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"Roll away your stone" Meaning

Last post 05-23-2014 12:00 PM by Brave heart. 40 replies.
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  • 10-14-2010 1:00 PM

    "Roll away your stone" Meaning

    Ok i have been obsessed with Mumford for some time now, and have recently started doing a project on flickr to do with there music. But i am stumped!!! I absolutely love Roll away your Stone, but the meaning just defeats me. I always come to the conclusion that it is about, standing your ground, fighting for what you believe in, but something always pops up that just doesn't fit!! If you have anyyyy ideas please help! Oh and check it out, its moving slowly but im busy as hell! http://www.flickr.com/photos/georgiagracekathleen/sets/72157624142933287/with/4697440182/
  • 10-19-2010 4:26 PM In reply to

    • violet
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    • Joined on 10-19-2010
    • Mars
    • Posts 2

    just an interpretation

    Through his words I get a sense of being in a cave. Rolling away the stone could signify getting out of the cave (the stone may be used to block the entrance). The cave could signify depression (darkness), and the darkness is caused by isolation and his burning his bridges all for some chicky that didn't deserve him. Now he has to start over, and he knows that it's all bs because he's probably been through this for a while. That's a little bit of my interpretation of it, but we all have our own. Poetry it's simply beautiful poetry isn't it? I haven't checked out your flickr project yet, but good luck :)

     

  • 10-25-2010 4:58 PM In reply to

    • ParkerFire
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    • Vancouver, BC Canada
    • Posts 6

    Re: "Roll away your stone" Meaning

    Georgia -

       have you considered that perhaps this is refering to a really famous guy who was dead three days and then rolled the stone away from his tomb and walked out?  To me, when you include Christ in the imagery, the lyrics make more sense.  What say you?

    "If you can't find a door then make one"
    ` firefighter proverb
  • 10-25-2010 5:51 PM In reply to

    Re: "Roll away your stone" Meaning

     Rather ironically given your middle name on here, I think that a central theme of the song is about "grace". There's a really good book called What's so amazing about grace, by Philip Yancey, which if you had  a look at, you might see if you agree with my interpretation?  But in the end, I guess only Marcus Mumford would be able to tell you, as it was one of his songs before the band formed and, as far as I know he hasn't talked about it even though he's talked about other songs.

  • 10-25-2010 11:35 PM In reply to

    Re: "Roll away your stone" Meaning

    Here's what the Fitzroy Presbyterian Church in Belfast made of Roll Away Your Stone back in March:

    http://stocki.typepad.com/soulsurmise/2010/03/the-mumford-and-sons-communion-liturgy.html

     

  • 10-28-2010 3:47 AM In reply to

    Re: "Roll away your stone" Meaning

    I know what you mean, i've been trying to figure it out myself. as a christian i have a tendency to view music and art and the world in general through a christians eyes. i think the writer is asking jesus to show himself to him. when he says " rol away your stone and i will roll away mine" i think he is kind of challenging jesus in a way. and throughout the song he the writer juggles the idea of salvation and the grace jesus offered when he rose from the dead. and at the end of the song he decides that he doesnt need it. " so i will be found with my stake stuck in ground, marking the territory of this newly empassioned sould." and at the end says "you've gone too far this time you have neither reason not rhyme to take this soul which so rightfully mine." i don't know, i dont feel like im 100% correct but thats what i gather from it.

  • 11-05-2010 6:19 AM In reply to

    • ParkerFire
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    • Vancouver, BC Canada
    • Posts 6

    Re: "Roll away your stone" Meaning

    I agree that the in the intro he seems like he asking Jesus to show Himself to him - one of the ways Jesus showed His identity as God was to rise from the dead and so, in a sense, he could also be saying, 'reveal to me that you really are God and i'll reveal myself/open up myself to You'??  I dunno if i buy that that the lyrics suggest he's saying he doesn't need it (even aside from my Christian perspective that of couse he does):  i say that b/c one's regeneration/conversion is often refered to by people as sticking their "stake in the ground" and so the "marking of the teritory" could simply refer to what he' saying is now Christ's property.  I almost agree with you interp of the last line(s) except if it weren't for 'White Blank Page' where M&S seems to frequently (and without warning) switch "voices" or persons being spoken to (this seems a bit funny interpreting M&S songs with other M&S songs like we're exegeting the Bible or something).  In my mind, he could either be speaking to his former "captor" viz. Satan or it could be CHrist Himself speaking to the Devil saying you have no right to what's rightfully mine.

    In the end, we're all guessing i know, but that's how i see it anyways.  Thanks for the push back.

    "If you can't find a door then make one"
    ` firefighter proverb
  • 11-28-2010 4:56 AM In reply to

    Re: "Roll away your stone" Meaning

    Towards the end of the song he sings "Stars hide your fires" - which is a quote from Macbeth.  in the play the quote means he wishes the stars didnt shine so he would be blind to his own dark desires, he wants to not be able to see his actions which are the result of his dark thoughts.

    Not sure of the meaning to this song either - but figured this might be relevant :)

  • 12-27-2010 8:01 AM In reply to

    Re: "Roll away your stone" Meaning

    I see it as the singer is looking into his own heart and truly seeing himself for the first time. He's "rolling away his stone" by opening his heart and "seeing what's inside". He's afraid of what he'll find because he's afraid he won't like it. He's filled his soul with "things unreal" which I see as material objects. Underneath it all his "character is steel". He's sees "grace" as he's forgiven for the darkness in his heart. The very last part when he sings "you have gone too far this time, you have neither reason nor rhyme with which to take this soul which is so rightfully mine", I see this as he's turned from his ways and he's ready to make things right so he's speaking to the darkness and sin and telling them that they have no right to take his soul.
  • 12-29-2010 4:38 AM In reply to

    Re: "Roll away your stone" Meaning

    First of all, this is probably my favourite song if I had to choose a fave M&S song. I love them all. Truly.

