You hold your truth so purely
Well swerve not through the minds of man
This lie is dead

And this cup of yours tastes holy
But a brush with the Devil
can clear your mind
And strengthen your spine

But fingers tap into what you were once
And I'm worried that I blew my only chance

Whispers in the dark
Steal a kiss and you'll break your heart
Pick up your clothes and curl your toes
Learn your lesson, lead me home

Spare my sins for the ark
I was too slow to depart
I'm a cad but I'm not a fraud
I'd set out to serve the Lord

But my heart was colder when you'd gone
And I lost my head but found the one that I love
Under the sun, under the sun

But fingers tap into what you were once
And I'm worried that I blew my only chance
Fingers tap into what you were once
And I'm worried that I blew my only chance

But my heart was colder when you'd gone
And I lost my head
Let's live while we are young
While we are young, while we are young
While we are young




Whispers in the Dark song meanings
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  • +4
    My Interpretation:I'm sorry in advance if you don't agree with me, but this was the first meaning that came into my head, and when I thought about it, I realized that it fit well.

    "And this cup of yours tastes holy/But a brush with the Devil/can clear your mind/And strengthen your spine"

    A man (presumably Marcus Mumford) met another person that followed the Christian faith. He explained to this other person that an encounter with sin (or multiple encounters) has made him stronger

    "But fingers tap into what you were once"

    The other person sees that the man is possibly actually being led by God.

    "And I'm worried that I blew my only chance"

    The man is worried that it's too late to go back to the Christian faith. (Later in the song the lyrics state that the man had once been a Christian)

    "lead me home"

    The man asked God to lead him.

    "Spare my sins for the ark/I was to slow to depart/I'm a cad but I'm not a fraud/I'd set out to serve the Lord"

    The man changes his mind. Again he thinks it is too late. However, he did give Christianity a fair try. He was not just some kind of fake Christian, not truly believing.

    "But my heart was colder when you'd gone/And I lost my head but found the one that I love"

    The man was different when he was a Christian. He has changed now. However, this change came after great confusion, and he is still confused (he keeps going back and forth in answering the question: "Am I going to be a Christian?" "Yes, no, yes, no..."), but he is again considering Christianity.

    "Let's live while we are young"

    The man finally decides that he does not want any of this confusion anymore, and so he will live and be happy now, and come back to this difficult question later.

    Marcus himself has said that he is not a Christian, but he also indirectly stated that he used to be, when he explained in an interview that the line that most people believe to be "I set out to serve the Lord" is in fact "I HAD set out to serve the Lord".
    IAmNotThemon December 05, 2012   Link
  • +3
    General Comment:hmm I think it's a stretch to say he's denouncing his Christian faith. There's some very sexual innuendos here. "pick up your clothes, curl your toes". i think it has to do with a love cut deep.

    My take:
    This guy is a christian and he fell in love with this girl (presumably? not really important) who also is a christian. the cup references her soul. the truth is her christian faith.

    "You hold your truth so purely
    Well swerve not through the minds of man
    This lie is dead

    And this cup of yours tastes holy
    But a brush with the Devil
    can clear your mind
    And strengthen your spine"

    The brush with the devil is the temptation of basically have an affair with her. Christians believe in purity of their hearts. not that a christian cannot have intimate relationships. but they believe that it is wise to maintain some level of boundaries to both protect and respect themselves and the other person involved. the whole song is him dealing with that reality and what he wants, aka her.

    "But fingers tap into what you were once
    And I'm worried that I blew my only chance"

    so he got to know her deeper, maybe crossed a line. i'm not sure about this part.

    Whispers in the dark
    Steal a kiss and you'll break your heart
    Pick up your clothes and curl your toes
    Learn your lesson, lead me home

    this is him thinking about breaking those boundaries of the heart. so like they share love either physically or emotionally, most likely both. and he sees that this whole affair breaks his heart. so he packs his stuff, says he learned his lesson and sets for home. aka back on his path with God.

    Spare my sins for the ark
    I was too slow to depart
    I'm a cad but I'm not a fraud
    I'd set out to serve the Lord

    he's trying to justify or explain his actions. basically forgive me. i didn't leave her soon enough. i hurt her and disrespected her (definition of cad), but not a fraud/liar. what he didn't lie about was his intention to serve the lord. he went after her because of her apparent pure heart. he wanted to share something pure with her. but ultimately was led by his own hungry desire for her. that's quite an extrapolation, but what you can fairly say he intended to love her and follow god. but ended up breaking her heart.

    "But my heart was colder when you'd gone
    And I lost my head but found the one that I love
    Under the sun, under the sun"

    obvi he missed her a lot. when he returned to the light, as opposed to the dark where the whispers took place..., he found the one he loves aka god.

