"Babel" as written by Marcus Oliver Johnstone Mumford, Edward James Milton Dwane, Benjamin Walter David Lovett and Winston Aubrey Aladar Marshall....
I know the time has numbered my days,
And I'll go along with everything you say
But I'll ride home laughing, look at me now,
For the walls of my tower they come crumbling down
And my ears hear the call of my unborn sons,
And I know the choices color all I've done
But I'll explain it all to the watchman's son,
I ain't ever lived a year better spent in love

'Cause I know my weakness, know my voice
And I'll believe in grace and choice
And I know perhaps my heart is fast
But I'll be born without a mask

Like the city that nurtured my greed and my pride,
I stretched my arms into the sky
I cry Babel, Babel, look at me now
For the walls of my tower they come crumbling down
You ask where will we stand in the winds that will howl
Is all we see we'll slipping to the cloud?
So come down from your mountain and stand where we've been
You know our breath is weak and our body thin

Press my nose up to the glass around your heart
I should've known I was weaker from the start
You'll build your walls, and I will play my bloody part
To tear, tear them down
Well I'm gonna tear, tear them down

'Cause I know my weakness, know my voice
And I'll believe in grace and choice
And I know perhaps my heart is fast
But I'll be born without a mask


Lyrics submitted by mike, edited by falden, JayLovex, blainesledge, hallways, MyOwnTruth, mrswinnie, Molnek, OneNamedMatt, iammrmehul, omega10

"Babel" 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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Babel song meanings
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8 Comments

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  • +9
    My InterpretationThis song is a beautiful examination of the bourgeois mindset. They comment on the pelagian nature of society, they are building their own 'tower of babel' because they see the society collapsing behind their progressive thought, "I write home laughing, 'look at me now,' / the walls of my home come crumbling down." He simply "goes along" with this mindset; all his life his "greed and pride" has been nursed by society and he accepts this mentality for its face value. He is promised success, that they will "slip into the cloud." His conscious, however, seems to contradict this notion of being able to reach the heavens without grace from the beginning "I believe in grace and choice." But he has seen the depths of human falleness, "So come down from your mountain and stand where we've been / You know our breath is weak and our body is dead." What he wishes is to be "born without a mask" to be born into truth, which wears no mask and is what is. He examines this mentality (as it is attractive, who wouldn't want to get to the heavens on their own--it is an accomplishment of all time!).

    He finds his answer, however, as he begins his attempt: "Press my nose up to the glass around your heart / I should have known I was weaker from the start" Here he gets as far as he can, but cannot reach the heart of the divine without help, his nose hits the glass, and he cannot go any farther without grace. He therefore says he will do everything he can to bring this bourgeois mindset to an end: "You built your wall so now we'll play in my bloody part to tear, to tear it down / Well I'm gonna tear, tear them down"
    lh80127on September 28, 2012   Link
  • +2
    General CommentThis song is somewhat based on story of the Tower of Babel from the Bible. The story delivers a simplistic moral: don’t overstep your bounds, don’t try to get too close to the divine. It’s a story of confusion, and how the inability to communicate a direct message can impair any endeavor. Whether or not this song is trying to say this I don't know.
    Blackburnon September 26, 2012   Link
  • +1
    My InterpretationI think it's a commentary on false fronts in relationships. You can meet someone and pretty quickly understand how to modify your behavior to meet their expectations. Your "Tower of Babel" consists of the false tongues you speak to convince them that you are everything they ever wanted.

    However, if you are true to yourself, if you know your weakness and know your voice and allow your walls to come crumbling down, you may appear weak and thin but you can go forward without a mask, with grace and choice. The trick will be to tear down other people's walls as you run into them -- to get inside to the real them.

    "I've never lived a year better spent in love", meaning though he hasn't found his true love, he would rather live without a mask and keep searching for a real love than simply fall in love for the sake of the thing, one worthless Tower of Babel to another. Towers of Babel never last.
    NorthernPaladnon December 23, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General CommentCorrection:

    Press my nose up to the glass around your heart
    I should have known I was weaker from the start
    You’ll build your walls and I will play my bloody part
    To tear, tear them down
    Well I'm gonna tear, tear them down
    laststop40on September 22, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI see it as someone who's gained great insight into what they've tried har not to be, but realising that by doing so they've put themselves above the people they care about and are skirting the edge of being worse becaue of that.
    Molnekon November 02, 2012   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI agree with Blackburn. It's somewhat referencing the tower of Babel and the confusion of tongues.
    skylergeraldon November 05, 2013   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"know my weakness know my voice
    And I'll believe in grace and choice"

    summary of the song
    Peymanon April 18, 2014   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThe lyrics goes
    ...
    And I'll believe in grace and choice
    And I know perhaps my heart is "farce" (not fast)
    ...
    hincognitoon November 07, 2014   Link

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