Driving home she grabs something to eat
Turns a corner and drives down her street
Into a row of houses she just melts away
Like the scenery in another man's play
Into a house where the blinds are closed
To keep from seeing things she don't wanna know
She pulls the blinds and looks out on the street
The cool of the night takes the edge off the heat

In the Jackson Cage
Down in Jackson Cage
You can try with all your might
But you're reminded every night
That you been judged and handed life
Down in Jackson Cage

Every day ends in wasted motion
Just crossed swords on the killing floor
To settle back is to settle without knowing
The hard edge that you're settling for
Because there's always just one more day
And it's always gonna be that way
Little girl you've been down here so long
I can tell by the way that you move you belong to

The Jackson Cage
Down in Jackson Cage
And it don't matter just what you say
Are you tough enough to play the game they play
Or will you just do your time and fade away
Down into the Jackson Cage

Baby there's nights when I dream of a better world
But I wake up so downhearted girl
I see you feeling so tired and confused
I wonder what it's worth to me or you
Just waiting to see some sun
Never knowing if that day will ever come
Left alone standing out on the street
Till you become the hand that turns the key down in

Jackson Cage
Down in Jackson Cage
Well darlin' can you understand
The way that they will turn a man
Into a stranger to waste away
Down in the Jackson Cage

Lyrics submitted by oofus

Jackson Cage song meanings
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    My OpinionI agree with many of the thoughts so far presented, saying it's about having dreams thwarted by the needs of working-eating-keeping a roof, etc, and how it can grind us down to a nub, sapping our spirit. I specifically want to comment about the final lines "til you become the hand that turns the key to the Jackson Cage", as the way I see this line is a thought that has long fascinated me about human nature.

    Regardless of how miserable the working life makes a specific person, my general perception and experience has been that parents' advice to their children seems to usually be practicality as opposed to actually following dreams. Making sure that a college major is one that will result in the greatest chance for employment, instead of actually learning to do what the child's love is and taking a chance on actually being happy. It may not be a parent's intention, but the result of such advice seems to me to be Misery Loves Company. And I to me that's what that line in the song brings to mind - that yes, this life has made me miserable, but when the time comes, I'm going to give advice, based on nothing but practicality, that will likely result in repeating prior generations' mistakes, resulting in continuing misery.

    I understand that life is more complicated than just Follow Your Dreams, but at the same time, Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained, and a "Job", meaning something you're doing JUST to pay bills and stay alive, something you have no love for, is always in the hands of the owner/,anger of said business, and can always be taken away, resulting in nothing but wasted time. Yes, even doing what your love can have the same consequence, but the time isn't wasted....and yet very single piece of advice I've ever seen a parent give a child was based on nothing but pragmatism.

    As Jackson Browne said: "No matter what you THINK you have, you have nothing to lose". Not an easy code to live by, and most of us don't.
    force263on November 25, 2014   Link

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