"Sigh No More" as written by Marcus Oliver Johnstone Mumford, Edward James Milton Dwane, Benjamin Walter David Lovett and Winston Aubrey Aladar Marshall....
Serve God love me and mend
This is not the end
Live unbruised we are friends
And I'm sorry
I'm sorry

Sigh no more, no more
One foot in sea one on shore
My heart was never pure
You know me
You know me

And man is a giddy thing
Oh man is a giddy thing
Oh man is a giddy thing
Oh man is a giddy thing

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
There is a design,
An alignment to cry,
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be

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
There is a design,
An alignment to cry,
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be

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
There is a design,
An alignment to cry,
Of my heart to see,
The beauty of love as it was made to be


Lyrics submitted by SamKimish, edited by emilym

"Sigh No More" as written by Marcus Oliver Johnstone Mumford, Edward James Milton Dwane, Benjamin Walter David Lovett, Winston Aubrey Aladar Marshall

Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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Sigh No More song meanings
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  • +11
    General CommentFound Mumford & Sons by way of the impeccable Johnny Flynn. Ah, so much talent..

    Anyway, since M&S are drawing from Much Ado About Nothing, I think a few lyric corrections are in order. This first line should read, "Serve God, love me and mend," as it is a direct quote. The missing line after "Sigh no more" is "One foot in sea, one on shore," a line that is also in Shakespeare's "Sigh no more, ladies..." song.

    That said, I think that this song is about the inconstancy of man (in terms of both the individual and humanity), and how we all desire to be profoundly and selflessly loved despite our tendency to perpetuate the opposite. On one level, I think this is about someone who wants to break a pattern of hurt and is trying to convince the other person that he is able to love purely and unconditionally. On another level, and this is what spoke to me, is the idea that God is love, and he is the answer to our brokenness. He is able to love us in ways beyond what we cannot fathom, and through him, we can learn to love as he loves.
    TheHeartThatSkipsABeaton September 29, 2009   Link
  • +9
    Song MeaningIt's been almost 15 years since I had the great fortune to play the role of Signior Benedick in a regional theater production of "Much Ado About Nothing". But, when I heard the first line to "Sigh No More" ("Serve God, love me, and mend") I knew it immediately.

    Many (but not all) of the lines to "Sigh No More" are taken directly from "Much Ado About Nothing" (MAAN)

    If only one or two lines of the song were from MAAN, it could be considered "artistic license". But more than half of the lines are pretty much direct quotes from MAAN.

    So, it makes sense to first know a little about the plot of the play. While there are several sub-plots, the primary story follows Benedick and Beatrice.

    Benedick and Beatrice have known each other for many years. (Beatrice: "You always end with a jade's trick: I know you of old.")

    Benedick, a veteran soldier, is an avowed bachelor ... as is Beatrice.

    But, they are not just common acquaintances. There are hints of an earlier relationship between them ... one that did not end so well. Perhaps with infidelity on the part of Benedick:
    DON PEDRO: Come, lady, come; you have lost the heart of Signior Benedick.
    BEATRICE : Indeed, my lord, he lent it me awhile; and I gave him use for it,
    a double heart for his single one: marry, once before he won it of me
    with false dice, therefore your grace may well say I have lost it.

    They have an obvious attraction to each other that all can see. However, they are constantly jibing and parrying with each other. There is a "merry war" between them.

    Benedick starts the play railing against love: "I would I could find in my heart that I had not a hard heart; for, truly, I love none." And "I will live a bachelor."

    As does Beatrice: "I had rather hear my dog bark at a crow than a man swear he loves me."

    Their friends and family conspire to make them fall in love with each other (or at least, to admit that they already ARE in love with each other) by simply letting each one know that the other secretly loves them.

    It is while Benedick's friends are in the process of tricking him that Balthasar sings his song:
    Sigh no more, ladies, sigh no more,
    Men were deceivers ever,
    One foot in sea and one on shore,
    To one thing constant never:
    Then sigh not so, but let them go,
    And be you blithe and bonny,
    Converting all your sounds of woe
    Into Hey nonny, nonny.

