Meanings Behind Mumford & Sons' "Little Lion Man"
"Little Lion Man" has become a big hit for Mumford & Sons, clearly. The precise meaning of the lyrics have less clarity. The singer in the band, Marcus Mumford, has declined to elaborate on the exact meaning of the song, beyond an indication that it describes something he profoundly regrets having done in his own life. "Little Lion Man," released in August of 2009, has done extremely well on the charts. Critics and fans alike have enjoyed it. The song appears on Mumford & Sons' debut album, "Sigh No More."
One interpretation of the lyrics
A quick internet search will reveal multiple interpretations of the song's meaning, and not much agreement beyond a general consensus of regret. The key phrase "not your fault but mine" from the chorus unambiguously takes responsibility for something gone horribly wrong. Presumably, the singer speaks to someone close to him — perhaps a son — since he refers in the chorus to the person addresses as "dear." From the masculine tone of the nickname "Little Lion Man," one can assume the singer addresses another male. In the second verse of the song, the singer refers to the "mother" of the person addresses, again pointing to the possibility that he wrote the lyrics for his own son.
The contradictory song "Little Lion Man" has an extremely catchy and upbeat sound, yet it clearly describes a situation that the singer of the song regrets a great deal. The listener can freely ponder the possible meanings of the song, or just enjoy this smash hit without getting too analytical about it.