    "But fingers tap into what you were once
    And I'm worried that I blew my only chance
    Fingers tap into what you were once
    And I'm worried that I blew my only chance"

    he's thinking back about the relationship. he sees who she really was, and now wants that for real. now he's ready. but he hurt her and he knows that, so he doesn't know if it's right to go back. he blew his only shot.

    "But my heart was colder when you'd gone
    And I lost my head
    Let's live while we are young
    While we are young, while we are young
    While we are young"

    This is his resolution. he missed her when he left. he has found god again. he's wiser and is not blinded by his desires. he knows that he loves her for who she is. so he says screw it to everything else. he is resolved to go for her. "let's live while we're young'.

    awesome song.
    freeflyingon March 14, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation:The chorus seems to clearly be about infidelity

    Whispers in the dark
    steal a kiss, and you'll break a heart
    pick up your clothes, curl your toes
    learn your lesson, lead me home

    That seems pretty self-explanatory.
    EdgeBonoon January 01, 2013   Link
  • +1
    My Interpretation:You hold your truth so purely
    Well swerve not through the minds of man
    This lie is dead

    To me these first few lines are reflective of Marcus questioning God's influence over people's lives. It's almost as though he is saying "if you are so pure and so mighty, why can man choose to go against you?" It almost seems that Marcus is dissapointed or even despondent about this fact, that he had the ability to question God's authority over him

    And this cup of yours tastes holy
    But a brush with the Devil
    can clear your mind
    And strengthen your spine

    This is a pretty self explanatory lyric. Marcus understands the benefits of religion, from drinking from the cup of God. Yet, by brushing with the devil (obviously not literally, this just means brushing with an alternative lifestyle to the religious one he was once leading), he now has a clear mind, free of the questions that come with being associated with religion and can now hold himself in a more firm matter (hence "strengthen your spine")

    But fingers tap into what you were once
    And I'm worried that I blew my only chance

    The first part of this block of lyrics to me is kinda like a reflective statement. Marcus acknowledges how fingers, which could represent anything really like a thought or a symbolic image (anything that could manipulate or move his stance i think), bring him back into what his life once was, religious lifestyle in tact. Upon reflecting on this, he expresses his dread that his choice to move away from the religious life will result in him blowing his only chance at eternal life and salvation.

    Whispers in the dark
    Steal a kiss and you'll break your heart
    Pick up your clothes and curl your toes
    Learn your lesson, lead me home

    This part to me reflects the idea of infidelity. Infidelity is a sin that is condemned by most religions, particularly Christianity from which Marcus' belief system originated, and i think this is being used as a symbol for defying God. This verse is written as a warning from God, it is his god speaking to him, warning him not to follow the path he is choosing... the "whispers in the dark" are that of Marcus' god. "Steal a kiss and you'll break your heart" essentially to me means that the act of stealing a kiss, which implies infidelity as it was not his to have, will break the heart, or more his connection with God. "Learn your lesson, lead me home" is God asking Marcus to repent and to lead him back into his life, where God was once at home.

    Spare my sins for the ark
    I was too slow to depart
    I'm a cad but I'm not a fraud
    I'd set out to serve the Lord

    This almost seems like a retaliating statement from Marcus. He is essentially saying that he does not wish to here about his sins and what he is doing wrong, until judgement day comes, when he will either be saved by the ark (biblical symbol), or dismiss him. However, in the second half of this, it almost seems like Marcus is reminding God that his belief in him is still real, he knows he is there and proclaims that he is not a fraud in his belief. He does though admit is behaving in a "cad" way, aka dishonest (interestingly enough, the word cad puts emphasis on this idea of being disrespectful to women, a continuance of the infidelity theme possibly). He ends by emphasising again he had always intended to serve the lord, but his wordly desires have led him in another direction.

    But my heart was colder when you'd gone
    And I lost my head but found the one that I love
    Under the sun, under the sun

    He felt an emptiness without God in his life, and yet, he has found wat he loves in life, again the personification of "the one that i love" may indicate he has fallen in love with a woman outside of his original faith.

    Let's live while we are young
    While we are young, while we are young
    While we are young

    Here, Marcus basically states that he is only young, and believes he has a long life ahead of him. He knows the presence of God, but he has decided that he no longer wishes to live that life, and rather wants to live his way, effectively postponing any decisions he will have to make about his faith in God, and the choices he has made. This works with the whole idea of asking god to "spare my sins for the ark", he does not wish to deal with his "sins", he wants to live the life he has chosen, until later on when he will come to judgement, and he will have to make the decision.

