Brit-folk band Mumford & Sons seems to be everywhere these days, and I have to agree with the majority of the population on this one. I’m in love with this album right now (‘Sigh No More’) as are two thirds of the people I know. However I don’t think I would be enjoying it quite so much if it weren’t for the uplifting and spiritually charged lyrics that most if not all of the songs lend themselves to. I find myself clinging to several lyrical quotes throughout my day and having to go back and listen to whatever song at my soonest possible convenience. Lyrics such as:
“Serve God, love me and mend me”
“Love that will not betray you, dismay or enslave you,
It will set you free
To be more like the man you were made to be.
There is a design,
An alignment to cry,
At my heart you see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be”
“Awake my soul, awake my soul / You were made to meet your maker”
“You told me that I would find a hole,
Within the fragile substance of my soul
And I have filled this void with things unreal,
And all the while my character it steals”
“Can you kneel beforef the King / and say I’m clean, I’m clean”
“I look up, on my knees and out of luck, I look up”
“Timshel” is a Hebrew Midrash about Cain and Abel
A lot of the Christians I know have been pondering whether the band has Christian roots or perhaps is one of those “Unofficial Christian bands” that always seem to be floating around. So today I did some research to see what I could find on the subject.
One website I found states,
Mumford and Sons responded to their album being described as shot through with Christian iconography thus:
“We’re not a Christian rock band as such, the album deals with dilemmas every man deals with in life as do we. Faith is just one thing we’ve gone with. It’s one subject that can’t be ignored and we’ve tried to deal with it.”
This article by The Guardian interviews the band and sums it up with the statement, “It’s not so much about God, say rock’n’roots band Mumford & Sons – it’s about having spirit. And their gigs have that in spades”.
Perhaps one of the factors that has made some listeners recoil is the songs’ lyrical earnestness and their exploration of the idea of faith, a theme that might sound strange on record, but which takes flight when performed live. “I wrote a bunch of songs about a time and a place a while ago, and I’ve felt like they haven’t lasted,” Mumford explains. “If we were singing about wearing Reebok trainers in a certain area … I’m not saying it’s bad, I love songs that do that, I love Arctic Monkeys, but I personally can’t do it.” The lyrics for Sigh No More he describes as “a deliberately spiritual thing but deliberately not a religious thing. I think faith is something beautiful, and something real, and something universal, or it can be.” He gestures around the table at his bandmates. “We all have our separate views on religion, but I think faith is something to be celebrated. I have my own personal views, they’re still real to me, and I want to write about them.”
From the forum on the bands own website one person claims that the lead singers parents are the heads of the UK branch of Vineyard Churches, John and Ele Mumford, but it’s difficult to validate that information.
I like how sam of MyLifeHasASoundtrack puts it…
As I listened to them over and over again, I was struck by how impassioned Mumford’s lyrics were, lyrics that he’s apparently delivering to God (sorry, but nobody who sings, “It seems that all my bridges have been burned/But you say ‘That’s exactly how this grace thing works’,” is singing to his girlfriend.) Each song presents Mumford’s hesitance at giving all of himself to his God, even though he knows it’s what he needs to do. His attempts at compromising his love for God and his love for this world are achingly human, and are realized in these beautiful songs.
…Now you know!