Some that you hear to songs and also analyze their various parts, ns let them to wash over me in an uncritical bliss. On the chance that I gain a song enough to think around it, I’ll hear to the lyrics. I’ll listen for the words, however I typically return to mine pre-analytic, and slightly childish, pleasure of hearing there is no listening.

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But through The Cave, it’s different.

Something around Mumford and Sons reaches into the depths of my psyche and messes about with things, so i wasn’t suprised as soon as I was instantly struck through The Cave‘s philosophical, and possibly even theological, undertones.

Here is a attach to the music video-

I had several thoughts about the metaphor in the song, yet I curiously browsed some lyric court to see other reactions. Many people had various conclusions, several of them diametrically opposed to one another, featuring whatever from God come zombies. Some human being thought The Cave to be mainly around holding top top unrequited love and others swore it speak of overcoming drug addiction.

I at first laughed at some of these responses, also though I know (to a degree) the the an interpretation of language is incomplete on its own, that definition is a communal phenomenon which requires the presence of hearers as lot as speakers. I laughed anyway when I experienced people’s instant problems and ideas around the world dramatically shaping their translate of The Cave… then ns realized the my ideas were probably assets of the very same thing. I’m a seminary student who lives and also works in one of the most affluent areas in the world, continually struggling with the integration that wealth and also Christian mission.

So i hear two key metaphors and also one main idea.

Metaphor #1: Homer

So tie me to a post and block my earsI can see widows and also orphans with my tearsI know my call despite my faultsAnd regardless of my growing fears

(and later on in the song)

So make her siren’s callAnd sing all girlfriend wantI will certainly not hear what you need to say

This allusion is to Homer’s Greek epic, Odyssey. In the poem, Odysseus and his band of sailors eventually involved the land of the Sirens; monsters well-known for singing such enticing songs the ships would certainly crash amongst the rocks once sailors do the efforts to monitor them. All of the guys on the boat filled your ears through wax as they happen the islands, yet Odysseus, the stud that he was, ordered the others to tie him come the mast; he want to hear the Sirens’ song.

Mumford and Sons, and also us by extension, sing of a song to be resisted- a track sung by a world calling civilization to crash top top its rocks. What this song is, precisely, provides much much more sense with the second metaphor.

Metaphor #2: Francis

So come out of your cave walking on her handsAnd check out the people hanging upside downYou can understand dependenceWhen you understand the maker’s land

I initially thought “coming the end of her cave” to be a recommendation to Plato. The philosopher defines his idea that archetypes with an allegory in which detainees were tied down from childhood in a cave, can not to move, and forced to stare at a wall. On this wall were the shadows make by world coming in and out of the cave. If these detainees were released, Plato suggests, they would not know the points they saw exterior the cave; the shadows would continue to seem much much more “real” come them.

I believed this can be Mumford and also Sons calling united state to view life for what it truly is. That an allegory fits, however it doesn’t completely explain the “widows and also orphans” or suggest to what this “reality” might be.

Then ns came across a suggestion; their metaphor could recommendation the “cave” of Francis Assisi.


St. Francis to be born in 12th century Assisi to a rich cloth merchant. He join the military and also was at some suggest taken captive and also eventually released, after i m sorry he confronted a terrible illness that spurred a religious crisis. Francis famously renounced his father, his wealth, and also founded the Franciscan Order- a team of monks recognized for ministering to the poor, owning no personal property, and also dedicating themselves to missional work.

And how does the life of Francis relate to Mumford and Sons? G.K. Chesterton.

G.K. Chesterton (an author the tape is supposedly fond of) wrote that Francis invested some time in a prison, or dark cave, and also eventually came out changed;

 The guy who got in the cavern was no the male who come out again; in that sense he was nearly as various as if he were dead, together if he were a ghost or a blessed spirit. And also the impacts of this ~ above his mindset towards the actual world were really together extravagant as any kind of parallel can make them. The looked at the human being as differently from other males as if he had come out of the dark hole walking on his hands.

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St. Francis, one ex-soldier (like the persons in the video?) and son the a rich man, decides to renounce the lens of materialism and also walks upside under in an attempt to see people for whom they are. In The Cave we space tied to the post, listening come the Siren’s song, tempted come reduce mankind to consumption, and feeling our very own propensity to monitor that track to ours deaths.

Even though we hear the Sirens, we continue to see “widows and also orphans through  tears,” capture glimpses that the “maker’s land,” and also ultimately “know  call despite  faults and despite cultivation fears.”