• Thu, Jan 17 2013

This Mumford and Sons Song Totally Creeps Me the Fuck Out

When I first heard this Mumford and Sons song, I thought it was really beautiful. Here you go.

A particularly powerful part of the song is when Marcus Mumford sings, “A SWELLING RAGE! RAGE!” right as the music gets more dramatic. I don’t know much about songwriting, but that seems like a pretty good way to construct a song.

Then I listened to the song about a dozen more times, and I was like, “Wait, why the rage?” Here are the lyrics:

But tell me now where was my fault,
in loving you with my whole heart?
Oh, tell me now where was my fault, in loving you with my whole heart?

Her white blank page
and a swelling rage, rage
You did not think when you sent me to the brink, to the brink
You desired my attention, but denied my affections, my affections

And now I’m super creeped out. Where was your fault in loving someone with your whole heart? Well, this woman clearly seems to be NOT YOUR GIRLFRIEND, for one. Considering that she is a “blank page” and not interested in your affections, you probably came on WAY FUCKING STRONG.

Sure, sometimes you fall in love and the other person doesn’t love you back. That sucks. You could try to just get over it. Or you might want to protect yourself by not spending time around that person. You could even tell them, “I really like you as more than a friend. I understand if you’re not interested, but it hurts a little too much to spend a lot of time together. I hope you understand, and I wish you well.” That would be mature. But if that’s too much to ask, you could just do eat a lot of ice cream and bitch to your friends, or go out to a bar and try to find someone else. Any of those things. NONE OF WHICH INVOLVE RAGE.

Most people are not going to love you romantically. That’s normal. If you feel rage when someone you think you are in love with does not love you back, you should 1) not tell the person about your rage, and 2) see a therapist, because it is not good to be furious at people who don’t want to spend the rest of their lives loving you passionately, just as most people do not.

Also, some woman “desired your attention, but denied your affections”? You know what we call that in the human universe? BEING FRIENDS. The singer in this song is really bad at it. When this woman “desired your attention,” I’ll bet she figured that would be a totally cool way to act with a friend, since she would also repay you with — wait for it — her attention in return! Offering attention for attention actually seems very fair! And everyone keeps their pants on. (See: Nice Guys of OK Cupid).

The rest of the song is really pretty, but it’s hard to enjoy it now that I’m imagining a plaid-wearing British folk singer showing up at his friend’s door in the middle of the night armed with an old-timey weapon, like a cudgel or an anvil or a spiky wagon-wheel or a brass horseshoe.

What We're Reading:
Share This Post:
  • http://www.facebook.com/katy.kelleher Katy Kelleher

    Nice guy syndrome claims yet another victim.

  • Noam Chomsky

    Wow, the author could have taken time to talk about an issue that matters, but instead gives us a literary exercise that should be filed under: Things that belong in our diary.

    • Yes

      Obviously this article was published in The Weekly Standard and your criticism makes perfect sense. I hope you enjoy the rest of TheGloss.

    • alexandra

      So this is what became of Noam Chomsky! MAKES SO MUCH SENSE

  • Amanda

    Or you could write a song about it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/helen.somjen Helen Schilli- Somjen

    Thank you! I know someone (well, multiple someones) who love this song and say it’s “like the best break-up song evaaar” and I’m all, “isn’t it just really creepy?”.
    (Also, Mumford are painfully overrated.)

    • CMJ

      Totally overrated.

  • Lemona

    Thank you for calling this song out on its creep factor!

  • http://sarahhollowell.com/ Sarah Hollowell

    I’ve thought it was creepy since I first heard it, but I still love it. I always get the feeling when I listen to it that it’s in on its own creep factor. Like, dude, listen to the lyrics and the music. That shit is made to be creepy.

  • daph

    It’s the ultimate friendzone song.

  • Zimmm

    I never interpreted this song to be a breakup or friend-zone song so the lyrics never really bothered me. I always interpreted it to be more of one persons struggle to reconcile their religious devotion and abstinence with love and sexual passion for a woman. They make religious references in a lot of their songs so it’d be pretty in line with their musical MO. And this interpretation has his “swelling rage” directed towards god, not towards the woman.

  • kj

    Oh maybe rage rhymes with… page. Normally I’d be all in there agreeing with you, but it’s art so I cut them a bit of slack.

  • CyndiAlmighty

    Im not understanding how you gals and guys are seperating a sentence that to me is TOTALLY on her, about her. I as well as my son get out of it that she’s crazy as hell. lol

    Her white blank page
    and a swelling rage, rage

    the AND seem’s to put them together and on her.

    • Z13C

      Yeah that’s how I take it. They’re both statements about her. I’ve always thought that it’s a song about a person who is so consumed with rage that they don’t let themselves be loved and push others away.
      I also have a friend that assures me that the song involves 3 people, the singer, the person they’re singing to, and a third woman that person is in love with, so I guess the song’s pretty much open to interpretation.

  • gt

    The lyric is “a white blank page and a swelling rage” not “her white blank page”. I think that line might be more about the frustration of not knowing how to put what you feel into words. Or just not being able to express yourself. It’s fine if you don’t like the song but you should probably put more effort into finding the correct lyrics before writing a whole article about it.