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Robin Parry is the husband of but one wife (Carol) and the father of the two most beautiful girls in the universe (Hannah and Jessica). He also has a lovely cat called Monty (who has only three legs). Living in the city of Worcester, UK, he works as an Editor for Wipf and Stock — a US-based theological publisher. Robin was a Sixth Form College teacher for 11 years and has worked in publishing since 2001 (2001–2010 for Paternoster and 2010– for W&S).

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Mumford and Sons: not theological but nice music

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

Robin, you're cheating yourself -- there IS a theological bit in the middle of this song:

Oh the shame that sent me off
from the God that I once loved ...

Good music too. Thanks!

Jeremy said...

Several of Mumford and Sons are Christians, actually. They go to Holy Trinity Brompton, a big Anglican church in London. The spiritual themes are pretty blatant in some of their songs as well (for a quite successful mainstream British band, that is).

Robin Parry said...

That's interesting. I did pick up several allusions to the Bible in their lyrics. It's a fab album.

Baggas said...

I too had wondered about their religious leanings as half their album seems to have references to God and/or faith... which makes me love it even more.

Anonymous said...

"Timshel", track eight, is the Hebrew word for "Thou mayest". In the book "East of Eden" there is a discussion pertaining to Genesis and the translation of "timshel", and the way the word is used in the story of Cain and Abel. Here's a link if you'd like to read it.

http://timshel.org/timshel.php

Anonymous said...

It's interesting all of the spiritual references in the songs and then there's "Little Lion Man" where he drops the "F-bomb" about 8 times roughly. I don't know if it is just a difference between UK English and US English as to what is considered profanity, but if someone got up and said that from a pulpit here in the U.S., they'd probably be carried out.

That said, aside from that one song, I love the album.

Branjawn said...

"That said, aside from that one song, I love the album. "

I am a Christian, and I don't feel there is anything "unChristian" about using the F-word. Just like I don't feel there is anything wrong with having sex or drinking... each is appropriate in the correct context.

Anonymous said...

The MT pointing makes it

TIMSHAL

with an "a".

I wonder if this timshel is a Yiddish pronunciation ???

Joshua said...

I myself wondered about them because the lyrics are so beautifully placed and poetic.
Yes there is the F-bomb in the one song and it is a bit jarring in the midst of such a beautiful song.
Then again isn't faith jarring to some people?
I have found that both Christians and non alike really like and love this band.
Frankly I think their songs really make you think about things and the way we're living our lives.
If their songs can bring people out of a narrow view then isn't that something not only amazing but wonderful as well?
Most would judge me on some things but I see myself as a David type where I screw up by I really do have a heart after God.
I think they're an amazing band and I think that good things can come out of their music.
There are some amazingly Biblical standing tones over and under depending on how much you really pay attention or know.

Anonymous said...

I am not religious at all, I don't even consider myself atheist, because that is still a category to fall into. But even with all the religious lyrics I will listen to every Mumford and Sons album they release over and over again. Why, because they ROCK.

Anonymous said...

"I am not religious at all, I don't even consider myself atheist, because that is still a category to fall into. But even with all the religious lyrics I will listen to every Mumford and Sons album they release over and over again. Why, because they ROCK."

While I admire the fact that you do not wish to be defined by a "category," I do hope you understand that even that decision is a category itself. To not choose something, or to consciously decide to not choose something, is in itself an actual decision- in this case a decision you choose to make about your relationship with God.

"But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.-Isa 53:5"

Christ was given to the world as an opportunity for you and I to have a personal relationship with our Perfect, Holy, Everlasting Father. The world has falsely defined Christianity as religion, rather than relationship. And as it says it Mumford and Sons Awake My Soul, "You were made to meet your maker."

Anonymous said...

Religion is not automatically spirituality and vice versa. Below is Mumford speaking himself about the album.

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."

noleggio proiettori Milano said...

I have found that both Christians and non alike really like and love I think their songs really make you think about things and the way we're living our lives.
There are some amazingly Biblical standing tones over and under depending on how much you really pay attention or know.

Anonymous said...

Nobody cares about Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Actually, quite a few people care about Jesus. About 2.1 billions actually.

