Birds fall from the window ledge above mine
Then they flap their wings at the last second

You see, birds fall from the window ledge above mine
Then they flap their wings at the last second

I can see their dead weight
Just dropping like stones
Or small loaves of bread
Past my window all the time

But unless I get up
Walk across the room
And peer down below
I don't see their last-second curves
Toward a horizontal flight
All these birds just falling from the ledge like stones

Now due to a construct in my mind
That makes their falling and their flight
Symbolic of my entire existence
It becomes important for me
To get up and see
Their last-second curves toward flight

It's almost as if my life would fall
Unless I see their ascent

Mr. Mastodon Farm
Mr. Mastodon Farm
Cuts swatches out of all material

Mr. Mastodon Farm
Mr. Mastodon Farm
Cuts swatches out of all material

Lyrics submitted by Ice

Mr. Mastodon Farm Lyrics as written by John M Mccrea Gregory P Brown

Lyrics © Wixen Music Publishing

Lyrics powered by LyricFind

Mr. Mastodon Farm song meanings
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  • +2
    General CommentMy friend and I were talking about this song one day and thought that it could posibly be about old rock stars and addict rehab centers. Mr. being a more formal presentation that is given to the famous, Mastadon being a type of dinosaur, which is what you might call an old person, and farm being a place where a group of them resort to. Cuts swatches from all material could mean that they take people from all places. When it is refered as the ledge above mine, may be how our society percieves rockers as above normal people and we are then compelled to watch their progress after that to make sure that theywill flap their wings at the last second.
    bighairycoconutson November 04, 2004   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThe best idea I saw of this song is on another site:

    Mark Daley said...
    Who the hell is this Mr. Mastodon Farm character? And what the hell is he doing with all those swatches? Here is one theory:
    'Mr. Mastodon Farm' is NOT a parallel between McCrea's life and those 'birds that fall like stones.' Rather, McCrea is actually describing (in Cake's typically sarcastic way) the person who reads too much into everything in life. This is indicated by the narrator's need to 'get up and see' the birds everytime they drop, since they are a symbol of his 'entire existence.' He is compelled to make sure they make their 'last second curves toward flight,' because he has read so much into their descent. The refrain/chorus places this revelation beyond a doubt: 'Mr. Mastodon Farm ... cuts swatches out of all materials.' Mr. Mastodon Farm is literally taking slices of material from life and 'growing' huge mastodons out of them. The struggle the narrator faces is with himself, and McCrea pokes fun not-so-subtly at the bondage.

    Source: 2nd comment,…
    Pandoruson March 11, 2007   Link
  • +2
    My InterpretationSo I have to say this song blows me away every time I hear it. It's pure poetry. I knew the lyrics long before I ever considered what they meant. Just the other day I was sharing Mr Mastadon with my wife and a new thought hit me.

    This song is about searching for meaning where there is none (ironic, yes?).

    Simple enough - if the birds don't curve towards horizontal flight, you're life won't be changed. And yet, we have this need to seek connection and meaning where it doesn't exist.

    It's an existential and possibly nihilistic theme that pops up in other Cake songs as well (Long Line of Cars, Frank Sinatra, Guitar Man - and you want to get the meaning out of each and every song), but that's the main message of this song. The birds have nothing to do with you. The curvature of their flight makes no difference in your life. You are alone and unconnected. It's all meaningless.

    Mr. Mastadon Farm - creating and cultivating something that goes nowhere - farming animals that will eventually go extinct.

    Cuts swatches out of old material - hoarding his special pieces, finding the ones that are the most important, but they are all just trash. Just bits of debris.

    It's absurd to try to put meaning to everything. But even more interestingly, it's easy to watch everyone else do it without realizing you are doing the same thing yourself.

    It's more of the reflective self-awareness that I love so much about Cake.

    Or maybe I'm just crazy and putting too much of my own nonsense into this song...

    Which is what makes it the essence of ART!
    herpnerdon February 11, 2017   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI'm gonna say that the song is about this...

    So from where you are it looks like the birds are just plumetting to their deaths--like your life is totally crashing and burning...your just falling straight down like a stone. But if you would just change your perspective on the situation by getting up and walking across the room, you'd see that the birds always manage to flap their wings just before hitting bottom, and they make it back to stable flight--in other words, that just as it looks like you're gonna hit bottom and that there's no escape, you get back on track and get your shit together...then you can return to your stable flight through life.

