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Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Fellowship of Saints and Sinners

Mumford & Sons’ Free to Love and Love to Free

The British folk rock band, Mumford & Sons, sings tonight at the Ryman.

Tonight Mumford & Sons is playing at the Ryman, in Nashville, Tennessee, and I’ll be there.  In addition to some really enticing blends in sound- a mandolin, accordion and banjo often infuse the tunes of keyboard and guitar- the band’s lyrics, while not explicitly “Christian,” are both poetic and philosophical, raising themes such as human nature and divine love, grace, and justice.

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Take, for instance, this refrain from “Sigh No More,” the cover song for the band’s recent album: Love will not betray you, dismay or enslave you, It will set you free. 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.

Or, consider these lyrics from my favorite of their songs, “The Cave,” which I think is really about learning to see oneself and the world through the lens of God’s grace and truth.  This requires journeying, in a very Platonic sense, from “the cave” out into the light, where we are able to distinguish the shadows and illusions that can enslave us from the light of Truth, which will set us free to be the people we were meant to be:

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It’s empty in the valley of your heart
The sun, it rises slowly as you walk
Away from all the fears
And all the faults you’ve left behind

The harvest left no food for you to eat
You cannibal, you meat-eater, you see
But I have seen the same
I know the shame in your defeat

But I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again

Cause I have other things to fill my time
You take what is yours and I’ll take mine
Now let me at the truth
Which will refresh my broken mind

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So tie me to a post and block my ears
I can see widows and orphans through my tears
I know my call despite my faults
And despite my growing fears

But I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again

So come out of your cave walking on your hands
And see the world hanging upside down
You can understand dependence
When you know the maker’s land

So make your siren’s call
And sing all you want
I will not hear what you have to say

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Cause I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it’s meant to be

And I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck

And I’ll find strength in pain
And I will change my ways
I’ll know my name as it’s called again

Here is Mumford & Sons in an acoustic performance of “The Cave”: YouTube Preview Image

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