Anonymous said...

and still growing :]

Anonymous said...

interesting string here... I was just listening to "Awake my Soul" and was wondering about MAS"s beliefs so googled and got this blog. Does anyone out there listen to Avett Bros? I've wondered the same thing about them.

Anonymous said...

i am newly christan and from what i can tell this is not a christan band. god asks that we sing in praise and submission, i dont feel like this is either, if anything they are singing about walking away from god and the trials and tribulation of that. not to mention that satan owns most music that we listen to and has incantations in most music we listen to that envolk demons into our lives. if the question is should i listen to it if i am a christian, if your having to ask... probably not. Unfortunatly this band is one of my top 3 bands, along with kings of leon and fleet foxes... all of which have denied their faith to god.

Anonymous said...

this band is fantastic and i believe that there are some fantastic musicians who you wouldn't believe are Christians including Alice Cooper.

Anonymous said...

they are pretty good. whether or not they are christians, follow god or whatever, it is nice to see a lively discussion about them. obviously the only way some of us will know if we are truly christians will be too late....that is if we are wrong! god bless!

JulsFine said...

My view is you can find demons and God depending on what you want to find. I hear God in the lyrics and his talking about trial and tribulations and even a lack of being close to God at times rings as honesty about himself, and doesnt make him a non-christain, it makes him human. "I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners and need to repent" It sounds like to me Mumsford lyrics sees themselves as the latter and with honesty repent and the fact that there is so much in every song of faith and trials speaks to me of a very faithful heart tryin to figure out their way to grace. Their music is inspiring and much more honest and faithful than most of the Christian rock music I hear on the radio that lacks soul and feeling...which persuades me that half of them or either phoney in how they present themselves or in how they believe. I luv Mumford and Sons though and only like a handful of Christian rock songs

Anonymous said...

Found my way here through Google after wondering about the the religiosity in a lot of the lyrics of my new favourite band's songs. Being an atheist it did annoy me a bit at first, but I got over it pretty quickly. Now I just enjoy the poetry and feeling of even the religious bits and try to leave out the part of me that wants to go "pah" at those parts.

Anonymous said...

I think it's pretty ignorant to try to write off the blatant Christian themes here.
1. They've never "denied" their faith, yes, they may sing about trials and tribulations and walking away from God at times, and God forbid we ever discuss the hard times we have as Christians, right? (That was to the person who talked about demons and what not)
2. How can you deny it? They have a song called "Roll Away Your Stone". Their lyrics talk about the heart longing for love the way it was meant to be, and finding out how to live the way they were meant to.

Anonymous said...

I'm new to the band's music and also stumbled across this blog because I was curious about the group's religious background. It seems to me that the lyrics, though they contain references to Christianity from time to time, are pretty vague. It allows people to come up with a wide spectrum of interpretations about the ties (or not) to spirituality. It doesn't sound like the band's music is trying to promote a message of Christianity; but neither is the group trying to stomp all over it.

Overall, the band does a good job at choosing words and phrases that, when combined with the sound and style of music, stir up emotion. It's the sum of the parts that achieves that emotion, and I think the group's fans, Christian and non-Christian, resonate with that.

B said...

Wow, I sure hope the 'Christian' that says there isn't anything wrong with having sex or drinking is speaking within the context of being legal of age, not getting drunk, and having marital relations with their spouse. Anything else is not according to the expectations of Christianity. Of course, the F-word has no legitimate context for a Christian. Justify yourself how you want of course.

Anonymous said...

"Of course, the F-word has no legitimate context for a Christian."

That is unless it is in the song "Little Lion Man".

Anonymous said...

I was curious about this as well, but does it really matter if they are Christian or not? I am an atheist, but I live in a world surrounded by religion. As long as they aren't evangelical about their love of any deity, I could care less. They make beautiful music, and I could care less if they were Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, or Buddhist.

Anonymous said...

I don't where you got kings of leon said they don't believe in God. I'm good friends with the drummer and he's a Christian.

Anonymous said...

Not sure if they are devotees of Jesus or not...but I greatly appreciate the honestly in which they uncover areas of the heart.

RE: Little Lion Man - I know it's evangelical taboo, but rather like the use of the F-bomb here. It aptly communicates the writer's regret over what he has done to damage his relationship. I suppose the age of the hearer has a lot to do with how offensive it is as well.

