Friday, December 7, 2012

Song of the Day: “Awake My Soul”

Il Sussidiario is a good place to go for interesting commentary on culture, politics, and religion from a perspective that might be more human than strictly Catholic. It’s a more or less unofficial product of the Catholic lay movement Communion and Liberation, with which I once had a more or less official relationship. But that’s another story.

A good example of the range of work at “Il Sussy” (the long form is the Italian word for subsidiarity) is this article on what some consider “the best band in the world right now.”

And of course that band is—

Mumford and Sons. An added H/T to Marian for alerting me to M&S in the first place.

Are they a Christian band, as some say? Well, not exactly, according to the article by the editors. Nor are they exactly a rock band either . . .

In the end they are simple men of the countryside, like all folkmen in that respect, dealing with simple things, the things of everyday life, and the lyrics of their songs witness to this. However, far from wishing to be seen as a “Christian band”, in a recent interview with the Guardian, they found themselves agreeing in stating: “We are not all Christians. In fact, none of us are, really. We have a full spectrum of beliefs”. It seems that these beliefs are well rooted in the compositional fabric that they have embroidered and can now wear without shame. Mumford and Sons has also had to defend itself against accusations of playing a rock 'n' roll “for old ladies”, to which they answered loud and clear that they are not a rock band, at least as that is classically understood. The authenticity thing has never been an issue for me," Marcus Mumford said in the same interview, “Not since I came to the realization that Dylan, who's probably my favorite artist ever, the richest artist for me, didn't give a shit about authenticity. He changed his name. And modeled himself on Woody Guthrie. And lied to everyone about who he was.”

Here’s my favorite cut from their first album, “Sigh No More” (2009). Their second, “Babel,” is just out this month.

And yes, OK, I like the Bonnaroo video ’cause it lets me imagine I’m back at Woodstock.

1 comment:

  1. My daughter introduced me to Mumford and Sons about a year ago. They may not identify as a Christian band, but much of their stuff has imagery that resonates with a Christian worldview. The great thing is, their lyrics evoke, and resonate -- they do not preach. There are fleeting images, there are fleeting images, and some of them are absolutely beautiful. It's hard to say anything more that would not be a complete cliche, but I am enjoying them very very much.

    Glad to hear they resist the rock label. They are who they are, just leave it at that.


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