Sigh No More, the debut album from a British outfit called Mumford & Sons, is one of the best records I’ve heard in the past year. They’ve a pleasing acoustic texture that fits me like an old and comfortable sweater, with attractively scratchy tenor vocals, and the words of the songs gesture, at least, at the deeps.
Here is a song from the record called “The Cave”. I am not sure I think much of the “concept” in this video, as it seems more of a distraction, or at least incidental to the point of the song, but I suppose that is true of most such things.
There’s one bit in the words that I especially like. It goes like this:
But I will hold on hope
And I won’t let you choke
On the noose around your neck
The obvious word to end that last line is “throat”, not “neck”, since it would be at least a rough rhyme, and “neck” doesn’t rhyme with anything. It reminds me of something Lyle Lovett did back on The Road to Ensenada, in a song called “Her First Mistake”:
Yes, my dear, I know exactly what you mean
There’s not so much I haven’t done or seen
And may I say that your eyes
Are the loveliest shade of jade?
One expects “green” in that last line, of course; “jade” is jarring, but then it picks up the internal rhyme and ends up being witty. Mumford & Sons aren’t witty in that sense, at least not here. Anyway, this is a pretty insubstantial talking point, so let me bring this preamble to a close. Here is the song:
If you like that, I recommend listening also to the record’s title track, which is terrific. It gathers steam as it goes, so don’t give up too soon.