Anonymous said...

It does not matter to me if they officially define themselves through their music as Christians or not.
As a person who is trying to strengthen my own Christian faith in my walk with God, this music speaks volumes to me. I find it challenging, forgiving, flawed, questioning, hopeful, - the entire gamut of the human experience in our quest to walk with God. Not to mention some pretty good music to boot.

Anonymous said...

And one more thing....Jesus didn't turn the water into milk at the wedding and I don't see anywhere in the Bible that says don't ever use the "F" word. It's all a matter of context. JMO.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said "i am newly christan and from what i can tell this is not a christan band. god asks that we sing in praise and submission, i dont feel like this is either, if anything they are singing about walking away from god and the trials and tribulation of that. not to mention that satan owns most music that we listen to and has incantations in most music we listen to that envolk demons into our lives. if the question is should i listen to it if i am a christian, if your having to ask... probably not. Unfortunatly this band is one of my top 3 bands, along with kings of leon and fleet foxes... all of which have denied their faith to god."

1st off how can you possibly say that simply because they do not play praise and worship music that means that they have obviously turned and walked away from God? Have you ever been in a failed relationship? Unless you're 16 probably so. Now let's imagine you're an artist. God gave you the ability to paint beautiful paintings, So out of your sadness you paint some sort of painting with meaning to you about your realtionship with this boy/girl and how you are now sad. Now, simply because your painting is about that girl and not about Jesus in some way does that make you a non-christian who has obviously turned away from God? Seriously, works of music are works of art just like paintings and the very earth around us. God created us and this earth and music and painting and every other beautiful creative thing that speaks to our suol. That's why music or nature speaksto our souls so much because it was created by God just like we were. And not only did God create us he also GAVE us Logic and Creativity he put us in the situations we're in. So to say to use that creativity we were given to do anything other than to make something directly as praise and worship to God is rebllion against God would be the same as saying using our logic to blance our check book and not think about God is rebellion also. God knows that we go through things like relationships and many other things and to use our creativity that he gave us to speak about those things is not a sin. Now if we use those gifts against him that's something completely different than just using it to express ourselves. You just can't write a praise and worship song about some of the every day things that we go through and that people go through and still make it about the cross somehow.

2nd this is the sort of thinking that so many christians fall into nowadays or rather they are pulled into it. there is a large difference between spirituality and religion and somewhere in the middle is God Saying why have you come so close to me only to be so far away. This is the old minded human created religion type thinking that has turned so many away from the church already and is continuing to do so. So if you will consider your mission to be a light to the world and I beg you read the word for yourself with nothing but you and God. No preacher-man can cleanse your hands or give you the mind of Christ.

Lastly, If out of all of this I am wrong and you are right then I'll suppose I'll be burning in hell right along side you as you listen to just as much sinful music as I. Thanks

Bryan said...

"i am newly christan and from what i can tell this is not a christan band. god asks that we sing in praise and submission, i dont feel like this is either, if anything they are singing about walking away from god and the trials and tribulation of that. not to mention that satan owns most music that we listen to and has incantations in most music we listen to that envolk demons into our lives. if the question is should i listen to it if i am a christian, if your having to ask... probably not. Unfortunatly this band is one of my top 3 bands, along with kings of leon and fleet foxes... all of which have denied their faith to god."

I used to feel that way - just wanted to invite you to give yourself some room to listen to music that you like, and love Jesus - together. This is especially nice if the music you're listening to isn't made by Christians. It might confuse people, and sometimes that's good. Satan only "owns" stuff that we let him own, take it back and listen to that music with your new Christian ears!

The Lords Servant said...

People, why do we concern ourselves with passing judgement on our fellow man? If we do so, don't you understand that we too will be more severly judged. In stead you men and women of faith provoked by the spirit to inquire the Lord on their behalf, so that the evil one will not take hold in their life yet destroying the work that the Lord would have them do. Even david who was a man after God's own heart fell into such an evil snare. Instead of pondering their standing that is between them and the creator shouldn't we be standing behind our fellow man to encourage and speak life and not to just be concerned with ourselves and if we are justified by listening to their poems. For if we are blameless before the God of this earth then we too will be blameless in the eyes of others. Why don't we focus on removing the planks from our own eyes so that we can better help humanity with the speck in their eyes. Blessed are all who fear God and do what is right in His eyes alone. May God bless all who are righteous and those who strive to become, all the willing souls that have been tormented by the evil one. One day He will return to make all things new as they were intended to be. And Remember all that have ears let them hear the word of God through His Holy Bible. In the precious name of Jesus Christ Yeshuah. Amen.

