In honor of St. Francis of Assisi on his feast day, and because this ties in perfectly to what I’ve been wanting to write about, here is a kickin’ G.K. Chesterton quote (points for those who can guess where this is going):
“Francis, at the time or somewhere about the time when he disappeared into the prison or the dark cavern, underwent a reversal of a certain psychological kind…The man who went into the cave was not the man who came out again…He looked at the world as differently from other men as if he had come out of that dark hole walking on his hands. This state can only be represented in symbol; but the symbol of inversion is true in another way. If a man saw the world upside down, with all the trees and towers hanging head downwards as in a pool, one effect would be to emphasise the idea of dependence. There is a Latin and literal connection; for the very word dependence only means hanging. It would make vivid the Scriptural text which says that God has hung the world upon nothing.” –G.K. Chesterton
You probably guessed it; The Cave by Mumford & Sons.
But mostly just Mumford & Sons.
A recent article on NPR explains why bands like Mumford & Sons, The Avett Brothers, and the Head and the Heart are becoming so popular, and you should go read it because it is awesome.
I bought Babel on iTunes the night it came out and stayed up waaaay too late listening to every track, and I can’t explain to you how beautiful I find this music.
It’s cliche and ridiculous, but it lifts my soul (biologically, watch me cite myself). The lyrics are meaningful and spiritual in way that isn’t overtly Jesus-y. For example;
So give me hope in the darkness that I will see the light
Cause oh that gave me such a fright
But I will hold as long as you like
Just promise me we’ll be alright
Sounds like some spiritual warfare to me. Or possibly how it isn’t easy to love Jesus or love your faith, but we have to believe that it is worth it.
I love how well-read these men are and how talented they are as musicians. I don’t mean to drop the I-saw-them-in-concert-card, but I did and it was incredible. A friend of mine was talking about how at the concert there was such obvious humility in their performance. Even though Marcus is the lead singer and arguably the front man of the group, he wasn’t in the spot light alone or physically in front of the other members.
I haven’t done a ton of research yet to see where these lyrics come from or what they are alluding to but just by listening to the songs multiple (read, hundreds) of times, there is a tangible depth and joy and sorrow and honesty to these lyrics, and if that NPR article is right (which I’m pretty sure it is) this is the direction a lot of music is heading. And praise God, I’m tired of music reminding me how much I dislike general society and how technology is taking the place of honest talent. I’m thrilled that music has raw voices and guitars and banjos (I’m pretty sure the banjo is my love language) and that lyrics aren’t just words thrown together, but actual poetry.
It just makes me really excited.
Double cite myself? I’m going to make a Who Do You Think You Are? Jar and put in a dollar each time I cite myself to remind myself that I am not a Pope writing an encyclical.
And here’s a brillant article about Babel written by my favorite DN reporter (who is also my friend in life).
St. Francis, pray for us!