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Jump, Little Children - Cathedrals - Lyrics Meaning



"Cathedrals" was a 1998 single by the band Jump, Little Children. Comprised of art school students who combined Irish influences with 90's tinged alternative rock, JLC were at one point heavily coveted by record labels. In 1998, they released an album on Breaking Records, a label started by Hootie and the Blowfish, which was affiliated with Atlantic Records. The album, titled "Magazine", spawned a moderately successful adult album alternative radio hit called "Cathedrals."

The band was never able to build from the success of "Cathedrals," despite some solid well-received releases, and subsequently called it quits in 2005. To this day, "Cathedrals" is still hailed as a beautiful, inspirational, bittersweet song that is masterfully written and performed. The lyrics are somewhat abstract and up to individual interpretation.

Vocalist and rhythm guitarist Jay Clifford has hinted that the song was inspired from the band's younger days of drug experimentation. He has remarked that he would sometimes experiment with hallucinogenic drugs and marvel at the old architecture and art of cathedrals and churches. Other interviews of Jay's have suggested that band members would sometimes sit on the steps of cathedrals and discuss the meaning of life - things like faith, life and death, humanity, God, and the infinite universe. There has been some speculation that the lyrics were derived from Jay wandering the streets of New York and being awe stricken by how small he was in the shadows of overbearing buildings and marble statues that appeared to watch his every move in a city so full of people and life.

Jay's religious upbringing may also contribute to the lyrics. Another thing that Jay has commonly brought up when introducing the song is the band's former guitarist Christopher Pullen. Pullen was often Jay's partner in crime in the days of drug experimentation and the two grew close. Pollen would go on to leave the band to join a religious cult. There is some theorization that the verse, "There is a feeling that you should just go home, and spend a lifetime finding out just what that is," is a reference to Pollen trying to find a home within a religious community.

But, beyond such speculation as to the meaning behind the lyrics, the words of the song can be translated differently to fit anyone's life and experiences. This has always been one of the more endearing parts of this little known gem.




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