Anonymous said...

I completely agree with those who have spoken about "religious" people and how they judge when they have a plank in their own eye. I especially agree with whoever posted on September 9 2011 I suggest all you religious folks check that out.I could not have put it better myself. I am 15 and completely understand where the Spirit is shut away and not accepted in certain churches. "'These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules.'"
Also, to whoever said sex and drinking is fine - you are just interpreting the Bible in a way so that you may live a wordly life still claiming you are Christian - I can say that like all teenagers it is hard to resist Wordly things - but that is the point; it it meant to be, it is a test to see how strong our respect is for God and how obedient we are!
I love Mumford+Sons and was happy to hear their Christian lyrics in such popular songs

Anonymous said...

In a new Mumford and Sons song below my feet they say "keep my eyes to serve and my hands to learn" ; "I was told by Jesus all is well so all must be well" this song clearly means joyous relationship with Christ.
by the way Marcus' parents started the Vineyard Church in the U.K. and Ireland

Lindsey said...

A few things

Like @Branjawn said drinking and sex are both appropriate... in the right context. I think the way sex is being portrayed now is harmful- the idea that sex is bad all the time when in reality, God WANTS us to have sex with our spouse, and it's GOOD, so that's why it's worth it to wait.

I love Mumford's music. I think it's pleasing to God, not Satanic or whatever else it is being called. I think when people use their talents and God-give abilities, it glorifies God, no?

Or should we make a Christian bubble in which only Christian things are approved? Christian grocery store, Christian plumbers, Christian clothes, Christian bank, Christian dog groomer, ect. Why do that with music

Anonymous said...

It's funny. I'm a staunch atheist, and I usually dislike christian music.

However, it's not really because I don't like the message because hey-- It's what you believe. I'm pretty ambivilant to it. I just don't listen.

I don't like music that thrusts it's message in your face. For example while I enjoy disney musicals, I didn't enjoy Princess in the Frog because that's all it did. It didn't help that the songs were forgettable to begin with, and that's how I feel about christian music because I don't consider the stuff I hear particularly any different from any of the other bland content less music which are not religious based.

However, I do like Mumford and sons. I think the music stands by itself, and I don't need to view it as strictly christian if I don't want to.

Jim Lemire said...

I have been listening to this album over and over again lately and I actually hear rather anti-religion sentiments in it. It definitively seems spiritual, but to me much more personal than "big religion":

For example
"How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
...
Lend me your eyes I can change what you see
But your soul you must keep, totally free"

"But you, you've gone too far this time
You have neither reason nor rhyme
With which to take this soul that is so rightfully mine"

"Cause 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"

Perhaps I am just projecting my own point of view on it though.

Anonymous said...

Idiotic response! Christianity must be whatever you'd like it to be, huh?

Anonymous said...

Be sure you know Jesus as your Savior for "it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Christ is a free gift to a sinful world, but you must trust in Him and Him alone to save!

Anonymous said...

One comment on this page does not make sense
"I am a Christian, and I don't feel there is anything 'unChristian' about using the F-word. Just like I don't feel there is anything wrong with having sex or drinking... each is appropriate in the correct context."
I'm interested in understanding what context there to use profanity. You can have sex in marriage, and drink as long as you do not get drunk. Cursing is a sin as Paul tells us in his letter to the Colosians. (Chap 3) If you belive the Bible entirely, than there is no room for cursing.

Anonymous said...

For those of you who don't know where cursing is addressed in the Bible Colosians 3:8

Anonymous said...

Right lads, just enjoy the music, eh? Who cares if they are christian or not, their a bloody brilliant band, who cares if their lyrics are about finding faith or losing it. I am a 15 year old and not one bit religious, I care not in the slightest if these guys are christian or not, but I've been listening to this album since it came out and I'm still in awe of how brilliant they are. FORGET ABOUT WHAT ALL OF IT MEANS AND JUST LISTEN TO THE BRILLIANCE.