    I wouldn't go as far as to say this is Marcus renouncing his Christian faith, or even the Christian lifestyle. However, wat i would say is that this is a reflection of his choice to move away from the Christian lifestyle he was brought up in, in order to explore a new way of living. He does not renounce it, he just puts it on pause, to see wat he can find in the world, and where he can find happiness "under the sun"
    jargonon June 23, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation:I think the song is basically Marcus Mumford's public renouncing of his once-held Christian faith. He was once a believer, but then decided that the (in his mind) strict rules and regulations were holding him back from living his life the way he wanted to. In the song he is clearly considering going back to God, but then decides that he prefers his unregulated secular lifestyle too much.
    Marcus Mumford was brought up as an evangelical Christian, and his parents were founders of the UK wing of the evangelical Vineyard Church.
    DJ205on February 02, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation:This song is a conversation with God (a more secular interpretation being : a conversation with a conflicted self)

    This song will resonate with anyone who has had a religious upbringing and denounced their faith. Note that Mumford's 'rejection' of faith is not an atheistic rejection of faith - he clearly still acknowledges god's existence. It is more of an existential rejection where he has decided to abandon the ethereal 'other world' and instead decided to revel in the world he has been rightfully gifted.

    The closing verses are particularly poignant for me :

    But my heart
    Was colder when you'd gone
    I lost my head
    But found the one that I loved
    Under the sun
    Under the sun

    Here, the 'you' is God and Mumford's rejection of him is clear. Anyone who has done similar will be familiar with the existential dread that takes over the mind and body once you've rejected God. Indeed, I had a very similar experience where I became a 'cad' like Mumford - as I revelled more in existential, hedonistic pleasures, I treated women as means to my own satisfaction and not ends in themselves, all possible because the 'cold heart' I had developed.

    But the line 'I found the one that I loved/Under this sun' is truly serene as he recognises the divine in the ephemeral.
    3rdcultureon May 13, 2013   Link
  • 0
    My Interpretation:To add more weight to my conversation with god/conflicted self interpretation below:

    1)Marcus himself states in several interviews that he is a spiritual

    2)'You hold your truth so purely, well swerve not through the minds of men' - Here Marcus is almost complaining to God - if he is so transcendental, intuitive and incorrigible why does he make us mortals question him so much?

    3)'This cup of your tastes holy/ but a brush with the devil can clear your mind/ and strengthen your spine' - This is Marcus' point of departure. He admits that what religion has to offer is pure and beneficial, but he would also like to experience the 'other side', if only to strengthen his own faith.

    4)'But fingers tap into what you were once/And i'm worried that I blew my only chance' - This is the point I raised below about conflict. Again, those who have 'left' their faith will be familiar with the existential dread, almost fright, that immediately follows. Marcus is already scared that he will never be able to return to the divine.

    5)The chorus should be typed like this for a better understanding:
    Whispers in the dark : "Steal a kiss, you'll break your heart..."
    This is god (i.e. his conscience) speaking to him, warning him of the dangers of revelling in contingent worldly pleasures.
    (interesting note for those into theology/philosophy: I am in absolute awe over the 'learn your lesson, lead me home'. If we are to go by the assumption that it is indeed God whispering to him in the dark, God refers to Marcus as himself. Pretty interesting Spinozan take on how humans are extension of God himself.)


    To which, Marcus replies:
    "Spare my sins for the ark/I was too slow too depart..."
    Here the ark serves as a symbolism for judgement day and he exclaims against God to let him be and judge him when the time comes.
    3rdcultureon May 13, 2013   Link
  • -3
    Lyric Correction:You hold your truth so purely
    Swerve not through the minds of men
    The lie, it is dead
    And this cup of yours tastes holy
    But a brush with the devil can clear your mind
    Strengthening your spine

    And fingers tap into what you were once
    And I'm worried that I blew my only chance

    Whispers in the dark
    Steal a kiss and you'll break a heart
    Pick up your clothes and curl your toes
    Learn your lesson, lead me home
    Spare my sins for the ark
    I was to slow to depart
    I'm a cad but I'm not aflawed
    I set out to serve the Lord.

    But my heart
    Was colder when you'd gone
    I lost my head
    But found the one that I loved
    Under the sun
    Under the sun

    And fingers tap into what you were once
    And I'm worried that I blew my only chance
    Fingers tap into what you were once
    And I'm worried that I blew my only chance

    But my heart
    Was colder when you'd gone
    And I lost my head
    But still, while we are young
    while we are young
    while we are young
    while we are young
    faldenon September 21, 2012   Link

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