    Once you change your perspective--get up and walk across the room--you'll see that everything's gonna be OK in the end.

    And as for the chorus...haha, yeah...acid?
    yocko42on October 18, 2002   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationPandorus, I think you're on the right track, but to elaborate on what you offered, I think that "Mr. Mastadon Farm is a metaphor for prehistoric man's thinking... The way men who really can't comprehend a concept tend to erroneously compartmentalize ideas and file them away in "swatches" that make sense to them... to allow them to cope with their environment and their world in general. In other words, the song is describing how the less intelligent among us need to label every swatch in order for them to deal with their own primal existence.
    Poindexteron April 13, 2010   Link
  • +1
    General CommentA song about a guy who reads way too much into life, and is entirely dependent on this "construct in his mind" to show him that things will turn out okay for him in the end. He is searching for optimism that may or may not exist, but he's basing his belief in this bright and shiny world on nonsense. There is no way that the singer is referring to himself or any other band member.... You can tell that by the way he disseminates "Mr. Mastadon Farm"'s method of thought. The singer/writer clearly holds a great distaste for Mr. Mastadon Farm, based on the fact that he is dependent on external stimuli to push him on rather than turning inward and getting some self-respect.

    Some people caught on to "mastadon" but missed the farm part... He is manufacturing these things, he "cuts swatches" from every thing that he sees, then stretches the fabric out to represent something it does not truly represent. I can occasionally be a bit of a Mr. Mastadon Farm myself, but never so dependent as he. I think when you listen to a Cake song it's important to note that they never seem to say anything "randomly", there are no "filler" lines, just music. Which I LIKE! IDK too much about them, just really getting into them, but I kindof have a feeling the singer is an existentialist... just an inkling. I'm Christian but I like his spirit.
    Gamberroon December 28, 2010   Link
  • +1
    Song MeaningWow. A thread that goes back some nine years. And I replying to it... oh, well. So, my take on the song is very different...

    I think Cake it taking a swipe at people who call themselves songwriters, but can't come up with something original and resort to "sampling" older songs. Sampling is a word and "artists" use when they don't want to be called plagiarizers. Back when this song was written, sampling was becoming quite a fad, especially in pop and rap.

    Mr. Mastodon Farm is the plagiarizer... I mean "song writer" who finds an "old" song that he (or she) "samples" and makes part of the "new" song. So, Mr. Mastodon Farm is "cutting swatches" out of all (of the old) material that's out there.

    So what does this have to do with birds falling by my window? Well, using the "industry's" term, when a new song or album is released, it "drops". So here we have, figuratively, the writer of the original song, watching a new song drop, like stones, or small loaves of bread. And it annoys the heck out of him that some mindless-drivel-pop-music-songwriter has sampled his (or someone else's) song hoping to make money off of it - hence his contempt for Mr. Mastodon Farm. But, being a songwriter, he has to know if the song makes it, or takes flight. So he is compelled to keep an eye on it - to see if it makes that curve to a "horizontal flight". And, knowing that the song is actually his creation, he will feel like a failure unless this song also makes it, thereby, vindicating him and his writing.
    ChiefWaldoon March 04, 2011   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHow can no one comment about the BEST CAKE SONG EVER?

    mastodonon September 07, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentOkay, since you insisited:

    This song just describes how this dude lives in an apartment, where he can watch the birds "fall from the window ledge" through his window. Because he is on a high floor, he does not see the birds actually fly, unless he goes up to the window and looks down.
    Thus, it appears, from his point of view, that the birds are commiting suicide, and just falling to their deaths.

    The speaker in the song views the birds as a metaphor for his own life... or something. It might also be that the tradition of watching the birds has become so entrenched in his daily routine, he is afraid that if he doesn't continue to do it, his life could fall out of order.
    J.J.on October 13, 2002   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe main lyric is straightforward. It's the chorus that leaves you scratching your head. The Mastodon is a now extinct relative of the elephant; hmm how does that relate to a skyrise apartment & cutting swatches from material? I'm not sure even John has an answer for that one.
    JustJulieon October 28, 2004   Link

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