Interpretations:Kings Of The Cave

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I've said that the line "air in a jar" meant a scuba tank, and that the narrator is a diver who's inside an undersea cave, researching the lost race of Atlantis, and imagining that he's there with them. That wouldn't explain the "lateral skid" part though, unless it was part of the fantasy.

The Clock Radio version of this song (recorded live) is a great example of very early TMBG.

This song is about a future human who has to get in touch with this ancient self.

He has a crash-landing on another planet (ref: verse 1.) It is possible he is on a mission to examine or collect some particular animal species, but it is more likely he is just seeking food and shelter. Referrences to hunger and lack of modern sources of food (such as to-go from a restaraunt) comprise most of the lyircs.

The phrase "Kings of the Cave" refers to ancient, presumably cave-dwelling humans. The "age old skills" are of course hunting and gathering.


The "air in a jar" seems to me to be an air plane, and "coming to a lateral skid" is crashing over water, "cruisin much further than you can in a car" was the trip, before the crashing, not very complicated (uncletony)

One of the great lost songs. (Mr Tuck)

I don't think this song is too deep, but some words people may not get. I've always like this song so i decided to write the interpretation. I'll break it don verse by verse:

Air in a jar Thousand feet from Madagascar Coming to a lateral skid After cruising much further than you can in a car

I haven't found a too in depth meaning for the phrase air in a jar, but the best i could come up with is a survival item. You need a thing like air to survive anywhere, and this man could be packing it in a jar becasue it looks like he's going adventuring. Upon looking at world maps, I saw that 1000 ft from madagascar was a tiny island called Nosy Mitsio and other various small islands. A man driving a boat much further then a car could travel comes to a huge crash at one of these islands.

Mission ahead Take me to the animal's den Got to get a getaway going Got to take to a lake to the far-away corners of the kings of the cave Nothing left to save Situation: grave

Now this guy is stranded at a deserted island, and he has one mission- find food. He goes searching for any source of food, such as animals. He needs to get some way of escaping this place, and he k=needs water (take to a lake) but he takes shelter in a cave, where in his mind he considers himself a king of the cave.(not sure about that)Since his whole boat was destroyed, there was nothing left to save. His situation looks very bad at this point.

Quiet and clear No one else has anyone near Hear a little rumble down south Got to find some creature I can kill with a spear

In his hunger, this mans mind plays tricks on him but imagining other kings of the cave with him. (no one else has anyone near) He his exremely hungy not and needs to find an animal he can kill.

Got no to-go No restaurants as far as I know Got to get some help from friday Got to get proficent at the age-old skills of the kings of the cave Food is all you crave Never have to shave

Possibly this man finds enough food to survive with the help of the age-old skills of the other 'kings', but he still craves more. Friday is maybe another 'king'. The man realizes he could have this whole island to himself, but the other 'kings' bother him about always craving more food.

A fun song, it makes me just think of hunting or camping.. and Madagascarian quisine.

  • "Friday" (as in "gotta get a little help from Friday"is the name of the main character's indigenous servant in DeFoe's novel Robinson Crusoe Tutt 13:26, 14 Nov 2005 (EST)

I think this song is about an intentional retreat from modern life. The line "Got to get a getaway going" suggests to me more of a vacation than an escape from immediate danger. The singer has gotten away from roads by "Cruising much farther than you can in a car". He has left the fast pace of modern life and meals "to-go" and retreated to a remote island off Madagascar to live a stone-age lifestyle in the "far-away corners of the kings of the cave" (cavemen).

He describes the condition in which "no one else is anywhere near" in positive terms as "Quiet and clear". When he mentions food, he is not starving to death, simply hearing "a little rumble down south" when his stomach growls. Now he no longer has to acquire material wealth or keep up appearances - "Food is all you crave / Never have to shave". He doesn't even have to save money for retirement -"nothing left to save".

I think the narrator is looking foward to his new primitive lifestyle (or at least fantasizing about it). He takes the "situation grave" as an exciting challenge rather than a desperate plight. The upbeat melody and envigorating primitive drum line fit perfectly wtih this ineterpretation.


Honestly, I think this song kind of defies interpretation. It's just a goofy 80's song about exotic places and continents like "Africa" or "Down Under".