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

As a friend of the band I can confirm that none are religious though come from religious families. Marcus' dad is a vicar but all rejected faith in favour of reason.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

I'm 14 and just hope that your statement isn't true, because one day I want to see mumford and sons in heaven and be able to sing praises along side of them to Jesus my savior. And I hope all of you atheists out there learn to love Jesus, because he sure loves us way more than we deserve.

Anonymous said...

No, what I think Branjawn is trying to say is that when used in the proper context, it's not bad. Like having a drink every once and again isn't sinful. Neither is having sex, in the right context (marriage).

Anonymous said...

How could possibly say that "Satan owns most of the music we listen to?" God gave these artists their talent, and it's whether or not they choose to glorify God or man with their talent.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what motivates an artist to create what they create, God will use their works exactly as he sees fit. I have lost count of the songs (movies, books, artworks...etc) over the years that have revealed God to me...works that were never intended to be even remotely theological and often at face value are anything but.

Anonymous said...

That exact verse says there is also no room for anger. Yet....man fails in that regard as well.

Perhaps an appropriate context for profanity would be to show how man continues to fail and we are in need of a redeemer.

Anonymous said...

I do. I may be Anonymous here, but I'm not nobody. And I care about Jesus.

Anonymous said...

I love that song, and, artistically, I love those f-bombs. Consider what he's talking about when he uses that naughty, naughty word. He's trying to convey disgust with himself, disappointment, frustration, revulsion and do so in a very candid and frank way. Can you think of a better way to sum all that up? I can't.

StareClips.com said...

I was at the Gentlemen Of The Road concert this weekend, then found myself here. I just wanted to add my own two cents to this discussion about the F-bomb.

I would consider it a sin to use the F-bomb in any context. However, just because one sins does not make one non-Christian. In fact, all sinners are Christians.

So, I think the point might be, while the F-bomb might BE appropriate within a certain context in the terms of human understanding, it's also not the type of word one would use when trying to be perfect. After all, trying to be without sin is trying to be perfect. We will never be perfect, so let's not bother pointing out each other's sins.

Could they have made their point without using the F-bomb several times in the song? Absolutely. Does their use of the F-bomb draw a positive result from some people who enjoy having it there? Perhaps. Would they have been less sinful to use a cleaner word? Sure. Should we obsess about it? No.

We are all brothers and sisters, none of us are perfect, and we all are sinners. This is what Christianity is all about. Through our faith in Jesus Christ, our sins are washed away.

StareClips.com said...

Whoops. When I said, "all sinners are Christians" I meant to say "all Christians are sinners". (And not to imply exclusivity.)

Stephen C. Hermanson said...

I just wanna address the F-word that has caused so much trouble. First, in the Bible, the cursing that is referred to is taking God's name in vain. When it comes to words like the F-word or the S-word, our society has put those in the same category because they're not appropriate to use in everyday conversation. Women and children shouldn't use them or hear them, and personally, I don't use them, just because they are vulgar and pretty much distastefull. But I don't think it's a sin to use them. I think in Little Lion Man, it's entirely appropriate as an expression of disgust for things done wrong. I don't know if they are true believers in Christ, but their music echoes lots of things in my heart, and they may have even helped me sort them out better. I've found no legitimate reason not to listen to them.

Stephen

Nicole said...

This music is talking about Satan's love for God. It is warning us of Beelzebub and how the Prince of Darkness operates. See how he lies!!!!!!! You can not love money and God. We are in end times. Once the Dead Sea Scrolls are interpreted the signs will be completed. The Jewish language is the key but, the Jews will not cooperate. Pray for them, forgive them. The Roman Church hid the Word of God and Jesus from us but God is bringing us into the light. I had to repent for my selfishness and laziness and my sexual immorality. I picked up my own cross and want to show others into the light. Remember your first love, Jesus Christ. Take the steps... See 12 Steps. The churches can be too corrupt. God is a spiritual experience. God will give you the proof you seek. God showed me. Seek the four absolutes; unselfishness, love, honesty and purity. Be humble...God will save you. Jesus saw to it. Do it now! The spirit of the antichrist is here, among us.