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Mumford and Sons Best Lyrics and Meanings

Updated on August 28, 2012

Folk, folk rock, indie rock--whatever you want to call it--Mumford and Sons made a breakthrough in the music world. Emerging from England, this band gave rise to the West London folk scene and birthed a unique sound. Their signature banjo, tambourine, and steady drum lends to their folksy sound which is influenced by bluegrass. But anyone can play a banjo and beat a drum. What makes Mumford and Sons so unique is not just their sound, but the carefully crafted lyrics that are chock-full of literary references. Here are, in my opinion, Mumford and Sons best lyrics and meanings:


Roll Away Your Stone

Roll Away Your Stone is often thought of as a religious song, but if you dig deeper you will discover that it's actually a reference to Shakespeare's Macbeth. Both the song and the play are rife with light and dark imagery, and both Macbeth and the singer (so to speak) are bombarded with dark images. If you're not convinced, take a look at these two verses:

"Stars hide your fires, for these here are my desires..." - Mumford and Sons

"For in my way it lies. Stars, hide your fires; let not light see my black and deep desires..." -William Shakespeare (Macbeth Act I, Scene IV)

Sigh No More

Sigh No More is not only the name of the song but the name of the album, and it's a reference to Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing. There is a theory that the album is actually a Shakespearean concept album in disguise, but we'll leave that one up for speculation. Nevertheless, the presence of Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing is overwhelming. Lines taken from the play include "Man is a giddy thing" and "serve god, love me, and mend." And these two lines are incredibly close as well:

"Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more; men were deceivers ever; one foot in sea and one on shore..." --William Shakespeare

"Sigh no more, no more, one foot in sea, one on shore..." - Mumford and Sons

The Cave

There are so many literary references in this song I will most likely forget one, but feel free to add your thoughts in the comments. The Cave is thought to be a reference to Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" but that is up for debate. There's no direct reference that I can find, however, there is one verse from this song that encapsulates Plato's message of truth and identity in his work.

"Now let me at the truth which will refresh my broken mind...I'll know my name as it's called again."

There are, however, more direct references to literature; the mention of sirens in the song is a reference to Homer's The Odyssey.

"So make your sirens call and sing all you want, I will not hear what you have to say..."

There are theories that the song is rife with biblical references as well, and that the verse "So come out of your cave walking on your hands" is actually a reference to the biography of St. Francis of Assisi. The verse "I can see widows and orphans through my tears" is thought to be a reference to the Old Testament, but as I do not have the sources for this theory, you will have to speculate that for yourselves.


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