"The Cave" (CD single)

Common Sense Media says

Brooding alt-rock single has mature themes.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Though some of these lyrics are bleak, they ultimately describe a person who strives to regain a positive outlook on life.

Positive role models

Encourages perseverance in the face of adversity.


Some harsh allusions, such as "I won't let you choke on the noose around your neck."

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that "The Cave" is a somewhat dark single that describes emotional pain and suffering. That said, it doesn't contain graphic language or references to adult topics like sex and substance use, and it ends on a positive note of resilience and hopefulness. It's an acceptable choice for mature teens.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

THE CAVE is the third single from the debut album Sigh No More by Mumford & Sons, a British quartet taking the alt-rock world by storm. Like other songs on the album, this tune is deeply pensive, describing a person who attempts to rise above past defeats while encouraging a friend to do the same. Though the track avoids iffy language and adult content, it does include a couple of lines with a violent overtone (for instance, "a noose around your neck"). Emotional teens may find some of the images troubling.

Is it any good?


Contagious, folksy harmonies characterize much of Mumford & Sons' music, including "The Cave." With a rapid-fire, banjo-backed hook -- another element of their signature sound -- this tune is bound to be another hit entry in the band's ever growing songbook.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the meaning behind the lyrics "So come out of your cave walking on your hands / And see the world hanging upside down."

  • How would you describe this song's musical style? Is it typical alt-rock?

  • Do songs with dark lyrics ever make you feel depressed? How can music affect your mood?

Music details

Artist:Mumford & Sons
Release date:February 16, 2011
Genre:Alternative Rock
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of "The Cave" (CD single) was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Teen, 15 years old Written byopalescent April 10, 2015

I've listened to it millions of times and it hasn't gotten old.

I love this song. I don't know why, but I do. Mumford & Sons is my favorite band (along with Of Monsters and Men -- another great band) and this song is what made me sure that I loved them. Like almost all of their songs, it reeks with passion and bitterness and anger. Don't worry if you don't like country -- if you like alternative music, you'll love it. I'm only a kid and I love this song. It's perfect for deep thinkers and serious minds. I love every single one of their songs (that I can listen to, anyway), but "The Cave"? "The Cave" is golden.
Adult Written bytolkien geek mi March 9, 2014

Obscure yet likeable

The Cave is clean on the surface. There's a few stray strange references to violence ("You cannibal you meat eater" what are they trying to say exactly?), but nothing explicit or upsetting. The music is good, but it does require a taste for banjo!
Teen, 15 years old Written byCalcabrina June 28, 2012

Plato's allegory of the cave

My school loves this song because it can be APPLIED TO PLATO'S ALLEGORY OF THE CAVE! We are nerds. But anyway, this song is amazing. Look up the allegory of the cave and see what you think.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence


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