    I see it as well whichever band member (Marcus) wrote the lyrics (because we don't know for sure Marcus did, though I do believe those were his lyrics.) was deeply afraid of himself. He does too much self reflecting. He's willing to finally tell what his desires in that particular situation or life are, and just this once will he tell. Just "this time around." Also that whoever he is talking with or to about letting his desires be known, he wants them to let a little of what they want and their desires to be said before he says his. As if it would make him feel better. Like there's nothing to be ashamed of with his own personal desires and needs. I also think that, not entirely, but maybe a little bit, he is afraid of himself, and what he could become.

    Ah well that's what I'm bringing to the table haha hope it helps :)

    keep smearing my heart all over my sleeve, then someone comes and wipes it off, and takes it from me.
  • 01-02-2011 1:13 AM In reply to

    Re: "Roll away your stone" Meaning

    The whole album seems to be directed at AP english students...I mean, come on...Macbeth, East of Eden, allegory of the cave, (haven't seen brave new world yet)....Classic high school reading list. What's behind the stone? Apparently, something that's inside. So the stone is yours...Apparently, your soul is inside. You fill it with imagined things. Goals, dreams, "desires". Have you ever noticed how such motivations tend to make you act "out of character"? I look inside -- What do I really want? I follow my goals, and just as Macbeth's ambitions destroyed his values, so my goals define my values. Don't guide me; my dreams will guide me! Going back to Macbeth, think about how "harsh" it is that we don't know where our ambitions will lead us. Since the philosophy of "grace," where we keep moving forward and take whatever comes, we can't keep doing the same things (using the same "bridges.") Darkness dominates the things I see; I don't see much. I can't see ahead -- What will happen? What's happening right now? The following chunk is weird. Returning home doesn't give me the strength grow. The places I go, the desires I follow -- I can only follow because of my friends back home, my safety net. The final section ties back to the start. These are my dreams; don't tell me what to dream. And now that I know what I wan't, you'd better bet I'm gonna get it! You, don't get in my way; that's stupid. I want this; this is mine! Long-term goal-oriented behavior is what makes humans unique. It's how we've taken over the world. Any song supporting it is a song I support. :)
  • 01-06-2011 3:26 AM In reply to

    Re: "Roll away your stone" Meaning

    I would have to agree with many on here that a Christian story makes the most sense. The imagery of the stone, the blatant description and reference to Grace, the talk of darkness inside, exploring things the spread the darkness... I did not catch the MacBeth reference, but I did also think "stars hide your fires" could be referring to the "pillar of fire" that was God to Moses and the Israelites and led them through the wilderness and to the promised land. Possibly he is referring to the idea that his darkness, the stars, this world possibly, are hiding him from the presence of God. Exodus 13:21-22 Pillar of Fire by night 21 By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people. At the end though, I could not tell if he was giving his life up to grace or if he was saying, not this time to it.
  • 01-06-2011 3:54 AM In reply to

    Re: "Roll away your stone" Meaning

    The pillar of fire reference is a stretch. Literary allusions usually don't get quite that creative (The issue is that the Bible alludes to everything, which makes some people think everything alludes to the bible. This is the problem with books that have all the answers ;) ) On the other hand, the Macbeth reference is a direct quote and blatant. The grace reference is also blatant. But think about whose making which references... "Stars, hide your fires" -- the speaker = the complete character in this song, possibly the listener... "That's exactly how this Grace thing works" -- "you" = the flat person Marcus is talking to, the person who thinks that dreams don't exist ("You told me that I would find a hole"), the person who's gone too far and doesn't make any sense to the speaker. So the speaker seems to be rejecting the grace mindset in favor of Macbeth's ambition-following mindset.
  • 02-26-2011 6:20 PM In reply to

    • CRD
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    • Joined on 02-26-2011
    • Posts 1

    Re: "Roll away your stone" Meaning

    I think you're right in part. I think that the overall message is about being able to start over because of grace. You don't need those burnt bridges because it's a new start. But you have to choose to start over. (God, the one who's standards haven't been met, offers grace and renewal through Jesus. Jesus is not looking into His cave with fear and regret. If the other person is Jesus at all, He's looking at what has been accomplished and pointing out what can now be offered to this person.) The end throws everyone for a loop. It leaves you to your own interpretation I think. What it made me think , in light of grace, is that it refers to the other cave inspector. They've abuse grace too many times in not really making a commitment to change. Such a person can't see through their own pride that they're still doomed. They bring other people down with them with their example. It also made me think that he may be talking to the "darkness" itself in the end- guilt or darkness from the past don't have a hold on him anymore. That's what grace does, it sets us free.
  • 02-26-2011 9:41 PM In reply to

    Re: "Roll away your stone" Meaning

    kelby_ferguson:
    I see it as the singer is looking into his own heart and truly seeing himself for the first time. He's "rolling away his stone" by opening his heart and "seeing what's inside". He's afraid of what he'll find because he's afraid he won't like it. He's filled his soul with "things unreal" which I see as material objects. Underneath it all his "character is steel". He's sees "grace" as he's forgiven for the darkness in his heart. The very last part when he sings "you have gone too far this time, you have neither reason nor rhyme with which to take this soul which is so rightfully mine", I see this as he's turned from his ways and he's ready to make things right so he's speaking to the darkness and sin and telling them that they have no right to take his soul.
     

    I loved that interpretation! :)

    ~ Now I'll be bold as well as strong, use my head alongside my heart ~
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