    Benedick then "overhears" (by design) his friend's conversation that Beatrice loves him and she is too proud/frightened to tell him. His friends leave him to ponder this and he delivers a pretty great Shakespearean monologue with lines like:
    "Love me! Why, it must be requited!"
    "I may chance have some odd quirks and remnants of wit broken on me, because I have
    railed so long against marriage: but doth not the appetite alter?"

    Beatrice's friends and family do the same thing to her ... and it works just as well:
    "Benedick, love on; I will requite thee!"
    "If thou dost love, my kindness shall incite thee to bind our loves up in a holy band"

    Claudio (Benedick's friend) and Hero (Beatrice's cousin) are the young lovers in the play. They are engaged to be married. On the wedding day, Claudio arrives and essentially calls off the wedding, claiming that Hero has been unfaithful ... that he saw her the night before, at her window, with another man. This is all a choreographed ruse perpetrated by Don John, the "villain" of the play. (But nobody figures this out until later on).

    Beatrice is heart-broken for her cousin, and angry that Claudio would defame Hero. Benedick attempts to comfort Beatrice and eventually confesses: "I do love nothing in the world so well as you: is not that strange?" Beatrice then confesses that she loves Benedick, and things get really interesting ...

    BEATRICE: You have stayed me in a happy hour: I was about to protest I loved you.
    BENEDICK: And do it with all thy heart.
    BEATRICE: I love you with so much of my heart that none is left to protest.
    BENEDICK: Come, bid me do any thing for thee.
    BEATRICE: Kill Claudio.

    (As an aside here, that line above is one of the reasons why people are still performing this guy's plays 400 years after he died. "I love you", "Prove it ... kill your best friend")

    Benedick tries to calm Beatrice down ... to explain that there must be some kind of mistake, that Claudio is not this evil person that he appears to be. Beatrice will hear nothing of it. She is angered that she even needs to ask someone else (a man) to take care of this for her: "O God, that I were a man! I would eat his heart in the marketplace."

    Eventually, her grief and emotion are too much for Benedick to bear and he agrees to fight his friend to the death.

    Benedick challenges Claudio: "You are a villain; I jest not: I will make it good how you dare, with what you dare, and when you dare." (NOTE: Benedick is a much more seasoned warrior than Claudio and he will dispatch him quickly. Benedick and Claudio know this.)

    Luckily, the world's dumbest town sheriff (Constable Dogberry) stumbles upon some of Don John's men bragging about the treachery they performed (framing Hero). Therefore, everyone discovers that Hero was not unfaithful after all.

    Word of this discovery has not yet reached Benedick and Beatrice. He meets with Beatrice to confirm that he has challenged Claudio. They have a playful moment where they once again express love for each other. But there is a serious undertone as well ... Benedick knowing that he will have to deal with Claudio, and Beatrice knowing that her cousin Hero has taken ill from the stress and grief she feels. This all leads to the following exchange:
    BENEDICK: ...how doth your cousin?
    BEATRICE: Very ill.
    BENEDICK: And how do you?
    BEATRICE: Very ill too.
    BENEDICK: Serve God, love me and mend.

    This is an incredibly gentle, loving moment. And, it can be thought of as a sort of "emotional climax" for the play. Until now, all of the declarations of love and hate between Beatrice and Benedick were grand statements, sweeping gestures. Here it is simple, basic, perfect ... "I will protect you".

    And amazingly, the very NEXT line of the play is delivered by a handmaiden who runs in to inform Beatrice and Benedick that: "...it is proved my Lady Hero hath been falsely accused, the prince and Claudio mightily abused; and Don John is the author of all!"

    So in the end, Claudio marries Hero and Benedick marries Beatrice. This is where Benedick says (to Claudio) "live unbruised" and also "we are friends".

    Everyone rails at Benedick (the professed bachelor is now getting married).
    He defends his position as best he can:
    "In brief, since I do purpose to marry, I will think nothing to any
    purpose that the world can say against it; and therefore never flout
    at me for what I have said against it; for man is a giddy thing,
    and this is my conclusion."

