all hands and knees
Yeah, I'd rather be swinging in the trees
With the monkeys and the junkies and bums and sloths and jailbird canaries
Yeah that's me I'm a bipedal backpedaler from sea to shining sea


Lyrics submitted by semanticantics

"Caveman" as written by Ted James Stevens Matthew Ryan Maginn

Lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

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Caveman song meanings
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5 Comments

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  • 0
    General CommentAmazing song. This song is about wanting to devolve and evolution. Man is God's cruel joke. There are double meanings everywhere. I won't STAND for it. Upward mobility also refers to advancing through society but can be taken literally as waking on two feet (bipedal backpedaler)

    Kasher is a genius.
    neverbesaved2003on March 15, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentsounds like he got himself caught up in something he now regrets and wishes he could stop.
    XLoveEpiphanyXon April 04, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentwelllll... he doesn't necessarily want to take back his slanders agianst God so i cant say that hes being "converted" to christianity or anything.. maybe just just tired of his life and how he really didnt accomplish what he really wanted to.. i can think of times where i wish i was a bum sometimes.. there lifes arent so bad if they live em the right way... meh.
    JustAlittleCriticalon May 20, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentKasher grew up Catholic and attended Catholic High School with Oberst. He has referenced God constantly in his music over the years. You can't make any suggestions about his faith one way or another without knowing him, but to suggest he "slanders" God with his music is a bit extreme. He uses his songs as an outlet for the frustration, anxiety, and questioning any intelligent person would feel toward God, whether they believe in him/her/it or not. What more could you ask for from any artist? Some of his songs make it seem like he doesn't believe in God and some of them make it seem like he does, some make it seem like he believes life is a cruel joke and some make it seem like he loves life with a passion. I don't know if one positive either way just by listening to his music. Certainly this song, as well as "From the Hips", seems to suggest that he believes we'd all just be better off living in a natural state without having to live under the thumb of man-made conventions such as society and family. Perhaps that includes religion, hard to say for sure.
    BFleeron June 18, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General Commentif anyone is interested, i've taken the time to copy the "lyric book" for "Mama, I'm Swollen" so people can actually try and find it on the internet... i only have it on facebook right now, and i know that theres a few minor mistakes, but become a fan! heres the link:

    facebook.com/pages/Mama-Im-Swollen/…

    hopefully this gives you a better idea of what the album is about exactly...

    :D
    AnonyMasonon April 21, 2010   Link

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