Friday Five: Caves

Juli Thanki | December 3rd, 2010

Bats, bears, Neanderthals, fugitives, survivors of nuclear war—everyone loves caves.

  • Life's So Funny5. “Back to the Cave” – Joe Diffie

    “You want to go back to the cave?…You be Wilma and I’ll be Fred.”

    What gal could resist that smooth talk, especially if it comes with a side of brontosaurus ribs at the Bedrock Drive-In?

  • 4. “The Cave” – Mumford & Sons

    Okay, the lyrics don’t actually mention a cave, but the mighty fine banjo in this infectious Americana tune makes up for it.

  • 3. “Nickajack Cave (Johnny Cash’s Redemption)” – Gary Allan

    Anyone who’s read Cash’s autobiography is familiar with the story of his spiritual experience in Nickajack Cave, but if you’re not the bookish sort, listen to Allan’s take on it. Nickajack Cave is currently home to over 100,000 bats, meaning that anyone seeking their own spiritual awakening in the cave will probably just end up covered in guano.

  • 2. “The Cave” – Johnny Paycheck

    This might just be the best single ever written about a teenage boy who survives a nuclear holocaust (by getting lost in a cave, of course). The chilling song was a #32 hit in 1967, and the fact that it sounds like the plot to a Twilight Zone episode is surely a bonus.

  • The Essential Hank Snow1. “Miller’s Cave” – Hank Snow

    Catchy and creepy, this is a fantastic song—penned by Harlan Howard—that just happens to be about a double murder. Whether you’ve got Snow’s version, Bobby Bare’s, The International Submarine Band’s or some other artist’s recording, the song is a must-listen for all country fans. Unless your nickname happens to be Big Dave.

  1. Jon
    December 3, 2010 at 6:23 am

    Josh Williams cut a very fine version of “The Cave” a few years ago on his Lonesome Highway album.

  2. luckyoldsun
    December 3, 2010 at 7:52 am

    Bobby Bare sounds a lot like Johnny Cash and I sometimes wonder why he wasn’t nearly as big of a crossover star.
    I think it’s in part because Cash presented a consistent, mysterious, mythic persona. Bare changed in a way that made it look like he wasn’t sure what he was supposed to be. In some clips he’s the bearded “Outlaw”. Here, he looks like the character he plays in “Lincoln Park Inn”.

  3. Rick
    December 3, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    Can’t say I care much about songs about caves (we really don’t have any natural ones in SoCal, just abandoned mine tunnels), but I do love the comment:
    “Nickajack Cave is currently home to over 100,000 bats, meaning that anyone seeking their own spiritual awakening in the cave will probably just end up covered in guano.” LOL Award winner “Best Blog Comment Of The Week”!

    Reminds me of that somewhat recent news article about bands getting covered in pigeon poop at that one outdoor venue.

    Back about 1980 I was taking a tour of Carlsbad Caverns and an anglo tour guide was trying to explain to a busload of Japanese tourists how tons of guano were extracted in the early days after the cavern’s discovery. He was really struggling to get the mesaage across! (lol)

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