Monday Morning Meeting: Mumford & Sons
Shhhhhhhhhh shhhhh shhh. Shush already.
I already know that in coming to the Mumford & Sons bandwagon a few months ago I was relatively late. There are hoards of people who recognized their genius well before me (including my sister, who tried to tell me for two years that I would love this music, but given her penchant for Lifetime movies and eggs with ketchup, I was dubious.).
I’d heard a couple of their songs and really liked them, but it wasn’t until I bought their CD (does that make me old-school or simply old?), put it on in the kitchen, and jumped around to it with my children that I really got the fever.
So I’m late. But have y’all blogged about it? Have you seen them in concert? Have you stalked them throughout Nashville?
I was lucky enough to see them live at the Ryman Auditorium last week. The Ryman is actually an old church (and former home of the Grand Ole Opry) so you sit in pews, which is appropriate because these songs are worshipful. And they’re even better live.
What comes to mind, as I listen to the modernly ancient tunes that sound like the joy and misery of history itself, to the gravelly lead voice like a chainsaw and a babbling brook at once, is this: if there is such a thing as cellular memory, then their songs call out to it. If I carry pieces of my Irish ancestors, and if those pieces carry the energy and memory of the lives lived before me, then these songs awaken them. They remember. And those ancestral pieces within me push my spirit around until I know what it feels to have lived, be living, live on.
Mumford & Sons do that with their music–the tunes, the instruments, the voices, and the words come together perfectly to somehow reach a sanctum where the past is not only awakened, it comes front and center with the present to mix in, tie up, entwine with us now. It must be what timeless is.
I am not a music critic. I have no idea what I’m really saying, musically, right now. All I know is that when I listen to their music, I feel the urge to move. And any musician (Marcus Mumford) who can not only write inspiring music, but also lyrics that reference Shakespeare (“Stars, hide your fires…”) and Steinbeck (Timshel), has won my devotion.
If all that is too deep for you, then just click the links below and listen. Try not to run through a field with your arms waving. I haven’t done it yet, but I have come close on the treadmill. And I can’t hold off much longer.
If you’ve already heard all their songs, listen anyway. It’s the least you can do for yourself on a Monday morning. If you’re in an office, grab your coworkers. Your boss won’t mind; in fact, s/he’ll probably thank you for increasing productivity today. (Though s/he might be upset at those of you who decide, after listening to this music, that you need to take control of your life NOW and quit your shitty job.)
And if you see someone running through a field today with arms splayed, please join me. The only people who’ll think we look like idiots are The Uninspired. And we don’t want to hang out with them, anyway.