February 12, 2008 12:11 PM   Subscribe

What is Soundgarden's song Room A Thousand Years Wide about?

I need ask someone to tell me this. Has Kim Thayil (wrote the lyrics) ever talked about what the song is about or what the lyrics mean?

I've seen some guesses that are pretty random and bad - I'm looking for a link to where they actually discuss it themselves (Soundgarden) or some idea that matches up really well with the lyrics.
posted by cashman to Media & Arts (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
SongMeanings has a handful of interpretations.
posted by Rhaomi at 12:41 PM on February 12, 2008

I'd guess it's about the time that Chris Cornell spent a year of his life inside his house without leaving. True story.
posted by Kirklander at 1:30 PM on February 12, 2008

Thayil wrote the lyrics though. At any rate, do you have a link to that story Kirklander?
posted by cashman at 1:44 PM on February 12, 2008

I always thought of Thayil as the 'headiest' of the band, and he studied philosophy in school, so my guess is that it's not really about anything. Transcendental poetry, if you will... some nice words that go nicely with the mood of the song. Not everything needs to have a meaning.
posted by afx114 at 2:26 PM on February 12, 2008

The Wikipedia page on Cornell mentions the story--which I coincidentally heard for the first time today on my local classic radio station, THE BONE. It is possible that Kim Thayil wrote the song about Cornell's experience, sort of like when other people wrote "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" based on Otis Redding' experiences in the Bay Area.
posted by Kirklander at 3:32 PM on February 12, 2008

Seems to have some pretty standard Christ allusions in there.
posted by klangklangston at 5:20 PM on February 12, 2008

Kim told me it was based on a dream he had.

A much better song story is "Slaves and Bulldozers". Kim's friend Brad worked at a day care, and one of the boys was strangely withdrawn, and hardly spoke up at all. One day though, he is strangely hyperactive, and sort of tormenting a little girl. Brad, or one of the other adult supervisors decides to try to draw the boy out, and asks him what kind of game he's playing. The boy shouts out "I"m playing Slaves and Bulldozers!"

The EP companion to Badmotorfinger was called Satanoscillatemymetallicsonatas which is, I believe, the longest palindromic album title in rock. Again, it came from Kim's friend Brad, who picked it up from, of all places, watching Larry King!
posted by Tube at 7:12 PM on February 12, 2008 [2 favorites]

Interesting. I wish the lengthier story was about the song I mentioned, but thanks!
posted by cashman at 8:31 PM on February 12, 2008

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