The music: Mumford & Sons: Sigh No More (Released 2009)
You may have heard: “Little Lion Man”
Even better than that: “White Blank Page,” “Awake My Soul,” “Thistle & Weeds”
Why it nourishes my soul: The first song I heard from Mumford & Sons was “Roll Away Your Stone.” A class I took for my masters degree, Building Classroom Communities, changed my life. The instructor, Marty, guided us through community building as a group ourselves, and we learned how to apply the practices in our own classrooms. As a result of the deep trust and connections that we built, many of us touched deep traumas in our past with healing. The final project was very open-ended, and one of my classmates made a slide show set to “Roll Away Your Stone” about her marriage. I loved it and I jotted down the lyrics so I could find the song again. Shortly after that final class, I bought Sigh No More so I could have more.
This album is full of lyrics that ignite memories of Shakespeare and scripture. The first line of the first song is: “Serve God, love me, and mend.” Yes…Much Ado About Nothing, right away in the first breath of the album. “There will be a time, you’ll see / With no more tears / And love will not break your heart / But dismiss your fears” … I can’t add any words to that. “If only I had an enemy bigger than my apathy, I would have won” … Let that one plant itself in your mind for awhile.
The musical landscape of Sigh No More feels like it has its roots in English folk music, and maybe a little bit of bluegrass. The harmony and chord progressions are both familiar and fresh, that perfect balance of comfortable and engaging. The feel is beautifully melancholy and cathartic. Without any words at all, “Thistle & Weeds” would still entangle itself in my inner world after a few repeats.
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