    The play has been a journey for Benedick ... to understand the nature of love.
    He is given several lengthy monologues on the subject and spends much time debating the nature of love and whether it really has a roll in his life. But, in the end, it is the moment when he says "Serve God, love me, and mend" where he realizes the simplicity of it. Love is impossible to describe. Impossible to understand. Impossible to control. Impossible to ignore. Love just IS. For man is a giddy thing.

    If you've made it this far, congratulations ... you have no life! But hey, it could be worse, you could have been the one writing this instead of reading it!

    For what it's worth, I'll finish with the lines from the song (in CAPS) along with some notes where they tie-in with the song.


    "SIGH NO MORE" - Mumford & Sons

    SERVE GOD, LOVE ME AND MEND
    Benedick (Spoken to Beatrice), Act V, Scene 2.

    THIS IS NOT THE END
    Not a direct line from the play.

    LIVE UNBRUISED,
    Benedick (Spoken to Claudio), Act V, Scene 4.

    WE ARE FRIENDS
    Benedick (Spoken to Claudio), Act V, Scene 4.
    Does not immediately follow "Live unbruised" though.
    It is part of Benedick's next line.

    AND I'M SORRY ... I'M SORRY
    The word "sorry" is used several places in the play.
    Most notably is Beatrice (spoken to Benedick), Act IV, Scene 4.
    But it is not an apology. Her line at that point is:
    "I'm sorry for my cousin"

    SIGH NO MORE, NO MORE
    Balthasar (singing), Act II, Scene 3.
    It is a song about the unfaithful nature of men.

    ONE FOOT IN SEA AND ONE ON SHORE
    Balthasar (singing), Act II, Scene 3.

    MY HEART WAS NEVER PURE
    Not a direct line from the play.

    AND YOU KNOW ME ... YOU KNOW ME
    Most likely a reference to Benedick in Act V, Scene 2.
    He sings:
    The god of love,
    That sits above,
    And knows me, and knows me.

    BUT MAN IS A GIDDY THING
    OH MAN IS A GIDDY THING
    OH MAN IS A GIDDY THING
    OH MAN IS A GIDDY THING
    Benedick (to all), Act V, Scene 4. One of the last lines of the play.

    LOVE IT WILL NOT BETRAY YOU
    DISMAY OR ENSLAVE YOU, IT WILL SET YOU FREE
    BE MORE LIKE THE MAN YOU WERE MADE TO BE
    THERE IS A DESIGN, AN ALIGNMENT, A CRY
    OF MY HEART TO SEE,
    THE BEAUTY OF LOVE AS IT WAS MADE TO BE
    None of the above comes from the play.
    However, it is, without question, the conclusion that Benedick comes to in the end.
    And, ultimately, the entire point of the play.
    benedick96on June 17, 2011   Link
  • +7
    Song MeaningI love this song with every fiber in my being because it's about faith and the character of God-- how He is Love and forgiveness, and we can find reprieve in Him.

    I love that the first two stanzas are written in anguish, with a tone of sadness and a yearning to just be healed of all the pain. You can feel it, and your heart aches because you too know yours isn't pure and dear God you hope someone knows you BUT WAIT!! Man is a giddy thing.
    Yes, friend, mankind is a happy, joyful, deeply suggestible, highly emotional, giddy thing that is created to connect.
    and therefore
    LOVE!
    Love. It will not do the terrible things society wants you to fear it will.
    In fact, it does the opposite.
    It heals. It fulfills. It reveals. It is beautiful! It is God's nature. Man's nature. Your nature. There is hope. You can be all that you were purposed to be if you will only Love.
    Go out and love, you giddy thing, you.
    kindlemeon July 20, 2012   Link
  • +5
    General CommentLove Mumford and Sons!!

    To me a girl has let a guy down. The singer could be the guy who is receiving this advise from his former girl. In the first line she is giving him advise, "Serve God, love me, and mend." The girl hurt him badly, but wants his forgiveness and wants his heart to heal. She tells him even though I hurt you, we will always be friends. She tells him her heart was not pure and she was never 100% committed to the relationship (one foot in sea and one on shore). Then she tells her she is sorry and tells him to Sigh No More because real love is great.

