Music for grieving is, of course, a huge subject and I hope you will contribute your thoughts to the comments here. But my money is currently on Mumford & Sons 2009 CD release “Sigh No More” and every damn song on it. This was recommended to me by my nephew and my sister-in-law simultaneously. Shortly after Todd’s passing I was driving to the market with Bodhi and nearly veered off the road when ‘Eclipse’ by Pink Floyd came on the radio. I decided pop music with lyrics was just too loaded for a while. But finally I got ’round to checking out the British crew of Marcus Mumford and his bandmates (not sons). Certainly one of the most beautiful, haunting, freshly honest, brutally personal collection of songs I’ve heard in years. Here I draw liberally from their fine lyrics (reprinted without permission, All Rights Reserved by the band and label) and avoid actually posting MP3s to enourage you to go ahead and make this part of your collection if you haven’t already. From the opening song “After the Storm” like the coaching of a higher guardian.
Because death is just so full and mine so small.
Well I’m scared of what’s behind and what’s before.
And there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears.
And love will not break your heart, but dismiss your fears.
Get over your hill and see what you find there,
With grace in your heart and flowers in your hair.
To the Dust Bowl Dance, a fine story worthy of one of Todd’s favorite Western books or movies, eerily familiar in its lonesome gunslinging wounded hero, or things I might have said or tried to to convince Todd of in the title track which closes the album, “Sigh No More”:
Love that will not betray you,
dismay or enslave you,
It will set you free
Be more like the man
you were made to be.
Or what sound like Todd’s inner thoughts might have been if he were a songwriter or poet in “Roll Away Your Stone”
And I have filled this void with things unreal,
And all the while my character it steals
The darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek
It seems as if all my bridges have been burned,
You say that’s exactly how this grace thing works
It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart,
But the welcome I receive at the restart.
This is just scratching the surface and depriving you of the deepest portion of this work, the intensely gorgeous string band arrangements and cautious, heartfelt vocals.
Go on, get one: Mumford & Sons, “Sigh No More”