    She goes on to explain that man can and should be happy and tells him not to be afraid to fall in love again. And she explains what true love can mean to him when he finds it. She deeply wants him to find love as she feels guilty because he deserves to find true love.
    SocialCircleon February 25, 2011   Link
  • +5
    Song MeaningPut simply, this song is about coming to know God/Love/goodness/Allah/whatever you call it (I call it God). It's about knowing your wrong doings, asking for forgiveness (first verse) and placing your trust in God/Love (second and third verse). It's about the freedom that comes from knowing and placing your faith in God/Love and also the desire at the core of man to know the beauty of God/Love (chorus).

    For those unclear, to me God and Love are interchangable. God is everything good that I know in this world. I believe God/Love is a very real force, probably the most real force we all know (as mankind) and that is what this song is about! I'm not from a Christian home but I came to realise I know God because I always believed in Love. If nothing else is, Love is evidence of God.

    For those who say this song isn't about Christianity you must read the Bible and learn more because there are countless references in this song (as many as Much Ado About Nothing), its undeniable. Yes, the song has obvious ties with Much Ado About Nothing and is structured and inspired by it (even directly quotes it). But this song is most definitely about Love, God or the good of the universe, whatever it is you believe. The play also discusses this theme! You must remember, Shakespeare came from a time where Christianity held the values and beliefs of his homeland, he is surely inspired by it and Shakespeare was known to reference, amongst many other things, Christianity and God.. Much Ado About Nothing is not the origin of the ideas behind Sigh No More, the song uses the play as a platform to discuss the nature of God/Love within mankind.

    P.S. Although there are definite allusions to Christ and Salvation, I believe this song is about God.
    theorfordonianon November 23, 2011   Link
  • +2
    General Commenti dont agree with zbaze at all,for the simple fact that,
    this is NOT a pop group!!
    they are clearly an indie group that is why they are so deep and original.
    dont comment on something you know nothing about.
    this is one of the best indie groups of our time,
    from start to finish there is not a bad song on the album,
    i also like the way they have brought there irish roots with a twist of british into the mix.
    they have married both our counties together in a way that 100 years of peace talks could not!
    beezybeaston December 09, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentHey, since I am new to songmeanings i do not yet know how to change the "official" lyrics up there, but since there are quite a few misunderstandings I'll post the (actually) official lyrics from the album sleeve here:

    Serve God, love me and mend
    This is not the end
    Lived unbruised, we are friends
    I'm sorry

    Sigh no more, no more
    One foot in sea and one on shore
    My heart was never pure
    You know me

    But man is a giddy thing
    Oh man is a giddy thing
    Love it will not betray you
    Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free
    Be more like the man you were made to be

    There is a design, an alignment, a cry
    Of my heart to see,
    The beauty of love as it was made to be
    flixon December 21, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI have to say, the only comment i agree with is the comment about the Shakespeare connections, as yes, alot of this song involves DIRECT quotes from Much Ado About Nothing, so i do not believe this is a song about religion in any way, more following the theme of the love between two people being discovered, which is how the quotes 'Serve god love me and mend' and 'Sigh no more, one foot in sea one on shore' were used in the play, all quotes from male characters ABOUT love. No religion in this song whatsoever, all romanticism and Shakespeare.
    But either way, it is a fantastic song, and one i will never tire of, and a band that i hope find the success they definitely deserve.
    Kane92on January 26, 2010   Link
  • +2
    General CommentOf course, everyone is going to have a different interpretation of the song. I think in essence it means that the more you love, the more of a man you will be. Man was created. We are made to be and exist. But what is one thing every man (and I say man as a general term that applies to all persons)has in common? We all have the ability to love and be loved (true, selfless, pure, and sacrificial love). The more we love (not just in an emotional way like in a relationship) in the little ways in life, the more human and alive we are. It helps us fulfill our potential as a person because it was what we were made to do.
    emmylu94on June 18, 2011   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti love the reference to shakespeare :)
    don't know about 'serve god love me and mend' but it is definately 'one foot in sea, one on shore'
    i'm personally not a fan of preaching but if religion can produce music this beautiful among all the other things it has done in the past...

    this album has been on repeat for a fornight
    lyricsaremydrugson November 02, 2009   Link

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